Summary: New Life in a lost life
What a Difference You Made in My Life
· This morning we looked at the pagan’s condition ‘without Christ’. That defines lostness. You can be very worldly and lost or you can be very religious and lost. The question is your relationship with Jesus Christ. The ‘Gentiles’, which the Ephesian church was made of, were once ‘excluded’, ‘strangers’ and without hope or God’. Tragic description of lostness.
· Tonight we are going to look at the transforming power of God’s grace: BUT NOW IN CHRIST.
We are constantly bombarded by the conventional thinking or our world. Often comes to us in pithy sayings
If you give him an inch he will take a mile
Two wrongs don’t make a right
If you lay down with the dogs you will get up with the fleas
God helps those who help themselves
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Don’t get mad get even
When in Rome do as the Roman’s do
A dog may be able to whip a skunk but the fight just ain’t worth it.
When in the world do as those in the world do. Politically Right. Don’t make waves, blend in, go with the flow.
Problem is this encourages and condones wicked lifestyles and leads us to conform to ungodly standards.
· Tonight I want you to consider the difference knowing Jesus makes in our lives. Add Two more to this mornings message:
1) WITHOUT CHRIST
2) IN CHRIST
3) THROUGH CHRIST
IN CHRIST: (13) But now IN CHRIST Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14)For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall , (15) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that IN HIMSELF He might make two into oone new man, thus establishing peace, (16) and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the Cross, by it having put to death the enmity. (17) And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.
1. Paul reminds us of Christ’s role as the GREAT
ISA 9:6 His name shall be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE’
2. History is filled with different groups who have not gotten
along: Hatfields and McCoys, Protestants & Catholics in
Northern Ireland. Muslins & non-muslims today
None matched how Jews and Gentiles felt about one another
Gentiles were made for the fires of hell.
a. Imagine how Jonah felt when told to go to the Gentile capital of
Ninevah and introduce them to God. Rivaled God asking Abraham to
put Isaac on the altar.
3. Three mentions of Peace in this passage: He Himself is our
peace….Himself he might make…establish peace…He came
and preached peace.
a. He Himself is the origin of Peace. He is our peace.
1) Peace doesn’t come when two armies lay their weapons down and sign some paper. They are just tired of war and need time to reload. It is never lasting.
True peace is a PERSON.
2) Luke 2:14 ‘Glory to God in the highest, peace among men. They didn’t end all wars. Jesus said that ‘there will be wars and rumors of wars’ till the very end.
The peace Jesus brought is peace by God’s definition.
It starts with a Person. It is satisfying and permanent. He
comes in and starts solving the conflict in our lives.
b. He Himself makes or establishes peace:
1) Breaks down the walls(14) The barrier of the dividing wall.
The Temple in Jerusalem was built with a 3’ to 4’ high wall which ran through the court and separated the court of the Gentiles from the rest of the inner court. Only Jews were permitted past this dividing wall. Archaeologists in 1871 uncovered the inscription: ‘No man of another race is to proceed within the partition and enclosing wall about the sanctuary. Any one arrested there will have himself to blame for the penalty of death which will be imposed as a consequence.
Compare that to today: Merry Go Rounds in Churches, McDonald’s like play grounds. Churches with everything but the truth!
a) Jesus broke down the wall. The VEIL was torn from
the top to the bottom.
b) It would not be for some years after Paul wrote that the
wall would actually be destroyed in 70AD but as far as
God was concerned as soon as Jesus proclaimed, ‘it is
finished’ the wall came down.
2) Creates a new man(15)
a) Word CREATE literally means to make something that has never been before. Something only God can do. Man can be creative but he is always rearranging what already is. This word means to make something that has never been.