Summary: The sermon shares some of the greatest gifts given to the world, but Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of all time.
The Greatest Gift of All Time Ephesians 2:11-22 In an uncertain, dangerous and ambiguous world, we
need a gift that will maintain its value forever
1. Gifts have been given as practice or ritual for centuries
• The gifts are great and small just at the last wedding the bride gave gifts to the wedding party
• In the text Paul claims Jesus, he is the gift , who brings us all together in unity.
2. Consider some of the greatest gifts given the great state of New Jersey , drought resistant wheat seeds, the Trojan horse , penicillin, and Jesus .
• New Jersey was given as a present in 1665 by the Duke of York to two royalists, Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley. later became part of the United States. If the land had not been returned, the descendants of Carteret and Berkeley would now be in control of nearly nine million people and a half-trillion-dollar economy. Not to mention Princeton University, the New York Giants, the New Jersey Turnpike.
• Another great gift was much smaller, but was equally significant. A man named Norman Borlaug developed tiny wheat seeds that were resistant to drought and disease These seeds were planted across Latin America and South Asia, and ended up feeding more than one billion people.
• Another significant gift was The Trojan Horse. Well, maybe it was not such a terrific present for the Trojans, since Greek soldiers hid inside the horse and then conquered the city of Troy. But the destruction of Troy led to the foundation of Rome and the Roman Empire,
• How about the present given to the world by Tim Berners-Lee? He gave us the World Wide Web, says economist Paul Collier, choosing to make it a public good instead of a personal cash cow. The benefits to people around the world have been tremendous.
• The idea of human freedom. This has been America's gift to the world, from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom for all people.
3. Jesus is the greatest gift given because he is our God connector so claims the Apostle
• Gentiles --meant they were people who lived outside the Jewish community.
• Paul reminds them that they were once "without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers (No Connection)to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (v. 12).
• Jesus connects us to God vs 13“we were once faraway but now we are brought near we were alone we were cut off” Alone. Cut off. Isolated. Paul tells them that their alienation is over, for "now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (v. 13).
• Jesus connects us to God by giving Forgiveness
4. Jesus is the greatest gift given because Christ is the peace make
• Christ is our peace-maker says Paul, "in his flesh he has made both groups into one" (v. 14). Christ makes peace 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one” (The Jews and Gentiles)
• Think of the cross it reaches vertically (God upward us here) horizontally could represent Jews and Gentiles East to west. Christ brings peace between us and God Jews and Gentiles.
5. Jesus is the greatest gift given because he is the wall breaker, breaking down "the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us" (v. 14).
-Jesus the wall breaker tore down the wall of separation between God and us
-Jesus the wall breaker tore down the wall of commandments and ordinances,
-Jesus the wall breaker once we were strangers, aliens, now we are citizens and saints
-Jesus the wall breaker can break our sins and make us a spiritual house.
-He breaks down the walls that divide Sins divide but the cross forgives
-Jesus the greatest gift given hang on to this gift it will never lose its value.