Summary: Division. There is division all over the world. But Christ has come to bring unity, but how does He brings unity through Christ.
Unity in Christ
What do you think of when you think of walls?
Well, when we think of a wall we typically think of dividing something.
We build walls in houses to divide the house into different rooms.
In countries or towns, there were often walls that were built to show the boundaries of a town.
Most times in the ancient world, walls in cities were built to divide the people of the town from people not of the town for their protection.
In the modern world, when I think of a wall, I think of the Berlin Wall.
The Berlin wall was meant to divide too. It was erected in 1961 supposedly “to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.” – Wikipedia – Berlin Wall
But in reality it was erected to keep its own people from defecting to the west through West Berlin.
You see, after WW2, the allied forces did not want Germany to rise again so, each of the allied forces controlled part of Germany and part of the capital city of Berlin which happened to be in the Russian controlled sector of Germany.
Well after the war as relations with the Russians declined and as they sought to build a communist state, they built walls around their territories to keep people from leaving.
Berlin posed a problem though. East Germans could go to Berlin and easily cross over to West Berlin and gain access to the West. That is until 1961, when Communists began building a wall entirely around West Berlin, thereby dividing Berlin and completely dividing the German people.
For nearly 30 years that wall stood as a dividing wall between the East and the West and the ways of life that each side of that wall symbolized.
But in 1989 the wall started coming down, and in 1990, it was completely destroyed and Germany was once again a unified nation.
No longer East Germany and West Germany. It was now Germany.
There was now unity where they had been division and that unity has helped Germany become an economic power in all of Europe.
That little history lesson leads to our study for today.
Today we are going to talk about division before Christ, especially between Jews and Gentiles, and the unity we can have in Christ and the power that that unity brings.
We are continuing on in our series through Ephesians and we will be studying
Ephesians 2:11-22. You can turn there.
Over the past weeks in our study of Ephesians, we have seen how we have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ, how We are called to know Christ more in this life, how we have been made alive in Christ and today we will see the unity we have in Christ.
So let’s read
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ok, the message today is going to be largely a teaching time. We are going to learn some things about God’s plan for originally dividing people and his plan to bring unity again. And then we are going to talk about what this means for us today.