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Summary: For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility...

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Dakota Community Church

October 23, 2011

Unity of the Body - 2

Ephesians 2:11-22

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.

To this point in the letter to the Ephesians Paul has been defining the gospel, clarifying exactly what it is and what it is not.

Consider where we come from and realize what God has done to unite us.

1. Divided by circumcision

2. Divided by hope

…excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world Eph 2:12

The gentiles had no hope of a Messiah.

For the people of God history was (and is) always going somewhere.

What gives life ultimate meaning?

Revelation 21:1-5

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

This letter was written to give living hope to people facing dire circumstances.

Jesus is the first-fruit, the first born from the dead – we are in on this too!

We long for it even if we cannot put it into words. We are hoped shaped creatures.

Sehnsucht is a German noun translated as "longing", "yearning" and "craving", or in a wider sense a type of "intensely missing". However, Sehnsucht is difficult to translate adequately and describes a deep emotional state.

C. S. Lewis described Sehnsucht as the "inconsolable longing" in the human heart for "we know not what." In the afterword to the third edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress he provided examples of what sparked this desire in him particularly:

That un-nameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World’s End, the opening lines of "Kublai Khan", the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.

It is sometimes felt as a longing for a far off country, but not a particular earthly land which we can identify. Furthermore there is something in the experience which suggests this far off country is very familiar and indicative of what we might otherwise call "home". In this sense it is a type of nostalgia, in the original sense of that word. At other times it may seem as a longing for a someone or even a something.

“The way you live now is completely controlled by what you believe about your future.” – T Keller

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