Summary: Unity in the Body
I. Paul starts the next section that he writes with the word" therefore" that means that he is referring to what he has already written.
A. He’s going back to the first verses in a chapter two, where he says that we were dead in transgressions and sins, and he says that all of us once lived in a sinful nature satisfying the cravings of our own desires and thoughts.
B. But because of God’s great love for us and his rich mercy He made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions and we are saved by grace .
C. And we have been raised up with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms and this happened by Grace not by our own doing.
D. And now Paul is going to tell us something else that’s important, something else that Jesus came to die for, something else that his death made possible, something that’s important to God’s plan something God wants us to be a part of.
(Eph 2:11 - 22 NIV) 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)--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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 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, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
E. Paul reminds the Gentile readers again that one time they were separated from Christ and separated from God there was no connection between them and God.
1. They were excluded from citizenship in Israel, they were foreigners they had no place in the promises of God that were made to Israel.
2. But now they who were once far away had been brought near to God through the blood of Christ He was their peace when before they had, had no peace. There was no hope for the future.
3. In the Greek culture that most of these gentile people were in there was no hope for future, there was only that which can be seen in the world.
4. Their lives were based on philosophies, and what they could accomplish, all that they could see hope in, was what was in front of them.
5. But through the blood of Christ, they who had once been far away from the promises of God were now brought close to God, through the sacrifice that He made by willingly shedding his blood on the cross.
F. There are none of us that live today that can even begin to imagine the barrier, the racial barrier that there was between Jews and Gentiles.
1. The racial differences that we have today in no way compare to racial differences between the Jews and the Gentiles.
2. Gentiles were despised by Jews, God had told them that they were to in no way associate with Gentiles.
3. God told them not to marry Gentiles, God had told them that Gentiles would corrupt their society, taint their worship, and make them unclean and unfit to even be in the temple to worship.
G. When Paul said that Jesus had destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, he was speaking of a literal wall not just a figurative one.
1. The wall that Paul was speaking of was very real.
2. There was a spiritual wall that divided them and there was also very real wall that divided them.
3. In the temple between the court of the Gentiles there was a solid rock wall and on that wall there was an inscription in Greek and Latin which plainly stated that any foreigner was forbidden to go any further and if they did they would lose their life.