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One in Christ

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Christ Our Peace

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Introduction

As you can imagine, there were sometimes tense times in my house
Being the youngest, I was picked on a lot
My mom always just said she wanted us to get along
She wanted us to have peace and unity
That didn’t always happen lawn dart story
There wasn’t always peace and harmony in the Brokke house, but my parents always made sure after any time of separation we had reconciliation with the end goal being unification
Whenever we fought when we got older my dad would make us write out the book of 1 John.
Just like my parents were creating unity and promoting reconciliation after separation, so has Jesus done all of those things for His church
Let’s take a look at how God has made us one in Christ

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Christ Our Peace

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

We hear so much about peace in our time
Sir neville chamberlain returned from conferences in Germany September 1938 and declared that there was going to be peace
A year later hitler invaded Poland and in September of 1939 GB had declared war on Germany.
Obviously, Prime Minister Chamberlain was wrong about the peace in our time.
Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, therefore, true peace can only come from the Holy Spirit.
We see Christs transfiguration as not only bringing peace between the Father and the world, but also between the Jews and the Gentiles. There is no greater mission of peace than that one
can be summarized in 3 words: Separation, Reconciliation, unification

Separation: What the Gentiles Were ()

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

starts off with Paul discussing salvation of sinners in general
11-22 is Paul talking about salvation for Gentiles in particular
For centuries, the “circumcised” jews looked down on the uncircumcised gentiles
However, the fact that you were circumcised did not mean you were a person of faith. Just like being baptized today does not mean you are a Christian
Since the hour God called Abraham, God made a difference between Jews and Gentiles
God didn’t set them apart so that they would feel special and better, but that they might be a blessing and a channel of His revelation and goodness to the other nations.
Unfortunately, Israel did keep this distinction nationally and ritually, but they did not keep the distinction morally
The best word to describe the Gentile nations in this context was “without”
They were:
Without Christ
The Ephesians worshiped the goddess Diana (goddess of the hunt, moon, woods, could talk to animals).
Because of this, they were a Christless society. Paul calls this a great tragedy (v.12)
Because of this, every unsaved person is outside Christ, and this means condemnation
Without Citizenship
God called the Jews and built them into a nation
He gave them His laws and His blessings
Gentile could enter the nation as a proselyte

Gentile who signified his wish to convert to Judaism by being circumcised, baptized, and offering a sacrifice in the temple.

Although proselytes could become part of Israel’s nation, they did not have the full freedoms of a usual Jew
Israel was God’s special nation. God made it higher than every other nation
Without Covenants
God made covenants with Abraham but not with Gentile nations
The Gentiles were aliens and strangers—Many pharisees would pray daily “O god, I give thanks that i am a jew not a Gentile”
Without Hope
Men without God are people with no Hope. God is a God of hope and He wants to fill others with that hope
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Without God
These men were without Hope because they were without God
The heathen had gods apleanty, but just because you are religious or moral does not mean you have accepted Him as Lord of your heart
We can go to church, witness for God, sing hymns and still be without God. We have plenty of gods, but are without the true God.
The gentiles were separated, so they needed reconciliation and that’s the next word we see in this passage.

Reconciliation: What God did for the Gentiles (Eph 2:13-18)

Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Proselyte. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1784). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
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