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The Riches of His Peace

The Sufficiency of Christ- A Walk through Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus brought peace with God and with man if you chose Him

Notes & Transcripts

Division

Paul who was called and set apart by God to be the apostle to the Gentiles never forgot his Jewish roots and Jewish heritage. Paul in our passage tonight is going to draw a contrast between the life of the Gentile and the Jew.
(Slide) Jews had a contempt for the Gentiles - they considered them to have been created by God to be fuel for the fires of hell. They could not even assist in the birth of a Gentile child that would be considered bringing another Gentile into the world.
(Slide) Jew marrying a Gentile resulted in a Jewish funeral - If a Jew married a Gentile then there would be a Jewish funeral held for the Jewish person for they were to be considered dead.
(Slide) A Gentile in Jews home would defile the home. - Even the other way if a Jew entered the home of a Gentile the Jew would consider himself unclean.
As you can see there were some serious barriers there, walls that needed to come down for there to be peace.
It would seem that most peace missions fail, but this is Christ’s peace mission we are talking about tonight and that one is eternal and can be summed up three words
(Slide) SEPARATION, RECONCILIATION AND UNIFICATION

I. Separation

Ephesians is written to Christians who were mostly Gentiles at one time. Eph2:1-10 dealt with salvation of sinners in general be it Jew or Gentile, but the focus tonight changes to speak to the heart of the Christians who were formally Gentiles.
The Jews contempt of the Gentiles for centuries separated them, though the physical circumcision was proof of the covenant with God it was no proof of faith.
Romans 2:25–26 NASB95
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
Romans 2:25–29 NASB95
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Rom2
Romans 2:27–29 NASB95
27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Those who have put their trust in Christ have received the spiritual circumcision.
Colossians 2:11 NASB95
11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
Originally there was no difference in man at all, from days of Adam to the calling of Abraham when things changed and the Hebrews were set aside to be God’s chosen ones to bring the Messiah. It was never God’s intention for the division to last forever, though the Jews had that mindset ritually but not morally for they did not act as the people of God the chosen ones. Except the choosing was the way of the Messiah so the Jews could be His channel of Salvation to all nations as promised to Abraham in Gen12.
Speaking of separation there is one theme that sticks out in our passage here now
(Slide) OUTSIDE OR WITHOUT
(Slide) Without Christ - there were many god’s of the Ephesians but we see one that was exalted more Diana of the Ephesians (see Act19:28) There are many who claim their religion is just as acceptable to God has Christianity but that is not true, without Christ you are without your citizenship in heaven and you are condemned.
(Slide) Without Citizenship -God called the Jew’s, set them apart, made them a nation, gave them His laws and His blessings. No other peoples could claim that. No other people were called God’s people, so they were without citizenship and left in despair without hope.
(Slide) Without Hope - A great hopelessness when philosophies were empty, traditions were disappearing, religions were powerless to helping people face life or death. Oh how people wanted hope, but there was none
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NASB95
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1Th
LOOK UP AND READ 1The4:13-18 (not on the screen)
People want a hope and without Christ we do not have God.
(Slide) Without God - There were god’s a plenty in Athens and you can read about that in Act17:16-23 on Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill. Another place Paul mentions it in
1 Corinthians 8:5 NASB95
5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,
1Cor
This was not just a thing in Paul’s day, in Psm115 you can see the contrast of heathen god’s and the Lord. Is this not the plight of today too? The Hindu’s with many god’s and Jesus is just one of them.
The Gentile plight was not caused by God, but by their own sinful behavior, sinful choices; for God had always made Himself evident as noted in Rom1:18-23 but let me just highlight it and you can read the passage on your own. Speaking of Gentiles.
(Slide) men who were suppressing the truth (v.18)
(Slide) God had mad himself evident (creation, eternal power and divine nature) (vv.19-20)
(Slide) Did not honor God though they knew Him (v.21)
(Slide) Claimed to be wise, but exchanged the incorruptible image of God for the form of corruptible man (vv.22-23)
(Slide)“Religious history is not a record of man starting with many gods (idolatry) and gradually discovering the one true God. . . Its a sad story of knowing the truth and deliberately turning away from it, it is a story of devolution, not evolution!” - Warren Wiersbe (Bible Exposition Commentary)
Salvation is of the Jews (re: Jn4:22) but not just or the Jews, it was for all nations, all people who come to believe.
God deposited His Word, and through the Jews he gave the world the Savior (re: Rom9:1-5) They were to be a light, unfortunately they were a dim light and did not shine out.
(Slide) The plight of the church today is being a dim light instead of a lighthouse warning and guiding people to safety today.

II. Reconciliation - What God did for the Gentiles

(Slide) Let’s turn and read Eph2:13-18
(Slide) God and His grace stepping in for the lost sinners (But God Eph2:4 and but now here in Eph2:13)
(Slide) Formally far off
(Slide) Enmity
(Slide) Reconciling and making peace
(Slide) Enmity (n) the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
In this passage it is two fold
(Slide) Enmity between Jews and Gentiles (vv.13-15)
Enmity between
(Slide) Enmity between man and God (vv.16-28)
(Slide) Christ does not just reconcile man to God but man to man too, to form one body the Church!
To reconcile is “to bring together again” (THESE ARE NOT ON A SLIDE)
a wife to her husband she left
A mother to her wayward daughter
A lost sinner needs to be reconciled with God
(Slide) Jesus work on the cross abolished the enmity between Jew and Gentile, between lost sinners and God
(Slide) The enmity between Jews and Gentiles (vv.13-15)
God had made a difference between the Jews and the Gentiles to bring His plan of salvation. When that was accomplished the enmity was done away with. By Christs work of reconciliation on the Cross.
God had made a difference between the Jews and the Gentiles to bring His plan of salvation. When that was accomplished the enmity was done away with. By Christs work of reconciliation on the Cross.
It was not an easy thing to grasp and there were battles along the way you can see the issue in Act15 at the Jerusalem council after they had already had issues with Peter and Gentiles in Act11. Both of these we will get more into another time, another day.
(Slide) The cause of the enmity is the Law (v.15)
The enmity was a wall, in the temple it was a literal wall separating the Gentiles from the Jews. There were signs on the walls in the court of Gentiles saying
(Slide) “No foreigner may enter within the barricade with surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure . Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”
Jesus by fulfilling the demands of the law by His righteousness and bearing the curse of the law in His death, he abolished the legal barrier that separated the Jew and the Gentile, but let me back it up with Scripture
Galatians 3:10–13 NASB95
10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
(Slide) The richness of God’s peace through Christ Jesus is available to all who call on His name (re: Rom10:12-13)
(Slide) He is our peace (Eph2:14)
(Slide) He brings peace to those who were far off (Eph2:13, 17)
(Slide) He abolished the Law and created a new man, the church, the body of Christ (Eph2:15-17)
(Slide) Let me summarize a few things real quick
(Slide) Previously without Christ - now in Christ (1:3)
(Slide) Previously aliens - now a holy nation (1Pt2:9)
(Slide) Previously strangers - now no more strangers (Eph2:19)
(Slide) Previously no hope - now called in One hope (Eph4:4)
(Slide) Previously without God - now with God the Father (Eph1:3)
That now brings us to the other part of the two part enmity.
(Slide) The enmity between sins and God (vv.16-18)
Reconciliation between man, Jew and Gentile was important but both needed to be reconciled to God and that was of the utmost importance.
Echoing the conclusion of Jerusalem conference regarding salvation of Gentiles and Jew, Paul brings this in this passage, but let me give you the one from Act15
Acts 15:9–11 NASB95
9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
A Jew putting himself in the same class as a Gentile, a sinner, was a big deal, but it is clear that there is no distinction, both are sinners in need of being reconciled to God
Romans 3:22–23 NASB95
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
See a God of love wants all men, all sinners, to be reconciled to Himself, but a God of holiness is just and sin must be judged. Hence why the God of love, loved us so much He sent His Son to be the acceptable sacrifice for Sin. God through His Son is the God of reconciliation
Colossians 2:13–14 NASB95
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13–14 NASB95
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
(Slide) Not only is He the God of reconciliation, He is the God of peace.
(Slide) Christ is our peace (Eph2:14)
(Slide) Christ made peace (Eph2:15)
(Slide) Christ preached peace (Eph2:17)
(Slide) Because of these things, being our peace, and making peace the reconciliation is complete and unification is what we are in Christ!

III. Unified in Christ! - Jews/Gentiles one, “the Church”

Eph2:19-20
Ephesians 2:19–20 NASB95
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
Ephesians 2:21–22 NASB95
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
(Slide) One is a big word in Paul’s world.
(Slide) Made both one (2:14)
(Slide) One new man (2:15)
(Slide) One body (2:16)
(Slide) One Spirit (2:18)
But that is just a few, there are a few more “one’s” to cover today.
(Slide) One Nation (v.19) Where Israel was God’s chosen nation to bring the Christ, today we are one nation “The Church” -As God’s chosen people, nation, Isreal rebelled and rejected the Messiah and the kingdom was taken and given to people to be
Matthew 21:43 NASB95
43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.
As God’s chosen people, nation, Isreal rebelled and rejected the Messiah and the kingdom was taken and given to people to be
This new nation consists of Jew and Gentile alike , a holy nation, a peculiar people (ref: Ex19:6; 1Pt2:9)
Sin had divided mankind, But Christ unites by One Spirit, His Spirit who have full access and entrance into heaven and are citizens of heaven
Philippians 3:20–21 NASB95
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
(Slide) We are to be One family (v.19) - By our faith, by our obedience we become one family.
Col
Colossians 1:13 NASB95
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
We are one family in the kingdom of God which has two places
Ephesians 3:15 NASB95
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
It is in heaven and on earth, the living believers here, those who died in Christ with Christ in His presence now. -
(Slide) One Temple (vv.20-22)
(Slide) From walking (Gen5:22)
(Slide) To dwelling (Exo25:8)
(Slide) To departing (1Sam4)
(Slide) To dwelling in a temple (1Kngs8:1-11)
(Slide) But again, departed (Ezek10:18-19)
(Slide) To the dwelling place in Christ (Jn1:14)
(Slide) To now, collective being the temple
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
The Churches foundation is built on Jesus Christ, the works of the Apostles and the N.T. Prophets; Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone fulfilling the prophesy.
Psalm 118:22 NASB95
22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
Psalm 118:22 NASB95
22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
Isaiah 8:14 NASB95
14 “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
This temple is fitted together, as the Church, no division, no enmity, we are one body, the body of Christ.
Is fitted together as the body of Christ (Eph2:21; 4:16)
Think of this as we get to the application here in a couple of minutes.
(Slide) By His grace He has saved us (2:8)
(Slide) Seated us in the heavenlies (2:6)
(Slide) Reconciled us (2:16)
(Slide) Brought us near (2:13)
(Slide) He fitted us together to be a holy temple (2:21)
(Slide) A dwelling place of God in the Spirit (2:22)
Invitation
(Slide) Have you personally come to experience Christ and His grace? - expand on this (grace through faith, that comes with repentance, confession and baptism and obedience to the gospel)
(Slide) To the believers, are you a true believer in Christ? - expand on this, are you sharing the hope in you (1Pt3:15) and helping others to trust in Him, are you helping them to walk in newness of life (Rom6:4) Are we helping people to come to know we are to be one with no condemnation (Rom8:1); Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation through the words of the Apostles (2Cor5:18) shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace (Eph6:15) for as it says in Mt5:9 “blessed are the peacemakers” and we can lead people to know peace and have peace.
(Slide) For those who are in Christ are Rich in His peace!
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