Eph 2 Wall or Hall Rev 2

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                                              Wall or Hall

Ephesians 2:11-22

Theme: Christ knocks down our conflict wall to build us into His community hall.


Introduction: Fences

A.   “Good fences make good neighbors”

1.       Where does this come from?

a.       It is from a Robert Frost poem “Mending Wall”

b.       It is what the neighbor says when they are meeting to repair a stone wall in the Spring

c.        The poem begins, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall”

1)    The frozen ground knocks it down

2)    The sun’s rays split the rocks

3)    It seems nature does not like walls

d.       Frost questions the need for the wall

1)    There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

2)    The neighbor replies, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.

2.       What do you think about fences?

a.       Have you noticed that few houses in Northwest Iowa have fences?

b.       But like I had for my dog in Michigan, there are many invisible ones

c.        Are fences halls that guide or walls that divide

B.   Paul addressed barriers we build in Ephesians 2:11-22

I.              Our Walls Dehumanize (v.11-15)

A.           Paul dealt with walls of separation

1.            Jew/Gentile

2.            Name calling—uncircumcised, barbarian, dog, unclean, dirty pig


4.            The wall was traditional

a)            Jews did not eat with Gentiles

b)            Gentiles would not live with Jews—Barbarians

c)            Build by both sides


B.           These walls dehumanize the world.  Hear Paul’s list of consequences

1.            They make people nameless, only a category

2.            They make people Christless, separated from God

3.            They make people homeless, without an identity

4.            They make people friendless, without promises

5.            They make people hopeless

6.            They make people godless

C.           What walls today dehumanize us?

1.            How do we divide into us and them?

2.            Examples—ASK

a)            Ethnic—white, black, Hispanic, Asian, middle-eastern

b)            Nationalities—American, German, Dutch, Mexican, Korean

c)            Class—Upper, middle, lower, rich, poor

d)            City, country, rural, urban, suburban

e)            Political—Demoncratic, Republican

f)             Denomination—Lutheran, RCA, CRC, URC, PCA, E-Free, Catholic, Methodist, Orthodox

g)            Religion—Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Humanist

h)            School—Northwest, Dordt, Iowa State, Public High School, Unity, Western

3.            We build walls

4.            Paul calls this the dividing wall or fence of hostility

a)            We turn against each other.  There is more and more conflict

b)            We separate into smaller and smaller groups, us vs. them

c)            We move further away from each other, and from God

II.             Christ’s Work Develops (v. 13-19)

A.           Destruction—The Good News of the Cross

1.            Christ crosses our walls

a)            Someone there is that doesn’t love a wall

b)            Christ crossed the wall between God and us in his incarnation and, even more in his death

c)            He has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, that separates us from each other

2.            As Christ knocked on the wall of hostility, it rose up against him

a)            Those who saw him as a threat to Judaism turned on him

b)            Those who saw him as a threat to Rome agreed

c)            The hostility of human evil sought to destroy him

3.            But he made peace—How?

a)            He did not divide.  He did not fight back

b)            Without the force of opposition, the wall crumbled

c)            On the cross Christ absorbed the hostility of humanity

d)            He destroyed the wall that divides us.  He unites us

B.           Construction—The New News of the Resurrection

1.            In the resurrection Christ is constructing something new

a)            Not new moral laws to keep

b)            Not new walls to build

c)            Christ is constructing a new community, a new humanity

2.            Christ has made a new connection between us and God

a)            There is peace with God for all in Christ

b)            We are given a new name, a new identity, a new home, a new community, a new hope

c)            We are no longer without God in the world

d)            God is with us

e)            God is for us

3.            The consequence of peace with God is peace with each other

a)            It is to be a new people

b)            4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Eph 4:4-6)

III.           Christian Work Demonstrates (v. 19-22)

A.           The  Foundation is God’s working

1.            Christian work is no longer wall building.  It is a hall building

a)            We are not building forts, but bridges

b)            We are not building conclaves, but community

2.            The foundation is set in God’s working

a)            A vision which started with the whole creation in community

b)            A vision which ends with a new creation in community

c)            A foundation centered in Christ

B.           The Future working with God

1.            But Christ is not done building

2.            What does the new building look like?

a)            In one way for Paul it looked like a temple

(1)          A temple was at the center of a city

(2)          A temple expressed the presence of God with the people

b)            What might that be in our world?

(1)          A church—there is a reason old towns were built around a church

(2)          The church was the town hall, the community center

c)            But a building is only a symbol

3.            The reality is a new community, a new people

a)            A people that are the presence of God in their community

b)            A people that show what it means to live in community

c)            A people that others want to be a part of

d)            A people that wants others to be a part of them

4.            What does this look like?


Conclusion: Community Building

A.   I have a dream

a.    On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King uttered these words

b.    On August 28, 1976 I fulfilled a dream of community and was married

c.    Now I dream of a true church Christian community

B.   I dream of Northwest Iowa becoming a place of Christian community

a.    A place where the walls of denomination, school, ethnicity, economics come down

b.    A place where the church starts to unite, to communicate, to cooperate

c.    We can keep our variety, but we must reclaim our unity

d.    Only in unity can we be the community the world needs to see and experience God in their midst

C.   I have a dream that all feel welcomed into community, Christian community

a.    A community where there is the love of God

b.    A community of peace

c.    A community of invitation

d.    A welcome center

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