But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility Ephesians 2:13-14
In addition to each of us being dead in our trespasses and sins, we Gentiles are not part of God’s chosen people. How could these great blessings outlined in Chapter 1 apply to us?
Paul answers that question in these verses,(Eph. 2:11-22) telling us to remember one thing, and to know two things. The rest of our time together this morning will be structured around these three themes:
- Remember what you were! (verses 11 and 12)
- Know what Christ did to change this! (verses 13-18)
- Know what you are now! (verses 19-22)
…..The central message of this text is that peace is a person: Jesus Christ. In Him, we have peace with God and peace with other believers; without Him, there is no peace. All roads to peace begin with Him.
Once we begin there, once we begin with the idea that we deserve nothing, that whatever good gift we have is ours only by God’s grace, then we can see that there is no room for self-righteousness or group-righteousness. There is no room for personal grudges, or group grudges. We can leave the desire for justice for past wrongs to God, knowing that as a just God He will, in the end, right all wrongs. Then we can rest in the fact that all Christians are saved only by Jesus’ blood: Jew or Gentile, Chinese or American, rich or poor, male or female, PhD or high school dropout — every one must come to Jesus, saying, “I am a sinner; I deserve eternal punishment in hell; I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross pays the penalty for my sin; in your grace, Lord, will you save even me?” And since we all come to God the same way, we can approach each other in humility and love — regardless of the external differences among us.