Walk Series – Week 9 (Ephesians 2:14-18)
Intro: All the makings of a great reality T.V. program: The plot of the program revolves around; running, hiding or just rationalizing your relationship with others and God. Christians aren’t supposed to be prejudice, they are supposed to get along, and they are supposed to go out of their way and be the Good Samaritan… THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE 1
Text: Ephesians 2:14-18 (NKJV)
“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 (hostility), 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.”
As I spoke of this relationship last week, we were far off, separated from God, but now thru (Christ) we are supposed to be 1. The wall has been moved we can chose to longer be separated. Christ brings us peace, He brings us reconciliation and He brings us access to God.
1. Christ Brings us Peace: vs. 14-15
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.
Christ brings us peace when we realize that He died for us and offers us deliverance from the bondage of sin and death and a life of eternity with God. Christ brings a still deeper sense of peace when we realize that He has brought perfect love and unity to the world—that He has eliminated all divisions and barriers and differences between God and man and between men.
Christ brings peace by bringing men together as "one". All men now approach God on the same basis, on an equal footing: by the blood of Jesus Christ. “And through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:20 (NLT)
All who come to Christ for salvation receive a common love and purpose and work.
Christ brings peace by breaking down all barriers. This is a picture taken from the temple. The temple was surrounded by a series of courts. Each court had a high wall separating it from the preceding court. As one approached the temple, he entered first of all the outer Court of the Gentiles. This is where the buying and selling of animals and the exchanging of money for foreign worshippers took place. Then there was the Court of the Women. A Jewish woman was limited to this court unless she had come to make a sacrifice. The next court was the Court of the Israelites. This is where the whole congregation gathered on the great feast days and where sacrifices were handed over to the priests. The Court of the Priests was next. This court was in the temple proper where the temple itself stood. This area was considered sacred and was accessible only to the services of the priests. Finally, within the very heart of the temple stood the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place where the very presence of God was to dwell. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy Place and he could enter only once a year—at the great Passover Feast.
Partition after partition separated people from the presence of God. Tablets hung around the wall of the Gentile Court announcing that if any Gentile walked into any other court, he was to be put to death. The picture is that of Jesus Christ breaking down all barriers and walls that separate man from God. All men can now approach God equally through the death of Jesus Christ. Men build all kinds of barriers and prejudices against other men. Society is plagued with barriers and prejudices. But Christ has now done away with all barriers and prejudices. He has broken them all down by the blood of His cross. All men now approach God and become worthy on the same basis: by bowing before the cross and surrendering their lives to God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christ fulfilled the law, He became the embodiment of the law. He is now the Way. A man is to approach God through Him, not the law. Therefore, there are no laws, no rules, and no decrees to keep men from God. There is only one thing that keeps a man away from God: refusing to come to God through His Son Jesus Christ. Individually when a person turns to Christ, Christ causes the man to be born again. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
2. Christ Brings us Reconciliation: vs. 16-17
“Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. 17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.”
Christ brings us reconciliation. The word "reconcile” means to change, to change thoroughly, to exchange, to change from enmity to friendship, to bring together, to restore. The idea is that two persons who should have been together all along are brought together; two persons who had something between them are restored and reunited. The thing that broke the relationship between God and man was sin. When any of us sin, we work against God and promote evil by word and example. Christ did not reconcile and save us when we were righteous and good. He reconciled and saved us when we were enemies, ignoring and rejecting Him.
The person who truly believes that God loves that much—enough to give His only begotten Son—becomes acceptable to God, reconciled forever and ever. Reconciliation is entirely the act of God. God is the One who reaches out to men and reconciles them unto Himself. Men receive the reconciliation of God. “And through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:20 (NLT)
3. Christ Brings us Access to God: vs. 18
“Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”
Christ brings us access to God. The wall has been removed; there is no need for a mediator a go-between person. We can go directly to His throne room. The word access means to bring to, to move to, to introduce, to present. The thought is that of being in a royal court and being presented and introduced to the King of kings. Jesus Christ is the One who throws open the door into God's presence. He is the One who presents us to God, the Sovereign Majesty of the universe. The Holy Spirit is the one who escorts us into God’s presence.
We are talking about daily access—hour by hour, moment by moment. The Holy Spirit keeps us in the presence of God. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Nature of God within us that gives us permanent access into God's presence. “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11 (HCSB)
The Holy Spirit is the One who works in us and stirs us to move more and more into God's presence: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” You can think the Holy Spirit is in you and it isn’t! The Holy Spirit is the constant companion with us, teaching us to live in God's presence. ‘But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26 (HCSB)
“They Are Supposed To Be One!”
Christ brings us peace, He brings us reconciliation and He brings us access to God.
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