Ephesians 2:1-10 =
HOW JESUS’ ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THE CROSS AFFECTS US & GOD
We were dead but now we can be reborn
We have been saved by grace
We are His POETRY: his visible self-expression
and we are reunited in community with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice
Ephesians Historical Background
-A letter written by Paul to the church in Ephesus
-Ephesus was one of the largest and most important cities in the Roman Empire
a hub of business and trade
Large center of immigration
People worshiped many Gods
Ephesus had a large Jewish population
There was deep animosity between the Jews and the Gentile populations
Ephesians 2:11-22 =
HOW JESUS’S ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THE CROSS AFFECTS US & OTHERS
So don’t forget that you were not born as Jews and were uncircumcised (circumcision itself is just a work of man’s hands); you had none of the Jewish covenants and laws; you were foreigners to Israel’s incredible heritage; you were without the covenants and prophetic promises of the Messiah, the promised hope, and without God.
-Circumcision was a physical mark that made the Jews set apart from the Gentiles
Yet look at you now! Everything is new! Although you were once distant and far away from God, now you have been brought delightfully close to him through the sacred blood of Jesus—you have actually been united to Christ!
Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in Christ. By dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through our union with Christ. 15 Ethnic hatred has been dissolved by the crucifixion of his precious body on the cross. The legal code that stood condemning every one of us has now been repealed by his command. His triune essence has made peace between us by starting over—forming one new race of humanity, Jews and non-Jews fused together!
-We have been made one
-We have ALL been made one
candy corn lovers and candy corn haters : one in Christ
Black Lives Matter supporters and All lives matter supporters: ONE in Christ
The hope he brings and the peace he gives is big enough for generations of racial prejudice, broken relationships, political division, and family tension.
Two have now become one, and we live restored to God and reconciled in the body of Christ. Through his crucifixion, hatred died. 17 For the Messiah has come to preach this sweet message of peace to you, the ones who were distant, and to those who are near.
-We have all been made ONE in Christ.
-If our christian ideals are stirring up hate in our hearts for others, they can not be fully CHRISTLIKE ideals.
-He came to kill hostility
And now, because we are united to Christ, we both have equal and direct access in the realm of the Holy Spirit to come before the Father! 19 So, you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are the children of the city of the holy ones, with all the rights as family members of the household of God. 20 You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple; and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself!
-If we let go of our piece of truth, we can be ushered into Christ’s fullness of truth.
This entire building is under construction and is continually growing under his supervision until it rises up completed as the holy temple of the Lord himself. 22 This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you!
-We are being built up TOGETHER, but we are also under construction.
-We have space to wrestle and ask questions
-We ARE being transformed into his dwelling place.
God’s hope is THAT big. God’s peace is THAT big. It’s big enough for generations of hate. It’s big enough for my hate.