Sunday Worship Service - Eph 2,11-16 - From New Human to New Humanity
Intro: What’s the “therefore” there for? Since you’re saved from ____death_____ to ____life___, by ___grace__ through _faith__ , so that no one may _boast_, as God’s _workmanship/poem__ - created in Christ Jesus for _good works_ … Because of all that, therefore _remember__. Structurally similar to Eph 2:1-10. Personal _reconciliation__ – _Corporate__ reconciliation. Reconciliation to _God_ – Reconciliation to _each other__. V11-12: _Alienated_ Humanity – what we _once were_. (As in V1-3: “You were dead” – “You were separated”) V 13-18: Christ the _peacemaker__ - what Christ _has done_. (As in V4: “But God” – “But now, in Christ”) V19-22: _Reconciled_ Humanity – what we _have become__. (As in V5-10: “You have been made alive … saved … created in Christ Jesus for good works” – “You are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens, being built together into a dwelling place for God” Creating a new _human__ - Creating a new _humanity__. Portrait of alienated humanity – what we once were 11 Therefore (at one time) remember that you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— V11-12: A portrait of __alienated__ humanity – what we _once were__. The set-up: Paul brings out the unimportance of _human labels__ and the importance of the _spiritual reality_over the _physical_ reality. Jesus, the Wisdom of God, unite all things in Him … vertically and horizontally … there was once a label that separated you, a physical trait that separated you … there was a hostility, an “ism”, an attitude of elitism, of legalism, of a type of humanism even (putting trust in something that is based in human work). Part of this is God’s law, though perhaps mishandled – maybe circumcision wasn’t what “the circumcision” thought. at that time (at one time) 12 remember that you were separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Command to remember. Our problem is that we ___________ what we should ___________ and ____________ what we should ________________. The Problem: You (Gentiles) were … 1. _separated_ from _Christ__. 2. _alienated__ from _Israel/God’s people_. 3. _strangers_ to the _covenants of promise_. 4. having no _hope__ 5. without _God_ … in the world. Christless(heroless), peopleless(kingdomless, homeless), promiseless, hopeless, Godless. We carry around a grudge, never forgetting the wrong done to us, and we forget how we once were lost ourselves, but now are found. Say something about each of these. Covenants: Say something about this and Christ’s fulfillment. Without God – they had a ton of gods – idolatry of humanity – false hopes; anything but God. Look back at Psalm 2! Portrait of Christ the Peacemaker – what Jesus has done This section is all about _Christ_ – _12_ references in these 10 verses. He is the remedy, the hero, the only hope of truly dealing with the reality of human sin and separation. 13 But now (in Christ Jesus) (modifies subject or verb? Seems to modify the whole thing) (who once were far off) you have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Two-events in view: Historical: What Jesus did _on the cross_. Present: _Personal_ union with Christ by _faith_. Christ took your identity, have you taken His? Personal conversion. New Creation. New Identity. Not by physical force/strength, not by mental force/intellect, by spiritual force/soul – your core, your heart, your nature. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall in his flesh of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create one new man in himself in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. He, Himself. Emphatic. What did he do? In speaking of Christ, the focus also changes from an emphatic _“YOU”_ to an _“US”_. This is one thing He did. Made us both _one_, broken down the _wall_. How? In His _flesh_, abolishing _the law_ – _commandments, ordinances_ … To what end? – to create one new _humanity/adam_, in himself – the second _adam_. No more separations/divisions in this new kingdom. Remember the theme of Ephesians (1:10) – to _unite all things_ in Him, in _heaven and on earth_. How did he abolish the law? By fulfilling the ceremonial law and moral law. All of the types and shadows of the ceremonial law pointed forward to Him, so that he is the lamb, the priest, the temple, etc. He gives us his righteousness and by our trust, our believing, our being recreated in this Gospel we are changed and enabled to love the moral law, seeing it as privilege rather than duty, as joyful desire rather than crushing weight – The law is abolished as a means of _salvation_ and fulfilled as a means of _life_. He abolished the _regulations_ of the ceremonial law and the _condemnation_ of the moral law; the ultimate way of covenantally dealing with God’s reconciling love for us, redeeming us from the fall. Dividing Wall of hostility: Temple, Eden, present day wall around Jerusalem, law of moses – should have been a _witness_ to the gentiles of God’s _goodness_, but was turned into a _barrier of exclusion_ to the gentiles. Think of _Jonah_. Deut 4:5-8 5See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 6Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?8And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? Remember Proverbs 3! (Do not _withhold good_, Do not _plan evil or contend with one another for no reason_, Avoid the _evil/violent_ man. _Help_. _Don’t hurt_. _Protect_. War experience, death experience – have more in common with _(south American, African, Asian Christian)_ than with _a white American non-Christian_. Illustration of Israeli-Palestine Christians working together. The Gospel: Our death-experience. Back to new human in 1-10. My personal experience with the Gospel. 1. My view of self. 2. My view of God 3. My view of others. 4. How and Why of life/love. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Portrait of God’s new society/humanity – what we have now become 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, grows being joined together, into a holy temple in the Lord. Strangers, aliens, citizens are loaded terms here. (Roman empire context) 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Therefore, remember that you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by hands) human formerly remember that you were separate at that time from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now (in Christ Jesus) (who once were far away) you have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside the law in his flesh with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create humanity one new in himself out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.