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Eph 2:11-22 = Breaking Down Walls

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:07
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One In Christ

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Dear God


Ephesians 2:11–13 ESV
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

The Gospel of Christ is where we are to find our identity.

Remembering the nature of your past. (11)
Remembering the consequences of your past. (12)
Ephesians Chapter 7: Identity Found (Ephesians 2:11–13)

Why does Paul tell us twice to “remember” so much? There can be only one answer: we too easily forget. Either because we do not want to face the pain of what we were, or because our pride tempts us to erase the shame of what we were, or because we do not want to confess that we are no better than those we judge, we press our past desperation from our memory. We forget the grace that God designed to bind our hearts to his truths and to the hearts of others also claimed by his grace. It is too easy to forget, too easy to be proud of our differences, too easy to embrace our prejudices, too easy to nurse our offenses—and so the apostle says, “Remember these things.”

Trusting in your new identity. (13)
Ephesians Brought near (2:13b)

The fleshly corruptions that separate us from community, intimacy, and worship are overcome by our union with Christ. In him distinctions of race and nationality, pagan and pious, young and old, sinner and saint, prideful and wounded, offender and offended, implode. In him we all are brought near.

Ephesians Brought near (2:13b)

When I may want to call myself “failure, liar, hypocrite, pervert, or betrayer,” my God calls me “my child,” because I am in union with his Son.

Ephesians 2:14–18 ESV
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man 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. 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.

The Gospel of Christ will break down our barriers.

Christ’s blood brings peace with God. (16-17)
Christs blood brings peace between people. (14-15)
Ephesians Creating a New Humanity (2:15b)

Chrysostom, the great preacher of the early church, says it is as though one took a statue of silver and a statue of lead, put them into a forge and they came out a statue of gold. They not only have become one, they have become better. This higher oneness that creates a new race of humanity in Christ is not only the joy of individual Christians, it also is meant to be the source of peace between them, as they perceive the oneness they have in Christ.

Ephesians Creating a New Humanity (2:15b)

Once when I was speaking for a mission conference, the host church showed a video of a ministry that it supports in Hungary that is led by a Korean who has been commissioned by Presbyterians in Romania. It is rather mind-boggling to hear it all together: North American Anglos were supporting an Asian Korean who was a missionary to the land of Attila the Hun, having been commissioned by a Presbyterian church from the historic land of Dracula.

Christs blood brings inner peace. (18)
Eph 4 - Unity in Christ!!
Ephesians 2:19–22 ESV
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, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The Gospel of Christ is building us stronger and together.

We are precious to God.
Ephesians And Family (2:19c)

Through Christ we not only have access to our Father’s presence, we also have access to our Father’s heart. There his Spirit advocates for us with tenderness beyond our provoking, and pronounces to our heart what the heavens announce to the world: “You are our child, and you will always be.”

We are secure in Christ.
Ephesians Having a Divine Cornerstone (2:20b)

His sacrifice is the ultimate testimony on which we can rest our claim of God’s love. His is the cornerstone of our assurance, a divine stone that cannot be shaken, a rock upon which the hope of all who trust him is sure.

Ephesians Built Together (2:22a)

Each brick is supporting the other in prayer, in resources, in encouragement, in offering our lives in example and sacrifice for the sake of others. We are together rising to become a temple of God, and each one is vital for all the changes and challenges that we will face.

We must practice this kind of living by the Spirit.
Ephesians Spirit Indwelt (2:22b)

What Paul communicates is that the days of glory are not past. God did not work among his people only long ago. He did not cease working for his purposes in some ancient day. The God who brings us together indwells us for his purposes now. There is still a task for his church, and he dwells in us so that we may fulfill it. Until he comes we are in his plan for each other and for this world.

Ephesians Spirit Indwelt (2:22b)

As long as we draw breath on this earth, he is fulfilling his purposes through us. He tells us that we are dear to him, secure in him, and vital to his purposes because there is still his work to do. With assurance of such love, security, and purpose, his Spirit still indwells us so that our life will be a temple for his purposes and praise.


C. Conclusion
Be brief.
Don’t introduce new material. Narrow the focus; don't expand it.
Clinch the goal (Step 7b)
Be concrete.
Can you offer some concrete suggestions of what that hearers can do in response to the word preached?

Group Questions

Group Questions
Every set of weekly study questions should incorporate each of the following three kinds of questions. However, it is not necessary or advisable to always ask them in order.
Getting to Know Me.
These are history-giving questions designed to surface answers that are self-revealing and informative. The questions should be nonthreatening and safe. They should speed up the process of developing a shared history.
Into the Bible.
These are questions that draw group members into the Bible to discover truth from passages that were not the primary text for the weekend message. They may be explanatory or in some way shed further light on the main topic or principles of the sermon. They should offer a sense of “something more.”
These questions come from passages not explicitly covered in the sermon. They create a sense of digging deeper. They can be everything from Old Testament case studies illustrating a main point or principle to parallel passages. They can deal with all of the points and topics from the message, or they can zero in on just one point or topic. It should take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes to look up the verses and answer all of these questions.
These are questions based directly on the application points of the weekend message. They should ask participants to examine their lives in light of the primary truth(s) taught or explored in the sermon. Application questions do not have to regurgitate every take-home point of the message. They can focus on one, some, or all of the main points.
These questions should relate to the main points and applications from the sermon. They may deal with all of them or just one particularly important point or principle. These sermon application questions may be couched in a variety of formats.
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