October 29, 2017
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Paul writes to resolve the conflict between the Gentile and Jewish believers in the church. The Jewish believers, who saw themselves as superior over the Gentiles by reason of their heritage, and the Gentile believers, who were made to feel inferior to the Jews, existed together in an environment of conflict rather than as a cohesive body.
The absence of unity and equality robs the church of peace and productivity.
How might this passage apply to the local church (FBC Atkins)?
Encouraging the Gentile believers, Paul reminds them that what they were is not who they are.
Our past does not prohibit a different future.
The relationship, the covenants of promise Israel enjoyed is now available, through Christ, to all.
Circumcision (in the flesh), is the covenant sign of the Jew’s relationship with Jehovah God. Circumcision (of the heart) continues to be the covenant sign of every believer’s relationship with God.
DISCUSS: the tragedy of living without hope, without God in this world.
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
God wants peace to be both vertical and horizontal.
Jesus is the “peacemaker” between God and sinful man.
“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Christ death on the cross abolished the Law as the means of a relationship with God, making access to the Father equal to “whosoever will.”
It is no longer them or us, but we … we are one in Christ
The proclamation of peace is to both those who are “far off” (Gentiles), and those who are “nigh” (Jews).
NO matter what you may like to believe, we are ONE through our faith in Jesus Christ … there is no difference
Christ overcame what separated us from the Almighty.
Christ overcame what separated us from one another.
NOTE - The Trinity: Jesus’ work of atonement applied by the Spirit provides access to the Father
Question – What are some walls in our churches that need to be removed? Racial, religious, social, spiritual, etc.
The Gentiles, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, are no longer strangers/aliens but are now citizens of heaven along with the Jewish believers.
Based on this passage, how should we treat each other?
Jew and Gentile have the same foundation …. From a practical standpoint, a structure built on differing foundations would not stand spiritual earthquakes and storms. For example, what would happen if a church was built on differing doctrinal views concerning Jesus and salvation.
Every child of God is building material being constructed into the Temple of God … God lives in every believer, through His Spirit. We are the Temple of God; the house where God dwells.
TO BE THE BEST FOR GOD WE NEED EACH OTHER!
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20