We studied on Tuesday how we are to live like royalty now that we are believers in God’s Son. We have been raised up to new life and a new way of living.
We are alive in Christ!
Paul continues on in the second chapter of Ephesians showing us how Christ dissolves division and unites His children. This is so fitting for this week with the the presidential debate that took place Tuesday night. The United States has lost its way when it comes to unity.
For today’s study section, read Ephesians 2:11-22.
I am not sure what your Bible translation has for a title for verses 11-18, but mine says, “Oneness and Peace in Christ”. Christ is the author of unity and peace. You will find a oneness when you look at the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit act as one. The body of Christ is to act the same way.
ASK YOURSELF: For those living in the United States, unity seems impossible, doesn’t it? What needs to happen for a oneness to take place amongst Americans?
Back in Paul’s day, there were Jews and Gentiles. They labeled each other and nitpicked at each other. Notice Paul’s wording, “You Gentiles used to be outsiders.” When we follow Jesus, there is no segregation. Everyone belongs.
ASK YOURSELF: What do you learn about the Jews from verse 11?
Circumcision was a outward rite that showed others that you belonged to God. It affected their bodies only, not their hearts.11 People followed religious practices, like doing good, godly things. Their outer appearance was more important than the condition of their hearts. Their hearts remained the same; read Ephesians 4:18 and Colossians 2:13.
Christ comes to perform open-heart surgery on every soul wanting to belong in His family.
ASK YOURSELF: How does Paul describe a person before Christ, see verse 12? What goes through your mind knowing that someone can live in this world without God and His hope?
“But now“, two beautiful words that God gives us in verse 13. There is no sin deep enough that God can’t cleanse with His Son’s blood! We all are sinners, this is true, but no one is out of reach from God’s saving grace.
ASK YOURSELF: What is God’s saving grace, see verse 13?
This is the most poetic words ever spoken! I want to encourage you to write this verse down and memorize it. Let God speak to you before moving on.
The beauty of Christ’s love is found in verses 14-18. Reread these verses. Let’s glean into what we learn about Christ and what He does for us. He Himself brings peace. He unites people together. It does not matter what your ethnicity or culture is.
We become one people, together in unity.
Christ breaks down the wall of hostility that divides man. He creates a united people out of all the nations in the world. He reconciles all people to Himself. He has the ability to do this because He conquered death by dying on the cross. Because He rose up out of the grave, He ended all hostility.
You might be thinking that this can’t be true, but it is. Hostility will end when Jesus returns to make things right, when He puts Satan in his place. It is also true based on His Word. He promises that we will be led into unity while on Earth; see Ephesians 4:1-6 for a sneak peak on how we are to live before we study it in a few weeks.
We can all approach the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ had done for us.18 When we walk in Christ, we are no longer strangers and foreigners. We belong to a family; God’s family forever.19
ASK YOURSELF: Who are we, according to verse 20-22?
We are carefully joined together in Christ.21
What needs to happen in the United States for such unity to happen? What needs to happen within your family for such unity to happen, how about your marriage? Unity can happen in the workplace. It can take place where ever Christ is allowed to reign when His people are humbled before Him.
God is calling each of us to action. Will you let Christ reign in your heart so God can use you to help others find Him? God wants a very large family to spend eternity with. He wants you. Let’s all say yes and watch our amazing God orchestrate heaven on earth!