The Bible (and the world) begins with the unity of mankind (Adam & Eve) but division when mankind sinned. Likewise Jews & Gentiles are separated. In fact, Gentiles have double alienation – from God & God’s people.
- From Alienation to Reconciliation
- From Hostility to Peace
Stage 1. What we once were (v11-12)
- Separated from Christ
- Alienated from Israel & strangers of the covenant of promise
- We had no hope & without God in the world
Stage 2. What Christ has done (v13-18)
What did He achieve when He died on the cross?
- The abolition if the law of commandments (15a)
Law has 2 aspects (moral law: 10 commandments & ceremonial law: circumcision, sacrifice, washing, etc). Ceremonial law set aside when Christ died on the cross. Yet moral law cannot save us as we cannot follow it perfectly.
- The creation of a single new humanity (15b).
“There is neither Jew not Greek…”
New identity & new unity in Jesus Christ
- The reconciliation of Jew & Gentile to God (v16)
Not just one people but reconcile both Jews & Gentiles. God forgives us through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Does this mean the entire world is united & reconciled?
No! Not yet. Every time we share the Gospel & proclaim the peace of God in our heart, it is The Lord speaking through us.
- God’s kingdom (v19a)
God ruling His people
- God’s family (v19b)
Closeness & intimacy with God. Children in God’s family. Brethren = brothers & sisters in Christ expressing close affection & care supporting one another irrespective of colour, race & position.
Do you profess to love Christ but cannot stand someone in your church? If you love God, you cannot be hating God’s children!
- God’s temple (v20-22)
Jesus as cornerstone. A dwelling place of God in the spirit.
Jews have Jerusalem
Muslims have Mecca
Roman Catholics have Rome
Do we Christians need a temple?
No, do not need a temple, land or place to call holy land. But yes we have one (v20) which is built on the foundation of the apostles & prophets with Christ as the cornerstone.
Previously, cornerstone very important to support entire building. Even today’s apartment construction, there will be a large stone placed after clearing.
We are living stone = part of the temple
Every time new believer = add new stone
What is the purpose of the New Temple?
In principle had the same purpose as old temple. It is the dwelling place of God.
The entire universe cannot contain God as He is infinite. The New Temple is a spiritual building where God lives in – in His people, individually & corporately.
“Behold, the dwelling of God is within men.” (Rev 21:1-5)
The church today is what the temple was in the Old Testament. The place where God & His glory are manifested. A New Community
Concern in today’s church: divisions, unforgiving spirit. This prevents the world from seeing the church.
It is important that the church should be what God has purposed – a family reconciled in Christ loving the Father & each other.
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23 NIV)
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