Ephesians 2:11-22 part 2. Brought Near By Christ
Our text this morning is found in Ephesians 2:11-22. (14-18)
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— 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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 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, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
In Ephesians 2:1-10 Paul focused upon the fact that God saves individuals while they are in a helpless situation.
In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul reminds us that God reconciles these individuals out of a hopeless situation.
In doing this He creates one new person out of them in Christ. Our text says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 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, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
In the Old Testament God had chosen Israel to be His people. What a blessing, honor and privilege for them! Let me remind you of a passage that we read last week from Ezekiel 16:8-14 which expresses the beauty of the relationship that they had with the LORD.
When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.
This passage is just one of the many scriptures that speak of the special relationship that Israel had with the LORD.
However, the Gentiles never had a special relationship with the LORD like Israel enjoyed.
As I read this did you find yourself longing to hear God say, “You are mine”.
As we begin this morning I would like to go to John 4. It is there that we find a story that reminds us of the importance of the work that Jesus came to do in reconciling the whole world to God through Himself.
Immediately we are told that Jesus had to pass through Samaria (John 4:4 – And He had to pass through Samaria.). Yet, because of the enmity between the Jews and Samaritans most Jews would not pass through their territory.
When Jesus arrived at a well that was outside of a Samaritan city...
He rested there because He was weary from the journey. (4:6)
His disciples left to go into the town to get some food (4:8)
while they were gone a woman arrived to draw water. (4:7)
Jesus asked the woman for some water and she was surprised by Jesus’ question and said, “How is it that you; a Jew ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (4:9)
Then John adds some helpful words concerning the disposition between Jews and Gentiles, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” (4:9)
In this story we see that there are a lot of societal tensions between many of the people in this story.
There are tensions between the Jews and the Samaritan’s
There are tensions between this woman and the other women in her city. She comes by herself at an odd time of the day which leads many to believe that she was also rejected by those in her own town. Typically women would come to the well to draw water at the cool time of the day and they would socialize together. However, this woman comes at the hot time of the day by herself, as if she had no friends.
There are tensions in this woman’s own personal relationships (4:18 - ...for you have had five husbands, and the one you have is not your husband.)
We also see that there is tension between how men and women were to interact together. For example, when the disciples return from the city with food, we read in John 4:27 these words, “Just then His disciples came back. They marveled that He was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you seek?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’”
Shortly after Jesus’ disciples arrive the woman leaves and begins to tell the people in her town about this man who may be the Messiah. She says, “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (4:29)
The townspeople come out to see Jesus and they ask Him to stay with them. Jesus spends two days with them and many Samaritans believe upon Jesus.
This story shows us several things. First, this woman came to believe upon Christ and she received eternal life. By the end of this story we find that most of the people in this town believed upon Him. John 4:41-42: They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’
This woman came alone to the well but now she was part of a very large group of believers. This woman has been given two things; forgiveness of her sins and she has been granted fel