by Sandy Kirby Quandt
When Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesian church, he told them to do something few believed possible. Break down the dividing walls and get along with a people group who had long been their enemies. The Jews.
The groups weren’t to consider themselves separate and divided. They were to consider themselves joined together as the body of Christ; no matter their heritage, skin color, or address.
This was a hard teaching for the new Gentile and Jewish Christians to accept. The very thought of working together to advance the Kingdom of God, to put aside long-held hostilities, and respect each other as brothers and sisters in Christ; to treat each other with love instead of hatred, was a tall order from their point of view.
But it was a command Christ expected they embrace and live out.
The good thing was, and is, God already bridged the gap between the groups.
He tore down the dividing walls of their distrust and hatred for each other.
He did it through the power of the blood sacrifice of his son, Jesus.
No matter the estrangement — family, community, country — Jesus can restore the brokenness, hatred, and hostility once we accept the fact HE has broken down the dividing walls, and we actually live like it.
How do you go about tearing down dividing walls that separate you from others?
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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Ephesians 2:10-17 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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