Ephesians 2:11-22 11 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— 12 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 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, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Revelation 7:9-14 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Despite a literal and spiritual dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, in Christ, they are reconciled. Their identity is no longer circumcised or uncircumcised, religious or irreligious, moral or immoral, it is a new people, “Christian.” Even more amazingly, in Christ, God and sinners are reconciled. Christians are reconciled to one another and together are a dwelling place for God, made into an everlasting family.
Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q.2 What stands out to you in Ephesians 2:11-22 and why?
Q.3 What stands out to you in Revelation 7:9-14 and why?
If you idolize, you will demonize. This means that when you idolize your nation and culture, you will inevitably demonize other nations and cultures. When you idolize your preferences, you will inevitably demonize other people’s preferences. When you idolize your moral achievements, you will inevitably demonize others that are moral failures. The Jews idolized their moral life, their family line, and the fact that they were circumcised, so they demonized the Gentiles who were not moral, weren’t a part of God’s chosen people, and were uncircumcised.
Q.4 Give examples of the world’s idolizing inevitably leading to demonizing?
Q.5 Who or what do you demonize now or have you demonized in the past? **Knowing what you demonize will help you understand certain things that you idolize.
In Ephesians 2:11-12, Paul tells us to remember that none of us have any hope but in Christ.
Q.6 How does understanding that none of us have any hope but Christ help keep us from majoring in the minors with each other relationally?
Q.7 How is it possible for those in Christ to have a personal relationship with their Creator without going to a Temple to worship and without offering repeated sacrifices for their sin?
Ekklesia: If you are in Christ, the Spirit of God lives within you. A Temple is useless now because Jesus is the true Temple. Jesus is how we know, experience the presence of, and worship God. Jesus saves us, makes us his brothers and sisters, and makes us a dwelling place of God. We are all different ethnicities and preferences, we have different spiritual gifts and natural talents, and God shapes us and molds us to make us into His dwelling place. So, remember that we’re all hopeless without Christ; know that we’re all reconciled to each other in Christ; know that we’re all reconciled to God in Christ; and know that Jesus makes us an everlasting family. Joy to us and glory to Jesus!
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