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Read: Ephesians 2:11-22 (click here to listen to yesterday’s sermon)
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.
Why does Paul continue to remind believers of what they were?
The cross of Jesus breaks down the “dividing wall of hostility” and yet the church, generally, is one of the most segregated communities around the world. Why do you think that is? What can individual churches do to change that? What can we at Salem do to change that?
How does (should?) our reconciliation with God help us to live reconciled lives with each other?
Pastor Rick suggested four ways we can, personally, move toward being people and a church who value the diversity of the body of Christ. They were:
- Pray for and with one another
- Spend time with one another (one-on-one, small groups)
- Listen to one another
- Learn about and from one another
- Love one another
- Invite others to join us
- Seek God with all your heart (because we need the Holy Spirit’s guidance to do all this well!)
What are ways you can put those things into practice? What invitation do you sense from God or to which of them are you especially drawn?