Intro. Your past hopeless state. Gentiles in the flesh; called uncircumcised; without Christ; aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; strangers from the covenants of promise; without hope; without God in the world.
I. "BUT NOW IN CHRIST JESUS."
A. what a difference Jesus makes.
1. Remember the statement of the blind man to the Pharisees when they said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner. He said, "Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know, but this I know, whereas I was blind, now I can see."
2. People may say what they want about Jesus but this I know, whereas I was once a Gentile in the flesh, alienated from God, without Christ and without hope, I am now walking in fellowship with Jesus in the Spirit.
B. Again I would point out the phrase, "In Christ Jesus." This is just another spiritual blessing that we have in Christ Jesus in heavenly places.
1. All that God has done for us, He has done through Christ Jesus, all that He has given to us comes to us in Christ Jesus.
II. WHAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST JESUS.
A. You who were once far off have been made nigh by the blood of Christ.
1. In the previous chapter Paul tells us that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
2. You were once far from God, but now you have been brought close to God through Jesus.
a. Paul was called by God to go to the Gentiles to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.
b. Paul writing to the Colossians said,
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
c. Here we see Paul fulfilling his commission.
B. He is our peace who has made both Jew and Gentile one.
To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
1. When the gospel was first taken to the Gentiles when Peter went to the house of Cornelius, we read,
Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
2. Paul writes to the Colossians about His making peace through the blood of His cross.
3. To the Romans Paul wrote,
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
C. "He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us."
1. We were once outside the commonwealth of Israel. Outside the walls. Outside of the covenants of blessing.
2. Jesus broke down that wall that once separated us. Now in Christ,
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.
D. Jesus abolished the enmity that once separated the Jew and the Gentile.
1. If there is still enmity there it is because a person has rejected the work of Jesus.
2. As a Christian, there is never any reason for us to have feelings of animosity or prejudice against the Jew, because he is a Jew.
3. If you are anti-semitic you are not allowing the work of the Lord to be accomplished in your life. He abolished those feelings.
4. He broke down those walls.
5. Jesus has abolished the ethnic, social and gender barriers that for so long have divided men into warring camps.
6. It is sad that we are so quick to build up walls of separation that Jesus sought to abolish.
a. In the Corinthian church they were saying "I am of Cephas." Others were saying, "I am of Apollos." Still others were saying, "I am of Paul."
b. Paul rebuked them for the manifestation of carnality in seeking to build such walls around themselves.
c. Today we do the same thing when we say, I am Catholic, or I am a Presbyterian, or Baptist, or Methodist. I have built up a wall by which I intend to keep you out.
E. He has abolished the law of commandments that were contained in the ordinances.
1. He abolished them by fulfilling their righteous demands.
2. The commandment said, "The soul that sinneth it shall die."
3. Thus the law of the commandments had condemned all of us to death for all had sinned.
4. Through His substitutionary death for me, He abolished the law of commandment that demanded my death.
5. Writing to the Colossians Paul explained it like this;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
[And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
6. To the Romans he said,
For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
7. To those in the synagog in Antioch of Pisidia he explains,
Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
8. John tells us that the law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.
F. He has made from the two, one new man, so making peace.
1. The two being the Jew and the Gentile, from those two He has created one new entity.
2. I am not a Jew, I am not a Gentile, I am a Christian.
3. The former divisions are gone, and I am a new creature in Christ Jesus.