We live in a divided world. In Ephesians, Paul has been explaining that through Christ we can be reconciled to God, brought from death to life by grace (2:1-10). Now he turns to explain how in Christ even the most hostile enemies can be reconciled to each other. (2:11-22). This passage explains how followers of Christ can gather people from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds and become one in Christ.
We were ____________ (Ephesians 2:11-13).
- Remember this… (2:11-12)
- And now this… (2:13)
Christ’s ____________ ____________ unifies us (Ephesians 2:14-18).
- He made peace (2:14-16)
- He preached peace (2:17-18)
Embrace your ________ _________ (Ephesians 2:19-22)?
- You have a new relationship (2:19).
- You are now a part of God’s Temple (2:20-22)!
Main Idea: In Christ we have peace with God and are brought into a united, multicultural church.
Many of our ancestors immigrated from other countries. From where did your forefathers originate? What did their new USA citizenship mean to them? What does yours mean to you?
Read Ephesians 2:11-22 in at least two translations. How would describe the three scenes presented in this passage: 1) Who we once were (2:11-13), 2) What Christ did for us (2:14-18), 3) What is our new status as part of God’s Temple?
Read Ephesians 2:11-13 again. Before Christ, what problems did Gentiles face? What resulted from being “in Christ”?
Read Ephesians 2:14-18. What is the bomb Jesus dropped on the religious “class system” of his day? How many times is the word “peace” used in these verses? What does Paul mean by this term? What impact would Christ’s work of reconciliation (2:16) have on the divisions between Jews and Gentiles?
Read Ephesians 2:19-22. How does Paul describe our new status as a result of Christ’s cross? What images does he use to illustrate this fact? How does Paul describe the unity we now enjoy in Christ?
Before we are “in Christ”, we are separated, without hope and without God (2:11-12). Have you been “brought near by the blood of Christ” (2:13)? If you’re not sure you are a true believer, talk to your group leader about how to trust in Christ and what He did for you on the cross.
Randy said that two popular beliefs today, universalism and pluralism, cause people to criticize Bible believing Christ followers. How does Ephesians 2:14-18 help you answer those who may believe these mistaken notions?
ASSIGNMENT: As a LIFE Group, memorize Ephesians 2:14. What “dividing walls of hostility” must Christ knock down for you to have a cross cultural relationship? Pray with your group that God will break down social, economic, ethnic, language and cultural barriers in our community. Ask Him to empower us at Stonebridge to be a visible display of His multicultural Temple.
At Stonebridge Church we know that life is better when we share it with others. We believe LIFE Groups are key to developing as a Christian and taking your next step toward Jesus!
As part of a LIFE Group, you will meet with small groups of people on a regular basis to study God’s Word and build authentic relationships. Groups are a safe place where real people learn how to apply God’s Word to real-life situations. As you share your life with others, you will be cared for and have the opportunity to care for and serve others.