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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
July 19, 2003
The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.
Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all — irrespective of how we got here — in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day — a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
Ephesians 2:14-22 (Message*)
I've used a fairly long Biblical passage this week, and I think Paul is pretty clear. So I'll be brief.
What I would like to emphasize is that the principle of Christ's tearing down the walls between groups of people applies universally, and is not limited to the Jew-Gentile distinction that was prominent in Paul's time and in the areas where he ministered. It applies to walls of ethnic differences, class differences, differences in level of education and many more. Christ has given us all equal access to the Father. Those of us who accept Christ are all a new kind of human being, and are being used by God in what He is building. Praise God!
* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:03:22 EST