The last time we came together as God’s Church we talked about when we were “dead in trespasses and in sins” Ephesians 2:18-19 For through {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;(Ephesians 2:1). We learned that we were separated from God because of the sin nature that ruled us. But God reached out. He is rich in mercy and by His great love – though we were dead in sins He called us and quickened us (by Grace we are saved) (Ephesians 2:5). God raised us up, and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). We are saved entirely of grace. We are God’s workmanship. He is the Potter and we are the clay. We have no reason to boast, unless we boast on the love and faithfulness of our Almighty God.

Tonight the Apostle tells us – let’s read this responsively:

Ephesians 2:11-14a Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace …


Our first two words are Wherefore remember, the Greek μνημονεύω mnēmoneúō, (pronounced mnay-mon-yoo’-o) which means “recall, bring to your mind”. The early Ephesian Christian – a saved Gentile – would have a memory of how he or she first heard of the God of the Jews. You and I have no such memory, but the Ephesian Christian would. When the Gentile entered Jerusalem they saw Herod’s Temple dominating all the other buildings in the city. A Gentile wanting to visit the Temple could enter its gates, and even pass through one of its outer porches. Jesus used to preach to all on Solomon’s Porch. He did this because:

1 Timothy 1:15 …. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

He came to save Israel – His people – but He also came to save whosoever will. Jesus is:

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

If you were a Gentile seeking God you were allowed into the outer gates of the Temple. But once you reached the outer court – called “The Court of the Gentiles” – you could go no further. If you were a Gentile you saw the Sacred Enclosure of the Temple – located three feet above the Court of the Gentiles. There were signs posted in both Greek and Latin that warned the Gentiles that the penalty of trespassing was death. The Roman Laws even permitted the Jewish authorities to kill those who were Gentiles who dared approach God, regardless as to their status with Rome. The Apostle Paul was nearly killed one of the times he entered the Temple proper.

Acts 21:27-29 … the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw {Paul} in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, tEphesians 2:18-19 For through {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;hat teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. 29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) 30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

If you were the Church at Ephesus then more than likely Trophimus an Ephesian was a member of your congregation. When he was with Paul and Paul was nearly killed for even being in proximity to Trophimus, well, I can imagine, word gets around. The Ephesian believers who were largely Gentile would remember how when they were yet unbelievers they were excluded from the worship of Yahweh. It is like when people come to our Church for the first time and many of us shun them. Imagine how that feels! This is what Paul wanted to bring to remembrance.

When Jesus Christ came He often taught on Solomon’s Porch so that all could have access to God. This was refreshing to the Gentiles, and offensive to the Orthodox Jews. Yet Christ came to reach all. He came to reach the lowest person. He came to reach any who needed God – and Beloved, we all need God.

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world …

God chose Israel to be His messengers to a lost world. When God called Israel to be His own He told them:

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

God Wanted You When No One Else Did

Israel forgot this great truth. Rather than remember that they were nothing but slaves when God saved them, they began to think they were better than anyone else. God chose Israel to be His light bearer because He loved them and because He made a promise to the Fathers of Israel – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is love, and God is faithful. Israel was not chosen because they were the best. The nation was chosen because they were the worst, the most pitiful, the broken. But once God elevates them what happens. They begin to think that they are better than the Gentiles around them.

How foolish.

God wants the Church to avoid this same terrible path. He wants the Church to remember or call to mind when they were shunned. To remember:

without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel

The Jews taught that when Christ came, He would only come for those who were from the commonwealth of Israel, that is, only Jewish citizens circumcised according to the command given Abraham. God told Abraham:

Genesis 17:10-14 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

God never told Abraham or Israel that salvation came by circumcision. Yet the Jews developed this theology, teaching that the Gentiles – who were uncircumcised – were cut off from Christ. Israel believed that only the Jew could be saved and that Christ would only come for the Jew. The Orthodox Jew reasoned that since the Gentile was “cut off” from Israel that:

Ephesians 2:12 … strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world

they were strangers from the covenants of promise, that is, God never made a promise of salvation to the Gentiles. Since God made no covenants with the Gentiles they were in a hopeless and helpless situation. They were without God in the world.

But Now …

Ephesians 2:13-14 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace …

This was what Israel believed at this time in history – but was not what God our Father believed – blessed be the Name of the Lord! We who are Gentiles were never cut off from salvation nor cast away from God. It is true that Christ came for the Jew FIRST. Why? Because He as God Almighty made promises to the Jew first. This is why the Scripture declares:

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Christ came to the Jew first. When He began His ministry of the earth He told His disciples:

Matthew 10:5-7 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: (6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (7) And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

But God always intended to reach out to the Gentiles. The Prophet said some 700 years before Christ came:

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

This was a text often quoted in the New Testament. The Apostle Matthew quoted it in his writing at 12:21, as did the Apostle Paul at Romans 15:12-13.

Jesus Christ came not just to Israel, but also came to the Gentile, to the Greek. How is a person saved? Is it by having certain access to the Temple? Is it having performed certain rituals such as circumcision? No. The Scripture declares The just – those who are justified or made right with God – they shall live by faith in God the Son. Salvation comes by faith in His Blood. What does the text tell us?

now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off
are made nigh by the blood of Christ

We who are Gentiles are made nigh by the blood of Christ. We who are Christ’s Church need to remember when we were excluded. We need to remember that God in love reached out to us when we were unlovable. We also need to remember that we are made nigh by the blood of Christ, brought near to God by the Blood of Jesus.

Christ Jesus Is Our Peace

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

We are called to remember – to bring to our memory – that Jesus is our peace. He broke down the middle wall of partition. The words between us are added by the translators, and are unneeded in this text. Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition. The Gentiles were not allowed to look into the Temple, but had to stay in the outer courtyard. They were not allowed access to God. The website gotquestions notes:

Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high{45 feet tall} (1 Kings 6:2), but Herod had increased the height to 40 cubits, according to the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. There is uncertainty as to the exact measurement of a cubit, but it is safe to assume that this veil was somewhere near 60 feet high. An early Jewish tradition says that the veil was about four inches thick, but the Bible does not confirm that measurement. The book of Exodus teaches that this thick veil was fashioned from blue, purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen.”

That colorful veil was a reminder to any Gentile that they were not welcome in the presence of God. On the day that Jesus died on Calvary the Bible tells us:

Matthew 27:50-51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom

When Jesus died His blood destroyed the barrier that kept the Gentile from God. Racism and elitism kept the Gentile from experiencing the joy of God’s presence. This veil also kept the everyday Jew from the Holy of Holies, the direct presence of God. Now the Holy of Holies – the direct presence of God – is available to all people, both Jew as well as Gentile. Sin was a barrier that kept us from God. But when Christ died that veil was torn.

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

God has never been contained to just the Temple. But sin kept us from God. Now because of the Blood of Christ:

Hebrews 10:10 … we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:16-19 … This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldnesEphesians 2:18-19 For through {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;s to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus

I have heard it said that some Christians tire of the preaching of the Cross. I say unto you, if you tire of the Cross, if you tire of the Blood, then you need to reexamine your own salvation.

Though I love all the doctrines of Christianity, there is none more dear to me than the Blood of Christ. And Beloved, nothing should be more dear to you than the Blood of Christ.

We praise God for Christ’s first coming, being born of a virgin,
it is His Blood that brings us near to God.

We love the examples that Jesus gave us as He walked this earth,
but it is His Blood that allows us to call God “Our Father”.

We praise and magnify God for the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, but it is His Blood that brings us into the Family of God.

We look forward to the Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the clouds and the glorious Rapture of the Church,
but it is His Blood that demands He return for us who believe.

The love of God caused Jesus Christ to go to the Cross and die,
but it is His Blood shed on that Cross that brings us near to God.

We are near to God because the Blood of Christ sealed a covenant between us and God, and because that Blood proves that God’s Justice is satisfied. The Christian is pardoned, not through a rite of circumcision nor baptism nor communion, nor good works. The Christian is pardoned because of the Blood of Christ, Blessed Be the Name of God!

Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In the Church Age there should be no division nor racism amongst its members. Do you not know that it was the Blood of Christ – the Blood of a Jew – that saves whosoever will receive Him. We are told:

Ephesians 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Sin was a barrier between us and God. The Law of God showed us that we were sinners. When Jesus died on Calvary He satisfied the ceremonial and ritual as well as dietary laws that God gave Israel. The Christian is not lawless – no, dear friend. But we are under a higher law.

We Are Under The Glorious Law Of Christ

We who are brought near to God by the Blood of Christ are under the Law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 tells us Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

We are under the Law of the Spirit.

Romans 8:2-4 tells us “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

What is the Law of Christ? What is the Law of the Spirit? It is to love as Christ loved us. This is what fulfills the Law.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Galatians 5:13-14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Christ brought us near to God the Father by laying His life down and shedding His Blood for us. He did this for us when we were His enemies. Jesus has commanded us to love one another as He has loved you (John 13:34; 15:12). He gave Himself to draw us near to God. We who are His are to give ourselves to others, to help them to draw near to God.

The Christian Identity is now that we are sons of the Most High God. What a glorious statement God has made!

It’s all about LOVE!

Ephesians 2:18-19 For through {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

We who are Christ’s are drawn near to God. God is love. His law is love. His Christ showed love. As fellow citizens of Heaven, as members of His household, we are to love. To love as Christ loved. To realize we are a people no longer far off from God, but a people of God. Live as a people near to God should live. Live for His smile!

We do not build walls to keep people out.
We love others as Christ loved us.
We stand together firm on the truths of Scripture.
His Household “is built upon the foundation of the Apostles & Prophets”.
We follow His Word.
And we grow.
We are His Temple!
May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Ephesians, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.