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Church of Christ Sermons and Lessons from Ephesians

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Bobby Stafford The New Man (Studies from Ephesians)       Ephesians April 27, 2014 Sunday PM Sermon

The New Man

Introduction:

In the first half of chapter two, Ephesians, Paul describes how all people, both Jews and Gentiles, had been dead in trespasses and sins. But by obedience to the gospel, they had been made alive to sit with Christ in the heavenly places. Paul now describes the past condition of the Gentiles and how both Jew and Gentile now are united in the one new man.

Text: Ephesians 2:11-22

Body:

I. The Past Condition of the Gentiles (Verses 11-12) Verse 11 First, note that while there used to be this distinction, there no longer is that distinction. (Galatians 5:6) Verse 12 This applies in these ways: 1. “Without Christ” The Messiah had come through the Jews, not the Gentiles. More importantly, before their conversion, these Ephesian Christians had been without, out of, Christ – lost! 2. “Aliens” were not citizens of the nation of Israel. A few in times past had been proselytized into it and a few were “strangers in the gate.” But the majority had not been privileged to be a part of Israel and enjoy God’s special care of that people. (Romans 3:42) 3. “Strangers” These covenants primarily started with Abraham. The promises associated with them did not directly affect the Gentiles until the coming of the gospel. 4. “No hope and without God” The vast majority of the Gentiles had lived godless, immoral lives. (Romans 1:18,24,25,28,32) Because of how they lived, they had no hope. In the first century, the Gentiles still had no hope “in the world.” The only hope was “in Christ.” 

II. Reconciled in the One New Man (Verses 13-18) Verses 13-14 Having described their previous condition, Paul now describes their present state. They were far off from God and Christ, now brought near. They were lost, now saved. How did this occur? It occurred by the blood of Christ. (Colossians 1:19-22) Verses 15-16 Christ was their peace. He is our peace. He made it possible for lost humanity to be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:18-20) People who are deadly enemies [like Jews and Gentiles were] can be at peace in Christ. (Isaiah 2:2-4) The Jews and Gentiles who obeyed the gospel were united together in the body of Christ. Christ removed the Law of Moses which had caused enmity between the Jew and Gentile. It was nailed to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14) His death on Calvary made this peace possible. Verses 17-18 Christ personally preached but He also utilized the apostles and others to preach the gospel of peace. It is a message of true peace – peace with God, with one another, and with self. (John 16:33) Both Jew and Gentile [everyone] have equal access to the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit. 

III. Descriptions of the One New Man (Verses 19-22) Verse 19 They had, in times past, been strangers and foreigners, but no more. Now they were “fellow-citizens,” citizens in the Lord’s Kingdom. They were “members” of God’s family, the Lord’s church. (I Timothy 3:15) Verse 20 A figure of a building is used to describe the one new man. As Peter puts it, “you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house. . .” Verse 21 The spiritual building is the body of Christ, the church of Christ, His church. We are called a holy temple. (I Corinthians 3:16-17) All Christians become a dwelling place for God as they follow God’s Word and allow it to dwell in them. (Colossians 3:16a) “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.”

Invitation:

The Christians in Ephesus had undergone an amazing transition, from being dead in sins to being a temple where God dwells. They had gone from enmity with God and each other, to peace in Christ. All today can have real lasting peace also. How? (Galatians 3:26-29) “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” 

Bobby Stafford

April 27, 2014

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