Focal Passage: Ephesians 2:11-22
Are you someone’s enemy? We can typically name people that we consider to be our enemies, but we rarely think of ourselves as being view as an enemy by anyone else. Yet, scripture refers to us as God’s enemy (Romans 5), not because God declared war on us, but by our sin we have declared war on Him.
Paul reminds the church at Ephesus that human beings are born at odds with God, and they quickly become at odds with one another (Ephesians 2:11-12). We are alienated from God and because we are not right with God, we are unable to be right with or reconciled to our neighbor. If you see racism, genocide, tribalism, and divisions of all kinds, and you wonder why people simply can’t get along, it is because the world needs to be reconciled to its Creator.
Thankfully, God has acted through His Son, Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:13-16). Through His work on the cross, He has destroyed the walls of hostility that exist between God and man. Through the blood of Christ, we can once again be in right standing with our God. We are no longer enemies, but adopted sons and daughters. It is through the blood of Christ that reconciliation can now happen between sinners. The work of Christ reconciled persons across the greatest divide that exists, between a Holy God and wretched sinners. As a result, we know that the gospel can bridge the much smaller divide from sinner to sinner.
In fact, one of the clearest evidences of the gospel at work and the gospel’s power to save sinners is the reconciliation it brings among us, God’s people (Ephesians 2:17-22). We who were divided are now reconciled and united. We have forgiven each other of offenses. Our citizenship in the Kingdom of Christ unites people of all ethnicities, nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds and so on. If we believe the gospel, we will be reconciled to others, because reconciliation is the gospel at work. So, if we live lives that are not marked by reconciliation, then we are declaring that the gospel isn’t true. But it is true! Therefore, if we are reconciled to God, by Christ, then we must be reconciled to others for the glory and testimony of Christ.