11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Living God’s Word:
Christianity is the only religion in the world that can truly be described as an equal-opportunity faith. All Christians stand on level ground before the cross of Christ: young and old, male and female, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, and black, white, and every other color. We are all sinners in need of salvation. Are there barriers in your church (or in your heart) based on race, economics, or sex? Check your attitudes and actions against Scripture. If you find yourself out of accord with it, repent and ask God to help you. Don’t put up walls where Christ has torn them down.
Words to Live By: Notions of favoritism divided the earliest Christian churches and still affect our churches today. Paul urges all of us to remember who we were apart from Christ and to rejoice in what Christ has made us to be: His one Body.
Prayer: Lord, forgive my prejudices and teach me to see Your Son in every Christian. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
JourneyMen – Get on the Journey!
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.