The Church Jesus Wants: Ephesians 2:11-22
Jew and Gentiles One in the Church
Brought Near By His Blood
Vs 11-13 Gentiles brought near to Christ
Who were the Gentiles according to these verses?
Those without the circumcision of the flesh.
What did this mean to the Gentiles?
They were not of the commonwealth of Israel therefore they did not have the covenant and promise of God. In this condition they were without hope.
What changed this hopeless condition?
In Jesus Christ they were by His blood, brought near to God.
Vs 14-15 Jew and Gentile reconciled to each other.
Vs 14. He, Jesus Christ, is our peace between Jew and Gentile. How was this accomplished?
He has made us one and broke down the middle wall of partition.
What was the middle wall of partition?
In the temple courtyard there was a wall which seperated the Jews from the Gentiles. A sign warned Gentiles they could pass no further.
Vs. 15 What is the one new man made by Christ in Himself.
It is the united church. The new contains both Jew and Gentile at peace. The old separated them at risk of death if that separation was crossed.
Vs. 16-18 Jew and Gentile Reconciled unto God.
How was this unity achieved?
Through the cross and the life of Jesus.
How were the Gentiles made aware of this?
Someone came and preached (told them the good news) to them.
What is Paul's final observation of this unity?
We all have access to the Father through the Spirit.
Vs. 19-22 Jew and Gentile reconciled in the church.
Vs. 19 Kingdom, Family and Church of God
How does verse 19 connect this paragraph to what went before?
Paul use the word "therefore" a conclusion based upon the preceding truth.
In verses 19-20 Paul identifies three groups we are now members of because of our salvation. In one group we are called citizens. What are we citizens of?
We are citizens of the Kingdom of God
In one group we are in the household. What group is this?
We are in the family of God.
In the final group we are built on a foundation. What group is this?
The Church of God
Is the family, kingdom and church synonymous?
No. The kingdom contains all others. The others groups are within it.
Vs 20-22 Foundation and Cornerstone
What was built upon the foundation of the apostles, and Jesus Christ?
The church, Matthew 16:18
Who is the chief cornerstone of the Church
Vs 21 Framed and growing in Jesus.
According to Paul, what is crucial to the church being fitly framed?
It must be "in Jesus." Only in Jesus can the church be fitly framed together and grow.
How does the cornerstone shape a building?
The cornerstone was laid true and square, everything else in the building was measured by and guided by that stone.
What is Paul saying about Jesus as our cornerstone?
The church must be measured, shaped and guided by Jesus. The more we are in Him the better our church will be "framed" and "grow."
What is the final result of this shaping and framing?
We will be a holy temple for the Lord to dwell in.
Define the words holy and temple?
Holy means separated, dedicated to God. A temple is a sacred place, a place where God's presence is.
Do I really want my church to be a holy temple fit for the habitation of the Lord?
What must change in my church if this was fully true?
Vs. 22 Each brick a habitation.
What is vs. 22 saying that is different from vs 21?
Paul focuses in to the Gentiles as individuals that make up the body which is the local church.
Is there be a connection between the whole body growing into a temple and each member?
Yes as the church grows into a fit temple of God, it will be because the individiuals, the bricks are also more fit as an habitation of the Holy Spririt.
How important then is my church to my personal spiritual growth?
It is proportional, as the church grows and is shaped. I as a member, "a brick" am also grown and shaped.
What is the key to my life become a vital building block in the overall structure of the church?
Being in Jesus, dwelling in Christ, being in submission to Christ as He is the one who is building us individually and corporately into His church.
How is this actually done? What must I do to let Jesus as the chief cornerstone shape me and my church?
Each of us as “bricks” in the New Testament Temple of God must ask ourselves, how can my church be a true temple. What must be done to become a fit habitation of God?
The key lies in the understanding of Jesus as our chief cornerstone. Growing and being shaped by his guidance through the Word, and the Holy Spirit. Our focus must always go back to the model and guidance of the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ.