BREAKING DOWN WALLS

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 2:11-22

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that He might create in Himself one, new man in place of the two, so making peace.” (Ephesians 2:14,15)

Paul is telling his readers how God has done away with the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles.  The Gentile believers have now been engrafted into the covenant community of God along with Jewish believers.  Thus the dividing wall of hostility has been broken down by Christ.  The Gentile believers along with the Jewish believers have been brought near by the blood of Christ (v. 13).

There is a greater application here.  Christ is able to break down walls of hostility between all believers who are in conflict with one another.  He came to make reconciliation possible.  He came to make peace among those who are separated because of race, social standing and other divisions caused by conflict.

Let’s face it, the real problem of our troubles is sin.  Every trouble, heartbreak, and conflict we face stems from the sin in our lives.  That is why the world is in the shape it is in.  That is also way we get into conflict with one another.  Sin always leads to separation.  Sometimes sin goes further and actually produces hostility, enmity between people.  I have seen friends and even family members who once loved and cared for one another become separated and filled with bitterness and hostility.  How sad!

The solution to this sin problem is Jesus Christ — “For He Himself is our peace” (v. 14).  Paul uses the division between the Jews and the Gentiles as an example. Christ made both groups become one by breaking down in HIs flesh the dividing wall.  Not only has Christ broken down the dividing wall, but He brought into being the Church, which is called here “one, new man.”  The wall is gone and now Gentiles and Jews become a part of the family of God.

When conflicts arise between believers, we are obligated to seek reconciliation.  No conflict is too great, because Jesus has broken down the wall of hostility in His flesh.  Because Jesus has done this and has granted forgiveness to us, we are obligated to forgive others.  “For if you forgive others their trespasses, Your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father gorge your trespasses (Matthew 5:14,15).  Because Christians are a forgiven people, they must become a forgiving people!  Christ has broken down the wall of hostility and we must do so ourselves.

Lord Jesus,  thank You that You have broken down walls of hostility when You went to the cross and reconciled sinful people to God.  Thank you that You have broken down walls of hostility between people as well.  You make reconciliation possible.  Forgive us when we don’t tear down our own walls of hostility toward others.  Grant us the desire to do so because of what You have done for us.

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