Become near to God in the Cross

Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.

He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

When Paul writes to the Ephesians, he is writing to a Christian community primarily made up of Gentile Christians. They were people who had not known the God of Israel. They were far off, but Christ brought them close to God through the cross. Christ did not die just for the people of Israel but for the whole human race.

No matter how far off we may have been, no matter the distance that separates us from those who might be considered holy, we are no longer separated from God. God has made us one, has united us all in the blood of the cross.

There are those in our world today who would like to divide us, who would even like to divide one group of Christians from another, but we are all brought near by the blood of Christ. It is not for us to judge, to condemn, to decide who belong and who doesn’t belong to the people of God. God has already made that decision.  God has broken down the dividing wall. God has reconciled the hostility between us. Yet sometimes, it seems, that there are those among us who seek to rebuild that wall that divides us, to not only enable hostility to exist, but to encourage it. However, in Christ, we are all citizens with saints. None of us are strangers or aliens. We are all one, because of what God has done for us on the cross of Jesus Christ.

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