Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bethany Bullet - July 24, 2012

(Click on the verse for the full text)

We live in a world of exclusion and separation.  We know what it is to be hopeless. We’ve seen actions, if not individuals, who are godless. We know barriers and divisions. We’ve experienced hostility and these are the very things Paul points to in the beginning of our text.  Verse 12 says, “You were at one time separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”  And verse 14b, “Behind a barrier, the dividing wall of hostility that had to be destroyed.” 

Quite an image isn’t it. Warring factions – separation –   illegal status – exclusion from the inclusion that is needed to have hope.  This is as bad as it gets.

Theologically the division isn’t merely between some people and others but all people and The Other.  The Holy, pure, and perfect God is forever excluded from fallen, defiled, and profane people.  That division is the division of which Paul ultimately speaks.  That division cannot be ended by our action. There is no peace treaty, no accord or concord that we can sign to make it cease.  No tolerance that can be learned or gained by either understanding truth or ignoring truth, whatever the case may be.  This division can only end by action from the offended; the one who is separated in and of Himself. 

Paul writes because that Holy God has in fact acted.  Verse 13 says, “In Christ Jesus we who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”  “For He Himself is our peace (vs. 14) who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.”   God has ended His separation from sinners; He has broken down the wall that divides heaven and earth.  In Christ Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection – sin’s guilt is forgiven; sinners forgiven through faith in Christ and declared to be the saints of God.  

Since we are now at peace with God, we are also at peace with God’s children, and therefore are called to live in peace with one another.

On account of Christ’s grace, through faith, therein we have peace with God.  Which means the
Presence of the 
Creator we
And because we have peace with God, we have peace with each other. This means…
Cease to be
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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