Join us today for an episode about the way we put up and break down walls of hostility...
Today's episode is focused on Ephesians 2: 11 - 22...
In today’s spiritual foundation episode about impacting the world, I talk with you about Ephesians 2: 11 – 22. This is the second sermon I delivered in Brownsville Texas.…
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Episode 912: Building Walls
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: [00:00:00] Thanks for joining me on episode 912 of the inspired stewardship podcast. Hi, I'm
[00:00:07]Alain Huskin: [00:00:07] Alain Huskin, author of cracking the leadership code. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling.
[00:00:23] Having the ability to lead well is key. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:40] Scott Maderer: [00:00:40] This piece is not an inner peace to keep us sane in an insane world. This piece is a wrecking ball of peace that knocks down. The madness of superiority and binds us together with those who are just like us, surprisingly, just like us.
[00:00:58]Welcome. And thank you [00:01:00] for joining us on the inspired stewardship. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:25]And today's spiritual foundation episode about impacting the world. I talk with you about a Feagins chapter two verses 11 through 22. This is the second sermon of a sermon series I delivered in Brownsville, Texas Ephesians two 11 through 22. So then remember. At one time you Gentiles by birth called the uncircumcision by those who are called the circumcision, a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands.
[00:01:56] Remember that you were at the time without Christ being [00:02:00] aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no faith and without God in the world, but now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ for he is RP. In his flashy has made both groups into one and is broken down the dividing wall.
[00:02:19] 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 place of the two, thus making peace and might reconcile both groups to God in one Marty, through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near for, through him.
[00:02:46] 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. Built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets [00:03:00] with Christ Jesus himself, as the cornerstone in him, the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
[00:03:08] In whom you are also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. Last week, I released a sermon that I had delivered in Brownsville, and this is the second part of that sermon. I returned the next Sunday and I had the pleasure to preach again. So here we are picking up shortly after we left off in Ephesians with the same context that I talked about last week, Paul is still writing to the churches in Ephesus with the same three groups active in the crowd.
[00:03:40] The Gnostics who believe that Jesus was of God, but not of man, the false teachers who thought there was an insider secret to the gospel and the Judaizers who thought that everyone needed to become a Jew before they could become a. In fact, I actually left something out of the story last week.
[00:03:58] Paul was [00:04:00] actually in prison when he wrote this letter to the church at . And why was he in prison? He was in prison for breaking through a wall. Not literally, but still he took upon himself to break down a barrier and he was locked up for it. See, in those days, the temple sat in the heart of.
[00:04:18] Who is made up of a series of walled courtyards. Only the priests were allowed inside the inner most courtyard. And in fact, the holy of Holies in the very innermost area was only approached by a priest once a year. The next outer courtyard was the court of Israel and only Jewish men were allowed in the house.
[00:04:38] Outside of that was the courtyard of the women were Jewish. Women were allowed to gather and then often one corner to the side was a court of the Gentiles. And this was the only place on the temple where anyone who was not a Jew was allowed in her. Paul he'd been out. Traveling around the countryside, interacting with [00:05:00] Gentiles.
[00:05:00] He even brought some Gentiles back with him. The horror, he was accused of bringing one of the Gentiles into the court of Israel, into the temple space, and that's why they wanted to kill him. So I bring this up to give context to this passage of the screen. For he is our peace in his flashy has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall.
[00:05:24] That is the hostility between us. See, Paul was speaking about a wall of his hostility and he wasn't just talking in theoretical terms. He was talking about a real wall. That was a physical representation of division and exclusion between people that he felt were all gods. You don't have to go too far nowadays to discover walls of hostility that divide people.
[00:05:51] Unfortunately, conflict is one of the most ordinary spaces in which we live as human beings. It is true at the global level nations [00:06:00] couns constantly clashing against nation Israelites, Palestinians, Egypt, Iran. It's true at the national level. There's mudslinging between the Republicans and Democrats, and it just gets worse.
[00:06:13] The closer we get to an election, it's true. Even in the backseat of your car. Those sweet little innocent children will draw an imaginary line between them and spit out those words. Don't cross that line. Mom, she's touching me. I would like you to think about a conflict that maybe you're experiencing in your life right now.
[00:06:33] Hold it in your mom. Now think about that conflict, like a brick wall that is built between us and that person or group of people that you have conflict with. And how do you build a wall? One brick at a time? Each of those bricks are moments in time. They are actions taken words, spoken, love, withheld a better word, a hateful comment, a cold shoulder brick after [00:07:00] brick it's laid down until sometimes that wall is so high and so thick that it seems impossible to change.
[00:07:09] Can you see that wall in your mind? The question is how can we break down this wall? Let's look at the passage again. There's a before part and an after-party. In the before part, he's talking to the Gentiles by birth and he talks about a time that they, and that's us by the way, were without Christ. We were separated without hope and without God in the world, that's, what's happening in verse 11 and 12.
[00:07:39] But at the beginning of verse 13, The passage takes a shift. It says, but now in Christ Jesus, you were once far off, but we've been brought near by the blood of Christ, but now that's the shift. That's the turning point of the passage. And that's the beginning of the [00:08:00] app. After Jesus, something changes.
[00:08:02]That's the gospel right there. In a nutshell, you who are outside are brought inside. You who are far are brought close. You are brought close by the blood of Christ because Christ is our peace. His flesh has brought down the wall. The division of hostility between us. He changes the situation. He came and proclaimed peace to those that were alienated and brought them near.
[00:08:31] This is the gospel in a nutshell, this is the good news, but have we ever really thought about what this means? What walls is Christ actually breaking down? The truth is the biggest wall. The biggest thickest wall we've ever put up as a human is the wall that we put up between us and God. Think about it.
[00:08:52] How many times must we have hurt God with our pettiness, our anger, our lying or cheating? Our fear or frustration [00:09:00] are very human sin. Honestly, if we think about hostility, if there's any right for hostility, it would be hostility from God towards our sinful self. But instead God looks at us and says, I have died to your sin.
[00:09:17] And the many times that you have hurt me, I forgive you. I love you. I give you grace. And all of that is true, but let's go another layer deeper. If Jesus is the solution to our problems. And surely Jesus is then it's all just easy. Walking with Jesus must be a stroll in the park. In fact, walking with Jesus is a lot more like climbing Mount Everest.
[00:09:44] Yes, Jesus is our peace. And I love that idea. I lean into that comfort and joy. I beg for moments of that peace and that comfort. If I can just hold on even one more moment, then Jesus will wipe [00:10:00] away the stress and the strain and the pain. And that thought sustains me at times, that is the Jesus I need.
[00:10:08] And that Jesus is indeed very real, but Jesus is also another Jesus in this passage. Jesus, that tears down walls that says yes, there is separation. Yes, there is anger. Yes, there is hostility. But if you bring me there. If you can bring the rest of the story, if you can bring the good news, then all help tear down that wall.
[00:10:37] It may hurt. It's not gonna be easy, but it will. The truth is the wrecking ball that Jesus is about knocking down walls. The walls that divide us, the walls of hostility in love. He hits so hard that all of these things that keep us separate all the measures we use to rise above one another, to [00:11:00] be better than to be more important than have all been knocked down, not just knocked down, but reduced to rubble destroyed and eliminate.
[00:11:10] It wasn't an easy battle. It took blood, it took death. It took all that. He had to pour out for us, but he did it. He came in like a wrecking ball and got wrecked in the process. But the walls came down because of that. Love the walls came down, but here's the funny thing. Okay. Maybe not funny. Here's the horrible reality.
[00:11:35] We sometimes still think we are living behind those walls. We still think we are defined by those walls. We still think we are to keep to ourselves, to keep to our own kind as a herd huddled behind those walls. The walls are down, but we still live as though they are not, we still live as though there are still strangers and aliens is though there are those in and those [00:12:00] out as though there are those near and those.
[00:12:04] And the result of living that way is that sometimes we are the outs. We are far away. We are the strangers and aliens. And as long as we believe there are such divisions, we will continually find ourselves on the wrong side. We build the walls that Christ destroyed and find ourselves not protected, but imprisoned, not released to a better life, but cowering behind the very divisions that we re-establish.
[00:12:30] He is our peace. He is what binds us together into one body into one family. This peace is not an inner peace to keep us sane in an insane world. This peace is a wrecking ball of peace that knocks down the madness of superiority and binds us together with those who are just like us. Surprisingly, just Those we thought were so different are reflections of the same God.
[00:12:55] And we try to bear in our hands and hearts and words and DS [00:13:00] those that we try to harm our, really our brothers and sisters. We set at a table with them and defiance of a world that wants to build more walls. And when we encounter those divisive construction projects, then we like him or called to come in like a wreck.
[00:13:16] We strike hard and love. We act to tear down those walls, even if we get wrecked in the process, even if, because if we don't, if we let those walls stay up, then we will never know peace. We will never know him as we long to do. And as we need to do, because Christ is our peace in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit, a man.
[00:13:41]So much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode, [00:14:00] do me a favor. Go over to facebook.com/inspired Stuart. And like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there until next time, invest your time.
[00:14:27] Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the
[00:14:33] Alain Huskin: [00:14:33] world. .
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But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. - Ephesians 2: 13