Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email tolgacommunitychurch@gmail.com ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ephesians 2:14 - 18


Ephesians 2:14 For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies.15 He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. 16 By his death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to God. 17 So Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to all---to you Gentiles, who were far away from God, and to the Jews, who were near to him.18 It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.

Christ abolishing the enmity – so; what does that mean? Well He broke down the hostility, animosity, antagonism, friction, opposition,dissension, rivalry, feud, conflict, discord, contention between the people of the world and the people of God. The trouble with giving anyone else the responsibility of this task is that it breaks down the purpose and plan God has for our salvation. God Himself bore the price of our freedom – no one else. Christ broke down the wall between the Jew and gentile. He opened the way forward for us to live in union with God.

He ( Jesus) “ abolished” the Law. The relation of Christ to the Law, Paul says, in Romans 3:31 is, “Do we make void the Law? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law.” The Law, therefore, is abolished as a law “in ordinances”—that is, “in the letter”—and is established in the spirit. As you read Acts 7 this is Stephen's message. The Law in ordinances was a shadow of what was to come.

Yet not one word or dot is taken out of the Law. God still has the Authority to impose and have accepted His Law (word). None of anything is about getting rid of any Law. It is about fulfilling prophecy. When Christ died on the cross and rose again He fulfilled the requirements of the Law. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the wage of our sin. The use of the law; The wife of a drunkard once found her husband in a filthy condition, with torn clothes, matted hair, bruised face, asleep in the kitchen, having come home from a drunken revel. She sent for a photographer, and had a portrait of him taken in all his wretched appearance, and placed it on the mantel beside another portrait taken at the time of his marriage, which showed him handsome and well dressed, as he had been in other days. When he became sober he saw the two pictures, and awakened to a consciousness of his condition, from which he arose to a better life. Now, the office of the law is not to save men, but to show them their true state as compared with the Divine standard.

We do not base critical issues of the faith on someone’s oral tradition or speculation--we go to the Scripture! When we do, we see that in that Scripture, Paul has directed us to Abraham as our patten for justification. And while it enrages some, Scripture shows the man Abraham never “kept God’s holy Law” to be in full right standing with the God who imputed righteousness to him because of his belief, and not his obedience to a set of commandments! Yet the Child of the Flesh can’t get that. He claims that if we say we’re not “under the Law,” and if we don’t “keep commandments,” we’re saying it’s okay to sin. All that does is show the ignorance of heretics who miss what the covenant actually is. So then--how did Abraham achieve justification with God? Through faith.“Well…God has given us more revelation through the writings of Moses and the prophets than Abraham had, so now we know clearly what His commandments are, and even if Abraham did not know or keep them, we certainly must, or we are rejecting God!” Wrong. Were that doctrine true, Paul would have directed us to Moses, Isaiah or John the Baptist, upheld them as great men of faith who carefully observed God’s Law, and then called on us to emulate their example of faith and obedience to the Law as true justification. Instead, he bypasses all the great men under the Law and goes straight back to Abraham, whom he points out never kept the Law and was justified by faith only, through a righteousness that had nothing to do with his own commandment-keeping.

The Lord ascended to heaven and later the disciples were baptised with the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of God obtained through the experience of His pardon is the best of all knowledge of Him. This is a knowledge of God that makes Him the predominant idea of the our whole life and the supreme truth of life, because in our work for Him we will find joy, peace, purpose, etc. The peace which Christ calls for in His Church, is not simply a cessation from strife, which can happen even when there is simply bitterness in peoples spirits. This peace is a oneness of spirit simply because The Lord is our Lord and we want to please Him and serve Him, His way and give to Him all the strife (sin) in our life. The aim is for all of God's people, both Jew and Gentile to have God's peace and to be one people.

Read Colossians 

We are now dead to the old Adam (that is the old man – or our pagan way) and we are now alive to the new man – that is Jesus Christ. It is He who broke down the barrier and makes us all a new man – both Jews and gentiles. We can work at whatever we want to work at – unless we are born of the spirit we will not see heaven. Abraham's righteousness (and we all need righteousness) was due to his belief, trust, faith in God's purpose for his life. What makes Abraham's relationship with his God different to other people's relationship with their god's is that it is his belief, trust, faith in God's ability to save him. His role is simply to walk according God's word (Law). Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ is our Peace, the author, centre, and substance of our being at peace with God, and of our union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.

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