Ephesians 2:11-22 NLT
New Living Translation (NLT)
Oneness and Peace in Christ
11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
A Temple for the Lord
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
This week we covered the second half of Ephesians chapter 2. It was such a good chapter. The thing that stood out to me the most was that there are things we do in our Christian walk that is nothing more than a ritual for us. There is no meaning whatsoever. We do it because we think we should not because it means anything to us. We must have a heart change and do what we do because it has meaning to us. Every denomination does things that can become nothing more than a ritual if you don’t do it from the heart. For instance singing before hearing the word can become a ritual unless you are doing it from the heart. I have begun to look at different things in my life that I do because I feel I should and started to think, “am I doing this from my heart or is this just something I do because I think I should.” Once I decided what was becoming more of a ritual and less of a heart thing I thought about it and prayed about it. So I am working on doing what I do because it comes from my heart and what God has changed inside of me. I want all I do for God to be from my heart.
Another thing I learned this past week is that I am just a part of the body of Christ. There are many people who are part of it and we all have a specific function. The body can not work if the parts do not work together as a whole. God has designed me with a specific function that fits with the other parts. I must remember that I am important to the work of the body just like each of us are.
Do you have any comments that you would like to share? I love to read what you all have to say.
Next week we will be covering Ephesians 3:1-13.