Religion & Spirituality

Ephesians 2 11-13 the Blood of Jesus Christ Breaks Down Racial Barriers by Oliver Greene

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians by Oliver B. Greene Copyright @ 1963 The Gospel Hour, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina CHAPTER TEN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD BREAKS DOWN RACIAL BARRIERS Ephesians 2, verses 11-13 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
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  The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians by Oliver B. GreeneCopyright @ 1963The Gospel Hour, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina CHAPTER TEN -THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD BREAKS DOWN RACIALBARRIERS Ephesians 2, verses 11-13 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are calledUncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; thatat that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, andstrangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world:But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the Blood of CHRIST . Up to verse 11 we have dealt with individuals - either as sinners, or as sons . . . saved, or lost.But here we pass into a deeper truth: We see clearly that the Blood of JESUS CHRIST breaksdown all racial barriers . . . Jew and Gentile become one in the Body of CHRIST.Certainly the Blood of JESUS CHRIST saves the individual, and salvation is an individual act;but it goes beyond that.JESUS certainly died for the individual - but His command is, the Gospel to every creature...  Jew, Gentile, rich, poor, bond or free. He hath made of one Blood all nations of men . InCHRIST we have a new society.I know of no chapter in the Bible that more clearly points out the grace of GOD to all peoplethan does John chapter four. Study the entire chapter. The Samaritan woman met JESUS at thewell, and He asked her for a drink. She could not understand His being a Jew - yet asking aSamaritan woman for a drink. JESUS said to her, If thou knewest . . . who it is that saith tothee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given theeliving water . The beautiful picture of salvation continues here, until the woman who came to the well,bringing an empty water pot, returned to the city with wells of living water flowing forth fromher innermost being. So . . . in this marvelous Dispensation of the Grace of GOD, it is no longerJew or Gentile: It is ALL nations, one in CHRIST . . . that is, all who believe. There is nodifference.Paul reminds the believers at Ephesus (and you and me, and all other Gentiles) that in time past  we were strangers to GOD's covenant, aliens from the elect nation Israel. We were Gentile dogs. Even the disciples were instructed to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and werecommanded NOT to go into the way of the Gentiles. The same command was given to theseventy; and when the Syrophenician woman (a Gentile) came to JESUS He informed her thatthe bread was for the children, not for dogs.The woman recognized the fact that she was a Gentile, and she reminded the Master that eventhe dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the children's table. The literal translation from the Greek in this particular verse is the little dogs . . . or, the puppies ; and this dear woman, for the sakeof her daughter, was willing to take a puppy's place to receive the blessing from the Lord JESUS,the LAMB of GOD. JESUS told her in so many words, Because of your faith, Heaven is at yourdisposal (Matthew 15:22-28).Yes, Paul reminds us that we were Gentiles in the flesh, we belonged to the great mass of lost,hell-bound humanity. Whether a small tribe in a remote jungle, or a giant nation in theflourishing cities, ALL natural men upon the face of the earth corrupt themselves with lust,immoralities, and the things of the devil. Without GOD and the miracle of His grace, theindividual, the tribe, or the nation follows the flesh and dies IN the flesh, eternally lost!According to Romans chapter one and 2:1, we know that all men are inexcusable in theirignorance of GOD. There is no excuse, because our first parents (Adam and Eve) knew GODand later Noah and his family (the only living souls on this earth) knew GOD. But as menmultiplied they refused to glorify GOD AS GOD. They changed the truth of GOD into a lie.They did not like to retain GOD in their knowledge; therefore they became darkened in theirintelligence, depraved in their souls. Read Romans 1:21-32 and you will find a sad catalog of sin: that brought multiplied millions of heathen into existence upon this earth.In Ephesians 2:11 the Jews referred to the Gentiles as the Uncircumcision . They regardedGentiles as entirely outside the mercy of GOD, without any right, any hope or standing.Spiritually they were to them as dogs ! But Paul uses a phrase that lowers the Jews to much thosame level:While the Gentiles were Gentiles in the flesh , the Jew deserves to be called Circumcision inthe flesh made by hands . This was a mere cutting of the flesh, and the ritual had lost itsspiritual import of the symbol of circumcision about the heart, to effect a separation unto GOD.If you will take into consideration the statement Paul makes here to the Gentiles, in a city wherethere were also Jews other than himself, you will see that he was a preacher with a backbone. Heput the Jews in the same category with the Gentile dogs. Oh, yes - the unregenerate Ephesianswere Gentiles in the flesh, but Paul declares here that we are ALL (Jew or Gentile, bond or free)in the same category. Read Romans chapter 3 very carefully.In Paul's day, the Jew was very bitter toward the Gentile; but Paul warned the Jews that theirformalism which did not change the heart nor add righteousness to the inner man, was the thingthat caused racial hatred. The Jews refused to hear JESUS when He announced that He had cometo save sinners . . . Jew, Gentile, or whomsoever.  The racial bigotry and race hatred in the heart of the Jew rejected their MESSIAH, refused toaccept the Gentile as a brother, and finally nailed their CHRIST to a Cross!In our present passage of Scripture Paul tells us that we were without God in the world . Yes,we were without GOD, and we were also without (on the outside) so far as the Jew whoprofessed to know GOD was concerned. He refused to reach out his hand to the Gentile dog andsay, Come, my friend, into the family of GOD! Instead, he refused to have any dealings withthe Gentiles, and it is said that the Jew prayed at the beginning of the day that GOD woulddeliver him from seeing the face of a Gentile. I suppose there is no hatred on earth today quite sodeep as the hatred the Jew had for the Gentile when JESUS came into the world to pay the sin-debt.But Paul tells us in Romans that through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles . GODcan bring blessing out of tragedy.We were definitely out . . . we had more than three strikes against us. We were without CHRIST,the MESSIAH Who came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, we were without a placeamong GOD's covenant people, alienated from the nation to which GOD gave the Law, and towhom He had sent JESUS, their king. We were strangers to His covenants of promise. GOD hadpledged Himself to Israel, had given His promise to Abraham, and GOD could not and wouldnot break His word. As Gentiles we were without GOD in the world, having many gods, but onlygods who do not hear and speak . . . gods who could not help us. Yes, we Gentiles who aremembers of the body of CHRIST should shout the praises of GOD because of His grace whichpermitted JESUS CHRIST to taste death for Gentile dogs. I am so thankful today that I can tell ALL men - regardless of their race, regardless of their socialstanding - that JESUS died on the Cross for the sins of the whole wide world! Up to His death,the message was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; but in John 10:16 JESUS said, Othersheep I have, which are not of this fold . He declared that He would make all sheep ONE fold.Up to the crucifixion, JESUS had a flock of sheep made up only of Israelites; but on this side of the Cross, the other sheep have been incorporated into the fold of GOD, and now there isONE FOLD made up of Jews, Gentiles . . . and whosoever will . The miracle of the one fold is summed up in three words: the Blood OF Christ BUT NOWIN CHRIST JESUS YE WHO SOMETIMES WERE FAR OFF ARE MADE NIGH BYTHE BLOOD OF CHRIST . Through the inspired pen of Paul The HOLY SPIRIT sets forth this inescapable contrast: In time past . . . at that time . . . BUT NOW . . . . Again, Ye WERE . . . BUT NOW . . .ye... ARE ! We clearly see what we were as Gentiles, alienated from GOD, and we see what weare in Christ . There was only one way known to GOD . . . it HAD to be by the Blood of Christ . EvenJehovah GOD could provide no other way: When I see the Blood, I will pass over you . Without shedding of Blood is no remission .   The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin . Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold . . . but with the preciousBlood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot . All born again believers are Blood kin . . . brothers and sisters because we are all under theBlood of the Lord JESUS. Through the power of the Blood we are all in CHRIST, one family,Blood-bought and Blood-related to GOD. We were purchased by the Blood of GOD (Acts20:28).~ end of chapter 10 ~ ***
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