Topic: AM Service Passage: Ephesians 2:11–13
It is a hard thing to remember the bad times. Hard, because it brings up past hurts, problems, and loss. But it is also a good thing to remember the bad times, because it reminds us of the changes that the Lord has brought to us, simply because of His grace. Paul wanted this lesson to be clear for the Ephesian church, and as a result, he did not hesitate to remind them continually in a “you once were…but now are” vein. He reminded the Ephesians (and therefore us!) that they were once divided, alienated from God and His promises, and far away from the blessings found in Christ Jesus. Then comes that great gospel word: “but!” But now, you are brought near, you are a part of God’s people, you are right with God. How does this come about? Not by education, not by wishful thinking. It comes about by the blood of Christ – Jesus’ sacrifice makes all the difference. Paul wanted the Ephesians and all believers to know this, and to take this message of change and forgiveness to a world desperately in need of it. It is only through the blood of Christ that we can be “Brought Near” to God (Ephesians 2:11-13).
A. Divided by Barriers
B. Divided by Bad Thinking
III. Different Than Before
A. Not What We Were
B. All Because of Jesus
Questions for consideration: (1) What does this passage tell us about current efforts to unite people outside of Christ? What can you do about the disunity in your communities? (2) Why does Paul want you to know about your disadvantages outside of Christ? What are the practical and daily implications of leaving those disadvantages behind? (3) Why is it important for you to realize daily the change in your condition that has been brought about by Jesus?