Paul continues to write to the Ephesians regarding their new life in Christ. In Ephesians 2:11-22 he discusses how God through Jesus, unified the Jewish and Gentile believers to create one new body. The one new body would be a place for God to live through the Holy Spirit. In Romans, Paul speaks of the Jews as a tree and the Gentiles as being grafted into that tree. In 1 Peter, Peter writes about a spiritual house in which we are living stones with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. Both illustrate the unity of the body. Paul admonishes the Gentiles to remember who they are, what Christ has done for them and the result.
Who They Are
The Gentile believers came in cold so to speak. They did not have the great history of God’s deliverance from Egypt. The ten commandments and instructions on how to be God’s people was given to the Jews. To them belonged the thrilling stories of God’s great wonders, as God established them as a nation. King David, the prophets who foretold of the Messiah, the priests and the tabernacle all came from the Jews. They also had the promises of God. The Gentiles were strangers to all these things. They did not share the family stories, nor the rituals and traditions.
What Jesus Did
Jesus brought them near. When once they had no hope and were without God, Jesus shed His blood to make them part of the family. He took away all the commandments the Jews relied on. Being in relationship with God no longer meant a list of rules and adherence to certain rituals and traditions. Jesus destroyed the wall of division. Through His body on the cross He made one way for all mankind to be reconciled to God.
As a result, believers in Jesus, are no longer strangers, or foreigners. They are fellow citizens, saints, and members of God’s household.
The apostles and the prophets, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, built a foundation for the house. Jesus is the chief cornerstone. As we are being built up, upon this foundation we line everything in our lives up with who He was and is . Peter talks about living stones, how Jesus was a rejected stone, but God chose Him and to Him He was precious. We together with Him are becoming the spiritual house for God to dwell in by His Spirit.
We are no longer homeless strangers out on a cold night looking through a window. Now as one family, reconciled to Father God and one another, we sit together around the table, enjoying the warmth of the Spirit, and share the stories of what Jesus has done for us. Then we break out into singing our praise.