For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth–called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised–at that time had no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Isra’el. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. Your were in this world without hope and without God.
Many times in scripture God instructs us to remember. Who we were, where we were, who he is, what he does, his works on our behalf, consequences for actions from which he delivers us…
But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood. For he himself is our shalom—he has made us both one and has broken down the commands which divided us by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Word of God, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom, and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus in himself killing that enmity
Those far (gentile people) and those near(Jewish people) are brought together into one group through Christ. Something only God could do. This union brings peace between two groups who were at odds with one another. This union is made possible in the commonality of Christ. The commands are also changed from law to the actual new nature. They are simply what is done as a new creature in Christ for both the Gentile and the Jew.
Also, when he came, he announced as Good News shalom to you far off and shalom to those nearby, news that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family. You have been built on the foundation of the emissaries and the prophets, with the cornerstone being Yeshua Messiah himself. In union with him the whole building is held together, and it is growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord. Yes, in union with Him, you yourselves are being built together into a spiritual dwelling-place for God!
No longer strangers to one another the two groups become one group built on a sure foundation. Before one builds any structure, a firm foundation must be laid. If not, the strong storm will do much damage, may even bring it down. Builders today have codes to follow that have been proven to withstand the winds of nature.The fellowship of believers of Christ will stand through the attacks of the enemy if they are supported by a strong foundation. This foundation is found in the teachings from God put forth by his faithful leaders and through Jesus Christ the cornerstone uniting two worlds into one. The foundation construction and composition is found in God’s Word and in Christ the Living Word.
For the individual it is the support given by the belt of truth; a belt of truth found in God’s Word and a belt that supports the rest of the armor of God. Each individual, then, can stand strong and when linked together with other believers can advance against the enemy both corporately and individually, providing additional strength for one another in the individual walk through life.
What does the believer possess? What makes their life so rich? They have the promises found in the Word that are truth, giving strength to the spirit in its battle with the natural, the flesh. They possess unity where once there was division; resulting in peace rather than strife. They possess the spiritual benefits found in this unity that permits them to grow in their spiritual walk with God. They are no longer strangers or foreigners to one another but have a common ground in Christ and that is a strong foundation upon which to build the house of God.
Pray – We are built together, two worlds once separated now joined in Christ, to become a spiritual dwelling-place for God!
Repent – I repent for the times I look on others as different without accepting them as fellow believers in Christ causing a separation in my mind where You want unity.
Ask – Keep deceitful ways far from me, and favor me with your Word. I choose the way of trust; I set Your rulings[before me]. I cling to Your instruction; Adonai, don’t let me be put to shame!
Yes – I will run the way of Your commands, for You have broadened my understanding.
Source: Ephesians and Psalm 119