ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ray's Study of Ephesians: Part 4

Updated on July 24, 2018
Source

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in flesh by hands - remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new mad in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citzens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
-Ephesians 2:11-22

This very well may be my favorite passage in all of scripture. In this short passage Paul so clearly and simply tells the Gospel - that while you were far off, Jesus sought after you. Jesus did not wait for you to come to Him, He left His place in Heaven and came to earth to reconcile us with the Father. I think that to fully grasp that reconciliation, we have to remember the way that God created us to exist. In Genesis 1-2 we see a beautiful picture of a perfect creation where God and man walk and talk. There is no sin. There is no sadness. There is peace - perfect peace. When mankind gave that up, Jesus entered that darkness to preach peace to us. To reconcile us back to a place of perfect relationship to The Father.

Continuing with the theme of adoption, Paul begins to speak to our new identity, the way that God the loving Father sees us. Paul tells us that we are no longer strangers and foreigners but instead we are fellow citizens and the household of God.

Photo credit: Ray Smith
Photo credit: Ray Smith

In 2011 I left my job and my home in America and began a life in Kenya, East Africa. In my 2-3 years living there I truly grasped what it meant to be an outsider. I was truly a stranger and a foreigner in Kenya. I looked different. I talked with a different native language. I had different customs. I learned to live life in Kenya. I ate the foods (I still miss a warm chapatti or a good samosa!) and I learned the customs. I even picked up some of the language and learned to drive on the opposite side of the road. Still, I was a stranger, an American living in Kenya. I had a visa stamped in my passport, but I was not a citizen. I was the very opposite of what Paul describes in this passage.

Notice the tenses that Paul uses throughout this book, especially this passage. He does not say that Christ will one day make us citizens of Heaven. Paul tells us that Jesus already has. Do you see the deep meaning of us being members of the very household of God. Heaven is a place where there is no sin or trespasses. It is a home of eternal peace. Heaven is the reconciliation between God and man where we co-esist with Him in love and peace. And Paul so kindly tells us that this is our new identity.

He pointed out in the previous passages that we are no longer sons and daughters of darkness, but we are adopted to God's family. And with that adoption means that He no longer sees us as outsiders looking in. When the perfect Father looks upon you, He sees someone that fits in with His family. He sees an important part of His Kingdom of peace. He sees the heart of Jesus in you. And He calls you His own. He has offered you more than a visitor's visa into His kingdom, He gave you a brand new visa that calls you a citizen.

You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens...

It's Your breath in our lungs...

© 2015 Ray Smith

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)