A New Togetherness
In the first century around Palestine where Jesus lived, there was a tremendous amount of prejudice between Jewish people and non-Jewish people, often referred to as Gentiles. One of the amazing aspects of the new church was that salvation was offered to both Jews and Gentiles…Jesus was not only for the Jews. In Ephesians chapter 2, we read the following verses:
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Paul is saying that Jesus Christ abolished the law which separated the Jews and the Gentiles, and in reality, also separates each of us from God because of our sin. Jesus reconciled both Jews and Gentiles to God, putting to death the hatred between the two groups. What basis is there for prejudice when we are all sinners and all in need of Jesus? This is still the answer for prejudice today. If everyone is a creation of God and if we all are sinners, what basis do we have for prejudice? None at all. Unfortunately, evolution does not teach this and is by its nature, a very prejudicial world view.
However, for those of us who are in Christ, we know that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. We are no longer separated from Him because of our sin. Rather, we have been brought together. We now have peace with God and because of that, we ought to have peace with one another. May 2014 be for you a year of peace with God and peace with others.