The Difference Christ Makes

Examine Ephesians 2:11-21

Notice that right way we are asked to consider the difference the gospel makes. We’re reminded what life was like without God.

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 is the World. Ephesians 2:12 ESV

The difference that Christ made is real.

Jesus Christ is the Difference

We, as Gentiles, were without God – wild shoots, thorny and fruitless. We were literally estranged from God. Someone had to take us away, rescue us, and change our destiny. The wild shoot needed more than taming, it needed to be grafted into the true Vine.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches… John 15:1, 4-5a NKJV

The true Vine’s sap flows through the dead places of the branch and brings life. It’s the new life from the indwelling Holy Spirit. Because of God’s faithful love and tender care, we continue to live with Him.

God is the Vinedresser, Christ is the true Vine, and we, individually, are branches grafted in. More than tamed, we are cultivated, nurtured, and fruitful.

Once we “far off” from God. We were aliens of the commonwealth of Israel – strangers from the covenants of promise. There’s no hope without God – there’s no destiny – only death. We had no power to change our bloodline as wild branches. Our only hope was in the blood of Jesus Christ.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:13 NKJV

The two became one! He Himself is our peace.

Christ Jesus is our Peace

Yesterday, I took communion. I couldn’t help myself. As I bowed low, my heart took me to that fateful day when my Lord slowly walked through the dirt road of the Via Dolorosa, climbed the hill to Golgotha and was nailed to the cross. His precious blood trailed behind him and eventually slid down the creases of the old rugged cross. The royal pure precious blood – His lifeblood was slowly being drawn from His body and sacrificed for us.

He Himself is our peace.

The Jewish religion is the only religion in the world that is recognized through “bloodline”. They are children of Abraham. This “bloodline” separated us from God. But changed all that by shedding His blood.

He became our peace.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14.

Christ is our peace. Let no one deceive you, reconciliation is real. God created one new body in place of two. Now Jews and Gentiles are united in Christ Jesus. Now we are no longer strangers, aliens or enemies, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

We, in spite of our bloodline, are now one – our destiny forever changed from death to life. He preaches this same peace today to those far off and to those who are near. The Jew and the Gentile move as one body coming to the Lord in one voice praising Him.

And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:17-18 NKJV

Take away the gospel and remove the New Covenant and what remains is only war and enmity between God and humankind. Only Christ brings us peace and calmness of soul. If not for Him, sin and death would otherwise torment us.

Jesus Christ – is the New Covenant.

This is the New Covenant.

Christ is the head of His chosen people, distinguished by unprecedented unity – true righteousness and holiness in Christ Jesus. We are now His treasured people. Christ makes the difference. The New Covenant promised and the New Covenant realized is a fact. Those far off are drawn near.

Here’s the truth of the Church. Jews and Gentiles are reconciled to God in the same exact way. Christ is the final sacrifice, and so He became the New Covenant.

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:25-27

And He said to them, “This is my blood which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out for many. Mark 14:24 NLT

The Temple has been replaced by the Church – universal and unseen. The foundation is built on the apostles and prophets – the cornerstone is Christ Jesus.

The Temple was stationary and vulnerable to wars and rumors of wars. God’s house grows through the continued addition and integration of people as living stones. The House – the Church is the temple because God Himself dwells there.

You are also being built up to fit perfectly with God’s people in God’s sanctuary. Access to the Father, in the Spirit, is not denied. Through Him we both, Gentile and Jew, have access to the Father in one Spirit. We are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens and members of the household of God.

You walk with Him daily in fellowship and share the peace of the gospel. The charter from the courts of heaven – the New Covenant, is complete. We now can know Him intimately. The invisible is visible in our soul.

Welcome to the Church.

Think about it. It is our duty and privilege as Christians to be united in Christ. It is our joy and responsibility to gather in sacred assembly through corporate worship.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to miss out on what God is doing today. He is moving, even now, in the local and the invisible Church. In the visible church, we profess faith, get baptized, and gather as one body. In the invisible Church, we draw near to Him in true fellowship.

The true Church is transparent and yet completely visible to God. Not every member of the visible church lives in the invisible. The tares (weeds) are growing alongside the wheat. The Lord knows who are His and who are only nominal Christians. Not all who honor Christ with their lips honor Him with their hearts. Everyone does not live the “with God” life. So, let us continue to walk in the Spirit and live with God.

The difference between life with God and without is real. He makes the difference between life and death so we can carry the fragrance of Christ every day of the week.

Are you ready for the difference Christ makes?

Call to Action

Take a minute out of your day, in the quiet space and the secret place of the presence of God. Remember when you separated from God, alienated from His mercy. Remember when you were a stranger to the covenants of promise – having no hope and without God.

Then think and meditate on Christ as your peace – remember what a difference He makes in your life. With a grateful heart and a yielded soul, let yourself praise Him.

Now, may the Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Amen.

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