Week Two, Saturday Ephesians

From Wall Builders to Kingdom Builders

Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-18

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:11-18 (New International Version)

One of my undergrad professors used to say that when you see “therefore” in Scripture, you have to ask, “What’s it there for?” This is true with today’s passage of focus. If you remember back to Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul reminded us about how we were dead in our sins, yet God reached out to us and saved us by His grace. So, what the “therefore” is there for is for Paul to elaborate on how this salvation by God’s grace has affected us.    

And how it has affected us is that the Salvation Jesus offers is for anyone and everyone. Jesus breaks down the walls of prejudice, reconciles people back to God, and unifies us as one body. Jesus has destroyed the barriers that we are quick to build between ourselves and others. Because these walls have been removed, we can have real unity with people who are not like us. Because of Jesus’ death, we are all unified, on the same side, citizens of the same kingdom (2:14); our hostility against each other has been put to death (2:16); we can all have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit (2:18).

Do you struggle with barriers and finding unity with others? If so, allow the Holy Spirit to help you to look beyond those potential barriers to the unity we are called to enjoy. Focus on the cross, and the barriers will crumble.


Jesus, help us to keep our eyes on the cross so that we may remember what it truly means to us and our future with you. I thank you for your sacrifice on that cross, and for the immense love that enabled you to go through with it for each and every one of us. Thank you for how you unify us with others – even those with whom we disagree. Help us to stop being wall builders and instead let us become kingdom builders.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!