Ephesians 2:11-18 | Day Four
By: Sophie DeMuth | To download this series in it's entirety, click here.
"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations." - Ephesians 2:14
Today in our study of Ephesians, we are going to look at the history of Jewish practice to better understand the context of our identity in Christ. Today will require some patience and prayer, but the result will end in praise of our gracious God!
Remember how context is key? Summarize what Paul said in Ephesians 2:1–10.
After recalling what you learned yesterday, ask the Lord for insight from the Holy Spirit as you read His Word.
Let’s begin by reading Ephesians 2:11-13. Were these verses a bit confusing? Let me clear some things up.
The Jews called every non-Jew a Gentile, so whenever this passage talks about Gentiles, it simply means someone who wasn’t Jewish. Paul addresses the Gentiles here because before Jesus, Jews and Gentiles never hung out together; there was a lot of tension between the two groups.
Read Genesis 17:9–11. According to this passage, what’s the significance of circumcision?
Since circumcision marked God’s people, what does this mean for Gentiles? Were they included or excluded from God’s people?
Read Ephesians 2:11–13 again. How does Paul describe the Gentiles before Christ?
How does Jesus change the Gentiles’ situation? What did He do?
It’s easy for us to think of the Gentiles as “those other people.” But we are Gentiles! We wouldn’t have been allowed into God’s family, but by God’s grace through Christ, Jesus brings us into the family of God!
Have you ever been excluded from a group? How did that make you feel? How does it feel to be eternally included in the family of God through Jesus?
How could you model Christ and include outsiders in your friend group this week?
After thinking of ways to befriend others, read Ephesians 2:14–18. Who is the “he” in verse 14? How does He unite Jews and Gentiles?
What was Jesus’ purpose in bringing together Jews and Gentiles (v.15)? How does He reconcile the new humanity to God (v.16)?
Who did Jesus preach peace to (v.17)? Who are those who were near? Far away?
How do we have access to the Father (v.18)?
Have you ever thought of Jesus as an agent of peace before? Why or why not?
What divisions do you see in your church, school, or home? What disunity exists in your city or state? How do you see Jesus bringing about peace in those situations?
Are there any believers in your life who you’re not unified with? How does knowing Jesus came to bring peace between His people shape the way you view that relationship? How could you move toward reconciliation with them this week?
As you write out the verse for today, remember that Jesus is our peace—our peace with God and with other believers. Thank God for sending Jesus to bring us peace with Him. Then pray for any believers you aren’t at peace with. Ask God to change your heart towards them and to provide a way toward reconciliation.