Coney Hill Baptist Church

Demonstrating God’s Love Together

Two Become One

Ephesians 2:11-22 

Intro:

How to win a reality TV show!

Have a story.  An interesting history, preferably with some tragedy of adversity in it, is really helpful, but it only gets you so far.   

What you really need is a story that continues during the time-frame of the show. In what’s now become the accepted jargon of these shows to need to go on a ‘journey’.  You need to change.

Undergoing change is always a challenge. Never easy to go from one place to another, always safer to stay where you are.  A change of attitude, of heart or of relationship is even more difficult than a shift of location – it means making a difference to who you are.   

Our reading this morning, another classic New Testament passage focussing on reconciliation, pitches it as a journey. The gospel as Jesus’ way of creating a change, bringing about a new situation.  It does it in a number of ways…

 

From Two to One…

The first and fundamental change is from 2 to 1. 

Moving from a position of isolation, separateness, independence – having to think only of ourselves, asserting our rights, pursuing our own agenda, protecting our own traditions, to one of being united, bound together, seeking common cause, celebrating friendship, looking for common interest.   

In many ways it’s a definition of peace.  Where walls of division are demolished (v14b), a new set of arrangements for working together are put in place (v15a), and a common purpose created (v.15b)

 

From By-Standers to Players

The second change is one of role.  What is our place in the great scheme of things?  Do you ever get the sense that while you are getting on with your own life, the rest of the world is going on somewhere else.  Sometimes it can feel like were living small lives, with our noses occasionally pressed up against the window at amazing things others are involved in.  That’s why going to Romania, or Haiti, or wherever is so important – it engages us with the big wide world we’re a part of.

(v.19) No longer are we foreigners and strangers, no longer on the periphery, but now, fellow citizens, members of God’s own household – in the heart of the action. 

The ancient world was very aware of the significance of citizenship and its attendant roles and responsibilities. We’ve become involved in the great story, joined on to the heritage and history…

 

From Competitors to Co-operators

The final journey we’re asked to consider, as an aspect of this reconciling work of God, is that from competitors to co-operators. 

It’s an aspect of that thing about 2 becoming 1 but with an extra emphasis on that common purpose. Instead of each of us striving to struggle on, often at the expense of others, in a challenging and competitive world, we’ve become part of a great construction project, where we all are being built together in the task of housing God’s Spirit…(v.21)

 

Conc.

So, what journey is it you are on?  Being made right with God, becoming part of His family, a citizen of His kingdom, is central to it.  Not just some sort of vague spiritual truth but a passport to an abundant adventurous life. It gives you a road map to live by, a purpose and a destiny – a ‘Big Story’ to be a part of – the way to make a difference.