October 24, 2012 by Chris French
There’s a spot in Ephesians 2 where Paul takes a sidebar from his discussion on how gracious God has been to us to talk about how we are one. “For Christ himself has brought us peace. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
Think about how everyone felt when the Berlin Wall fell, now make that barrier one of hatred instead of brick and mortar. That wall separates people better than a physical wall EVER could. When Jesus died and the church began all of a sudden it didn’t matter if you had been close to God (a Jew) or if you’d been far away from Him (a Gentile). Now the wall of hatred between these two peoples was dead. Jesus killed it! He was building something brand new and the Gentiles were going to be a part of it.
If Jesus killed this hostility between people, and it doesn’t have a place in the church, I better do my part to make sure I don’t try to resurrect it. I can be welcoming and open to new people. Remember the last time you were new somewhere and didn’t know anyone? How much would you have liked someone to attach themselves to you and make you feel welcome? You need to make sure we are inclusive instead of exclusive. That makes sure We keep that hostility dead and buried.
I need to encourage the church. What would the church look like if we stopped tearing each other down and started building each other up? No more sarcastic comments, no hurtful jabs. Instead we stopped and considered how our words would affect that person. That would make sure this hostility stays away from God’s people.
We’re fighting a war. We need walls. But we don’t need walls that separate us from our own army. They’re there to fight the battle against Satan with us. Watch where you put up walls and make sure you’re separating yourself from the true enemy.