Daily Devotional: Ephesians 2:17-22

Paul quotes Isaiah 57:19, in which He declares peace to all peoples of the earth—those near to Him and those far from Him as proof that God is the God of all people, not only the Jews. He is building one spiritual nation for Himself, not two. Through Christ, both Jew and Gentile have their access in one Spirit to the Father. Therefore, gentiles are no longer strangers or aliens. Instead, we are fellow citizens with the saints and all the saints together, Jew and gentile, are of God’s singular household. We have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ is the one cornerstone. So, there is one God. He has one people. There is one foundation, the Scriptures. There is one cornerstone, Christ. The whole temple, made up of Jew and gentile believers, is being fitted together and growing into a holy temple in the Lord. We are the dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Unity is thematic through Paul’s letters. When we, even though we are in Christ, focus on the things of the world, we too readily draw dividing lines. Call it standing for truth or tradition or evangelism or whatever you like, we are always instructed to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow after Christ—who condescended and gave His life for our sake. There is a time to let doctrine divide, but we are never to be an intentionally divisive people. We go to others, build bridges, and consider others to be more important than ourselves whether we are pastoring churches, serving the saints in another way, or serving our communities through our work in this world. Others are always more important. There is one God. In His kingdom, there are no denominations or dividing lines. There is one Spirit who indwells all believers. There is one Christ, and He is not divided.

So, I simply have to challenge different generations, denominations, theological persuasions and so on. Consider your own hearts. Are we, together, pursuing right belief and practice and considering others to be more important than ourselves, or are we the divisive wolves Scripture often speaks about? I hope that I am less and less addicted to the controversies that young men and women are addicted to. I pray I become less and less antagonistic and cynical so that I may edify and encourage the saints in sound doctrine and practice. Christ is not divided.

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