Peace = No Fences, Not Strong Fences
14 For He is our peace, MVP
who having made both one, (aorist) REASON/ONE WHO
indeed/and having broken down/dissolved the middle wall of partition MEANS/REASON #2
15 having abolished/nullified in his flesh the enmity, MEANS
the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; CONTENT
in order that he might create/make in himself of two one new man, PURPOSE #1
[so] making peace; (present) RESULT
16 and in order that he might reconcile both to God PURPOSE #2
in one body MANNER
by the cross, MEANS
having by/in himself slain the enmity TIME WHEN
I. The World's View of Peace = Strong Fences
(United Nations Peace Keeping Forces)
II. Biblical View of Peace = No Fences
(Unity...one mind...one heart...one voice...one accord) Phil 2, Acts 2
A. Obvious Implications of Christ is our Peace
1. Peace exists only in union with Christ, and can't exist apart from Him.
2. There is a corporate aspect and emphasis of salvation.
3. Christ creates peace between individuals as well as between men and God.
4. Christ reconciles men to God by paying the cost to make up the balance.
B. Not so Obvious Implications of Christ making Both One
1. One purpose of God's saving work is for believers to live out the corporate unity God created.
2. Our relationship with God is dependent upon our relationship with each other.
3. Christ makes peace possible between individuals by eliminating the distinctions (new creation).
4. Two stay two when each one does his/her own thing.
5. Two become one when each one lets go of his/her distinctives.
C. What makes Peace Problematic?
1. We draw our uncertain security from our traditions because we perceive them as the key to our survival.
2. Our values, preferences, perspectives, and traditions are different and keep us apart from each other.
3. We fear and are threatened by what is different and unfamiliar, because it could harm us, and therefore, we reject it.
4. We are drawn toward those who are similar to us because we mistakenly think that they wouldn't do anything to harm themselves, and since we're like them, they wouldn't do anything to harm us.
D. What makes Peace Possible?
1. God's gracious work
2. Reconciliation with God
3. A new set of values which is neither Jewish nor Gentile (principled negotiation)
4. Our union with each other is "in Christ."
5. Christ showed that it is possible to live sinlessly according to a set of values, while at the same time, love diverse people.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Which is the chicken, and which is the egg: Peace with God; Peace with man?
2. How are hostilities on a national level different from hostilities on an individual level?
3. How does the achievement of marital unity differ from ecclesiastical unity?
4. What are some of the things that contribute to interpersonal (or interbeliever) enmity?
5. What are some of the things that could contribute to interpersonal (or interbeliever) peace?