Barriers between us

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Last week we began our walk through the letter to the Ephesians. The letter
is in two parts. Chapters 1-3 are about the identity we have in Christ. Once
we understand this, we are in a position to know how we are to act as a
Christian; the substance of Chapters 4-6. When we know who we are we can
know how we are to act.

Today’s reading looks at being one in Christ. There is a lot of angst around
at the moment about what is going on in the world, homes, workplaces and
churches. Conflict abounds. Distrust exists between nations, people and
leaders. Each viewpoint seems to be getting more entrenched in their
position. As a result, barriers are erected and this  creates a “them” and
“us” situation. This is nothing new. In gospel times there were barriers
between slave and free, Greek and barbarian, men and women. The most
predominant barrier was between Jews and Gentiles. And it went in both
directions. There was no way the two would or could mix. Them and us.

In today’s reading we are told that the barriers that divide have now been
broken down and we are all one in Christ. The barriers between Jew and
Gentile, and all other divisions have been replaced with reconciliation and
peace by Christ’s death on the cross. Through his death we all have access
to God by the one Spirit. It is sin that causes barriers. Christ’s death has
taken away sin and therefore the barriers that divide. We are one in Christ.

The problem is that we do not necessarily live this. I suppose there will
always be barriers between believers and non believers. The issue is that
there are often barriers between members within a church. If we are one in
Christ we have peace with one another. This letter is about the relationship
between believers, those who are members of the church. We will come to the
practical application of this in future weeks.

Tony Wicking

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