Ephesians 2:11-22

Through Christ God fashions for Himself a new people by reconciling enemies.

I. The Former Relationship (2:11-12)

A. Objects of Jewish Contempt (v. 11)

B. Spiritually Bankrupt (v. 12)

1. without Christ

2. aliens from commonwealth of Israel

3. strangers from covenant of Promise

4. without God in the world

II. The New Relationship (2:13-22)

A. Reconciled to one another (vv. 13-16)

B. At peace with God (vv. 16-18)

C. Sharing Privileges & Blessings of the Gospel (vv. 19-22)

The scene is a courtroom trial in South Africa.
A frail black woman stands slowly to her feet. She is over seventy
years old. Facing her from across the room are several white security
police officers. One of them, Mr. van der Broek, has just been tried
and found guilty in the murders of first the woman’s son and then her
husband. He had come to the woman’s home, taken her son, shot him at
point-blank and then burned the young man’s body while he and his
officers partied nearby.

Several years later Mr. van der Broek and his
cohorts returned to take away her husband as well. For months she
heard nothing of his whereabouts. Then, almost two years after her
husband’s disappearance, Mr. van der Broek came back to fetch her.
How vividly she remembered that night. She was taken to a river bank
where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten but still strong in
spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from his
lips as Mr. van der Broek and his fellow officers poured gasoline
over his body and set him aflame were, “Father, forgive them. . .”

Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens
to the confessions of Mr. van der Broek. A member of South Africa’s
Truth and Reconciliation Commission turns to her and asks, “So what do
you want? How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally
destroyed your family?” “I want three things,” begins the old woman
calmly, but confidently. “I want first to be taken to the place where
my husband’s body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and
give his remains a decent burial.”

She pauses, then continues. “My husband and son
were my only family. I want, secondly, therefore, for Mr. van der
Broek to become my son. I would like for him to come twice a month to
the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can pour out on him
whatever love I still have remaining in me.” “And finally,” she says,
“I would like Mr. van der Broek to know that I offer him my
forgiveness because Jesus Christ died to forgive. This was also the
wish of my husband. And so, I would kindly ask someone to come to my
side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr. van der
Broek in my arms, embrace him and let him know that he is truly

As the court assistants come to lead the elderly
woman across the room, Mr. van der Broek faints, overwhelmed by what
he has just heard. And as he struggles for consciousness, those in
the courtroom, family, friends, neighbors – all victims of decades of
oppression and injustice – begin to sing, softly but assuredly,
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

It may be hard to believe, but this is what God
has done for us through Jesus. He has reconciled us to Himself. We
were his enemies by nature and choice. But because of Jesus, He
invites us to Himself in full forgiveness and reconciliation. And He
makes for Himself a new people.

Sermon brief provided
by: Dennis Phelps, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Cabot,

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