God’s Making Of His People Dennis Phelps May 1, 2006 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 forgiven.” 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, AR Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.