Tear Down This Wall!

Ephesians 2:11-15

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered a speech in front of Berlin’s, Brandenburg Gate. In that speech, the president uttered this famous line: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! Withthis wallCommunism had separated the people of East and West Berlin since August 13th, 1961! On November 9, 1989, 29 months after Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate speech, the Berlin Wall came down! On the History.com website, from the article on the “Berlin Wall ”:

     Starting at midnight that day...East and West Berliners... 
     flooded through the checkpoints....People used hammers and 
     picks to knock away chunks of the wall–they became known as 
     “mauerspechte,” or “wall woodpeckers” — while cranes and 
     bulldozers pulled down section after section. Soon the wall 
     was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945.

In the photo above, a young man peers through one of the holespeckedthrough the wall!

There is another “Tear Down This Wall” that is desperately needed today, and it has already been accomplished! Here is what Saint Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:11 through 15:

     Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who 
     are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision 
     made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you were with-
     out Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and 
     strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and 
     without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once 
     were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 
     For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has 
     broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished 
     in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments con-
     tained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man 
     from the two, thus making peace....

There was a problem in the New Testament Church:

  • On Pentecost Sunday, the Church was born in Jerusalem when three thousand Jews responded to Peter’s sermon and were saved! (see Acts chapter 2).
  • Just a day or two later, either two thousand or five thousand more Jews (depending on how you interpret Acts 4:4) became believers in the Lord Jesus Christ!
  • According to Acts 2:47, “…the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

These early believers were all Jews! It wasn’t until perhaps months later that the gospel spread first to the Samaritans (see Acts 8:5-8, 25); then to the Romans (see Acts chapter 10). Under Paul’s missionary ministry, salvation was preached in Crete, Asia Minor, Greece, perhaps Spain, and Rome! All this followed Jesus’ prophesy given in Acts 1:8, just before He ascended into heaven:

     But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come 
     upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, 
     and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 

But the Jews thought they were special – the only people chosen by God two thousand years before when the LORD called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees! In the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), God gave Israel many laws concerning living holy lives before Him. In Leviticus 20:26 He gave this reason: “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine. The Jews were a special and chosen people…….special and chosen to show the world who God was, and what it was to look like living under His Lordship! They failed miserably! For when …the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world…to the Jews first…” (I John 4:14; Romans 1:16) – They rejected the Savior and crucified Him!

But that ‘specialness’ was so ingrained in the Jewish mind, they just had a hard time believing God would also call to Himself the “…Gentiles…who are [derogatorily] called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision [Jews]….” (Ephesians 2:11). Rabbinical teaching layered many manmade rules upon God’s laws, even superceding what the LORD had declared! (see Matthew 23:15-24). This is evident in what Peter told the Roman Centurion Cornelius in Acts 10:28:

     You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company 
     with or go to one of another nation.  But God has shown me 
     that I should not call any man common or unclean.

There is no such strict law given by the LORD anywhere in the Old Testament! This was a rabbinical addition to God’s laws which directed the Israelites not to form contractual alliances, intermarry with, or enter into idolatry with the surrounding pagan nations. The Jews were to be a holy people, separated unto God! But…it is…unlawful…for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation…?! Apparently God had work to do to change the Jewish prejudicial mind set!

That’s why the Apostle Paul taught that Jesus had torn down the dividing walls!

  • Read again the featured Scripture of Ephesians 2:11 through 15.
  • Continue on with Ephesians 2:16 through 22:
     ...and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body 
     through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And 
     He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to 
     those who were near. For through Him we both have access by 
     one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer 
     strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints 
     and members of the household of God, having been built on the 
     foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself 
     being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, be-
     ing joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in 
     whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place 
     of God in the Spirit.
  • Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Why have I bothered to research and present all this from God’s Word? Because there is such division in the world today, and it seems to be ever widening!

  • Racial tensions – We are being indoctrinated in the teachings of systemic racism! If someone is of the Caucasian race, they are too often made to feel ashamed that they are inherently racist!
  • Political tensions – Many conservatives (and, yes, I am a conservative!) are hesitant to say where they stand on issues lest they be condemned (or worse)!
  • Educational tensions – Our children are being educated against the greatness of America! The country’s history (we can learn from both the good and the bad) is being cast down and/or rewritten, and our democracy is being more and more undermined by Socialism!
  • Financial tensions – There is an effort to reduce the gap between the haves and have nots by involuntary redistribution of wealth! Capitalism, which has so added to the greatness of America, is under increasing attack!
  • Identity tensions – Especially among our youth, God’s view of man and woman, husband and wife, family structure, social order, and the definition of life is being ripped apart (since Roe vs. Wade, over 63 million babies have been torn from their mothers’ wombs)!
  • Religious tensions – Secularism and humanism is drastically on the rise, and the Lord’s right to order our lives according to His mind is more and more belittled!

We could go on and on! But in Jesus Christ the walls come down! At the foot of the cross we are all the same…

Sinners in need of the Savior!

And once we belong to the Savior, we are all the same…

God’s children, saved by His grace
through faith in Jesus Christ!

We are one in Him!