Sunday, January 17, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

United in Christ’s Love
Ephesians 3:1-7

Jeswin John
  Ascension MTC, Philadelphia, PA
  6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
 
In the Christian world, we can see disunity among the believers. From Roman Catholics to Eastern Orthodox, Marthomites and Anglicans, Pentecostals and Lutherans, there are many different denominations with many different views. At the same time, in this disunity, we also see diversity among the believers in their forms of worship, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, languages, etc. Even in our disunity and diversity, there is one thing that brings us all together and that is Jesus Christ. The Apostle John described the love of God for us in the famous verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. (John 3:16)” Christians are united by the love of Christ, which was made known to us by His sacrifice of blood shed on the cross.

 
The root of divisions among all humankind can first be seen in Genesis 11, which describes the story of The Tower of Babel. We read how the LORD saw that the unity of man was leading them to sinful pride. The people said, “Let us make a name for ourselves. (Genesis 11:4)”. The LORD confused their language and scattered them on the face of the earth. Jesus Christ has restored the unity of humankind. Instead of a unity leading to pride, Christ has given us a unity leading to humility and love. No one is elevated to a higher position but it is shown to us that we are all equal. In addition, Romans 8:17 tells us that we are made co-heirs with Christ as the adopted children of God. This is the glory of the riches of Christ made available to those who trust in His name.

 
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains that the mystery revealed by Christ is the acceptance of the Gentile peoples into the promise of salvation originally given to the Israelites. George Harpur writes in a commentary on the Book of Ephesians, “[Gentiles] now share the inheritance, are equally members of Christ’s body- the Church, and the promise is now extended to them also.”  Harpur explains that the mystery of the Old Testament was that the Gentiles would be blessed without having to become Jews. Instead, we gain the promise through the work of Jesus Christ, whose death gave life to all who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Therefore, in Christ, we are all united in the promise that those who trust in the saving work of Christ will share in the glorious riches of His Kingdom.

PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have adopted us as Your children. We thank You that in Christ, You have united us and made us to share in Your glorious Kingdom. Forgive us, for we are weak and sinful. Continue to uphold us by Your grace and strengthen us to grow and mature as disciples of Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:"
"And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd". (John 10:16)