Moving forward: working and praying for peace and progress
Text: Eph. 2:14
As we move gradually toward His second coming and election period in our nation one thing that is paramount in the heart of many is peace, because peace has eluded our church, home and our society. The factions that we now have in the church are more that political societies that we have in the country. There those who belong to pastor’s political party, some belong to deacon’s political party, still some are found among their tribal political party (Yoruba parapo), those who are not divided along these grouping will either be grouped along class line or spiritual line ( highly level spirituality/ low level spirituality).
There is high level of division within a church and within different denomination. Christianity in our time has developed her own nomenclatures. Is either you are a Winner or a Redeemer or a Methodist or an Anglican or a Baptist. We are known more with our denominational name that Christianity. If care is not taking Christianity as a general name for all denomination will be replace by our individual denominational names. Since we are no longer looking at the Lord of the church who is our unifying point we are now divided along the line of our denomination.
Since there is problem of disunity on the altar, the outer court is full of hostility. Our nation is at the verge of dividing because we refuse to come together as one under God. We are divided by religion, culture, class, gender and so on. Until we return back to Jesus the unifying point we cannot achieve peace.
The situation of the church in Nigeria and the society is like what Paul wrote about in book of Ephesians 2:14-18. It was about the great hostility between the Jews and the Gentiles. They are both religious people but they have different object of worship; different religious rites; different views about religion. To solve this problem of hostility between the two (Jews and Gentiles) and make them one, God sent his son Jesus (The Prince of peace) into the world. This is the focus of our study today. We want to see how God will grant us peace through His son Jesus.
a. Jesus is our bond of unity Eph 2:14a
One of the names giving to Jesus by prophet Isaiah in the prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 is “Prince of Peace.” As the Prince of Peace he is the only one that is qualify to be our peace. He reconciles us to God by broken the wall of hostility between us and God thereby bring us who are far from Him closer to Him. Sin built the wall of hostility between us and God because we are sinful and God cannot behold sin. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isa 59:2).
b. Jesus brings the two together as one. Eph 2:14b-15b, 16.
In the worship of God the Jews feel superior to the gentiles. Therefore, on the cross he brought together in himself two hostile groups and produce out of the two one united body. Since then the two groups are allow to worship together as one body. There is no need again for the church of the gentile to worship separately from that of Jews they can now freely worship together under the atmosphere created by Jesus. We are one body in Christ Jesus irrespective of where we are coming from. Let us therefore see ourselves as so from today. God has also united everything in heaven and on earth together under him. And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col1:20). Therefore, He is the only point of reference both in heaven and on earth.
c. Jesus breaks the wall of hostility.
The wall of hostility created by men such as class, tribe, age and gender has been broken by Jesus. He broke this barer by laying down his own life on the cross. We are therefore no longer separated by those walls of hostilities. There is now liberty in his presence. Are you still separate by these invisible walls of hostility? Come out of it and free yourself because Jesus as set you free. You can now free to marry from any town once that brother is in Christ. Let no one therefore separate us in line of those man-made barriers. He has also broken wall of hostility between earth and heaven. God has also united everything in heaven and on earth together under him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col1:17). He is the only rally point for both the heaven and the earth. Therefore, if the world will experience any peace she must turn to Him for help.
d. Jesus brings the message of peace to us.
“And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col1:20). The desire God is to unite the whole world together under Him. Therefore, the message of peace came to us and he asked us to extend the same to others. “That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:190). Therefore, we are God’s ambassador of peace; hence, we must be faithful in doing so.
i. Jesus is the only one that can bring lasting peace to the world.
ii. Only those who has inner peace can become an agent of peace.
iii. We should endeavor to break all walls of hostilities between us in the church and the body of Christ.
iv. Christians are true ambassador of peace.
v. Only in the atmosphere of peace can we achieve progress.
2. WORKING FOR PEACE AND PROGRESS
a. Accept Jesus as your savior and Lord. Eph. 2:14a
b. Become one with your adversary Eph 2:14b. 1) Make peace with your adversary; 2) Reconcile with that person.
c. Break the wall hostility (within and without) Eph 2:14b-15
d. Willingness to sacrifice Eph.2:15
3. PRAYING FOR PEACE AND PROGRESS
Prayer is the key that will open the door of impossibility and grant unto us possibility. There is why we are going to ask the Prince of Peace to grant us peace within and without. As we pray unto him may we receive is abundant peace in our homes, church and nation. Let us pray.
Father Lord, let there be peace in Nigeria
Every wall of hostilities between us in our home, church and nation let them be broken down.
Grant unto us Oh Lord progress in all sides.
Let 2015 election be peaceful and keep our nation together after the election.
The world will continue to be in tumor because they have rejected the prince of peace. Jesus is the only true source of peace that can ends the hostility in the world. Since the church has lost her focus on Jesus, she will continue experience both internal and external unrest. Church leaders should remember that those things that divided us are not the core of Christianity and therefore they should desist from focusing on them. When we focus on Jesus and His teaching we will be united together. The progress of God’s work in our hand lies in our unity. Therefore, let us break the wall of our differences and become one in Christ for the devil is feeding fat in our hostilities.