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Text Sermons : Art Katz : An Insight into the Mystery of Christ

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Paul speaks of a mystery in Ephesians 3:6:
[T]o be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
What then is the mystery? It is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and has reconciled Jews and Gentiles, and made them heirs of one Body. It is a mystery, and we will not appreciate it unless we understand the historical depth of the enmity that exists between Jew and Gentile. The reason many of us are not aware of this is because our democratic minds do not reckon on differences.
But I believe that God Himself has created these differences, and that they will either end in antagonism unto death, or they will end in a reconciliation unto life. And when we say reconciliation, we don¬ít just mean patching something up, and getting along, and making the best of it. Reconciliation means that we have come to be ¬ďone new man¬Ē together (See Eph. 2:14-16). This is no mere ethnic accommodation. It is a union because something has happened at the cross that has destroyed the historical power of the enmity between Jew and Gentile. This is a mystery. And that mystery, when it is effected and succeeds, defeats the principalities and powers of the air.
There are implanted differences in Jew and Gentile. God Himself is the Author of them, and if He can effect a reconciliation that is more than just ¬ďgetting along¬Ē in a kind of working harmony, but a union in which we become one new entity¬ótranscending what is both Jewish and Gentile¬óthen that is a victory and a triumph for God to the eternal praise of His glory. At the same time, it is a defeat for the powers of the air who major on division, enmity, difference and strife.
That is what this struggle is about (See Eph. 6:12). The devil does not want to throw in the towel. Yes, he was disarmed, but he is still manipulating nations; he is still responsible for the Rwanda genocide. What happened in Yugoslavia eclipsed even the violence and destruction of the Nazi time, where for the first time in the history of modern warfare, systematic, mass rape became a political and military technique of subjugating and humiliating your opponent. That is how cruel and bitter and deep the enmity between those Slavic factions was (and still is).
Another kind of division now being encouraged is that between man and woman. Strife based on the differences that God Himself has created, either to bring destruction or to blur those distinctions and make women into men, and effeminate men into women by lengthening their hair, by changing their lifestyles, by making something acceptable that completely obliterates the design of God. Because, in the last analysis, everything is directed against God who is the One who is hated. They hate God and what God has made. And that is why any destruction of that which is created in the image of God is a triumph for the evil one. But ¬ďGod was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.¬Ē





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