Lesson 3: The Doctrine of ReconciliationEphesians 2:11-22
Our study of Paul’s letter continues with an exciting look at another key Christian doctrine, the Doctrine of Reconciliation. From our last lesson, you will recall that we looked at God’ great grace and His gift of salvation. We saw that we paid nothing for it, we did nothing unusual to earn it, and we weren’t asked to do anything in order to keep it. In summary, absolutely nothing that we can pay, earn, or do will get us salvation; it is a free gift from God, based solely on his great love and grace. All that he asks is that we admit that we are sinners, believe that Jesus is his only son – sent down from heaven for our salvation, and confess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
We also saw that there are many ways we can know that we are really saved. John tells us that God’s Holy Word and the acts of Jesus’ earthly ministry were written down so that we may believe. We also know that we are saved because we can sense a change within us – the presence of the Holy Spirit which causes changes in our lives. And finally, we know that we are saved when we become personally aware that we have sinned; sin now means something to us, and it is something that we recognize as separating us from God.
Speaking of separation (and how to eliminate it), in this lesson we will examine the Doctrine (teaching) of Reconciliation and take a look at how this lesson, and our annual celebration of Palm Sunday, relate to Christ and our walk with him.
For this lesson, please read Ephesians 2:11-22; then answer the following:
- Define "reconciliation". What does the word mean?
- After reading the verses for this week, what would you say is the main theme, or message, of these verses? What is Paul’s main point here, and how does it tie back to the earlier verses in the same chapter that we studied in Lesson 1?
- In verses 11-13, what is it that Paul wants us to remember?
- What did Christ do that is cited in verse 14?
- In verse 14, who is/are the "us"?
- Read verse 15. Who or what are the "two", and who or what is/are the "one" that Paul is referring to?
- In verse 18, can you find references to the Holy Trinity?
- Who is the "both" that Paul is referring to in verse 18?
- Read the following three scriptures. Beside each of them below, write what they each have in common regarding Palm Sunday, i.e., how are they connected to this event?
- John 1:29
- Exodus 12:1-28 (Can you see Christ pictured in these verses?)
- John 12:1-16
- Now that you have completed this lesson, how do Palm Sunday (and the coming Easter celebration) and the doctrine of Reconciliation tie together? Why is this important to us today? Isn’t this just something that happened 2,000 years ago with the Jews?
May God bless you and lift you up this week as you study His Holy Word.
Yours in Christ,