II. CHRIST HAS, MORE IMPORTANTLY, RECONCILED US TO GOD
Verse 16. The division between the Jew and the Gentile was the result of the division between God and the sinner. True peace with men can only come about from reconciliation to God. Loving our neighbour follows on from loving God.
1. Such reconciliation was ever the purpose of Christ. He came to restore the "old friendship" lost through the fall, by His sacrifice, Rev 13:8. (Reconcile = restore to former harmony.)
2. Reconciliation is only through the blood of Christ. It is "by the cross." Col 1:20. No forgiveness but by the blood, Hebs 9:22.
III. THE GOSPEL IS, IN ESSENCE, THE MESSAGE OF PEACE
"And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." Ephesians 2:17. That was announced on the Day of Pentecost. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call," Acts 2:39.
1. Christ is speaking irrespective of who does the preaching of the gospel. This is what gives this ordinance such dignity.
2. The offer of peace with God must be made before the sinner may avail of it. What an evil thing it is for minister or people to downgrade preaching.
3. See again the grace of God in that the initiative is His alone. He came to the sinner.
4. The sum of the gospel is peace. Have you the peace of God today?