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The Good News Is that Once…
“you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,...And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
(Eph. 2:12-14, 17-18)
Jesus has broken down the wall of separation!
  • The outsiders have become insiders.
  • Rejected ones have been accepted.
  • People who were put down have been lifted up.
  • Those that were cast out have been brought in.
  • The forsaken have been embraced.
In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. 
(Gal. 3:28 MSG) 
All of this really is about barriers coming down. William Barclay articulated these three points:
  1. The barrier between Jew and Gentile is down. Rahab, the woman of Jericho, and Ruth, the woman of Moab, find their place within the pedigree of Jesus Christ. Already the great truth is there that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek. Here, at the very beginning, there is the universalism of the gospel and of the love of God.
  2. The barriers between male and female are down. In no ordinary pedigree would the name of any woman be found; but such names are found in Jesus’ pedigree. The old contempt is gone; and men and women stand equally dear to God, and equally important to his purposes.
  3. The barrier between saint and sinner is down. Somehow God can use for his purposes, and fit into his scheme of things, those who have sinned greatly. I came, said Jesus, Not to call the righteous, but sinners; (Matt. 9:13)
We can have hope, realizing that if God can embrace and use people such as Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba, then God can embrace and use us. Moses had murdered a man. Peter denied Christ. Even Paul had committed great sin.
How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him, even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus. This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
(1 Tim. 1:12-16 NLT) 
Satan desires to use shame in our lives to keep us from God. Some Christians have been legally forgiven of their sin, but they haven’t been experientially delivered from shame.
  • Shame over things we’ve done.
  • Shame over things others have done to them. People who are abused or abandoned often “internalize” it and feel inferior and condemned – what happened affects their sense of self-worth and becomes a part of their identity.

“Shame is a spin-off from guilt. We may feel guilty for what we did, but we feel ashamed of who we are.”
– Dr. Les Parrott

We know that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary – born of a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. But naturally speaking, Jesus had a lineage, a genealogy, and Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave us that genealogy. He highlighted four women in particular, something that was very uncommon.

I believe the Holy Spirit wanted us to know that Jesus did not come from a perfect line of people. He did not come into a perfect world to save perfect people.

Jesus came from a lineage of imperfect people, fallen people. He came into a world of sinners to save sinners. He came to break down the wall of separation and make us one in Him.
  • One in forgiveness.
  • One in righteousness.
  • One in acceptance.

Because of Jesus, we can celebrate and experience the reality of Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus….

Copyright © Tony Cooke Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tony Cooke
Web site: Tony Cooke Ministries
 
Since 2002, Tony and Lisa have traveled full-time with an assignment of “Strengthening Churches and Leaders.” Tony’s passion for teaching the Bible has taken him to forty-six states and twenty-six nations. Tony, and Lisa reside in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and are the parents of two adult children, Laura and Andrew.
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