Ephesians Chapter 2 Part 12
V.14- He is our peace. Peace from what? Peace from the Law, from the controversy over circumcision. Peace that allowed Jews and Gentiles to share in the inheritance of the Kingdom. When Jesus came, He made null and void the laws of the Pharisees. Their desire to steal the honor that was due God was so strong they made up rules that made them the central figures to honor. Jesus let the people know that there is only One deserving of that honor, God Himself. Jesus brought peace with God into our lives too. By His death, we are reconciled to God: Made whole, and united in the one family. No matter what we do within our own power, we cannot bring peace between us and God. Jesus is our mediator. He is the One who speaks to God on our behalf.
Jesus was able, by His death, to bring Jews and Gentiles into agreement. They agreed that He was Savior, Lord, and Mediator.
What is the, “middle wall?” It was the wall made up of the Laws the Pharisees invented. It is the wall of division between those who knew Jesus and those who didn’t. The Pharisees added to the Law many rules that were impossible to follow to the letter, so they were always falling short. But the Pharisees, in their pride, thought they were the essence of the Law, and that they were above reproach. Jesus pointed out their pride, and their failures. Let’s look at some of the things Jesus said to them in Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 12:39. He called them snakes. He was not impressed with any of their rules, or the way they treated people, especially their own families. The sign they so desperately craved would not be given them. They would have to come as we did, by faith.
V.15- Jesus abolished the Law of the Commandments that the Jews had written in. He never did away with the Ten Commandments as some would tell you. Of the Ten Commandments and the Laws God wrote, Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 15:18). But He did abolish, cast out, and put an end to the strict rituals that imprisoned man’s soul. The one thing that was needed to stop all this religious foolishness was a sacrifice that would do away with the need for further sacrifices. Jesus’ body was that offering.
One of the reasons the Pharisees hated Jesus is that He was taking away the need for priests! That was the lifestyle of the Levites, their way of support, their prominence in the community. Taking away their function would make a need for them to seek active employment. It would mean they could no longer set aside their wealth from their families. It would mean a complete lifestyle transformation. There’s no way they would give up without a fight.
If only the Pharisees in Jesus’ day and those Pharisees of the Jews nowadays would see the truth of Jesus. They would gladly have believed in and preached the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. Instead, the Jews then and now have hardened their hearts to the truth and teach the Savior has not yet come. They will take many to hell with them and pay the ultimate price; eternal hell.
What Jesus hoped to achieve by His death was a union of the two cultures, Jew and Greek. When they were saved, and made new, they were brought into the family of God. They were united in their love of God. Let's go to Galatians 6:15. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision (Jew) availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision (Gentile), but a new creature” (Galatians 6:15). Whether or not you have had that little nip and tuck, you are one with the Lord if you have Jesus in your heart. You are a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). We now have the same Spirit whether we are Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free. “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.” Jesus is our head: We are the members of the body.
V.16- The reconciliation spoken of here is the act of Jesus reuniting us with God by His death. He hung on the cross to be sin for us. To take our place, and to suffer, die, and go to hell for us so that we will never have to. Our body will die, if we miss the rapture, but our souls are everlasting in Christ.
Let’s go back to II Corinthians 5 and read12-21” For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus was made sin for us so we could have this relationship with our Father.
The body mentioned is the body of Jesus. The blood He shed, and the torment He endured, and the fact that the Father turned His back to Him was all done to bring us into union with God. Jesus was the only totally flawless sacrifice ever made: The only One that could have brought salvation. He was sin-free, and came as our atonement. He paid the price we owed for our sins. He carried our burden of guilt to the cross. He built the bridge that we can now cross to be with God for eternity. He put to death our enmity with God, our ill will toward Him. When Jesus gave us a way out of sin, He pulled down the “middle wall” that divided us from God and from each other. We can now all enter the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.
V.17- Jesus preached to the Jews when He was walking the earth in human form. So what does this mean “preached to you who were far off?” And who is it that was far off? It’s the preaching of the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit that spoke to the Gentiles. Peter was one apostle who spoke to the Gentiles, which is funny since he was really into Jewish traditions before the sheet came down before him. What you feel you can never do, God does through you. For Peter to learn to love the Gentiles whom he would never have associated with before God sent him to the house of Cornelius, was the love of God growing in him.
Those who were near were the Jews. Jesus preached to them while He was here, as did the apostles. And the apostles and disciples carried on with the preaching after Jesus ascended to heaven.
V.18- It is truth. We have Jesus to stand in for us, the Spirit to stand up for us, and each other to stand together. By His stripes we were healed and made whole. We don’t ever have to worry about losing our soul or spirit to hell once we accept the free gift of Jesus as Savior.
I’ll close this study with Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God bless you all as you reach out in His name in the coming days.
More studies at http://www.newbeginmin1.org/BIBLESTUDYOPENING.html
About: I am a pastor, wife for almost 43 years, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of three boys and one girl. As pastor of New Beginnings Ministry, it is my daily task to work on our two websites as well as monitor our chat rooms. We have a weekly Bible study on Sunday and Thursday nights at 8:00 eastern time in the chat rooms. Everyone is welcome to join us. I also write revsnotes which are occasional studies or musings I send to a list of people who have signed up to receive them, write guest articles for www.Ciloa.org and blog here at praize.Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List
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