”14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
I was planning on take two or three more posts to wrap up Ephesians 2, but the idea of these last several verses is so coherent, and has one central point, that I am going to finish with this post.
Let’s look at verse 14.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one…”
“He” is obviously Christ, and notice the language here. Paul could have very easily said “He has brought us peace.” But he doesn’t. Paul claims that Christ is our peace. Now what does this mean? As we read the previous verses, we see that Christ is in fact the bridge that has united both Jew and Gentile in him. He “has made us both one” by breaking down the “dividing wall of hostility, (verse 15) by abolishing the law of man in place of two, so making peace.” How? By “[reconciling] us both to God in one body through the cross.”
The power of the cross should amaze us as Christians. Though we were obviously not around in this time period, it is important (as I wrote last week) that we see the gap that was bridged by Christ. Salvation was no longer reserved to Israel, but Gentile could be included in God’s elect. God didn’t change, nor did his nature, or his plan. God didn’t change is mind; his sovereign plan from the beginning has been to redeem all nations through the finished work of Christ, in his death, and resurrection.
Paul expounds on the principles starting in verse 17-19
“17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
This is one access to the Father. Christ.
It is because of Christ that we are no longer strangers and aliens. It is because of Christ that we are fellow citizens with the saints. It is because of Christ that we are members of the Household of God! Do you see the gravity of this statement? We have gone from being utterly void of holiness and completely enthralled in our self-seeking nature, to being Adopted (Romans 8:15) in to the household of our new Heavenly Father. And what is the cornerstone of this foundation? Let’s finish the chapter
“20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Everything was done through the Cross! Christ is the cornerstone of the “holy temple in the Lord.”
We have Unity in Christ! We are one in the Spirit of God! We have just addressed what this means; now here is what it doesn’t mean.
So many teachers in this day sugar coat and water down the gospel. Church leaders dumb down and take the hard parts out of their teachings and their gospel presentation to make it easier to receive. Tell me where in the scriptures that it says the gospel is easy!?!? Brothers, we can’t let this creep into the church. Unity in Christ does not by any means justify the watering down of TRUTH. We as Christians have to believe that truth is Fundamental, absolute, and contained in scripture as a whole. R.C. Sproul says of the whole argument “You can’t slaughter TRUTH in the streets for the sake of peace. You just can’t do it.” Lets look at the Beginning of 2 Timothy 4
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”
In the NASB is says tickling instead of itching, but either way, Christians should be utterly apposed to “ear tickling” and live in joyous pursuit of proclaiming Truth!
Be excited about unity in Christ! But let that be centered around the immovable truth of the Gospel!
May God bless the reading and teaching of His inspired, infallible, inerrant, and. authoritative Word. Amen