A Note from our Pastor:
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;”Ephesians 2:14
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
As we come to verse fourteen of Ephesians two, we are given several phrases to sort through and faced with multiple pronouns to clarify their reference. This is an important aspect of bible study. We can end up with many altered and confused interpretations if we do not take the time to break down each phrase and clarify who is being referred to.
“For he is our peace” — In verse thirteen, the Apostle has just told us that by the blood of Christ those that were afar off (being the gentiles) were made nigh or closs. In other words, their standing has changed because of the work that Jesus performed during his ministry and on the cross. As we come to this verse, the initial phrase is a continuation of that same thought. Not only did he bring the gentiles closer to God through his sacrifice he made there to be a peace between God and the elect, including the gentiles. Thus, the he in this phrase is referring to Jesus Christ and the our is referring to the elect. Meaning this phrase could read, “For Jesus Christ is the elect child of God’s peace.”
“who hath made both one” — the both in this phrase refers back to the Apostle’s larger subject in verses eleven through thirteen as he is talking about the divide between the Jew and the gentile. The “both” being the two distinct groups; Jews (whom God had chosen on a natural and national level) and gentiles (all who were not Jews). Here the Apostle tells us that by Christ and through his blood he brought peace and in doing so he also erased the divide between Jew and gentile. The old ceremonial law was done away with and the New Testament church instituted. In the New Testament church there is no divide between Jew and gentile, but rather we are all one body in Christ Jesus.
“and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” — This last pronoun, us, is an important one. The Apostle here is referring to believers, disciples, of Jesus Christ. This was important because Paul was writing to churches that were a mixture of converts that had been both Jew and gentile. He needed them to understand that while that divide had been present historically, the wall that was the law, that had separated these two groups of people no longer existed. They were no longer Jew and gentile, they were all brothers and sisters in Christ and fellow laborers in the church.
While this particular divide may not be a challenge to the church now, the subject of Paul’s writings is still applicable and valid today. No worldly classification — Jew vs. gentile, black vs. white, conservative vs. liberal, etc — should divide the people of God, much less in his church. It is my feeling that if Paul were here today to observe our churches he would have some very stern warnings about what is dividing our people. I believe he would tell us again that there is no divide, that we are made into one body and Christ is our head.
Finally, it is important to point out that this divide between Jew and gentile was never in regards to grace whereby we are saved eternally. God’s elect has always included people from all over the world and was not limited to his people he chose naturally. The divide had to do with mercy and understanding the things of God. While the elect family of God has always been filled with more gentiles than could be numbered, historically few of those gentiles knew of the things of God until the coming of Christ.
Thank God that with the New Testament we have come to know of both his grace and his mercy.
Our Prayers are with you daily,