A Note from our Pastor:
“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”Ephesians 2:16
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
The Apostle shifts his focus in verse sixteen from reconciling Jew and gentile, to the reconciliation of both unto God.
The reconciling of man to God, in an effective manner, occurred only one time and that was upon the cross at the death of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Old Testament, God had given his people a ceremonial law to keep with sacrifices to offer unto God. But those sacrifices were symbolic even when kept with the upmost sincerity. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ could redeem us from our sins and truly reconcile us to God.
The reconciliation of man to God could only come by one who fulfilled the law. The New Testament makes it clear that Christ did not abolish the law. That would have been an unjust action because the law of God was righteous and perfect. To abolish such would have been contrary to the nature of God. Rather, Christ came and accomplished the perfect keeping of the law and therefore rather than abolish it, he fulfilled the law.
Fulfillment of the law required many things; 1) Christ had to be born of a virgin so as not to inherit a sin nature from his natural father; 2) Christ had to live a life on this earth without sin, which he did for 33 1/2 years; 3) Christ had to die, in sinless perfection, by the cross. The cross is not to be praised, it was merely the wretched tool of His death; 4) The sacrifice of Jesus Christ had to be accepted on behalf of the elect (Isaiah 53); 5) Christ had to rise from the grave and ascend back to heaven. As the Apostle says in this verse, Christ did all of those things thereby reconciling the elect people of God to God through his body.
The final aspect to consider in this reconciliation, was the necessary destruction of the enmity that existed between God and man in his nature. Enmity is a deep seated hatred that many would argue can only be destroyed by means of death. It is a true hatred. The nature of God is that when he loves, he loves absolutely. When he hates, he hates absolutely. Hatred on the part of God is not just loving a little less. In our natural state, without the salvation of Jesus Christ, God hates mankind.
However, by the death of Jesus Christ, who was both fully man and fully God, that enmity was destroyed. The price of death was paid by a sinless man for all of the elect. It was only through the death of Christ and thereby the destruction of that enmity that we could be reconciled unto God.
What a blessing it is to know that Christ paid a price that we could never pay that we might be reconciled unto God.
Our Prayers are with you daily,
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