Friday, July 01, 2005

Ephesians 2:11-18

Paul called on the Ephesians to remember that there was a time when they were outside of the covenant people of God. During the Old Testament period, God worked with the nation of Israel. He wanted His praise and testimony to be known in all the world through Israel, but the covenants were given to this particular people. Paul says in Eph 2:12 “You were aliens from Israel and strangers to the covenants and without hope and without God.” (my paraphrase) That was not a minor technicality! Being without hope and without God were serious problems making it impossible to know God or have eternal life.

Paul goes on to say that now, in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. The wall of separation between Jew and non-Jew has been broken down. The enmity which is the law of commandments in the ordinances has been abolished. The commandments and ordinances were the documents that defined Israel and separated them from the rest of the world. Christ has abolished that separation and is creating in himself one new man from the two.

God’s purpose is that both Jews and Gentiles will be reconciled to God as part of one body, not two. Both have access by one Spirit (not two) to the Father.

It is interesting to me that this reconciling work (both to God and to each other) was accomplished on the cross. I think an interesting study some time would be to study through all that was accomplished by Christ on the cross.
Since most of us reading and sharing about these things are Gentiles, it should cause great rejoicing to think that God has made it possible for us to be part of His people to. We are not strangers and aliens any longer!

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