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Summary: Christ is the author of peace between God and His people. There is occurring naturally in man hostility toward God which ranges between bad feeling and outright hate. Sin has separated friends and it separates men from God; . . . .

Commentary on the Book of Ephesians

By: Tom Lowe Date: 4/14/17

Lesson 10: The Peace which Christ Accomplished in His Death (2:14-18)

Ephesians 2:14-18 (KJV)

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Commentary

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

“For he is our peace,”

He (God) is the person responsible for peace between Jew and Gentile: there was a great resentment by the Jews against the Gentiles, and by the Gentiles against the Jews; and it was chiefly on account of circumcision, the one being without it, and the other insisting on it, and they branded one another with insulting nicknames on account of it. But Christ has made peace between them by nullifying the ceremonial law, which was the justification for their differences, and by sending the Gospel of peace to them both, by converting some of each, and by granting the same privileges to all of them, which may be observed in the following verses.

Christ is the author of peace between God and His people. There is occurring naturally in man hostility toward God which ranges between bad feeling and outright hate. Sin has separated friends and it separates men from God; nor can any man, on his own, make his peace with God; what he does, or can do, will not do it; and what will, he cannot do. Christ is the only suitable person for this work, for He stands between God and man, and is the only One able to bring it about, seeing that he is God as well as man. He gets close to God, picks up the tab for our sins, speaks with Him about terms for peace, agrees to them, and performs them. He can do it all because He brings it about by his blood, his sufferings and death; and He does it on honorable terms, by fully satisfying the law and justice of God. His peace is a lasting one, and is accompanied with a train of blessings; moreover, Christ is the donor of peace, of external peace in His churches, and of internal peace of conscience in His people, and of eternal peace in heaven.

“who hath made both one;”

Jews and Gentiles, one people, one body, one church; He united them, and caused them to agree as one, and made them to be of one mind and one judgment by the above methods; and He gathered them together in one body, with one head, Himself, who represented them all.

“and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;”

Paul addresses Christians of both the Jewish and Gentile background. Between these Christians there had been a dividing wall, not literally but socially, thus segregating them. The division was seen in the church in many places (see Acts 15:5).

Every time the term “partition” is used in the New Testament it is in the sense of a fence or enclosure. Jesus used the term to describe a wall around a vineyard (Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1). Within the enclosure of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, Paul spoke of a middle wall that divided God’s people. In Christ this middle wall was broken down; i.e., there was now no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ’s kingdom.

In the Temple area, there was literally a wall called chel, which separated the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles. No Gentile was allowed to cross that dividing line. However illustrative of the point Paul was making, this was not the wall (literally) about which Paul spoke, for this wall was not broken down till the temple itself was destroyed; hence, the apostle cannot be supposed to allude to this transaction, since it did not take place until long after the writing of this epistle. Moreover, the dividing wall of which he spoke was far more formidable, being a wall of blind prejudice.

When, at the death of Christ, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, it was an emblem that the way to the holiest was laid open, and that the people at large, both Jews and Gentiles, were to have access to the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

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