Bible Study The Book Of Ephesians Verse By Verse

Lesson 15 Chapter Two Verses 14 - 15

'Vs. 14 "For He Is Our Peace, Who Hath Made Both One, And Hath Broken Down The Middle Wall Of Partition Between Us."

We Need To Be Ever Mindful That Paul Was God's Apostle To The Gentiles (Ro. 11:13), There Was No Divine Prohibition Against Paul Preaching To Jews, Nor Was The Other Apostles Forbidden To Preach To Gentiles, The Church (es) Commission Is To All The World And No Person Is To Be Refused A Hearing Of The Gospel Because Of Race Or Nationality. Nevertheless, In The Divine Scheme Paul Has Chosen To Minister To The Gentiles While Peter, And The Other Apostles Were Directed Toward The Jews.

Gal. 2:7 "…The Gospel Of The Uncircumcision (Gentiles) Was Committed Unto Me, As The Gospel Of The Circumcision (Jews) Was Unto Peter."

And The Lord Said Unto Paul "... I Have Set Thee To Be A Light Of The Gentiles..." (Acts 13:47) So, Paul's Ministry Was in The Main To The Gentiles, And Geographically "Unto The Ends Of The Earth." The Other Apostles Ministry Was Primarily Unto The Jews Within The Bounds Of Palestine. Both Ministries Subject To the Commission. (Matt: 28).

In Paul's Execution of His Heavenly Commission He Encountered

Satan’s Three Pronged Offensive,

1, the Gentiles Were Steeped In Heathen Idolatry,

2, There Was A Burning Hostility between Jews and Gentiles,

3. And There Were The Jewish Zealots Which Were Dedicated To The Undoing Of Paul And His Ministry. They Hated Roman Subjugation, And Conceived That Any Intercourse With Gentiles Was Treasonable Conduct. The Only Relationship Between Jew And Gentile Allowed By These Zealots Was One Wherein The Gentile Became A Proselyte To Their Beloved Religion, The Mosaic Economy, The Initial Step Being, Circumcision.

Thus, We Can See That Paul Was Faced With a Humanly Impossible Task, It Was His Lot To Assail The Bastions Of Heathen And Paganistic Idolatry; It Was His Lot To Show That The Barriers Between Jew And Gentile Had Been Abrogated By Jesus Christ. And It Was His Lot To Stand Against The Judaizers, Which Hounded Him, Denouncing His Apostleship, Discrediting His Message By Deceit, And Compelling His Converts To Be Circumcised.

Yet, In The Face Of All This Bitter Opposition Paul Did Not Falter, But Rejoiced In His Call To This Particular Ministry (I Tim, 1:1.2), And Met The Challenge Head-On, Saying, "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Which Strengtheneth Me" (Phil. 4:13).

Paul Says, To the Ephesian Gentiles, the Means Whereby Jews And Gentiles May Have A Harmonious, And God Honoring Relationship Has Now Been Effected By God In The Giving Of His Son, Whereby The "Law Of Commandment" Which Stood As An Impregnable Wall Between Them Has Been Removed.

A Quick Glance Back To Vs. 13, And We See That Paul Points Directly Toward The Sacrifice Of Christ As The Exclusive Means Of Reconciling Jews And Gentiles, One to Another And Unto God. Paul Says, It Is, "By the Blood of Christ." Paul Was Forevermore Dwelling Long And Strong On The Reconciling Work Of Jesus Christ. The Order Of Paul's Preaching Was "...Be Ye Reconciled To God" (2 Cor, 5:20), And Then The Experience Of Being Reconciled To God Would Produce Genuine Love For Mankind, Especially For Those Of The "Household Of Faith."

Thus It Is, Paul, "A Hebrew Of the Hebrews, A Converted Pharisee, Says to a Gentile Church "And I Will Very Gladly Spend and Be Spent for you; though the More Abundantly I Love You, the Less I Be Loved" (2 Cor. 12:15).

Vs.14 "... Hath Made Both One..." The Term "Both" Refers to the two races, Jews and Gentiles. This Oneness or Unity of the Races Is The Result Of Christ Breaking Down The Middle Wall Of Partition Which Had Stood For Fifteen Hundred Years Between Them.

The Word "One" In Greek Is A Neuter Word, The One Indivisible And Conveys Sameness And Unity. The Law Being Fulfilled by Christ is Now Removed, And Every Believer, Whether He Be Jew Or Gentile Are Accorded Equal Privileges. The Festering Antagonism Which Created An Impassable Gulf Between Jew And Gentile Has Now Been Bridged By The Death Of Christ. Both Are Made One In Him.

Not "One" In the Sense That Racial Distinction Has Been Eradicated One" Of Equal Footing before God, And For Believers Equality as Sons, And Sameness of Privileges Which Belong To the Position of Sons,

The Phrase "Middle Wall of Partition" Is a figurative Allusion to the Mosaic Law However Many Gentiles Would Be Reminded of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, And the Wall in the Temple Which Separated the Court of The Gentiles From The Main Sanctuary, By These Words Of Paul. This Tangible Wall, With The Death Of Christ Lost Its Official Status And There Is Now "One" Court.

V. 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."

The Law, The Scripture Tells Us Is, "Just, Holy, And Good" (Rom. 7:12). The Law Was Not Given So As To Remove Sin, But To Manifest The Evil Heart Of The Best Men, Showing Their Inability To Save Themselves, And To Cause Them To Despair Of All Hope In Creature Ability.

The Law Was Given To Israel Exclusively, And It Was Given To Humble Them, But Instead of Being Humbled By This Gracious Favor Of God, They Became Proud And Haughty. Thus It Was That "Enmity" Was Generated Between Them And The Gentiles.

The Jews In Process Of Time, Not Only Misinterpreted the Law, But Became Deceived As To the Reason God Gave Them the Law. It Was Not Given To Israel Because They Were Righteous, But To Manifest Their Unrighteousness, The Secondary Purpose Of The Law Was To Protect God's Special People, Israel, From Imbibing The Paganism Of The Nations Around Them. It Is

This Point That the Enmity between the Jews and Gentiles Existed. While Israel Was A Special People Unto God, They Were No Morally Better Than The Idolatrous Gentile Nations On Their Borders.

Vs. 15 "Having Abolished In His Flesh the Enmity..." This Was Accomplished By Fulfilling The "Law Of Commandments.* At This Point In Our Study, It May Be Asked, "What Part Of The Law Was Abrogated By Christ?" Or, "In What Sense Was The Law Fulfilled By Christ?"

In One Sweeping, And All Encompassing Life Of Righteousness, And A Perfect Sacrificial Death, Christ Nullified The Law, As Having Any Legal Binding As To The Conditions Of Salvation.

1. The Ceremonial Law Found Its End in Christ,

2. The Civil Aspect Of The Law Lost Its Force To Condemn The Transgressor To Death.

3. The Moral Law Contained In The Decalogue Realized Its Happy Consummation In The Perfect Life Of Christ.

Thus, We Read, "For Christ Is The End Of The Law For Righteousness To Everyone (Jew -Gentile) That Believeth" (Rom. 10:4).

The Law As a Legal Code Has Been Set Aside, And No Longer a Hindrance to Jew - Gentile Relationship. While Christ Is the End of the Law for Righteousness To Everyone That Believeth, Righteousness Was Not Terminated By The Death Of Christ. The Law Is No Longer the Standard

By Which Men Are Judged, But Now It Is the Perfect and Holy Life of Christ. While No Man Can Keep the Law, Christ Has Kept It Perfectly For Those Which Were Given Him By The Father In The Covenant Of Election, Thus It Is, We Read,

2nd Cor. 5:21 "For He Hath Made Him To Be Sin For Us, Who Knew No Sin; That We Might Be Made The Righteousness Of God In Him."

Some People Contend Christ Satisfied Part Of The Law And Left Part For Man To Fulfill, i.e., Sabbath Keeping, But If Christ Did Not Keep And Nullify The Whole Law, It Is All Yet In Force. At The Other Extreme Are the Antinomians, (And We Have Some 20th Century Antinomians). Who Say Christ Kept the Law, And Man Is Free to do Whatever He Pleases. Both Of These Views Make The Death Of Christ of? None Effect, For If Man Must Keep Any Part Of The Law, He Is Bound To Keep The Whole Law. And If A Man Is Free To Do Whatsoever He Pleases, Then The Imputation Of Christ's Righteousness Produces Ungodliness, Which Is Totally Contrary To Its Nature. Both Views Are Born In The Deep Caverns Of Spiritual Ignorance.

Rom. 6:1-2 "What Shall We Say Then? Shall We Continue In Sin, That Grace May Abound? God Forbid. How Shall We That Are Dead To Sin, Live Any Longer Therein?"

The Law Was A Legal Document Which Demanded Perfect Righteousness or Eternal Death. Christ Lived The Perfect Life, And Established Righteousness For His People; He Died In Their Room And Stead Thereby Paying the Death Penalty For Them. And For Those He Interceded In His Death, Sin Has No More Power Over them, To Condemn Them, And They Shall Never Be Condemned with the World. They Are "Dead To Sin." Or "Sin Has No More Dominion Over Them."

The Law is No Longer Operative, It Has Been Fulfilled and Set Aside by Christ. They That Are In Christ, Are Free From The Law, And Are the Heirs of The Righteousness Of Christ. Yet, They Will Perform Righteousness, Not to Be Saved, But Because They Are Saved. Those Who Die In Their Sins Will one Day Awake From The Dead To Be Judged By Christ and His Holy Life.