“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Salvation Of Christ: Ephesians 2:11-18
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 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; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Paul now explains to the church at Ephesus (and each one of us) that the Lord has graciously included Gentiles as recipients of the gospel message, saving faith and membership into the family of God.
What is meant by the term “Gentile”? The word translated “Gentile” is the Greek word “ethnos”, meaning “nations”. It is from this word we get the word “ethnic”.
Generally, when the term Gentile is used in the Bible in was used in one of two ways:
1. When used to describe a physical condition of a nation, it describes a non-Jewish nation, or a foreign nation.
2. When used to describe a spiritual condition, it describes those who are alienated from the Lord. Before Christ, most non-Jewish nations did not possess the truths of God’s Word, nor did they experience His saving grace. Because of this, the term “Gentile” in the Bible was related to those who were alienated from the Lord, many times indulging in false worship and spiritually separated from Him.
Please keep in mind, this condition of Gentile alienation during the times of the Old Testament is being spoken of by Paul, in generalities. There were exceptions to this principle of Gentile alienation. Some of the OT Gentiles who were saved and enjoyed communion with God include:
1. Everyone saved before the establishment of the nation of Israel (Gen 1:-11:)
2. Inhabitants of Nineveh under the ministry of Jonah (Jonah 3:)
3. Rahab the harlot (Hebs 11:31)
4. King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:)
5. Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:)
6. Ruth the Moabitess (Ruth)
And perhaps others.
A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The past alienation of Gentiles from the Lord – 11-12
II. Gentiles brought into communion with God based upon Christ – 13
III. The work of Christ on behalf of Gentiles – 14-17
IV. Communion with God by the Spirit – 18
In this morning’s devotional, Paul addresses the wonderful peace between God and Gentiles that flows forth from His grace and kindness to mankind…
(Eph 2:14) 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,
The Lord Jesus Christ is the source and sustainer of the peace we possess between God and ourselves.
The word translated “peace” is a Greek word that combines two basic ideas…
1. silence, rest, or tranquility
2. unity, harmony, communion
In other words, it can describe an inner experience of peace as well as a peaceful relationship with others.
When we say that Christ is our “peace” it is teaching us that through Christ we can experience:
1. a harmonious, intimate, peaceful relationship with the Lord…
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
2. a calmness or peacefulness within knowing that our sins are forgiven and we are eternally secure in Him…
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
3. a calmness in the midst of the storms of life, knowing He is with us and all things work for our good…
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
who hath made both one,
This unity and harmony and rest comes to physical Gentiles and spiritual Gentiles (lost mankind) only by the grace of the Lord.
and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
The Lord grants to His people this peace in two different ways….
1. For the physical Gentile, He breaks down the OT laws that separated Jew form Gentile and He makes them one with the physical Jew, including both into His family and membership into His local assemblies of worship…
“[Is he] the God of the Jews only? [is he] not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:29-30)
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
2. For the spiritual Gentile, He breaks down the wall of their sin that separates them from Him, and reconciles them to Himself, bringing them into a close, harmonious relationship.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:10-11)
Certainly, the Ephesians had much to be thankful for… now they could experience a genuine, lasting peace within themselves. They knew that, because they were at harmony with God, they could enjoy the blessings of inward tranquility. This tranquility was based upon knowledge that they were eternally secure in Christ, and that He would be with them every step of the way in the midst of the many storms of their life.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: email@example.com