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TWO MADE ONE – Ephesians 2:11-22


For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. – Ephesians 2:14-18

God’s intention from the beginning was to have a fellowship of His servants that lived throughout the world. When He confused the tongues of men at the Tower of Babel, He did not intend for the subsequent division into nations, tribes, and languages to be permanent. His stated purpose is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).

To do that, several things have to happen.

  • First, He must bring those who are far away from Him near. This he does through the blood of Christ. In Christ, “you [who] were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world… have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).
  • Second, He must make peace between hostile peoples. This text speaks specifically of peace between Jews and Gentiles. This is by tearing down the dividing wall of hostility, which He did by His sacrifice on the cross. The same principle applies to any barrier between people: racial prejudice, national pride, economic snobbery, intellectual elitism or disdain, religious tradition, or any other “wall” that divides people. These barriers fall as we become more devoted to the Christ who redeems and delivers than we are to the walls we erect around ourselves.
  • Third, He must make us “one new man out of the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:15). It is not enough to move us from active hostility toward one another to passive toleration for the other. His goal is to make us one in heart and soul. He wants an active reconciliation of enemies. He does this through the cross. It is at the cross that we see how alike we all are – as we stand there before His love, needing forgiveness. We need forgiveness from Him – and also from one another. We stand there needing to forgive each other that we may be forgiven – by Him and by each other.
  • Fourth, He needs to make it possible for us to go forward with Him as our Father. To do this, He gives us – all of us who will come to the cross – family access by His Spirit.

When these things happen, He joins us together as one. There are no more “foreigners and aliens.” Rather, we are “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s [family] household” (Ephesians 2:19).

Paul waxes eloquent as he describes this goal of God’s purpose:

In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. – Ephesians 2:21-22

In Christ all of us become the temple where God resides through His Spirit.

Now, do you see why hostility, anger, jealousy, envy, hatred and strife are such great sins? These are the sins that caused the Jews to crucify Jesus – and these are the sins that will keep us away from the cross. All of these come from hearts that are self-centered rather than God-centered.

C. S. Lewis was right when he said that these sins of the spirit are more evil and do more lasting damage to the souls of men than do the sins of the body. These are the sins of the Pharisee who prayed with himself, told God what a fine fellow he was, and thanked God he was not like the tax collector. He did this while the tax collector stood (figuratively) at the foot of the cross and prayed for mercy. See the parable as Jesus told it in Luke 18:9-14.

As long as we have the spirit of that Pharisee, we will never come to the cross where God in Christ draws us together. As long as pride and self-righteousness drive us, they will keep us far from God, whom we can approach only by way of the cross that leads us home.

NEXT: The Grace Given Me – Ephesians 3:1-13

PREVIOUS: God’s Workmanship – Ephesians 2:1-10

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2 Responses

  1. Jerry,
    That was very fullfilling information. Especially as the phrase “far away” is determined.

    Excellent job sir. 🙂

    Rick

    It’s really good to hear from you Rick! And thanks for the nice comment. – JS

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