Skip to main content

Ephesians 2:14: The Dividing Wall of Hostility


Ephesians 2:14
[14] For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (ESV)

This verse speaks to the human condition so powerfully.  It seems that in every generation, and in every land, and in every people group there is some kind of dividing wall of hostility.  We reject people because of where they are from, or what color they are, or something that they have done.  This was very much the case at the time that Paul wrote these words to the Church at Ephesus.  The Jews not only viewed the Gentiles as "dogs," they also had a wall to separate them.

“In Herod’s Temple there was a wall which separated the Court of the Gentiles from the rest of the Temple, and on that wall were inscriptions in Latin and Greek forbidding Gentiles to enter.  Josephus spoke of these inscriptions, and in excavations made in 1871 and 1934 two of these inscriptions were found.  They read:  “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure.  Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”
- R. Kent Hughes. Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, page 92.

Do you catch the significance of what Christ has now done?  He has taken that dividing wall of hostility and destroyed it! He has made the two one.  Listen to how Paul describes the result of Jesus' destruction of the dividing wall of hostility to the Galatians:

Galatians 3:28–29
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (ESV)

Jesus Christ is all about destroying the wall of hostility. In his flesh he has knocked that wall down.  Sadly, there are too many people who have tried to build it back up.  If we call ourselves Christians we cannot be in the business of rebuilding walls of hostility.  To be Christ-like means to do what he would do.  He destroys walls of hostility.

Do you recognize any walls of hostility in the world that you live in?  What are you doing to tear them down? Let us celebrate what Christ has done by refusing to build any walls.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…