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Showing posts from March, 2018

Ephesians 4:8: Spoils of Victory

Ephesians 4:8 [8] Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (ESV) What kind of trophies do you have? Perhaps you won a poetry contest?  Maybe you were on a championship football team?  Or like me, you have a 23rd place ribbon in basket weaving!  Well, with victory comes trophies.  In Bible days, it was referred to as the spoils of victory.  After an army went out to war, they would come home with gold, people, or other possessions.  I want you to consider that as we look at this passage in Ephesians 4:8. Paul is talking about Jesus.  Jesus ascended on high.  He had defeated death and sin on the cross.  He led a host of captives.  The captives were the ones bound by sin.  That would have been us.  And as the victorious king he has given gifts to us.  What gifts?  Spiritual gifts.  Do you remember that earlier in this book Paul told us that we have blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

Ephesians 4:6-7: God Our Father

Ephesians 4:6–7 [6] one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. [7] But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. (ESV) For years there has been a popular, yet false notion about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.  It is this basic notion that God is our doting father.  He does not discriminate between good and evil.  All are good.  All are his children.  And we are all brothers and sisters.  No need to worry about hell.  No need to be saved.  We are all his children.  If we just read verse 6 here today, without reading verse 7, we might be tricked into believing the worldly notion of the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. I am thankful for verse 7 which brings appropriate clarity.  But grace! Grace is an undeserved gift of God.  It is essential for our salvation.  As Paul has made very clear earlier in this epistle, it is by grace that we have been saved, and not by works, lest we should bo

Ephesians 4:5: One Lord, One faith, One baptism

Ephesians 4:5 [5] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (ESV) Paul continues his thoughts on unity.  As he talks to these Ephesians he emphasizes that there is one Lord.  In the ancient city of Ephesus there was a idol of a god on every street corner.  They worshiped all kinds of gods.  All of them were false gods.  As Paul is emphasizing the unity that Christ brings to both Jew and Gentile he reminds them that there is only one Lord.  This would have been a major cultural change for the Ephesians.  But a necessary one. One faith. How many times have you heard someone say, "As long as you have faith, that's all that matters."  Faith in what?  Faith in whom?  Scripture makes clear that there is only one legitimate faith.  The Epistle of Jude speaks to this point: Jude 3 [3] Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saint

Ephesians 4:4: One Body, One Spirit, One Hope

Ephesians 4:4 [4] There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— (ESV) When you go to your church does the word, "oneness," come to mind?  When you think of the church at large do you think that the world sees us as being one with one another?  Are we one with God? Paul has expounded on how God has called us together as one body.  He tells us that the practical aspect of this is that we should be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. If we want the unity that we are to be eager to maintain, we must understand what it means to celebrate oneness! There is one body.  In so many ways it seems that the Body of Christ is splintered and separated.  Those who claim to know Jesus won't talk with another brother or sister in the Body because of some silly grudge or petty argument.  Paul says that there is one body and one spirit. If we think about that for a moment it would help us greatly.  On

Ephesians 4:3: The Unity of the Spirit

Ephesians 4:3 [3] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (ESV) “There can be union without unity: tie two cats together by their tails and throw them over a clothesline.” God calls us to much more than union.  He calls us to unity.  I think that for far too many churches they have union, but no unity.  In fact, they act like cats tied together by their tails.  It brings disgrace to the Church and to the name of Christ.  In today's verse Paul says that we are to be eager to maintain unity. What are you eager to do? It will speak volumes as to where your heart is. A child can claim all day long that they would like to please their parents, but if you want to check their sincerity in the matter, look at what they actually DO!!! It breaks my heart as I look at my own walk with the Lord sometimes. I say that I want to spend more time with the Lord. I pray about reading more of the Word of God. But, I wake up and start my day, demonstrating by my action

Ephesians 4:2: Bearing with one another, in love

Ephesians 4:2 [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (ESV) Let's look at that phrase, "With patience, bearing with one another in love." What about patience That word literally means “Long-tempered.” We certainly know what it means to be short-tempered! Those who are quick to be offended; quick to be upset; quick to feel wronged are demonstrating that they are not being patient. Now, if we are humble, and gentle, it will help us to be patient. We will have already placed our importance in a place of submission to others already! Before I get upset with my brother or sister, I need to think about who I am, and what I am all about. To be long-tempered might mean waiting longer to consider a situation. How about this idea of “bearing with one another in love.” I like this phrase, but I fear that we only live out part of it. Let me explain. We read the words, “bearing with one another.” But do we really understand the

Ephesians 4:2: Humble and Gentle

Ephesians 4:2 [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (ESV) As Paul continues to define how we are to walk out our calling in the Lord, he now gives us the character of our walk.  He gives us four words to ponder. Today we are going to look at the first two: 1. Humility 2. Gentleness 3. Patience 4. Bearing with one another in Love Humility and Gentleness are combined here. These are not qualities that we see very often. They certainly are not qualities that are inherent in humanity. At the time that Paul wrote these words the Roman society viewed this character of humility and gentleness as flawed humanity. To be humble and gentle was viewed as weakness. If we are not careful we can fall into the same mindset. We can be afraid that if we are  gentle and humble we will be  perceived as being weak. Shouldn’t we rather be concerned that we are perceived as being Christ-like? Matthew 11:29 [29] Take my yoke upon you, and l

Ephesians 4:1: Walk Worthy

Ephesians 4:1 [1] I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (ESV) Have you ever been reprimanded by a parent because your behavior was disgracing the family name?  While that may have been harsh to experience it is understandable for a family that has a great reputation to want to maintain that reputation.  We sometimes need to be reminded who we belong to.  It is kind of the same way when we consider that we belong to the family of God. Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:1 to walk in a manner worthy of the calling.  In the first three chapters he has expounded on the calling of God to sinners.  We have been predestined.  We have been saved.  We have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.  Our calling is an amazing thing considering just how deserving we were of God's wrath.  Paul says, you have been called, now act like it. The first three chapters of Ephesians are theologic

Ephesians 3:20-21: To Him Be Glory

Ephesians 3:20–21 [20] Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (ESV) Paul comes to the end of this magnificent prayer in these final two verses of Ephesians 3.  This wonderful benediction is probably something that you have heard at the end of a church worship service.  Perhaps, you have read it and were so inspired by it that you highlighted its truth in your Bible.  Regardless, these two verses pack a powerful punch. Someone asked me recently about my views on the power of prayer.  I said that prayer is more about the person praying, than what they are praying for.  Consider that for a moment.  When we come to God in prayer we are assuming a position of humility, and showing reverence to the greatness of our God.  This position of prayer is about a change in us, regardless of what we are pr

Ephesians 3:19: Prayer for Fullness

Ephesians 3:19b [19] . . .that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Are you completely filled with all the fullness of God? Paul prays that we will be filled because he knows that we NEED to be filled. As we follow the prayer that he prays we see a desire that we should be so strong in the Lord’s strength, so consumed with his love that the fullness of God will have displaced our selfish, and ungodly nature. Ephesians 5:18 [18] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, Matthew 15:18-20 [18] But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. [19] For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. [20] These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” What are you full of? Hmmmmm. Be careful how you answer that! We are to be full of God! Paul prays that we will be filled with all the fullness

Ephesians 3:18-19: Prayer For Love

Ephesians 3:18-19 [18] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge This prayer is a prayer that we would have a lifestyle of love. Our very participation in the body of Christ is only possible because of the amazing love of our Savior. We are loved people. The NIV and other translations use the phrase, “rooted in love.” If we are branches, connected to the vine of Christ, we ought to be loving. He is the source of all love. We are the extensions of his love. In fact, there is no more important expression of a changed life in Christ Jesus than love. John 13:35 [35] By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is not optional, it is foundational. “Years ago, Dr. Barnhouse pointed out that love is intrinsic to all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22.  He said, “Love is the key. Joy is love

Ephesians 3:16-17: Prayer for Strength

Ephesians 3:16-17 [16] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith There is an interesting thing about having someone pray that we would be strengthened. It implies that we are weak and need strength. I think that there is a part of us that resists that prayer. We celebrate being self-confident, independent, not needing others. Even our lack of commitment to church attendance, and to serving and fellowshipping together could indicate that we don’t take seriously our need to be strengthened. The fact is that in our own strength we are only capable of failure. Jesus made it clear that apart from him we are powerless! John 15:5 [5] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. The Apostle Paul knew that Jesus’ words were true. He was used by

Ephesians 3:14-15: Every Family In Heaven and On Earth

Ephesians 3:14–15 [14] For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (ESV) Family is a difficult word for some.  How many of you dread going to a family reunion.  Aunt Margaret is going to be drunk again. Uncle Tom is not speaking to any of his siblings because of some childhood dispute.  Family is difficult. And as much as the word family is difficult, I think the word father can be worse.  So many of us have had earthly fathers who have hurt us. There is good news in this passage of Scripture for us.  We belong to the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. God the Father is the perfect father who never fails us.  He is so very different from our earthly fathers. Matthew 7:11 [11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (ESV) James 1:17 [17] Every good gift and eve

Ephesians 3:14: Let's Pray

We find great comfort when someone else prays for us. Over the years, when I was sick, or troubled by something I would talk to my dad and he would pray for me. To this day, I find great comfort when my father prays for me. I truly feel sorry for those who have not had the experience of a godly father praying for them. The Apostle Paul is a godly man who prays for people whom he loves with a kind of fatherly love. In this letter to the church at Ephesus he has expounded on the great mystery of belonging to Jesus Christ. In the first two chapters he has talked about how Jesus Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility between us and God. We are a new race of people. Our identity is not found in Jew or Gentile. Rather, we are now the body of Christ. In Ephesians 3, Paul begins to pray a prayer for this new race of believers. In  verse 1 he starts to pray, but gets sidetracked until verse 14. Let's look at Ephesians 3:1 and Ephesians 3:14 together. Ephesians 3:1

Ephesians 3:13: Suffering and Glory

Ephesians 3:13 [13] So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. (ESV) Perhaps you have heard the expression, "No pain, no gain."  I have begun many failed attempts at gaining a great physical body.  The process seems to fall apart when I come to the realization that the gain I am looking for requires more pain than I am willing to participate in.  In our spiritual walk there is no question that it is pain that produces gain.  This realization flies in the face of some modern prosperity teaching in the church that somehow pain is to be avoided and we are to be materially prosperous. Paul is talking about suffering.  He asks the Ephesian believers to not lose heart over his suffering.  Paul was writing this letter to the church at Ephesus from a prison cell.  Paul knew what it was to suffer, and yet, in the midst of his suffering he was able to provide some of the greatest encouragement the church has ever known.  Not only were

Ephesians 3:11-12: Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord

Ephesians 3:11–12 [11] This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, [12] in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (ESV) A few years ago a pastor on staff at a large church that will remain un-named said the following: "I just want to encourage everyone of us to realize when we obey God we're not doing it for God. I mean, that's one way to look at it. Were doing it ourselves. Because God takes pleasure when we're happy. That's the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning. I want you to know this morning just do good for your own self. Do good cuz God wants you to be happy.. When you come to church when you worship him you're not doing it for God really. You're doing it for yourself because that's what makes God happy. Amen?" I have news for the woman who said this.  And I have news for you.  God does not find the most pleasure when we act selfishly.

Ephesians 3:10: Wisdom of God Made Known

Ephesians 3:10 [10] so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (ESV) We are so limited in our understanding of many things.  The church that God has established is one of those things that we just do not fully grasp.  We tend to think of church as a building.  It is a place to come together and worship.  But, the Apostle Paul opens our eyes to things that we not only do not know, but also things we cannot see. One of the main purposes of the church is to make God's wisdom known to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  These rulers and authorities are not seen by us, but that does not make them any less real. In fact, I wish the church of today took much more seriously the reality of spiritual rulers and authorities.  Let's look at these spiritual entities a little more intently. First of all, we have angels in the spiritual realm.  They are simply God's messengers. 

Ephesians 3:9: Mystery

Ephesians 3:9 [9] and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, (ESV) Timing is everything. When it comes to God's timing, we have to admit that we sometimes do not understand.  This mystery of bringing together people from all tribes and nations and making them all one united body was something that mankind had to wait a very long time for.  Paul was bringing this truth to light for the Ephesians, and the church at large.  There were hints along the way about this ministry. In Revelation 13:8 the Apostle John writes about Jesus, "slain before the foundation of the world."  Before God created the world, he created a way for our salvation through Christ.  We often think of Christ as Creator and Redeemer.  But he was actually Redeemer before he was Creator.  This mystery of our salvation was hidden for ages in God.  Another hint comes for us in Genesis 3. When God confronted Adam and Eve regardin

Ephesians 3:7-8: Spokesman for the Gospel

Ephesians 3:7–8 [7] Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. [8] To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (ESV) I love how Paul describes himself when he points out that he has been called to be a minister of the Gospel. “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles (verse 8).” The pride and arrogance of his former way of life as a Pharisee seems to be a distant memory. In place of his pride is a true sense of himself. He is nothing. God is everything. “Least of all the saints.” We seem to always use the wrong measuring stick to determine success, don’t we? Paul emphasizes how weak he is so that God will get the glory for what he is doing. He recognizes that everything he has, if it is of any value, comes from the Lord. God should have already w

Ephesians 3:6: Fellow Heirs, Fellow Members, Fellow Partakers

Ephesians 3:6 [6] This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (ESV) Do you remember the great TV show, "The Brady Bunch?"  Some of you younger folks might have to consult YouTube to find out what I am talking about.  The Brady Bunch was about a combined family.  The kids had to learn how to get along as one big family.  This really reminds me of what has happened in the body of Christ.  Jew and Gentiles.  Now, they are a combined family. And like any combined family there are going to be challenges. Paul uses this word "fellow" in Ephesians 3:6. Fellow heirs.  Fellow members of the same body.  Fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.  I can imagine some of the Jewish members of that family having some issues.  It's one thing to say that we are all the same body.  But I can imagine that the idea of Gentiles sharing in the same inheritance as the Jews

Ephesians 3:4-5: By the Spirit

Ephesians 3:4–5 [4] When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, [5] which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. (ESV) The mystery of Christ being revealed is much bigger than you and I tend to realize.  Generations of mankind did not understand this mystery.  In fact, it is interesting to note that until the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to the Apostle Paul, even he did not understand it.  As for a little background, the Apostle Paul, before he became a Christian, was one of the most highly educated of all the Jews.  The book of Acts gives us some insight into Paul's background: Acts 22:3 [3] “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. (ESV) In Paul's time, instead of going

Ephesians 3:3: Mystery Made Known By Revelation

Ephesians 3:3 [3] how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. (ESV) Do you like to read mystery novels?  Perhaps you get engrossed in a book, just dying to know who the killer was in a murder mystery.  Or maybe life itself is enough of a mystery for you.  In this wonderful book of Ephesians, Paul is revealing a wonderful mystery.  That mystery is that Jew and Gentile can lay aside their differences, and through Christ Jesus, become something brand new together.  First of all, I love the fact that God is involved in revealing this mystery to Paul.  I think some people are under the false assumption that God cannot be known.  He is just too mysterious.  But that is not the case.  Paul is telling us that the mystery has been made known to him.  He is here to reveal to us the wonderful truth of Christ Jesus. The fact is this, the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation has one purpose: to reveal Christ.  No need for us to be lost in wonderment. 

Ephesians 3:2: Steward of God's Grace

Ephesians 3:2 [2] assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, Do you know that you have been given gifts to use for God?  Paul has already established in Chapter 1 of Ephesians that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.  The question is, "What are you doing with what you have?"  Everything that God gives to us requires us to be stewards. So, how do we define stewardship? Dr. John MacArthur says: “Stewardship” means an administration, or management.  Paul did not choose the stewardship of his apostleship or ministry.  God had sovereignly commissioned him with the calling, spiritual gifts, opportunities, knowledge, and authority to minister as the apostle to the Gentiles.” God chose Paul to be the steward of God’s grace. He chose to use him to declare this unity of Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female. This unity between God and man that was without the dependence o

Ephesians 3:1: Prisoner of Christ Jesus

Ephesians 3:1 [1] For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— (ESV) Have you ever had someone tell you that they were praying for you?  I have.  And most of the time that is a very comforting thought to know that someone is praying for you. But, let me ask you, have you ever had someone say that they were praying for you, but you have no idea what they are praying for or why they are praying?  I think there is great value in knowing not only that you are being prayed for, but why that prayer is being offered.  In the beginning of Chapter 3 of Ephesians Paul begins to tell the church that he is going to be praying for them, but pauses to explain why.  Take a look at verse 1.  It starts by saying, "For this reason . . ." Now if we look at verse 14 of the same chapter he repeats that phrase: Ephesians 3:14 [14] For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, (ESV) In verse 1 Paul begins to tell them that he is praying for them, a

Ephesians 2:21-22: Building a Temple

Ephesians 2:21–22 [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV) I love legos. I don't like stepping on one in the middle of the night. But I love building things with them.  When I was a kid I wanted more legos.  I wanted legos for Christmas.  I wanted legos for birthdays.  It was so much fun to build different things. They were all different sizes and shapes.  But every piece was important to me. If you will allow the illustration, we are kind of like legos.  We are various sizes and shapes, but God is building something wonderful out of us and we are valuable to him. God is building a holy temple, as each of us are joined together.  Paul tells us that we are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.  That is fascinating.  This building that we are described as, has the foundation of God’s Word, the Corner

Ephesians 2:20: Built on the Foundation

Ephesians 2:20 [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, (ESV) In our verse today, Paul continues his description of this new identity that we all have in Jesus Christ.  Jews and Gentiles, through Christ, have become something brand new.  He likens us to a building.  He talks about how this building that we are becoming is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and that Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone.  Let's look at what that means together. I love carpentry.  I have no natural-born skill for it.  I am not good at it.  But, I love to build things.  The most important aspect of building any kind of building is the foundation.  If the foundation is off, everything else will be off.  And in the midst of great storm or struggle, the building will not survive if the foundation was not built properly. The foundation to this building that Paul speaks of is the teaching of the Word of God, throug

Ephesians 2:19: Citizens

Ephesians 2:19 [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (ESV) There is an ongoing debate in this country about citizenship.  There are those who want to say that if you made it into this country, regardless of how you got here, you should be granted the rights of citizenship.  There are others who recognize the price that was paid to create this nation, and do not want to have it taken by those who do not value the cost, and enter it the right way.  You may think that this is going to be a political post, but it is not.  We are going to look at how this idea of citizenship relates to what Paul describes as citizens with God's nation. The Apostle Paul says that those who were purchased by the blood of Christ are the ones who are no longer strangers and aliens.  In fact, they are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.  Even in the time of Paul's writi

Ephesians 2:18: We Both Have Access

Ephesians 2:18 [18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (ESV) Have you ever had a meeting with the President of the United States?  Neither have I.  How about a meeting with one of your favorite musicians?  Maybe that's a little more likely, but still not a normal occurrence.  Now, consider that fact that as believers in Jesus Christ we can have an intimate meeting at any time with the Creator of the Universe.  Does that blow your mind?  It should. Paul says that through Jesus Christ we have access in the Holy Spirit to the Father.  First of all, consider the fact that even the Jews could only have access to the Father by means of a high priest in the sacrificial system.  The Gentiles had absolutely no access to God the Father.  As Paul has established the Gentiles were without hope and without God in the world.  Both Jews and Gentiles are unworthy to come to God in their own righteousness.  But because we have been given the righteousness of Ch

Ephesians 2:17: He Preached Peace

Ephesians 2:17 [17] And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (ESV) Peace is such a beautiful word.  The absence of hostility.  We know what it means by its definition, but not so much by experience.  In this world that we live in we see the absence of peace.  Can you think of a time in your entire life where there was not a war going on somewhere in the world?  Can you think of a time when there was no hostility of some kind in your family?  Even within ourselves we find a lack of peace. This is nothing new.  Because of sin, mankind has been without peace ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Jesus enters the picture.  And who is he?  The prophet Isaiah prophesied that he would come and be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).  His message was the good news that the hostility between God and man could come to an end.  We can have true peace with God.  And this peace with God can overflow with peace offered to one another.  So how w

Ephesians 2:16: One New Man

Ephesians 2:15–16 [15] by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, [16] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (ESV) We talked yesterday about what it means that Christ abolished the Law of commandments.  The ceremonial laws, the feasts, the rituals are no longer needed because Christ fulfilled them.  We are now set free to obey him out of love, not ritual obligation.  Today, I want to focus on what Paul is saying here about making one new man, in place of the two.  There were Jews, who for centuries had the Law and the sacrifices as the means to find forgiveness and right relationship with God.  You had the Gentiles, who were without God and without hope.  They worshiped all kinds of false gods.  There was hostility between the two.  Christ comes and in his body, sacrificed for ALL, he makes the two one.  We now are one

Ephesians 2:15: Abolishing the Law

Ephesians 2:15 [15] by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, (ESV) All of mankind is made up of lawbreakers.  We rebel against God's law.  We find it intrusive to our selfish desires.  So, when Paul tells us in our verse today that Jesus abolished the law of commandments does that mean we are off the hook?  Have we found a loophole to God's Law that accommodates our rebellious heart?  Not exactly.  Dr. John MacArthur puts it this way: "Through his death, Christ abolished Old Testament ceremonial laws, feasts, and sacrifices, which uniquely separated Jews from Gentiles. God’s moral law (as summarized in the Ten Commandments and written on the hearts of all men, Rom. 2:15) was not abolished but subsumed in the New Covenant, however, because it reflects his own holy nature." - Dr. John MacArthur, Study Bible Notes Because of Christ's once and for all sac