Skip to main content

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 body. 

The Greek word for "new" in this passage means something completely different.  This is significant.  There are Jews who hold on to all of their traditions, and claim to be "Messianic Jews." They are trying to hold on to the rituals and the feasts and traditions that were abolished in Christ.  They are resisting being a part of the new man that God has created in Christ Jesus.  Jesus did not die to make Jews better.  He died to make a whole new race of people.  Jews and Gentiles come to Jesus and are made into something that neither of them were before.

God's purpose was to "reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."  We need to celebrate together with all believers in Jesus the reconciliation that he purchased with his blood. There is no place for trying to resurrect old traditions and rituals that Christ abolished by his sacrifice.

In what ways have you tried to resurrect old traditions that do not help you in your walk with Jesus?  How are you promoting the unity in the body of Christ that Jesus died for?  Do you see division among Christians?  What are you doing to stop it?


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,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co