Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ephesians 2:11,12

In Romans 2:14 the Jewish believers were reminded that the Gentile believers in the Synagogues did not have the law, but by the new nature in them did the deeds of the law.

This was a law itself. In Romans 3:23 the argument is that ALL, both Jewish and Gentile believers, had sinned and come short of the glory of God. There was no difference in that respect, as the verse before indicates.

In Romans 11:13-24 the Gentile believers were reminded that they were only grafted into the olive tree and that they could lose that position of blessing if they were not careful.

Again in Acts 28:28 we must remember that the salvation of God was sent to the Gentile believers in the synagogues of that time, and they would take up in belief where Israel left off. For the next 2 years, Paul proclaimed from his chains the new gospel, that of the dispensation of the mystery.

In Ephesians 1:12,13 there are saints who first trusted in this mystery gospel, both Jews and Gentiles. They both were becoming citizens of heavenly places.

But in 2:11,12, Paul speaks especially to the Gentile members of the body of Christ, reminding them of their position during Acts in the Synagogues and contrasting it with their superior position in the church which is the body of Christ. This is taken up in 7 points which we should consider;

1. Gentiles in flesh. That was in time past, during the Acts period when there was the fleshly distinction between Jew and Gentile, and the Jew holding a superior position.

2. Called uncircumcision. This was a term that was anything but flattering. In the O.T. the Philistines were especially called the "uncircumcised." They were the enemies of Israel and of God.

3. Without Christ. That is, without a Messiah (John 1:41). Only Israel had the promise of the Messiah. He belonged to Israel. A Gentile might come under the shadow of that blessing, but no more.

4. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. Only the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, made up the commonwealth of Israel. All others were called strangers. They were outsiders, aliens. Those who are not citizens of a country today are aliens, either if they are in it or have never seen it.

5. Strangers from the covenants of promise. The promise was made to Abraham and his seed. During Acts it was possible for a Gentile to become a child of Abraham by faith and have a part in the promise, but he was still a stranger as far as blood relationship was concerned. See provision for these (Ezekiel 47:22).

6. Having no hope. Paul said in Acts 28:20 that he, for the hope of Israel was bound with a chain. The hope of Israel was the rebirth (resurrection), and the personal presence (parousia) of their Messiah. The Gentiles had no such hope or promise except as they partook of Israel's blessings.

7. Without God. Many times the God of Israel is spoken of in the O.T. Heathen recognized this fact. God had told Israel that they would be His people and He would be their God. The rest were given up (Romans 1:24,26,28). But some believed and shared.

BUT NOW...MADE NIGH

Ephesians 2:13-22

1. In Christ Jesus. But now, not before, made nigh by the blood of Christ.

2. He is our peace. Here and now. Those who have Christ have peace and are not praying for it.

3. Made both one. Even as Christ and the Father are one, so Jew and Gentile in the body.

4. Broken down the middle wall of partition. This was what separated Jew and Gentile. Its main provision was circumcision. It was the law.

5. Abolished in His flesh the enmity. Enmity is made void by His flesh. There is now one body, His.

6. To make in Himself of twain one new man. This is the creation, the beginning of the church which is His body. It never existed before this creation.

7. Making peace. By being made into one new man effected peace. No 2 parties against each other.

8. Reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross. All sins imputed unto Christ at the cross; none imputed unto us today.

9. Slain the enmity. This is by the cross. The enmity is the law. Gentile had none. Fulfilled for the Jew. Now both on common level.

10. Preached peace. Christ came by His apostles and prophets and preached peace. Ambassadors.

11. We both have access. The Vail, that is His flesh, has opened up the holiest of all to both. This is by one Spirit (4:4).

12. No more strangers and foreigners. This is spoken to the Gentile believers of 2:12. Israel is no longer a commonwealth, so no strangers.

13. Fellowcitizens with the saints. See the Greek. It should be "Fellowcitizens in the holiest." Citizenship in the heavens (Philippians 3:20).

14. Of the household of God. Now placed among the principalities and powers of the heavens.

15. Built upon the foundation. This is the foundation given in 4:11. It is their message.

16. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. A foundation laid. The main arch has a keystone or arch stone. This is Christ.

17. Groweth. Increasing. It can do this because it is made of living stones. See 4:16.

18. Holy temple in the Lord. Actually the word is NAOS, the holiest place, where God dwelt in the tabernacle and temple in the light.

19. In Whom ye also are builded. The word together is added to emphasize the both. This is a further emphasis on increasing or growing. This is both in size and maturity.

20. Habitation of God. This is a dwelling where one can be at home. God had at times dwelt among His people, as in the tabernacle and in the temple. But now He has a people in whom He can dwell and thru whom He can work His works.

21. Through the spirit. This is that promised spirit or new man of 1:13. God could never dwell in the old nature or the old man which is carnal. This begins to show us something of the nature of that habitation of God.

It may be that the reader can expand this study, finding many more cross references. It surely will be profitable, as is all Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16).

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