Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ephesians 2:14 - 2:18

Online Resource Library

Commentary Index | Return to | Download

Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ephesians 2:14 - 2:18

(Show All Books | Show All Chapters)

This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The reconciliation effected by Christ:

v. 14. For he is our Peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us,

v. 15. having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

v. 16. and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross, having slain the enmity there by;

v. 17. and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

v. 18. For through Him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father.

The thought of the passage is that God, by the redemption of Christ, has gathered His Church out of Jews and Gentiles. So far as the present relation between Jews and Gentiles in the congregation is concerned, Paul writes: For He Himself is our Peace, who made both one and broke own the dividing wall of separation, the enmity, in His flesh. Jesus Christ is our Peace, He established peace between the two parties that seemed irreconcilable, between Jews and Gentiles. This great object of His life he brought about by uniting the two contending parties in one perfect unit. This He did by removing completely the wall, or partition, which separated Jews and Gentiles and caused constant enmity. The Mosaic Law, with all its precepts, institutions, and ceremonies, was a fence, or wall, which shut off the people of Israel from the Gentiles, which shut out the heathen from the privileges of the Jews. Christ abolished the Ceremonial Law and fulfilled the Moral Law.

This the apostle explains: (He removed the wall) by abolishing the enmity in His flesh, the law of commandments in ordinances. In His flesh, by the sufferings of His body, by going into death for the sins of the world, Christ has put the Law out of commission, He Bas abrogated the divine Law as a master of men. The curse, the guilt, the punishment lay upon Him, and so the Law has expended its might and power in His case. See Rom_7:6. Incidentally, Christ removed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles. The separation between the two could not exist without hostility, especially since the Ceremonial Law was a law of precepts in ordinances, and as such challenged opposition and enmity. The Gentiles were deterred from joining the people of God by the prospect of being kept in bondage by the countless and detailed instructions of the Law which governed the minutest acts of daily life, even as today people are not brought into church by the preaching of the Law. So Christ's purpose in abrogating the Law was: That He might create the two in Himself to one new man, making peace. By making peace between the two estranged parties in the manner described, Christ brought about a union of the Jews and Gentiles to a unit, a gathering of the Christian Church from the Israel according to the flesh as well as from the Gentile nations. The holy Christian Church thus formed is the one body of Christ, and Christ's work in bringing about this union is an evidence of His creative power.

In the same way and with the same object Jesus effected still more: And (that He) reconcile both in one body to God, having through the Cross killed the enmity in Himself. The word "reconciliation" in this connection does not refer to the removal of the hostile relation between God and man as much as to the abrogation of man's hostile position and conduct over against God. It was Christ's intention to bring both Jews and Gentiles before God as a unit people, as a single body, thus establishing perfect communion with God. This plan seemed destined for success from the start because Christ in Himself, by giving Himself into death, killed and removed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles. By sacrificing Himself and becoming obedient even to the death on the cross, He removed the obstacle that stood in the way of peace, the Law, which engendered hostility, thus making way for the union of Jews and Gentiles in one body, thus bringing about the perfect harmony of an evenly balanced and developed organic whole.

How this intention of Christ was realized and is being realized, Paul states: And thus He came and preached peace to you that were afar off and peace to those that were near. Having obtained a perfect redemption for all men, having removed the cause of disharmony and hostility, Jesus now comes in and through the Spirit, Joh_14:18; Act_26:23, in the Gospel. Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is personally present in and with the message of grace as it is preached throughout the world, and through this Word speaks to the hearts of men. It is a good, a joyful news, and its content is peace with God, the salvation earned by Christ on the cross with His suffering and death. This peace is now freely proclaimed to those that formerly were strange and distant, far from the chosen people of God and unacquainted with the evangelical promises, but also to those to whom the preaching of the Kingdom was entrusted of old: to Gentiles and to Jews Christ has proclaimed one and the same peace and thus restored peace between them. All believers in Christ are now united by the bond of this common knowledge and faith. Of them all together it holds true: For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. To this the experience of both Jews and Gentiles will cause them to agree. Christ is the Way; through Him the way to the Father is opened, through Him all have become partakers of the one Spirit. This unity of the Spirit, the unity of the sonship of God, the same right as children toward the Father of Jesus Christ, that is the bond which unites Jews and Gentiles, all the members of the Church of Christ. They all address Him: Abba, Father, with the same certainty of being heard, for all hindrances have been removed.