Vol. 15 No. 7
Continuing with Eph 2:14, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.”
We have noted that all of the Levitical Offerings in Lev 1-7, are typology for the work that God the Father and The Lord Jesus Christ would perform on the Cross, especially in the Peace Offering context, which we have here in Eph 2, to remove the barrier of sin between God and man, thus making it possible for the justice of God to give man eternal life.
Rom 5:1, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Having noted the “peace” aspect of this verse, we now have “who made,” which is the Aorist, Active, Participle of POIEO, that means, “to make, create, produce, etc.” The Aorist is for past action and the Active voice is for the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross as the One who has made this happen; AUTOS EIMI, “He Himself is.”
The thing that Jesus Christ has made is “both groups into one,” which is the Adjective AMPHOTERIO, ἀμφότεροι that means, “both,” and sometimes “all,” with the Cardinal number HEN for “one.” Simply it reads, “the both one.” The “both” who have been “made one” is referencing Jewish and Gentile believers in the Jesus Christ. Therefore, the two groups in view are Jews and Gentiles given the context of vs. 11-13.
Here we have a new Divine purpose for the present Church Age, a Divine purpose specifically revealed to Paul, cf. Eph 3:1-6. The purpose is realized on the grounds of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the advent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. That Divine purpose is no less than the forming of a new body of heavenly people drawn from both Jews and Gentiles, called the Royal Family of God and the Body of Christ, where each individual in that body is perfected in Christ, and the whole company is to be “to the praise of the glory of His grace,” Eph 1:6, apart from “works so that no one should boast,” Eph 2:9.
So the Divine decree declares that there is “no difference” between Jew and Gentile, first because they are all “under sin,” Rom 3:9, and that Salvation through Christ, as tutored by the Law, is for all mankind, John 3:16, “for God so loved the whole world,” cf. Rom 10:12.
Rom 10:12, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him.”
The position of being “under sin” consists of the fact that God refuses to accept any human merit, national or personal, as a credit or contribution toward salvation, which is offered the individual in and through Christ alone. God thus strips each human being of all hope in himself and shuts him up to that perfect salvation alone, which is in Christ and provides the eternal and infinite perfection of Christ and His body.
The grace of God is not a thing which adjusts itself to the greater or less degree of human merit, but it is a consistent Divine standard, that is, since all merit is excluded, it requires the same degree of grace to save one individual as it does to save another.
For the Gentile, who had previously been told by the Jew that they were inferior in regard to worship, this revelation was new ground for hope, and the gospel of salvation by grace became to him as life from the dead. But the Jew stumbled over the way of salvation made available through the Cross, so only a few, now that their national preference is set aside for this age, were able to abandon their assumed national standing with God and to accept the exceeding grace of God in Christ, Rom 11:1-6
Not only did our Lord make the two into one body, he also, KAI, “broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,” which refers to the imagery of the Temple where Jews and Gentiles were separated in the worship of God by a dividing wall. Since the wall has been torn down, Jews and Gentiles are to worship together as one, just as they always should have.
“Broke down,” is the Verb LUO that means, “to loose, untie, set free, destroy, break up, or abolish.” It is in the Aorist, Active, Participle for the past action our Lord took to bring down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles. It is used of demolition of buildings, as in the famous saying of our Lord regarding the Temple, John 2:19, or of the destruction of the ship on which Paul was traveling, Acts 27:41, or of the destruction of the current heavens and earth, 2 Peter 3:10-12. BDAG list our text under the heading “to reduce something by violence into its components, to destroy.” Eph 15a and 16b tell us how the breaking down occurred, “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity,… through the Cross, by it having put to death the enmity.” Contextually, the abolishing action is viewed as final, as a death. Therefore, the violence Jesus suffered when paying for our sins, violently broke down all barriers, and thus, all barriers are done away with forever.
“The barrier,” is the Genitive Article HO with the Noun PHRAGAMOS, φραγμός that means, “fence, wall, hedge or partition.” Every usage of the term PHARAGAMOS in the N.T., is in the sense of a fence or enclosure. Jesus used the term to describe a wall around a vineyard, Mat 21:33; Mark 12:1. Within the enclosure of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, Paul spoke of a middle wall that divided God’s people. In Christ this middle wall was broken down; i.e., there was now no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ’s kingdom.
“The dividing wall” is the article HO with the Noun MESOTOICHON, μεσότοιχον that means, “middle wall or dividing wall.” MESOTOICHON comes from two words: MESOS meaning, “middle,” and TOICHOS that means, “a wall,” hence the meaning, “partition wall.” This is the only N.T. use of this word, hapaxlegomena.
Remember, Paul is addressing Christians of both the Jewish and Gentile background. Between these Christians there had been a dividing wall, not just literally but socially, thus segregating them. The division was seen in the church in many places, cf., Gal 2:11ff; Acts 15:5ff.
This division was seen in Herod’s Temple. In the Temple area, there was literally a wall called in Greek DRYPHAKTO, LITHINOS, or SOREQ that segregated Gentiles from Jews. No Gentile was allowed to cross that dividing line.
When King Herod had rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem between 19 and 9 B.C. he enclosed the outer court with colonnades. The large separated area was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the “gentiles” (non-Jews from any race or religion) were permitted to enter this great open courtyard of the Temple area. They could walk within it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court. They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed giving strict warning that the penalty for such trespass was death. The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen. The engraved block of limestone was discovered in Jerusalem in 1871. Its dimensions are about 22 inches high by 33 inches long. Each letter was nearly 1 1/2 inches high and originally painted with red ink against the white limestone. Part of another sign was unearthed in 1936. Its current location is in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, Turkey. Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey when the stone was found. In addition, Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century A.D., wrote about the warning signs in Greek and Latin that were placed on the barrier wall that separated the court of the gentiles from the other courts in the Temple. Not until 1871 did archaeologists actually discover one written in Greek. Its seven line inscription reads as follows:
“No foreigner is to go beyond the balustrade and the plaza of the temple zone, whoever is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his death which will follow.”
Paul himself nearly got into serious trouble because some people falsely accused him of taking an Asian Gentile, Trophimus, beyond this point, Acts 21:27-29.
Just imagine that when Jesus saw this inscription He knew that His own life would be the cost for the Gentiles to go past this barrier.
Mark 11:17, “And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS‘?”, which is a quote from Isa 56:17.
Paul used this image of the Dividing wall in the Temple to illustrate yet another intrusive dividing wall.
But first we note how this dividing wall was broken down?
Eph 2:15, “By abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”
1) “Abolishing,” the Aorist, Active, Participle of KATARGEO, καταργέω that means to, “abolish, nullify, make idle or useless, waste, cease, do away with, or destroy.” In classical Greek it means, “to render inactive or void, to put out of use, make ineffective, powerless, cancel, bring to nothing, or do away with.” It is used in the context of rendering laws or edicts of no more effect.
2) “In His flesh,” EN HO SARX AUTOS, which speaks to the body of Christ that was sacrificed on behalf of all mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ provided for us the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict by becoming a member of the human race. It became obvious at the time of creation that the human race was created and brought on to planet earth to resolve the Angelic Conflict. It also was obvious that the failure of the first Adam necessitated the second Adam coming into the world without a sin nature, without an act of personal sin, without the imputation of Adam’s sin, so that He might actually resolve the Angelic Conflict. Passages like Col 2:14 make it very clear that Satan’s back was broken at the Cross.
3) “The enmity,” HO ECHTHRA, ἔχθρα, is a noun in the Accusative Singular that means, “enmity or hostility.” In ancient Greek it meant, “enmity, hatred, or hostility,” and Josephus used it in the sense of national / ethnic hatred. But Christ, through His sacrificial death, has “broken down the middle wall of partition (or hatred, ECHTHRA)” between humanity, i.e., Jews and Gentiles, and between God and mankind. He has reconciled believers to God and has brought the hostility, ECHTHRA, to an end as we will note in Eph 2:16. So we understand this to be speaking broadly of Christ’s work upon the Cross in the payment of the penalty of our sins, but more specifically it is speaking of something else.
So we have the “barrier of the dividing wall has been broken down by abolishing in His flesh the enmity.” At first glance we understand the “enmity” to be sin and Satan, which has separated us from relationship with God. But the enmity is defined for us in vs. 15, “which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances.”
“Enmity” is first uses in scripture in Gen 3:15, with the Hebrew word EYVAH, speaking of “hostility, animosity or ill will,” that God would put between the sinful woman and Satan. That enmity would be none other than The Lord Jesus Christ. He would come as “her seed” and save mankind from the broken relationship man had with God because of Satan’s seed coming into the world, sin. In Gen 3:15, “enmity” is used in regard to breaking the relationship sinful man has with Satan.
Likewise, “enmity” is first used in the N.T. in Luke 23:12, speaking of Herod and Pilate who were enemies prior to the arrest and trial of Jesus Christ. Luke tells us that they became friends that day. I guess the old Mongolian proverb is true, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Jesus was the enemy of both Herod and Pilate as the King of the Jews, and it was expedient for them both to get rid of Him. But the important point is that enmity speaks of broken relationships, Rom 8:7; Gal 5:20; James 4:4.
James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy (ECHTHRA) of God.”
Now what effected broken relationships between the Jews and Gentiles? “The Law of commandments contained in ordinances.” The Greek reads HO NOMOS HO ENTOLE EN DOGMA.
NOMOS means, “law, rule, or principle,” and speaks of the Mosaic Law.
ENTOLE means, “command, order, decree, or injunction,” and speaks of the principle parts of the Law.
NOMOS and ENTOLE both individually and collectively refer to the Law which God gave to Moses and Israel. The Law showed them what sin was and what God would do about it. But the additional phrase “contained in ordinances,” which is simply the Dative case of EN DOGMA, tells us something special.
DOGMA means, “decree, edict, or ordinance.” In classical Greek two meanings dominate the definition; “a decree or an ordinance” and a “doctrine or a dogma.” Also, the local assemblies made “resolutions,” DOGMATA, for governing the people. More formally, a dogma was a published official “decree or edict.” A study of the word DOGMA in the LXX and Apostolic Writings confirms that the term was used of man-made laws, and not of the God-given Law / Torah that God gave to Israel in Sinai.
So this word speaks of decrees and edicts made, in this case, by the Jews in their interpretation of the Law. It refers to the many legalistic prohibitions they came up with in interpretation of the Mosaic Law, or to fulfill the Mosaic Law. In these edicts, they created barriers between the Jews and Gentiles, mostly in elevation of the Jews, for the worship of God. In fact, the Qumran covenanters referred to Rabbinic interpreters of the Torah by the term, “builders of the wall.” We saw this in the Judaizers who were pushing circumcision and the keeping of the Law, in addition to believing in Christ, in order to be saved.
In addition, the Greek word PHRAGMOS, “fence or dividing wall,” which we noted above was used in the 1st Century to identify the oral Torah, (law, a.k.a Rabbinic law), as a “wall” or “fence” around the written Torah (Mosaic Law), and the Pharisees as “builders of the wall.” Aspects of the oral Torah, not the written Torah, laid the foundation for a strict separation between Jew and non-Jew. So the dividing wall that was abolished by Messiah was none other than those Rabbinic laws which had enforced a separation between Jew and Gentile in opposition to the written Torah. In fact, the Tanakh, (Old Testament), gives very clear instructions against erecting barriers to separate Israel from the nations. The foreigner who desired to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was to be welcomed into the community and treated with the same respect as was given the native born, Ex 22:21; 23:9; Lev 19:33, 34; 25:35; Deut 26:12. They were to be given full participation in matters of Torah and Torah-life, (Sabbath, Ex 23:12, cf. Isa 56:3ff; Gleanings, Lev 19:10; Justice, Ex 12:49; Lev 24:22; Festivals, Deut 16:11, 14; Worship and Prayer in the Temple, 1 Kings 8:41-43, cf. 2 Chron 6:32, 33).
Paul goes on in the book of Colossians, on the basis of the removal of the debt consisting of “decrees,” telling believers to not let others judge them in regard to “food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day,” Col 2:16-25. This too spoke of the Rabbis in their “building fences,” which had created separation between Jew and non-Jew.
Therefore, the oral Torah of the 1st Century functioned to separate Jew and Gentile in a dramatic way. And DOGMA was used by Paul to denote those Rabbinic laws which had, in fact, separated Jew and non-Jew.
Yet, the Mosaic Law never demanded a wall to be built to separate the Jews and Gentiles in Tabernacle or Temple. It was not until Herod’s Temple that a dividing wall was built. So Paul uses the imagery of the DRYPHAKTO, LITHINOS, or SOREQ by creating a more generic term the gentiles would understand, MESOTOICHON, (dividing wall or middle partition), so that they would understand, as well as the Jews that the literal wall was not the issue, the mentality of the soul of the Jews that created legalistic prohibitions on the Gentiles that the Law did not.
Because the Gentiles were told by the Jews that there were things that kept them from a true relationship with God, i.e., vs. 12, “separate from Christ, (the anointed One, Messiah), no citizenship in Israel that made them foreigners to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and being without God in the world,” it created hostility and separation between the Gentile and the Jew. Just as man-made religion does today within Christianity. The Rabbinic law was a “dividing wall” that too was abolished by the Cross.
R.B. Thieme Jr. states, “This is one of the best-attested records from the ancient world of class distinction, of racial distinction. It is manifested in a wall that the Jews built around the temple. Gentiles could be around the outer court but never past the middle wall. Why the middle wall? Because the temple had walls, an outer wall and then a wall in between called the middle wall because the middle wall was that through which the Jews could go but the Gentiles could not. The penalty for any Gentile going past the middle wall was death. But Jesus Christ broke it down. When you accept Christ as savior and you are related by the baptism of the Spirit and are entered positionally into union with Christ, at that moment in principle the middle wall of partition is broken down.” (bold = my emphasis.)
Then in the last half of vs. 15, “That in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,” we see the purpose of God’s reconciliation.
“That He might make” is the Conjunction HINA plus the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, 3rd Person Singular of the Verb KTIZO, κτίζω that means, “create, form, shape, or found.” HINA plus the Subjunctive Mood makes this a purpose clause. It is God’s purpose through Christ to bring both Jew and Gentile into one new body, called the Church. And that is the result for all who believe upon Him as their Savior.
In classical Greek KTIZO was used to talk about something that is conceived or existing in the mind, and refers to things actually “brought into being” or “established.” It is used in regard to God as the Creator of the heavens and earth by His spoken word, Mark 13:19; Rom 4:17; 2 Cor 4:6; Col 1:16; Rev 10:6. As God’s creative act, it is used to describe Jesus Christ’s making of the “new spiritual man,” “in Himself,” EN HEAUTO, Eph 2:10; 2:15; 4:24; cf. 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15. So based on the completed work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, He has created “the two,” HO DUO, “into one new man,” EIS HEIS KAINOS ANTHROPOS.
“New” KAINOS means, “new or fresh” in character or quality, rather than new in the sense of recent in time, as NEOS indicates.
In the Church, Gentiles do not become Jews, nor do Jews become Gentiles. Instead believing Jews and Gentiles become Christians, a whole new single entity. When you accept Christ as Savior you are related by the baptism of the Spirit and are entered positionally into union with Christ, at that moment in principle, the middle wall of partition is broken down and the two become one.
As a result of Christ making the two into one new body is the “establishing or making peace,” the Present, Active, Participle of the Verb POIEO with the Noun EIRENE. Harmonious rapport is now the way of the Church.
1) The distinction between Jew and Gentile emphasized by religious Jews and Judaizers is obliterated in the Church Age.
2) Circumcision, Jews, have no spiritual advantage over uncircumcision, Gentiles. Just as the keeping of the Mosaic Law, Rabbinic law, or any other man-made religious law does not have advantage over the “new creation,” or the unique spiritual life of the Church Age founded in the mystery doctrines for the Church Age.
3) Because of reconciliation and positional truth, all pseudo standards are removed and replaced by position in Christ.
4) Both Jew and Gentile have the same position in Christ.
5) Jesus Christ makes two kinds of peace or harmony:
a) Harmony that removes the wall between Jew and Gentile, harmony that destroys all of those distinctions of the soul that are false and based upon the prejudice and the pattern of life and thinking when we were on the wrong side of the Cross.
b) The harmony or peace that joins Jew and Gentile to God, removing the enmity between God and the believer and establishing a relationship between the believer and the strategic victory of Jesus Christ.
6) Reconciliation removes bonafide barriers between God and man, as well as false barriers between man and man.
Eph 2:15b, “That in Himself (Jesus Christ) He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”
Christ’s death, by being the one atoning sacrifice for the New Covenant, rendered the old covenant, (i.e. the Law of Moses and any subsequent Rabbinic laws), inoperative, (i.e., abolished). Jesus “abolished” the Mosaic Law in the sense that He fulfilled all its requirements. He himself said He had not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them, Mat 5:17; Rom 10:4.
Mat 5:17, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets (O.T. Scriptures); I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”
Yet, Rom 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Some translations give the idea that the Law was the enmity, but that is wrong; the Law was the cause of the enmity. Christ “destroyed” the barrier (hostility) by making the Law inoperative. Now that the Law is inoperative, “Christ is the end of the Law,” Jewish-Gentile hostility is gone.
Jesus was the only one qualified to remove all previous distinctions between Jews and Gentiles and “to make in Himself… one new man,” a reference to the N.T. Church in which no distinctions exist. Christ’s goal was not to bring Gentiles into Israel, but to create from the two ethnic groups “one new man,” establishing peace between them.
Therefore, all forms of arrogance that lead to various kinds of prejudices, especially anti-Semitism, have no place in the spiritual life of the C.A. believer. All believers are one body in Christ, Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 10:17; Eph 2:16; 4:4; Col 3:15.
Eph 2:16, “And might reconcile them both in one body to God through the Cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”
In this verse, the coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” continues the purpose clause of vs. 15.
Then we have the Aorist, Active Subjunctive of the verb APOKATALLASSO, ἀποκαταλλάσσω for “might reconcile,” which is made up from the Prepositions APO that means, “from or out from,” and KATA that means, “according to,” and the Verb ALLASSO, that means, “change, exchange or transform.”
APOKATALLASSO has come to mean, “reconcile or change from one state of feeling to another.” It occurs nowhere else prior to the N. T., and its three usages appear to be coinages of Paul, Eph 2:16; Col 1:20, 22. It is also virtually identical in definition to its root KATALLASSO, Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20, and likewise functions in an almost exclusively religious manner.
Col 1:20-22, “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
Because of the prefix APO, it is probable that APO-KATALLASSO implies the idea of reconciliation to a former state or condition. Paul may have coined this term APO-KATALLASSO instead of his usual KATALLASSO, to bring about the concept of the “restoration of a previously existing relationship.” Previously, in the Garden, man was in relation with God; at peace with Him. Due to the fall, man’s relation with God was broken and we were at enmity with Him. It is that broken relation that has been restored through the blood of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
And that reconciliation is for both Jew and Gentile, as noted in the phrase, “them both in one body to God,” HO AMPHOTEROI EN HEIS SOMATI HO THEOS. So the reconciliation here is man with God, as in vs. 14-15 it was between man and man, Jew and Gentile.
This reconciliation of both groups to God was accomplished, “through the Cross,” DIA HO STAUROS. This is given to explain the “flesh,” SARX, of vs. 15 that pointed out the humanity of Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union, which paid the penalty for our sin upon the Cross.
Then finally, in vs. 15 the “enmity,” ECHTHRA, (which was “the Law of commands in ordinances” that spoke of sin as told through the Law with emphasis on sinful man-made edicts and religion), was abolished “in His flesh” i.e., the Cross. Now we see in vs. 16 that our reconciliation of the broken relationship with God is accomplish through the Cross, “by it having put to death the enmity,” EN AUTOS APOKTEINO HO ECHTHRA.
“Having put to death,” is the verb APOKTEINO in the Aorist, Active, Participle. It means, “kill.” The thing that was killed here is “the enmity,” ECHTHRA, which is all sin, including the sin of prejudice and man-made religion. And just as vs. 15 indicated that Jesus Christ is the point of convergence for all people, so vs. 16 shows us that the Cross is the place of convergence between God and man. Even though it was man who had separated himself from God by his sins, God initiated the act of reconciliation by sending His Son. Now we are reconciled to Him and to one another because He has “broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”
Therefore, all sin, including religion and prejudice, was eradicated at the Cross opening the door for man to be reconciled with God, and for man to be reconciled with man. Though Jesus Christ was put to death, He in turn put to death the Jewish-Gentile hostility and in vs. 14-15, created reconciliation between Jewish and Gentile believers, and in vs. 16, the reconciliation is between people and God. Reconciliation and the removal of enmity between man and God, is also mentioned in Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20; Col 1:20.
Not only has God, who is always the subject of the active form, reconciled, “made peace with,” mankind as a whole to Himself through the Cross, He has also, in one act of reconciliation, broken down the barriers, “made peace,” between Jews and Gentiles. Christ, “our peace,” vs. 14, “makes peace,” vs. 15, and reconciles both Jew and Gentile in one Body to God through the Cross, vs. 16. He has created from these two a “new man,” so that in essence a “new race,” a new spiritual species, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15, has appeared, comprised of true believers. Therefore, men who before were strangers and enemies, in mind as well as in acts, are now reconciled with God and with each other, through the Blood at the Cross of Jesus. Therefore, reconciliation removes all false standards and pseudo barriers between the members of the human race and all believers are new creatures in Christ.
Eph 2:17, “AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR.”
“And He came,” is the Conjunction KAI with the Aorist, Active, Participle of the Verb ERCHOMAI, ἔρχομαι that means, “to come, appear” or sometimes “go.” The Aorist past tense is used for the coming of Christ in His first Advent. It includes His life, His Cross and His Resurrection that fulfilled the reconciliation by the removal of the barrier between man and God. This is not a part of the paraphrase from Isa 57:19, but introduces the subject of the paraphrase.
“And preached,” does not have the conjunction in the Greek, and is not the Greek word that also means “preached,” KERUSSO, that simply means, “to proclaim.” It is the Verb EUANGELIZO, εὐαγγελίζω in the Aorist, Middle, Indicative that means, “to bring good news.” As such, Jesus Himself brought or announced good news, that is, He proclaimed or preached the gospel of salvation that brought peace to man. In this verse the subject producing the action is Jesus Christ through His life, death, resurrection, ministry and words. Therefore, by the Cross and after the Cross Christ preached that message, and still does today through you and me.
This verb is related to the noun ANGELO, “messenger,” and originally the term stood for proclaiming a military victory, “to bring good news” of various content from the battlefield. So we understand this preaching to be proclaiming the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the Angelic Conflict that defeated sin and death and has brought peace to mankind. Some say “He gospelized peace” to both Jew and Gentile.
In Isa 57:19 this part reads, “Creating the praise/fruit of the lips,” from the Hebrew BARA NIWV SAPHAH. So the fruit of the lips is equivalent to preaching or evangelizing, which both are the Fruit of the Spirit / Divine Good Production.
“Peace” in both instances is the Noun EIRENE, which we have noted above.
The first preaching of “peace” was “to you who were far away,” HUMEIS HO MAKROS. HO is the Dative of advantage article joined with MAKROS an Adjective in the direct object Accusative that was also used in vs. 13, figuratively representing the Gentiles, speaking of the perceived position and condition of the Gentiles in relation to God.
Then we have the coordinating Conjunction KAI, to link the first object, the Gentiles with the second object, the Jews, as having both received His message of peace.
“To those who were near,” which is also the Dative of advantage of HO, “to those,” with the Adverb ENGUS that means “near or close to;” figuratively representing the Jews.
As in Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have
obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God,” peace with God entails being welcomed into His presence, access to Him. And neither Jew nor Gentile comes by way of Law with its sacrifices; both come to the Father by way of the Holy Spirit, cf. Rom 8:15-16; Gal 4:6, which is the topic of our next verse.
Gal 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
To save Gentiles, as well as Jews, was the design of our Savior’s coming, as the preaching of the gospel makes abundantly obvious, which is addressed indiscriminately to both. When Jesus came to the earth in the incarnation He communicated the good news of reconciliation to both Jews and Gentiles, just as Isaiah 57:19 prophesied He would.
Christ not only made peace between sinners and God, Rom 5:1, but He also made peace between Jews and Gentiles. He took sinful Jews and sinful Gentiles and through His Cross made a “new man,” called “the Church.” The mystery of the Church was revealed through Paul, as we will see in chapter 3, and that it took some time for the Jewish Christians to understand God’s new program as they continued to keep the Law for salvation, even though Jesus “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes,” Rom 10:4.
In fact, this “peace” was the first word of the Christ to His gathered followers in John 20:19, “Peace be with you.”
And in Acts 3:26, when Peter and John were speaking to the Israelites Peter said, “God, raised up His Servant/Son (Jesus), sent Him to bless (EULOGEO) you.” Cf. Acts 10:36.
For this peace is nothing less than our entrance, hand in hand, into the innermost presence of a welcoming, loving, and rejoicing God.
When you come to Jesus Christ, you are not only brought into a body, but you are also brought into a place where you stand before God positionally in equality with everyone else. I stand with you and you stand with me on equal footing.
Therefore, there should never be a point of separation for believers on any basis at all. We have been made one in Christ. If you are a believer in Christ, it makes no difference who you are, we are all going to be together throughout eternity. And as such, it would not be a bad idea for us to speak to each other every now and then down here, with no walls erected.
This peace, unity of access to the Father, is noted in vs. 18, and in the next and final section of this chapter, vs. 18-22, Here, Paul picks up the thread of Eph 1:22-23, where the Church, the body of Christ, was last mentioned.
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:
16-018, 16-019, 16-020