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Ephesians– overview of 2:14-18; Double Reconciliation.

length: 62:57 - taught on Jun, 18 2019
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Class Outline:

Tuesday June 18, 2019


1:1-2 salutation.

1:3-14 the spiritual blessings from the heavenlies.

1:15-19 Paul’s prayer that the blessings would be known, loved, and executed.

1:20-23 The resurrection of Jesus brought about the gifts.

2:1-10 We were dead, and by grace we are now alive, risen, and seated with Christ in glory. We were thus created for God’s work.

2:11-13 Peace among men.


EPH 2:14-18 - The Double Reconciliation.


EPH 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,


The added pronoun “Himself” [autos] emphasizes that it is nothing else other than the person of Christ that is the source of our peace.


It is pictured at the cross where Jew and Gentile gathered and witnessed what at the time they did not understand.


MAR 15:37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.


MAR 15:38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.


MAR 15:39 And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"


More than most men, a centurion would see men die, but this centurion never saw a man die like this. No man ever died like this, but not everyone who was there witnessed its uniqueness in their hearts.


It is one of the great questions of humanity as to why some do not see what others see. 


MAR 15:40 And there were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.


MAR 15:41 And when He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem.


Jews and Gentiles came together to destroy Him, and other Jews and Gentiles came together to worship Him.


EPH 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,


EPH 2:15 by abolishing [render inoperative] 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,


God added to us. He made all believers into new creatures in Christ.


EPH 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.


Reconciled to each other and to God.


Paul perceived the reconstruction of humanity under the form of a reconciliation of Israel and the Gentiles. It is a community of new men and women in Christ, unified in love, and the light of Christ to the world.


EPH 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;


EPH 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.


Verse 17 is quoted from ISA 57:19. The prophecy of a peaceful end to Israel, but does that mean it is only for Israel?  


Errors are often made with scriptures that speak of one group’s blessing, but just because another group is not mentioned in a particular passage does not mean that they are excluded. For instance, Jesus said that “the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Does that mean that He didn’t lie down His life for the unbeliever? No.


In vv. 3-13 we see the Jews who have joined the cults and forgotten the Lord (pictured as a prostitute and her family). Those with whom the Lord is pleased, who have believed Him and not forsaken Him (pictured as the Lord and His family) enter into peace, pictured in vv. 14-19. The rebellious compromisers have no peace within themselves or with each other.


Within the nation there is great tension between the righteous and the wicked. The promise of peace for the whole nation is far from realized.


This opens our minds to the reason why the more we mature with God the less we are attached to the world. We groan in these bodies and long for our redemption, for heaven. There will always be tension, conflict, ugliness, and filth in this world. The more we love God’s way the farther we want to be from it.


We can imagine how the remnant in Israel longed for the day of the Messiah and the fulfillment of God’s covenant, while all around them; the wicked lived only for this world.


ISA 57:14 And it shall be said," Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people."


ISA 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.


ISA 57:16 "For I will not contend forever, Neither will I always be angry; For the spirit would grow faint before Me, And the breath of those whom I have made.


ISA 57:17 "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.


ISA 57:18 "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,


ISA 57:19 Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near," Says the Lord, "and I will heal him."


ISA 57:20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.


ISA 57:21 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."


The promise to the remnant in each generation of Israel was that God would fulfill His promise of peace in the world with Israel as the kingdom nation, and their death would not prevent them from sharing in it. They didn’t live to see this fulfilled. The Jews taken away in exile didn’t see it. No believer in Israel saw it.


Since they were promised it; since Abraham looked for a city whose builder was God; since Moses forsook Egypt seeing that which was invisible: the covenant would have to be fulfilled and all believing Israel would have to see it, so then all believers would have to be resurrected.


Who would have thought that this prophecy would first be fulfilled in a mystery age, in the heart rather than upon the land, and including Gentiles?


The fulfillment of the promise which would be on the land promised to Abraham is still to come. Replacement theology, which is antisemitic, denies this, but just because the church is the first fulfillment of the promise of peace and the promise of the New Covenant on only a spiritual level does not mean that the fulfillment of the promise on a material and spiritual level will not come about for Israel at the Second Coming of Christ. It will happen. People always try to fit God into nice, water-tight compartments, thus hurting their own understanding of the revelation of the scriptures. And for this very reason, Israel did not foresee the blessing of God upon the Gentiles, even though it was prophesied in several writings. They did not see that the Messiah would be God and also die.


This section of prophecy in Isaiah begins at chapter 56.


ISA 56:1 Thus says the Lord,

"Preserve justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come And My righteousness to be revealed.


ISA 56:2 "How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil."


ISA 56:3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely separate me from His people." Neither let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."


ISA 56:4 For thus says the Lord,

To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,


ISA 56:5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.


ISA 56:6 "Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, everyone who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And holds fast My covenant;


ISA 56:7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."


ISA 56:8 The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered."


But we see in 56:9 through the end of 57 that the people are divided and hostile. There is a mingling of the righteous with the rebellious compromisers. They are separate in life and in destiny. “There is no peace for the wicked.”


Isaiah was involved with the leadership of Israel, many of whom desired to play politics of deals and treaties with other nations rather than living under the Law, trusting in God alone to deliver, and thus drawing the foreign nations to the understanding of the one true God. By playing power-politics, Israel behaved no differently than other nations, thus not being a light to the world. We in the church must be careful not to do the same. The unity and thus the power of the church come through agape love, peace, and unity in the face of all the differences that divide most people. We do things God’s way and let His light shine to the world.


Chapter 55 summoned all alike to a free banquet. 56:1-8 portrays the gathering people in which all are one, all are equal, all are welcome in the house of prayer.


ISA 55:1 "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.    


Isa.55:2 "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.   


Paul sees the Sabbath of a harmonious people fulfilled in the age that began with him as its apostle to the Gentiles. He, a Jew filled with hatred towards Gentiles for half of his life, would preach peace to them.


The peace that Christ brought and established would be enjoyed by believers who were in the know. So not everyone in the world, but only a segment of the world, and they would be a foretaste of this same peace being established worldwide during the Millennial reign of Christ.

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