Sunday June 30, 2019
EPH 2:14-18 - The Double Reconciliation.
The reconciliation of Jew and Gentile mirrors the change from the old man to the new man as well as the change from the old covenant (Mosaic) to the New Covenant.
We must lay aside our study of the historical conditions of the early church and the divisions that arose and return to it after we have familiarized ourselves with the principle of old man and new man along with old covenant and new covenant.
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 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,
EPH 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
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.
EPH 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
EPH 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
EPH 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
EPH 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
We are the Lord’s house. He made a house out of people, and therefore had to make them of a certain type.
Christ fulfilled the Law through His death and gave us His law, which is His life, a life of heavenly holiness which absorbed the 613 commands of the Mosaic Law, elevating even them to the holiness of heaven. Jesus rejected the added rituals and rules that rabbis hoped would put a wall around the Torah, and simultaneously He sharpened the ethical standards of the Law, carrying them back beyond overt speech and action to the hidden motives and emotions of the heart, and insisting on “the weightier matters of the Law, justice, and mercy, and faith” (MAT 23:23). Righteousness was to surpass “that of the scribes and Pharisees” (MAT 5:20).
MAT 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
MAT 5:18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
MAT 5:19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
MAT 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus took the law of Moses and made it extraordinary. He took men and made them extraordinary and then bid them to follow Him.
Still, in the beginning of the church, we find certain conservative Jewish Christians demanding that Gentile Christians conform as they would have to Judaism under the old economy.
The first Jewish Christians had to accept that the Law was removed from man as even Paul did directly after his conversion. All of us come into the Christian way of life with bad habits that have no place in the life of Christ.
It is when we come to know Christ that we come to really know sin.
ROM 7:15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
The New Covenant promises that they shall all know God, and this is fulfilled in all of us who know Jesus Christ. He has revealed deity in the flesh. When we know Him, we know love, and when we know love we know sin. (I do not refer to identifying sin, but knowing it.)
Laws cannot make a man virtuous as God is. Life is more than law.
Jesus doesn’t have a Law governing His actions or movements. He is the Law.
Far too few Christians understand this.
PHI 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
PHI 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;
PHI 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
PHI 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:
PHI 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
PHI 3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
Self-confidence and zeal for law described Saul of Tarsus.
PHI 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
PHI 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,
PHI 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
PHI 3:10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
PHI 3:11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Gaining Christ, possessing Christ’s righteousness, knowing Christ, having the power of Christ’s resurrection, experiencing Christ’s sufferings, being conformed to Christ’s death described Paul.