The book of Ephesians chapter 2 is a very well-known chapter. In the first part of this chapter, we have that famous verse attesting to the fact that by God’s grace one is saved, not by means of work but as a gift from God. We will focus on the meaning of the gift (the cross) and also the implication and outcome. We need to understand correctly this message of victory and salvation, so we can speak it with authority.
If we look at the middle part of this chapter, we see that Apostle Paul was speaking to 2 groups of people, Jews and Gentiles. God promised to establish a people that will be treasured people unto God, His people redeemed through the seed of Abraham. In Galatians 3:16, Apostle Paul tells us that seed is the Messiah (Jesus). He is the foundation of the Abrahamic covenant that brings the establishment of the people of God and the kingdom of God. Hence, Paul is speaking about a message that has relevance to all humanity, both Jews or Gentiles.
In Ephesians 2:12, he was speaking primarily to the Gentiles who did not know the revelation of God and did not have a covenantal relationship with the God of Israel. And because one was without Messiah, he said “you were foreigner, stranger or alien”. In this verse, it says the ‘commonwealth’ of Israel, this word in Greek is the basis for the word ‘politic’ in English. Through the Messiah, we enter into a political institution and that institution has a king. A king that rules forever, ultimately the Messiah. As we learn all the way back in Genesis 28:3, Israel is going to be a congregation of people’s meeting, not just a person but rather a representation of all the tribes, nations, people and languages of the world.
And if we go back to the Abrahamic covenant, we see that Abraham at the time when God spoke to him, was uncircumcised. This is the message of faith, when we see how Abraham was made to be righteous, it is by faith. We find the justification of faith goes all the way back to Genesis 15:6. Abraham’s covenant is a covenant to bring blessing into the world, so all the family of the world will be blessed. God wants to redeem all humanity. That is why the scripture says “For God so loved the world”. God’s work through the Messiah’s cross is sufficient for the salvation of all humanity.
In Ephesians 2:13, Paul was speaking about what they received by faith. The foundation of the Abrahamic covenant is the Messiah. Now everything is different in Messiah, it attested that these people are in a covenantal relationship with God. When blood appears in the scripture, the primary purpose of this blood is for the purpose of redemption. Messiah is the main element of redemption because Messiah’s blood is powerful and redeems eternally. But that blood does not have any benefit until you receive it by faith. Redemption can only be experienced by faith. Here, Paul spoke about the wall of separation and he was referring to the wall between humanity and God. God’s purpose in creating Jewish people was uniquely for a purpose, that they would serve him. Israel was supposed to be a servant to bring the blessing to all the nations.
Ephesians 2:14 says for He is our peace, He who made both ‘one’ (Jews and Gentiles). The only way one can have access to God and be found by God’s grace is through the work of the Messiah. He destroyed the wall between humanity and God through the blood on the cross. We are in spiritual darkness and only through the Messiah that will change for all humanity.
We need to have the right understanding of what Paul was saying in Ephesians 2:15, the wall of separation is the enmity between humanity and God. This enmity which Jesus destroyed by His flesh when His body was nailed to the cross. We are being united with God through this gospel and it brings about unity when we are committed to the authority of this scripture. The term ‘the law of the commandments in the statutes’, this is appearing because it is through the commandments that I learn that I am a sinner, rebellious to God and I am in need of redemption. Romans 8:4 says that those who walk not in flesh but by the spirit fulfil the righteousness of the law.
Messiah laid down His life, in order for humanity to be reconciled with God. The peace between God and humanity in Ephesians 2:16, Jesus reconciled both Jews and Gentiles into one body to God, through the cross. In Ephesians 2:17, it says He came to proclaim peace to you, to one that is far (Gentiles) and near (Jews) because they receive the revelation of the gospel first. He came to evangelize peace to you, through Him we have access to God.
Therefore as a result of that, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are part of the commonwealth of Israel. We become citizens together, same citizenship and access to the spirit of God. The message of the Messiah is a message to humanity, that God makes us a new man through the blood of redemption. Being filled with the holy spirit, we now have a message to share. Now, take the message of reconciliation, the message of hope, the promises of God and share it truthfully, accurately, boldly but with simplicity. Through this, you will be amazed how the holy spirit comes to that person and provokes them to say “Yes I want that salvation and forgiveness of sin”.