Posted by: dhkrause | August 22, 2012

One New Man

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:14-15 that Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has broken down the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles so as to create in himself “one new man from the two, thus making peace”. To understand the context and full import of this teaching it is helpful to look at the whole chapter. Paul begins by describing the personal salvation of individuals who are made alive in Christ, redeemed by the blood of Messiah.

Ephesians 2 (NKJV)
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Paul then describes God’s mercy and love in making us alive together in Messiah; this is a free gift to us through faith by grace, for which the Father and the Son of God paid a supreme price.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

He declares in verse 10 that we are to walk in the works that God ordained beforehand for each of us.

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared [ordained] beforehand that we should walk in them.

In verses 11-13, Paul describes how by Messiah’s blood Jew and Gentile are brought near and reconciled in Him.

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

The outer courts of the temple in Jerusalem had a section for Israelite men and another for Israelite women. Surrounding these outer courts was a “wall of separation” forbidding the Gentiles from coming any closer. This prohibition had not been commanded by God; it was strictly the work of men. Spiritually speaking, Messiah Yeshua, Christ Jesus has now removed this wall of separation so that Gentiles can come into the covenants of promise and hope in a renewed Israel that is walking with her Messiah. Together Jews and Gentiles become the “one new man” created in Messiah Yeshua to represent Him in the world.

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances [law of injunctions by dogma], so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Because of the removal by Messiah of this dividing wall of partition, Gentiles can now enter in and be part of the Commonwealth of Israel. On this score we recall how Yeshua cried out in Mark 11:17, quoting Isaiah 56:7, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?”.

Paul then describes how the Messiah is the cornerstone of the spiritual temple God is building, with each of us as living stones.

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints [the holy ones who are near to him] and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Psalm 148:14 describes Yahweh’s “saints” or holy ones who are near to him:

Psalm 148 (NKJV)
14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!

Yahweh fits together the stones into a holy temple. Each believer is meant to be one of the stones of that Temple, all “built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit”.   Jesus, Yeshua has broken down the “middle wall of separation”, and is creating of both Jews and Gentiles the “one new man” in Himself.

David Krause,, 8/9/2011

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