One of the implications of the fall—and of our inherited sinful nature—is that we are not only estranged from God, but are also at war with each other. Yet through the work of Christ on our behalf, Paul teaches that we are not only reconciled to God, but also believers from different walks of life are all united to each other into one body.
On this edition of the program, the hosts continue their study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and will be finishing their discussion of chapter 2. Join us for this new edition of the White Horse Inn.
“Paul’s argument moves from the fact that we are justified through faith, and that all of this is a gift of God, including the faith, and that Jesus is our peace. We who were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. That is the glue holding us together. And so, Paul turns from the vertical peace with God to the horizontal peace with each other.
“Christ has created this global family of Abraham. He is the promised seed in whom all the families of the earth are blessed. And Paul says, ‘For he himself is our peace who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.’ And there, Paul is, of course, specifically focusing on the Jew-Gentile mystery. In the history of redemption, the focus is on Israel and now the amazing thing is he’s saying Israel already contained within it the seeds of this promise to reach Gentiles like us.”
Term to Learn
“The Gospel Message”
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel (Gen. 3:15).
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:21–26).
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1–4).
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:3–6).
(English Standard Version)