Eph 2:14-17 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”
In verse thirteen, Paul has just told us that the blood of Christ caused us to be brought into a close fellowship with God as part of His covenant people. The law determined, by the work of the hands, that Circumcision would have no fellowship with Uncircumcision. The enmity (defined by Strong’s as “hostility; by implication a reason for opposition”) that separated Jew and Gentile was destroyed in the flesh of Jesus Christ.
He is our peace! The Greek word rendered “peace” is defined as “(to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity.” He has joined in Himself all those who are called out by the Holy Spirit to walk in God’s covenant. He abolished the need for the keeping of the ceremonial law, and, in doing so, did away with the construct that separated His believing children who were nigh from those who were far off.
This was no small feat. As a matter of fact, the price paid to accomplish this was tremendous. We often focus on the sin-cleansing effect of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. There were other things that were accomplished with that great price as well. The abolishment of the legal partition between God’s people and the inclusion of the Gentile nation as part of His covenant people was one of these accomplishments. The same sacrifice that cleanses us and makes us fit for eternal glory also established this grace covenant that we draw great comfort from daily.
None of this was done with outside help. All of this was on the shoulders of our Lord Jesus just as Isaiah prophesied (Isa 9:6). In His death on the cross, He fully reconciled both Jew and Gentile unto God. The reason for opposition was slain on the cross in the body of Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, made (same Greek word rendered “create” in Eph 2:10) in Himself one new man. When Jesus said He gave us His peace and left it with us (Joh 14:27), He was promising Himself to us! He truly made peace by making of two one new man in Himself!
After all He accomplished, He came and preached peace to those which were afar off and those that were close by. Once He had slain the enmity, He began to spread His gospel through His servants, beginning at Jerusalem and then spreading that blessed word to the Gentiles. When the gospel is preached today, it is still Jesus that preaches. Those of us who stand in the pulpit are vessels for His use, trumpets for Him to use to sound forth His glorious truths.
There are many wonderful orators in the world. It takes more than good oratory skills to preach the gospel. It takes more than knowledge of the scripture to preach the gospel. It takes more than desire to preach the gospel. Preaching the gospel requires the calling of God and the presence of the Holy Ghost to give the power of the testimony of Jesus Christ to the words that we speak. Preaching the gospel and hearing the gospel are spiritual occurrences; man can do neither without the presence of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. He is still preaching His glorious gospel today. Without His presence and power, we are just public speakers.
May we rejoice in the knowledge that He is our peace, that He has destroyed the reason for our opposition, that He has fully reconciled us to God, and that He still declares His glorious good news today!