By Stan Brown
Ephesians 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
He made peace. Through His death on the cross Jesus Christ paved the way for peace with God and peace with one another. Paul speaks here about bringing peace between Jews and Gentiles (That seems to include pretty much everyone.) by nullifying the Law of commandments contained in ordinances. When I look at the news this morning there is a cry for peace and unity but without a submission to Jesus Christ there can be no peace. The election “victors” issue a call for peace without understanding that the only victory that could ever provide peace is the victory achieved when the Son of God died and rose again into the greatest victory ever accomplished. This victory providing peace must be lived out in the church; that is His body.
Verses fifteen and sixteen provide parallel thoughts. Both verses speak of the enmity that exists between Jew and Gentile being abolished; being put to death. The parallel thought continues with the thoughts that in Himself He might make the two into one new man and reconcile them both in one body to God. The word translated reconcile is used only three times in the New Testament and is never used in Greek literature prior to Paul. Some believe that Paul coined the word. It is always an act of God that breaks down enmity and replaces it with peace or unity. Here it reconciles into one body two opposing factions (Jews and Gentiles). In Colossians it speaks of God reconciling us unto Himself. Col. 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Col. 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach --
The parallel includes into one man and into one body (the word man here is not related to gender but rather is inclusive of all people). The means of providing peace is through the cross. Peace is always on display as we enjoy peace with God for by grace are you saved through faith). You might say, I don’t always feel peace with God. That isn’t God’s fault. Get with the program and spend time with Him. Peace is also made available to the new man; indeed, to the body of Christ. As God reconciled us to Himself, He also reconciled us to each other in the body. We must never give up for by grace are you saved through faith and the vital doctrines that support it, yet God has created the unity of the body to demonstrate to the world who He is. We are His message to the world. Peace and unity are only available through the cross. Any appeal to them apart from the cross is only words that are devoid of content.
The enmity that screams out all around us in nearly everything we see has been put to death to Christ. He stands with open arms inviting us to partake. This invitation is available to all. Without acceptance of this bidding, all stand without hope and are just beating the air.