“For he is our peace who hath made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace …” (Eph. 2:14-15).
In former verses Paul has spoken of the separation of Gentiles both from Jews and God but in verse 13 declared, “But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were afar off are made nigh through his blood.” Then begins his statement, “For he is our peace …” Isaiah wrote, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given … he shall be called Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Faith in Jesus may produce trials in family and friends because some will believe while others won’t. In the face of this Jesus said, “Think not that I cam to bring peace upon the earth. I came not to bring peace but a sword” (Mt. 10:34). Still, while our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and God may cause us to be at war with our loved ones, it is only through acceptance of Jesus that we can be at peace with God. Thus Paul wrote, “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God our father through the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:11). This peace is possible through Christ’s sacrifice “and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). Jesus told his apostles, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). The forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God brings a peace that passeth all understanding to man because Christ has made it possible, through His sacrifice, for us to be reconciled to God.
The instrument which made possible for man be at peace with God is the same instrument through which it is possible for man to be reconciled to man: the cross of Christ. Christ has made Jew and Gentile one by breaking down the “middle wall of partition between them.” That partition wall is called “enmity,” verses 15-16. In the parallel section from Colossians, the partition wall was said to be “contrary to us” (Col. 2:14).
And just what was this “middle wall of partition” which separated Jews from Gentile? Let Paul tell us. In Colossians 2:4 he wrote that Christ “blotted out the bond written in ordinances which were against us, which was contrary to us; and he hath taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” In Ephesians 2:14 we are told that Christ “abolished in his flesh the enmity; even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” Thus, the middle wall between Jew and Gentile which Christ broke down, was the “law of commandments contained in ordinances;” the “bond written in ordinances which were against us.”
When Christ removed the enmity between Jew and Gentile He made of the two one new man, thereby making peace between them. And having made peace, He preached “peace to those afar off (the Gentile) and peace to them that were nigh (Jew) for through him both have our access to God” (Eph. 2:15). But, just what was this “law of commandments contained in ordinances;” this “bond written in ordinances which was against us”? This will be our study in our next article.