Ephesians 2:11–18 (NKJV)

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.

Ephesians 2:11-13

Paul has just basically stated in the earlier part of this chapter two that Christians were once–in the past–living dead men, walking in sin and the bondage of the flesh. He gave them the glorious reminder of how they are now–in their present hope–alive in Christ, freed from the bondage and sting of death by the grace of God through their simple faith in God. Now, Paul reminds them that they were once Gentiles in the flesh–called the Uncircumcision by the proud group called Circumcision–and that they were without Christ, aliens from the holy nation, and outsiders to the covenant of God. They were without hope; they were without God. However, God–through Christ Jesus–has brought them near by His blood. This comparison again shows them once as being unacceptable, sinners, Gentiles with no hope. Now, however, Christ Jesus has given them a seat at the table, a place near Him, where they can live free and saved. The real truth here is that, as Paul intimated in verse 3, neither the Jews nor the Gentiles were completely right without the work of Christ. Therefore, this nearness is not being brought into the Jewish camp, but rather both Gentiles and Jews being brought into the Jesus camp.

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, 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.

Ephesians 2:14-18

The present hope of those reading the letter, especially Gentiles, is that they have been brought near by Christ, and are now united in the body with those who once considered them unworthy. How can this be? Because Jesus is our peace, has made us one, and has broken down the walls that divide. Jesus abolished tension, division, and hatred. Through His physical sacrifice, Jesus fulfilled the law and created one man from the two, reconciling them both to God through the cross. Jesus preached His message of peace to those near and far, and provided access to the Father through the one Holy Spirit of God. Jesus Christ has brought nearness, peace, togetherness, reconciliation, and an end to enmity and strife to the Jew/Gentile tension, and the man/God tension. Jesus is the peacemaker.

What does this mean for us today? Regardless of your class, economic status, or your reputation you have access to salvation through Christ. Just like the classic children’s song, “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight,” God accepts all races, nationalities, and backgrounds. He brings those who are despised in the eyes of men into His family by grace when the sinner believes in faith. We have equal opportunity to be saved in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, be joyful and live in the freedom and grace provided through Jesus Christ. He is the Savior of the world, and you are living in His world if you believe! Christ Jesus is our peace. Accept Him and walk out of the bondage in which you find yourself. Leave the division and strife behind, and be free and at peace in Christ.

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