Saturday, June 17, 2006

No Wall of Separation

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 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, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:14-18)
Paul is addressing the relationship between believers among the Jews, who were of the Circumcision, and believers among the Gentiles, who were of the Uncircumcision (these were those who were not of Israel, but who believed in the God of Israel).

In the Temple complex, there was a place known as the Court of the Gentiles. It was for the God-fearing ones, but it was only the outermost court. A partition kept them from entering into the full worship and fellowship of covenant with the Jews. It was actually a physical enclosure that surrounded the Temple proper, and it was death for a Gentile to pass beyond its gate.

These were issues of enmity and division that could not simply be ignored. They had to be addressed properly and judicially, so that the stipulations of the covenant would be satisfied. That is what Jesus did through the shedding of His blood. He fulfilled all the requirements of the old covenant, and established a new and better covenant (Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6).

He has became our peace, our oneness, our wholeness. There is no longer any division between Jews who come to Yahweh and non-Jews who come to Yahweh. We all have the same access to the Father by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Jesus Messiah, the Anointed One.

The moral law remains, but the ordinances of separation no longer apply. We are one in the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s purpose, to bring salvation to the world through His covenant with Israel, is fulfilled in Him.

It does not matter if you have been far away (Gentile) or one who was near (Jew), the gospel of Jesus the Messiah is the dynamic power of God for salvation (forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, deliverance, healing) to all who believe, “for the Jew first, and also for the Greek [Gentile]” (Romans 1:16).