Friday, November 22, 2013

Ephesians 2:14 comments: Christ, our peace with God

14 ¶  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Christ is mankind’s peace with God.

Romans 5:1   Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Christ, the physical, visible image of the invisible God, (John 1:1; John 14:9; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) not a separate person as in a different God or another God, but the angel, or appearance, of God (Galatians 4:14; Acts 27:23; Judges 2:1), God in the flesh, the Son of God, or the body of God, if you will, has broken down the division, the barrier, between God and man.

Theology 101 requires us to know who God is and of what He is composed. God, creator of all that exists (Genesis 1:1) is one person with three parts (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:2; 1 John 5:7); a soul, the seat of will and self-identity (Job 23:13; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27) or God the Father, a spirit, the agency of activity and power throughout the universe or the Holy Spirit, and a body, God the Son, the very WORD by which all things were created and the physical form in which God dwelt among men (John 1:1-18; Genesis 1).

These three parts of one God can act independently in space-time of each other and yet still be the same God. Mankind and the higher animals also have soul, spirit, and body (man – 1 Thessalonians 5:23, for the beast’s soul and spirit – Numbers 31:28; Job 12:10; Ecclesiastes 3:21) but in our case, if one is separated from the other we die physically.  Plus, we haven’t created anything except, usually, a mess.

In religions like Islam and modern Judaism there is no way to bridge the gap between God and man. Man continually tries to do it with his works but their God does not do anything but tell them how he wants them to behave and judge them if they don’t obey, if he’s not simply a disinterested deity. In Islam in particular there is no expression of any love from their God for man at all.

In Roman Catholicism, the ecclesiastical organization called The Church is supposed to be that bridge, with The Church reaching out to God and fulfilling his will on earth. All of these religions are humanistic in their approach. Essentially, they are man reaching out to some concept of God to be approved and accepted. This is also true in many Protestant faith traditions including the Independent Baptist, in many cases.

In Biblical Christianity, God, coming to earth in the form of a human being, bridged that gap. God did all the work. Mankind receives and mankind believes (John 1:12, 13). After that, saved mankind is predestinated to eternal life. As God did all the work, mankind can take credit for nothing (Ephesians 2:8,9).

As the saved man speaks to God in prayer and as the saved man allows God to speak to him through God’s words in His Book and through Biblical preaching (not Sophistry)  God changes him from the inside out and sanctifies him, or sets him apart for God’s purposes. This can be somewhat different for each person depending on God’s calling and on the degree of faith given to him. And yes, faith is a gift from God and is not generated from inside of man by his or her own will.

God came to us. We didn’t go to Him. Christ stepped across the divide between God and man/womankind when we had no capacity or will to do so. Christ tore down the wall between God's people, the Jews, and the Gentiles. Our works before salvation, as good as they may be in the eyes of the world, are nothing but trash and totally ineffectual in achieving our union with God or making peace. Only Christ’s works and Christ do that.

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