Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Access to Peace
14For 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, New King James Version)
Access to Peace
What happened to the Jewish nation? There is still a Jewish nation today; are they still the chosen people of God? These are interesting questions which Paul addresses here in his letter to the Ephesians.
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, New King James Version)
The uncircumcised in verse 11 are the Gentiles, and the circumcised are the Jews. Christ's coming has healed the breach between these two groups, and has given peace to all. Believers today are called the Israel of God.
Does that mean that all Jewish people are Christians? Unfortunately, no! Just as all Gentiles are not Christians, so all Jews are not Christians. If you will look in the Old Testament, it was always true that not every Jewish person was a follower of God; many lived their whole lives running away from God and His commandments.
Today, the Jewish people come to Christ exactly the same way that Gentiles do. What an amazing thing that God has brought peace between the two groups and that those of us who are Gentiles have the same opportunity to come to Christ.
Would God have been unfair if He only allowed the Jews to come to Christ? Do any of us deserve Christ? No Christian gets what they deserve! Every single person, whether they come to Christ or not, does not deserve Christ. There is nothing in us that makes us better than unbelievers. It is all of grace, all of Christ, and none of us.
We are right, then, when we speak of peace on earth and goodwill to men, when we speak of the coming of Christ. Only through Christ do we have access to God, and only through Christ do we have access to peace!
Think about that as you go through the hustle and bustle of this holiday season.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!
God Bless You,