Eph 2:11-12—Circumcision was a distinguishing mark that separated out the Jewish people from the rest of the world, but it was only a physical mark in their flesh. What God truly wanted was the change/cleansing of a person’s heart.
When seeking to understand the significance of something, it is often helpful to contrast it with what has changed to better grasp the difference.
Five-fold depiction of Gentiles: 1) without Christ, 2) excluded from citizenship of Israel, 3) strangers to the covenants based on the promise, 4) having no hope, 5) without God.
Rom 9:5—The Jews had many advantages and privileges over those of the Gentiles.
Eph 2:13-16—The Law stipulated that God’s people, Israel, were to be separate from the other nations and were to live under the rule of Yahweh as their King. In the temple, there was a separate courtyard for the Jews and another one further away from the holy place for the Gentiles. But Christ has now destroyed that barrier and brought all people together into one new humanity.
Eph 2:17-20—The message that Christ brought was a message of “peace” for both Jews and Gentiles. Now everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord has “access” to God by one spirit.
Focus on unity: “both groups into one” (v. 14), “one new man” (v. 15), “one body” (v. 16), “one spirit” (v. 18),
Eph 2:21-22—God’s people are His building, His dwelling place through the spirit. It is not only that we now have access and are able to approach God, but that God has made His home in us by His spirit that He has given to us. We are the holy sanctuary/temple of God.
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Weekly Bible Teaching Archive