December 1st 2018 – Ephesians 2:13-15

"13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace."

Ephesians 2:13-15

These are verses which reveal the amazing, glorious, overwhelming change that grace makes in human life. That change can be well summed up in the phrase 'He (Christ) is our peace'. From terrible emptiness, meaninglessness and hopelessness - with the awful fear and horror that these bring - into peace, well-being and rest. That is the wonder of the gospel! We need, however, to understand the context of Paul's words here. In 13, 'far off' and 'nigh' are almost technical terms, the first referring to the Gentiles, in contrast to the Jews, who by virtue of having the covenants and the promise were regarded, in this comparison, as being 'nigh'. And the force of the phrases in 14, 'hath made both one', and 'make in himself of twain one new man' in 15 is that they refer to the coming together of Jew and Gentile in the grace of the gospel, for both alike, being reconciled to God, are reconciled to one another (16). Paul is, of course, thinking of the great reconciliation wrought in the cross, but here he first of all applies it to the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile through that cross. As such, this is an apt illustration of the greatness and wonder of the way in which today those that are 'far off' - the outsider, the unchurched, those divorced from any background in spiritual things - can be wrought upon decisively by the gospel and brought to newness of life in Christ and transformed by His grace. To think that such outcasts and 'no-hopers' can be reclaimed and brought into the fold and family of God should surely encourage us to believe that even the worst, the hardest, the most antagonistic, the most indifferent, can be touched and reached for Christ. There is no one too far away for the grace of God to reach!