The Berean Expositor
Volume 40 - Page 19 of 254
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Even Galilee, which was a part of the holy land, was called "Galilee of the Gentiles"
and the people there are said to have "sat in darkness" (Matt. 4: 15).
Now, when Ephesians was being written, the people of Israel had become Lo-ammi
"not My people" and during their blindness a new revelation had been made known,
calling the far off Gentiles into an unprecedented state of nearness. In the sequel, after
the nature of this nearness is explained, the Apostle invests the words of Isa. 57: 19
with a fuller meaning: "Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near" (see
Eph. 2: 17). This passage however cannot be understood or correctly interpreted unless it
be read in relation to the whole context. It is time therefore that we considered the
structure of the passage in order to comprehend its scope.
Ephesians 2: 14 - 18
a1 |
He is our Peace.
a2 |
Reconciled to God.
| "The Both" One.
| "The Both" one body.
| "The Twain" One.
| "The Both" one spirit.
a1 |
So making Peace.
a2 |
Access to the Father.
What we have omitted in this synopsis are the references to enmity and the middle
wall, which enmity was destroyed at the cross. Before these features are examined, the
glorious basis and sphere of this great change must be considered:
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood
of Christ" (Eph. 2: 13).
The state of the Gentiles by nature was "without Christ", their state by grace is
expressed by the opposite "in Christ Jesus".  Expositors do not agree as to the
interpretation of the words translated "by the blood of Christ"--Alford says:
"I prefer `in' to `by' . . . . . the difference between en here and dia in ch. 1:7 is, that
there the blood of Christ is spoken of specifically as the medium of our apolutrosis
(redemption)--here inclusively as representing the apolutrosis."
Elliott on the other hand reckons that en here has its instrumental force. However we
translate the words, we should be aware of the repetition of this preposition en in the
context, and to see it in the outworking of the Apostle's argument will compel us to use
care in its rendering. Let us tabulate the use of en in this section (Eph. 2: 11-19), and
for the sake of clarity, we will render en by the word "in", in each passage. In the flesh;
in the world;  in Christ Jesus;  in the blood of Christ;  in His flesh;  in ordinances;
in Himself; in one body; in it, or in Himself (thereby verse 16); in one spirit.  With all
this insistence upon `sphere', in the flesh, in the world, in the spirit, etc., it seems wrong
to lift the words "in the blood of Christ" out of this category, by translating the phrase
"by the blood of Christ". It would appear therefore that the Apostle would expand the
words `now in Christ Jesus' by the added words `nigh in the blood of Christ' in order that
there shall be no chance of misunderstanding the sacrificial basis of this mighty change.
When he came to write on this subject of alienation and reconciliation in Colossians, he
puts the matter thus: