The Berean Expositor
Volume 40 - Page 20 of 254
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"And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all
things unto Himself . . . . . you, that were sometime alienated and enemies . . . . . in the
body of His flesh through death . . . . ." (Col. 1: 20-22).
If we allow the Apostle to be his own interpreter we shall read together the two
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off."
"You that were sometime alienated."
The `aliens' from the Commonwealth of Israel, were those who had become `alienated
from the life of God'. They could not merely refer to the `lost tribes of the house of
Israel', for Paul's reference to `things in earth, or things in heaven', or `every creature
which is under heaven' is too wide for such a limitation.
When addressing the people of Israel, the prophets and Peter spoke of some indeed
who were far off, but of others who were nigh. These Gentiles however were all far off,
and all needed to be `made nigh'. The word engus "nigh" is used in the LXX for the next
of kin "his kin, that is near unto him" (Lev. 21: 2), and so of the Kinsman-Redeemer. "If
his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is
next of kin to him of his family" (Numb. 27: 11). Job uses the word in the chapter
where he declares "I know that my Redeemer (Kinsman-Redeemer) liveth", for in
Job 19: 14 he complained `my kinsfolk have failed'. It is with some feeling that we see
in the immediate context of these words of Job such expressions as hope removed,
counted as enemy, brethren far from me, estranged, STRANGER and ALIEN, showing
how the absence of the Kinsman-Redeemer was associated, as in  Eph. 2:,  with
alienation and enmity. Just as Job, however, found his complete satisfaction in the
Kinsman-Redeemer, so the Gentile addressed by Paul was made nigh only `in the blood
of Christ'.
While the chief emphasis  in Scripture when  `blood'  is mentioned is on the
sacrificial aspect, we must not forget such passages as Heb. 2: 14 and Acts 17: 26,
without which the Kinsman-Redeemer aspect would not be possible.  In Eph. 1: 7 the
blood of Christ  is the instrument of deliverance and forgiveness,  which sets the
bondman free, in Eph. 1: 14, redemption is of the purchased possession, the work of the
Kinsman-Redeemer retrieving the inheritance forfeited by death, and in Eph. 2: 13 this
Kinsman-Redeemer makes us one with Himself. So we shall read presently of this
redeemed company being reconciled to God `in one body' and when we are weighing this
matter over, we shall discover that it is exceedingly difficult to feel sure as to whether the
`one body' refers to the body of His flesh, as in Col. 1:, or to the one body, namely the
newly-formed church of the Mystery. Happily, consciousness of the Kinsman-Redeemer
enables us to see that there is no great disparity here, but a most marvelous oneness,
`all of one' in Heb. 2: 11 being made possible by the partaking of flesh and blood of
verse fourteen.
The Gentiles who were `far off' are said to be `made nigh'. The epistle to the
Hebrews speaks of `things that are made' (Heb. 12: 27) as being vulnerable, the Greek