The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 193 of 210
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Made nigh (in
b 13-18
But now. Nigh. One
Christ Jesus)
c 19-22
Citizens together
Fitly framed together
Builded together.
The first part of the chapter reminds us that in times past we were children of
disobedience, children of wrath, but we learn the thanksgiving of God's grace (by grace
we are saved), and the "exceeding riches" of His grace in His kindness towards us
through Christ Jesus.
When we pass on to the following section, there is a dispensational aspect, for whereas
we had been reading about Spiritual Death and Life, we are confronted with our distance
from God because we are Gentiles in the flesh. The good news is that we are made nigh
by the blood of Christ. We have been reconciled to God in One body by the cross.
Whereas there were two: those who were far off (i.e. Gentiles), and those who were nigh
(Israel), now there is a new company called "the both" or "the twain", which is a new
man. We, as Gentiles, were distant from God, now we are made nigh. As Gentiles
(uncircumcised) we were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
strangers from the covenants of promise, without hope, without God in the world.
But the blood of Christ Jesus has made all the difference. Christ Jesus our peace, and
He has made "the both" one. The middle wall of partition has been broken down and the
enmity has been abolished in His flesh; no longer is there division due to commandments
and ordinances. We now have access by One Spirit to the Father.
Limitations of space prevent us from making a fuller expression of this theme and
explaining in detail the meaning of the term "the middle wall of partition". This can be
found in The Testimony of the Lord's Prisoner by Charles Welch, and Letters From
Prison by Stuart Allen.
Let us now examine the practical implications of the New Man. This section
commences with verse 20, which we quote:
"But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught
by Him, as the truth is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:20, 21)
Firstly we note that verse 20 refers back to the previous verses, which are of a
negative character. The apostle Paul had been writing of the dreadful state of the
Gentiles, who walked in the vanity of their mind, with their understanding darkened, and
alienated from the life of God: ignorant, because of the blindness of their hearts. He goes
on to speak of unspeakable uncleanness. It reminds us of Romans 1:18-25 where we read
that "their foolish heart was darkened" (vs. 21) and "who changed the truth of God unto a
lie" (vs. 25)
As we read this section therefore (Eph. 4:20-32) we shall not be surprised that there is
a great emphasis on truth, and putting away lying (vs. 25). Charles Welch translates this
"putting away the lie" which has a deeper meaning.