DAILY DEVOTIONAL, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2023

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Reconciliation and Peace through Christ

Ephesians 2:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

This verse emphasizes the fact that through faith in Jesus, believers who were formerly separated from God have been reconciled to Him. The phrase “you who once were far away” suggests that these believers were in a state of spiritual distance or separation from God but that through faith in Jesus, they have been brought near to Him.

The phrase “through the blood of Christ” is significant, as it refers to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. It is through His death and resurrection that we are reconciled to God and given new life.

But now – marks a transition, indicating that something has changed. This is an important key to understanding the verse. It contrasts the previous state of the readers with the present state.

In Christ Jesus – this phrase tells us that the change that has occurred is specifically in relation to Jesus Christ, it locates the change within the person and work of Jesus Christ.

You who once were far off – This phrase describes the previous state of the readers. The readers were at a distance from God and from his blessings. This distance could be understood as a spiritual distance or a separation from God caused by sin.

Have been brought near – this phrase describes the change that has occurred. The readers are no longer far off but have been brought near to God. This is a powerful message of reconciliation, of being brought back into the right relationship with God.

By the blood of Christ – this phrase explains how the readers have been brought near. The work of Christ, and specifically his death on the cross, his shed blood, is what makes the reconciliation possible.

This verse emphasizes how through the death of Jesus Christ, people who were once separated from God because of their sins can now be reconciled to him and brought near to him. It points to the saving power of Jesus Christ and how we, as humans, could not have done anything to bridge the gap between God and us.

Overall, this verse is a powerful reminder of the reconciling work of Jesus and the fact that it is through His death and resurrection that we are able to be brought near to God and given new life. It is a reminder of the grace and love of God towards believers and the fact that through faith in Jesus, we can experience this reconciliation and new life.

Historical and Cultural Context

In the historical and cultural context of the time, many of the readers of this letter would have been Gentiles, that is, non-Jewish people who had converted to Christianity. In the Jewish culture, Gentiles were often considered to be “far off” from God, as they were not part of the chosen people and did not follow Jewish laws and rituals.

This verse is addressing this issue, and Paul emphasizes that through the death of Jesus Christ, Gentiles (and all people) can be reconciled to God and brought near to him, regardless of their ethnicity or previous religious practices. This message of reconciliation would have been particularly significant for the Gentile converts, as it affirmed their full acceptance and inclusion in the Christian community.

THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

Paul also emphasizes that this reconciliation is not obtained by anything that we do, by any merit of our own, but by grace through faith. This means that we can’t earn salvation or reconciliation with God by any good deeds or following certain laws or practices, but it is a gift from God given to us through faith in Jesus. This message would have been counter to the expectations of many of the readers, who would have been accustomed to earning salvation or righteousness through adherence to certain laws and customs.

In summary, Ephesians 2:13 emphasizes the message of reconciliation and unity through faith in Jesus Christ, and how it is a gift of grace, not a reward of human merits, and how it breaks down any barrier of an ethnic or cultural divide.

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