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Salvation through Faith in Christ

Ephesians 2:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 and might reconcile[1] them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the enmity in himself.

This verse explains the extent of the reconciliation work of Jesus, stating that He reconciled all things, both on earth and in heaven, through His death on the cross. The phrase “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” emphasizes the fact that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the means by which this reconciliation was achieved.

The phrase “all things” suggests that the reconciling work of Jesus has a universal scope, and that through His death and resurrection, He reconciled all people and all of creation to God. This includes both believers and non-believers and suggests that the reconciling work of Jesus is available to all.

Overall, this verse is a powerful reminder of the reconciling work of Jesus and the fact that it extends to all people and all of creation. It is a reminder of the grace and love of God towards all people, and the fact that through faith in Jesus, we can experience this reconciliation and be brought near to God.

And might reconcile  them – The Greek word used here for “reconcile” is “katallasso,” which means to change from enmity to friendship. The verse is saying that God’s ultimate goal is to bring about reconciliation between himself and humanity.

Both in one body to God – The “both” refers to the previously mentioned “enmity” between God and humanity, and the “one body” refers to the body of Christ, the church. The verse is saying that through the death of Jesus on the cross, God has created a way to reconcile humanity to himself through the unity of the church.

Through the cross – The means by which this reconciliation is accomplished is through the death of Jesus on the cross, which is the central event of the Christian faith.

Having killed the enmity in himself – The word “enmity” is used to describe the hostility and alienation that existed between God and humanity. The death of Jesus on the cross is seen as the means by which this hostility was overcome, allowing for reconciliation to take place.

Ephesians 2:16 teaches that through the death of Jesus on the cross, God has provided a way for humanity to be reconciled to him, overcoming the hostility and alienation that existed between them. This reconciliation is accomplished through the unity of the body of Christ, the Church.

Historical and Cultural Context

Ephesians 2:16 is a verse in the Bible that speaks about the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles through Jesus Christ. The historical and cultural context in which this verse was written is important in understanding its meaning and significance.

In the first century AD, the Jewish people and the Gentiles (non-Jews) had a strained relationship. Jews believed they were God’s chosen people and looked down on Gentiles as unclean and outside of God’s favor. However, in Ephesians 2:16, the author Paul explains that through Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled to God and brought together as one body.

This message of reconciliation would have been revolutionary for the audience of Ephesians, as it challenged the cultural and religious beliefs of the time. Paul is emphasizing that through faith in Jesus, distinctions between people groups are no longer relevant, and all are welcomed into God’s kingdom.

Additionally, the Greek word used for “reconcile” in this verse is “katallasso,” which can also be translated as “to change from enmity to friendship.” This further emphasizes the idea of a complete change in the relationship between Jews and Gentiles and the end of hostility between them.

In summary, Ephesians 2:16 is a powerful message of unity and reconciliation through faith in Jesus Christ, challenging the cultural and religious beliefs of the time and emphasizing the breaking down of barriers between people groups.

[1] Atonement, Reconciliation: (Heb. כָּפַר kaphar; Gr. καταλλαγή katallagē; καταλλάσσω katallassō) The sense in both the OT Hebrew and NT Greek Scriptures is that of making amends (cleansing oneself from a sin or one’s sinful condition). That is, falling short (be it intentional, ignorance, or negligence) and restoring a previously harmonious relationship with God. This would then allow the person to approach God and worship him in an approved condition regardless of his human imperfection. In the Hebrew Scriptures, different types of sacrifices were offered, especially on the annual Day of Atonement. This was to bring about reconciliation with God regardless of the sins of individuals and the whole nation. The sacrifices of the Hebrew OT pointed to the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This was the sacrifice once for all time that atoned for anyone who accepts Jesus and evidence faith in that sacrifice, which reconciles that one to God. – Lev. 5:10; 23:28; Eph. 2:16; Col 1:20, 22; Heb. 9:12.

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