In from the cold: 26/27 March 2014

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. — Ephesians 2: 13


Through the sacrifice of Christall human beings have beengranted the opportunity tofeel the nearness of God.

The letter to the Ephesians makes it clear in impressive fashion that the people of the new covenant is of universal composition. In other words, it is no longer confined to the nation of Israel, the people of the old covenant (Jeremiah 31: 31–34; Hebrews 8: 8–12). Today it also incorporates the Gentiles, namely those who were formerly at a distance from God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which was brought for all mankind, they too have gained access to the proximity of God—a unique gift of God’s love and grace!

The New Testament record clearly attests in many places—like here in the epistle to the Ephesians, for example—that problems also came about as a result of the merging of Jews and Gentiles in the same congregation.

And it is precisely for this reason that Paul calls to mind the unique gift of God’s love and praises His unfathomable love—which serves, as it were, as a standard for the actions of all who know they are united in Christ.

In many editions of the Bible this is especially emphasised by the heading “The fullness of grace and wisdom in the gospel” over Ephesians 1–3, and the heading “New life through grace” over chapters 4–6. Thus the gift of new life is repeatedly juxtaposed with the obligation to conduct our lives in the awareness of this grace.

Core Points

The people of the new covenant is of universal composition, and thus no longer restricted to Israel, the people of the old covenant.

  • God has sent His Son in order that all who believe in Him may have eternal fellowship with Him.
  • This is both a gift and an obligation.
  • Like Jesus, let us also create peace and be one with one another.

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