As we had in Eph. 2:4, we have the word “but” here in Eph. 2:13. This is a word of contrast. It changes the tone and emphasis of the passage with which we are dealing. He informs the Ephesians and us that we, who have been estranged spiritually from God, are now, through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross, are now in fellowship with God.
In verses 14-18 Paul emphasizes how Christ is the means by which God was able to bring Jew and Gentile together, making peace. Paul stresses the importance of the work of Christ in salvation. He shifts from “you” to “we” and “our” in this section because both Jew and Gentile alike now have the same hope: Christ’s atoning death. There are at least three things the Savior has done for ‘us” through His reconciling work on the cross.
He has brought us peace. (Eph. 2:14a) Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. Paul tells us that peace is found in a person, the Lord Jesus. We have this thought described in the Old Testament (Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:5), affirmed in the Gospels (Luke 1:79; 2:14; 19:42; John 14:27), and explained in the Epistles (Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20; 3; 15).
He has made us one. (Eph. 2:14b-16) Christ’s death tore down the dividing wall and His blood obliterated the long-standing division between Jew and Gentile. There was literal wall in the temple dividing Jew and Gentile but Paul may also be referring to the fact that at the cross Christ fulfilled all the shadows and types of the ceremonial law system. A person is only accepted by God through the work of Christ. He did this to demonstrate the work of Christ and that He might reconcile us to God. Jesus’ death ended the hostility.
Christ preached peace (Eph. 2:17). Christ proclaims peace through His followers today. The only true peace comes from the Prince of peace. The whole world needs the gospel. Let’s be faithful in sharing it.
Christ has given us access to God (Eph. 2:18). Those who respond in faith obedience to Jesus’ work and message now have access to God. In this passage we see all three parts of the Godhead in view.
This is what prayer is all about. The ongoing benefit of Christ’s reconciliation is that we have access to God. We can come to God in and with boldness. Jew and Gentile alike can approach the Throne of Grace freely.
-Larry Miles, August 12, 2015, Camp Cilca, IL