For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
Note 7 at Eph 2:14: Anytime two opposing groups are joined together, it is a great testimony of unity and peace. In the body of Christ (see note 14 at 1Co 12:27), it is Christ and Christ alone who has created this peace. He did this by breaking down the middle wall of partition that divided Jew and Gentile.
In the Jerusalem temple, there was a physical wall of partition that symbolized this division. The Gentiles could come into a designated area of the temple known as the Court of the Gentiles, but a five-foot stone wall allowed them to go no farther. A sign standing before the wall stated, "No man of another nation is to enter, and whosoever is caught will have himself to blame for his death!"
Many regulations and rules had separated Jews and Gentiles for centuries (Ac 10:28). Christ's work on the cross abolished that separation by removing the Law (see note 9 at Eph 2:15) and thus the barrier between these two groups. Instead of making the Gentiles Jews, or the Jews Gentiles, God did a brand-new thing. It's like crossing a horse and a donkey. The result is not a horse or a donkey. You get a brand-new animal--a mule.
In the New Testament church, there is no such thing as Jew or Gentile, bond or free, for God has created something absolutely new. It's the "one new man," the new creation in Christ Jesus, the church, Christ's body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23). The prejudice caused by racial and religious distinctions has been dissolved. Enmity, hostility, and hatred are over by the blood of His cross. Believers are now only Christians. It's only man and religion that want to rebuild what Christ has torn down.
Note 8 at Eph 2:14: In context, Paul was speaking about the differences between Jew and Gentile being done away with in Christ. The thing that separated Jew and Gentile was the Old Testament Law with all its laws and ceremonies. Jesus abolished these laws (see note 9 at Eph 2:15) and thereby broke down the partition that was between Jew and Gentile. He further made all believers new creations, making Jewish and Gentile distinctions no longer applicable. Believers are all new creations in Christ Jesus with heavenly citizenship.
This unity is not limited to Jew and Gentile, although that is the subject Paul dealt with here. In Ga 3:28, Paul said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Therefore, not only are national and religious divisions done away with; social standings that divide (bond and free), as well as gender differences, are dissolved in Christ. All believers are united to each other regardless of race, sex, or social standing.
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