Who is the ‘one new man’ in Ephesians 2.15?
The assumptions of the past 2000 years suggest that we might not have identified Paul’s ‘one new man’ correctly…
Paul refers to ‘you’, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’, ‘both’, and ‘the two ’ in Ephesians 2.
The question is to whom is Paul referring in each reference?
Here are the answers that indicate that Paul’s ‘one new man’ is created from the two Jew and Gentile:
1 And you Gentiles He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you Gentiles once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we Jews and Gentiles all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our Jewish and Gentile flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us Jews and Gentiles,
5 even when we Jews and Gentiles were dead in trespasses, made us Jews and Gentiles alive together with Christ (by grace you Gentiles have been saved),
6 and raised us Jews and Gentiles up together, and made us Jews and Gentiles sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us Jews and Gentiles in Christ Jesus
8 For by grace you Gentiles have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we Jews and Gentiles are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we Jews and Gentiles should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that you Gentiles, once Gentiles in the flesh; who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands;
12 that at that time you Gentiles were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you Gentiles who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our Jewish and Gentile peace, who has made both Jew and Gentile one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, (which was brought about by the fence of additional commandments contained in Rabbinical ordinances,) so as to create in Himself one new man from the two Jew and Gentile, thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both Jew and Gentile to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you Gentiles who were afar off and to those Jews who were near.
18 For through Him we Jews and Gentiles both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Jewish saints and members of the Jewish and Gentile household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in Whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a Holy Temple in the LORD,
22 in whom you Gentiles also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Therefore, the ‘one new man… being joined together, grows into a Holy Temple in the LORD, BUT it can only grow into a Holy Temple in the LORD when the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers in Christ Jesus join together.
On what basis of belief and behaviour can the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers in Christ Jesus join together?
The next blog will address this problem….