Life-Study of Ephesians

Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0962-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 86 of 97 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF EPHESIANS

MESSAGE EIGHTY-SIX

SLAYING THE ORDINANCES

Scripture Reading: Eph. 2:11-22

It is easy to understand those parts of the Bible that correspond to our natural concept. For example, we readily understand those verses that tell us we are sinful, that we are sinners under God’s condemnation, and that we are in need of God’s forgiveness. However, in 2:11-22 there are a number of matters which do not fit in with our natural concept. For this reason, they are not adequately understood by most Christians when they read Ephesians.

NEAR IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

One matter that differs from our natural concept is found in verse 13. Here we are told that in Christ Jesus we “who once were far off have become near in the blood of Christ.” To whom have we become near? We have become near both to God and to one another. However, the emphasis in this verse is that the very blood of Christ through which we have been redeemed, brought back, brings us near to one another. According to verse 12, when we were apart from Christ, we were “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” If we consider verse 13 in the light of verse 12, we shall realize that here the emphasis is upon becoming near to one another. Because we were fallen, we were far off from Christ, from the commonwealth of Israel, and from the covenants of God’s promise. But the redeeming blood of Christ has brought us back. Hence, in this blood we have become near both to God and to God’s people.

THE GOSPEL OF PEACE

Another unusual expression is in verse 17: “And coming, He preached the gospel of peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near.” The subject of this verse is Christ, the One who broke down the middle wall of partition, abolished the law of the commandments in ordinances, and reconciled the Jews and the Gentiles in one Body to God through the cross (vv. 15-16). This very One came to preach the gospel of peace to us who were far off. This is the coming of Christ as the Spirit to preach the good news of the peace which He has accomplished through His cross. When Paul went to Ephesus, Christ went with him. Paul’s going was Christ’s going. Having come as the Spirit in Paul, Christ preached the gospel of peace.

According to this verse, Christ did not mainly preach forgiveness or salvation. Rather, He preached the gospel concerning peace among the peoples. Have you ever realized that such a peace is related to the gospel? The gospel of peace involves not only the peace between man and God, but especially the peace between one man and another. For example, there is a need for peace between Germans and French, and between Chinese and Japanese. Just as there was enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles at the time of Paul, so there is enmity among peoples today. Among the different nations there is no real peace. Instead there is enmity. Hence, there is an urgent need not only for the preaching of the gospel concerning forgiveness, justification, salvation, grace, and regeneration, but also for the preaching of the gospel of peace.

Before the foundation of the world, God chose people from various nations to be part of the one Body and the one new man. Under the sovereignty of God, these different people have been brought together in the church life. According to the natural constitution, it is not possible for Chinese to be one with Japanese or French to be one with Germans. The only way for the different peoples to be one is through receiving the gospel of peace. One day the Lord came and preached peace as the gospel to us. We realized as a result that we are now one with saints of every nationality and race. Today all who believe in Christ have one source, and this source is Christ Himself. Our source should no longer be our culture or nationality; it must be Christ and Christ alone. Once we were divided by our different sources, but now we are one in Christ as the unique source.

It is easy to talk about this matter, but it is difficult to put it into practice. On the cross Christ abolished all the ordinances, and then He came to us preaching the gospel of peace. However, after we were saved and brought into Christ as the one source, the ordinances returned.


Note: We hope that many will benefit from these spiritual riches. However, for the sake of avoiding confusion, we ask that none of these materials be downloaded or copied and republished elsewhere, electronically or otherwise. Living Stream Ministry retains full copyright on all these materials and hopes that our visitors will respect this.

Downloading this material, even for personal use, is prohibited.
Your IP address is 34.238.189.171 [12:05:27 PM (GMT -08:00), August 21, 2019].

Search Online Publications

Simply enter a word or phrase. Common words, such as "and", "is", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search.

Advanced Search

Noise Words

Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. The search string, the Spirit & who, would result in an error since who, which stands by itself, is a noise word. The following is a list of noise words:

$, a, also, an, and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, being, both, but, by, came, can, did, do, each, for, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, me, might, much, my, of, on, or, our, out, over, said, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, to, too, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your

×

Ranking

Rank is a value from 0 to 1000 indicating how closely a match scored or ranked against the original search string. Rank values are affected by the following factors:

  1. The total number of occurrences of the original search words/phrases in a portion of a book.
  2. Content that includes the search words in close proximity to each other are ranked above those that do not. Therefore, a portion of a book that has the search words in close proximity may have a higher ranking than another portion of a book that has a higher hit count but the words are not in close proximity to one another. Therefore, we also include a search word hit count for reference.
  3. The rank values are relative to each other. Therefore, it is not possible to interpret the RANK value as a percentage or group the rank values into high/medium/low ranges. Think of rank as a method to order the results for a specific search.
×

Search Scope

Include All Word Forms

This option breaks out the search string into its individual words and generates all conjugations and declensions for each word in the search phrase. A search on the word, dwell, would search for dwell, dwelling, dwelling's, dwells, dwelt, and dwelled.

There is no need to use ^ (inflectional search) or * (prefix search) when using the Include all word forms search scope.

Specified Word Forms

This option searches for exact matches of the specified words or phrases used in the search string. Use of ^ (inflectional search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all conjugations and declensions for that word will be searched. Similarly, use of * (prefix search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all words with that prefix will be searched as well.

Note

Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. A list of all noise words is as follows:

$, about, after, all, also, an,and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, before, being, between, both, but, by, came, can, come, could, did, do, each, for, from, get, got, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, many, me, might, more, most, much, must, my, never, now, of, on, only, or, other, our, out, over, said, same, see, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, through, to, too, under, up, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your

×