Historical Context The City of Ephesus was a city of wealth, and was Impacted by Christians greatly for centuries. “Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks at a location where the Caster River emptied Into a gulf of the Aegean Sea” (Lowell 709). It was the most Important city In Salsa and there were many Jews who lived there (Douglas 461; Lowell 710). It had been a city for about 1000 years; before the arrival of the apostle Paul and It had many Important land structures that made It a well-structured city.
There were many places that made this City important, like the Sea access, market places, Civic alluding, wealthy houses, shops, libraries, fountains and small theaters (Doubled as a council chamber for city for city officials). The main theater held 20,000 people and it was a large cultural item that had a lot of importance and significance to the Ephesians. The harbors were also very important because it was Ephesus major entrance for importing and exporting goods (Lowell 709-710). Throughout Acts, Paul goes to the synagogues many times to preach about the Kingdom of God, but as a result people reject his message.
So Paul would go to different places with the livers to preach about Jesus, and God equips him with the power to perform unusual miracles. The name of the Lord started becoming known to many people, resulting in people repenting and God moving (Acts 19 NIL). One temple in Ephesus was built for the goddess named Diana, and it brought pagans, travelers and tourists to the City. “Paul visited Ephesus, the leading commercial city of Asia Minor and home to the temple of Rater, is (Diana) one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
His preaching, seen as a threat to the economy associated with the temple, caused a riot ND his traveling companions were dragged into this theater which seated 24,000 people (Acts 1 9:23-AY’ (Beaumont 1 11). The Ephesians economy relied significantly on the buying and selling of idols and Pall’s teachings caused a riot because the Ephesians opposed the association with Idols. At that time the estimated population was one third of a million (Marshall 328), and the government was run by the Roman and Greek’s. The Ephesians didn’t want to get In trouble by the Roman & Greek government so they had stopped the riot from continuing.
The earliest reference of Christianity In Ephesus was Is 52 AD, and It spread to Colossal during Paula stay In Ephesus (Douglas 461 The book of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul. He wrote when he was In Imprisonment In Rome around 62 AD. The book of Ephesians was written between 59-63 AD and It was written In Greek (Lowell 704-705). HIS letter was one of encouragement to the Jews and Gentiles of Ephesus to stand up and keep pursuing Christ against the magic cults and all the people that were involved in the create unity between the Jews and Gentiles so that there is no more division.
Second, s Chrism’s victory over “the powers” and third maintaining the unity of the spirit; living out the life of Christ in their day to day lives whether it be through their worship, in their relationships or within their Christian households (Fee 348-349). Literary & Pivotal Words The book of Ephesians is a book that “offers general instruction in the truths of God’s redemptive work in Christ; the unity of the church among diverse peoples; and proper conduct in the church, home and the world” (ESP. 1727). There are a lot of reoccurring themes throughout the book that intertwine with each other to display pacific instructions.
Ephesians 2:14-22 contains three key concepts that’s portrayed throughout the whole book; unity in Christ, grace through faith and a holy way of living. These three concepts go more into depth within the overall book of Ephesians but are summed up within verses 2:14-22. The paragraph before the passage addresses that the Gentiles were different from the Jews and that they were living apart from Christ, but are to live as one people, together in unity. In the paragraph after the passage, Paul reiterates that the Gentiles are to be treated equally with the
Jews and that they have grace through their faith in Christ. There are three words that play an important role within this text. They are hostility, body and cornerstone. These three words are important to look at because they tap into the key concepts within the passage; they are words that are pivotal in Pall’s message. Paul uses the word hostility (catcher), as a noun, referencing the word as a “thing” that is dividing the two groups of people. Paul addresses that there is no more hostility between the Jews and Gentiles because Christ has brought peace to them through his own death on the cross.
The two groups of people are untied into one nation, the word hostility is pivotal because it is a key word that shows how unity is of significance in this passage. The fact that the separation between the two people is no longer a problem creates unity, as one body. Paul uses the word hostility to bring a better understanding of the word unity. The word body (soma) is found in verses 2: 14; 16 as well as hostility. The first reference to body, Paul is relating as an “in person” human being. Because Christ died on the cross it was through His body that he had restored the human race and brought us together as one.
As well as bringing grace through faith of the Jews and Gentiles believing in Him. The second reference to body is in verse 2:16, that speaks as the physical body of the church. The physical body is one of relationships through one another as well with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Through this, the church can start living a holy lifestyle. The word body is important to understand because it plays a huge role in understanding Pall’s greater message about unity. Paul uses the word cornerstone (agronomists) in verse 2:20, as a reference to Christ.
A cornerstone is a mains support element as a point where two walls intersect. In comparison the two walls are like the Jews and Gentiles and their faith was separating them. Jesus is the cornerstone that brought them together to be one, and He is their foundation of their faith. That being said, the two people groups can now learn through Pall’s teaching, how to live in a new, holy way. In conclusion, all of these three words are pivotal to the passage because they are representatives of the key concepts in Pall’s message. In order to understand this passage, there the theme of unity within this passage.
Determining the Distance In the chosen passage, there was division within the church among the Jews and Gentiles. Paul wrote to both people groups in hopes that they would grasp what he was trying to communicate. Paul was trying to point out that the Jews and Gentiles were equal before God because of Chrism’s death on the cross. The death of Christ on the cross had created unity between the two types of people and it also brought peace to them. The same principle applies to Christians today, that all individuals are equal before God.
No matter what religion or background one comes from, all people groups can be united because of Chrism’s death on the cross. Individuals are not mound by the old covenant law like the Jews were, but can connect with the new covenant. There are many differences and similarities within the chosen passage between the Biblical audience and today’s society. Some of the differences included time; Paul wrote to the people of Ephesus approximately 2,000 years ago and today’s society is trying to grasp the meaning 2,000 years later.
The Jew and Gentile culture was very different from today’s culture because women back then were treated poorly and were looked down upon as opposed. In today’s culture, women have more rights and can speak up. Idol worship was another cultural barrier. When Paul wrote this letter to the people of Ephesus, idol worship was something that seriously took place among the culture. In today’s society, there are people who worship idols but in different ways. Society worships things such as sex, money, celebrities and electronics.
People in today’s church worship themselves, and idealize their peers, or even on the “look” of church rather than focusing on where the heart is. There are people today that are like the popular people of today’s church that treat people less talented or outgoing like they don’t exist. When Paul wanted people to understand unity, he wanted everyone to know they are all equal before God, no differences. In today’s society people don’t understand the true meaning of unity in Christ because of their actions of worshiping themselves and they don’t know how to interpret Pall’s message accurately.
Crossing the Principles Bridge In this passage Paul wrote to the Jews and Gentiles to tell them that peace was achievable between them because of the Chrism’s death. He broke down the wall of hostility that separated the two groups of people through His death on the cross, creating peace and in himself one new people from the two groups. As one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of His death on the cross and put hostility between the two groups of people to death (ESP. Student Study Bible). Because Christ did this, the Jews and Gentiles both can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit.
The Gentiles are no longer strangers but welcomed as members of God’s family; creating unity among the two groups of people. Chrism’s death on the cross breaks down the walls of hostility which means that peace is made with the Jews. The cornerstone is Jesus, and in Him they are carefully Joined together becoming a Holy Temple for God. In this passage the three main principles are peace, unity and equality. They are used within the text to help the original biblical audience and the reader of today understand what the timeless principle had meant.
Peace, as in no more hostility between the two different people groups. Unity was looked at in this passage as both people groups becoming united into one. Equality Father as one, as citizens of God’s Kingdom. The key concepts are also in the passage to help further identify the timeless principle. The timeless principle being the idea that God has brought peace among the two people groups and has also created attention for unity as a church through the death of Christ Jesus. Because Chrism’s death, there are the benefits of unity among all people, peace between the nations as well as equality in God.
The Message in Our Town In Ephesians 2:14-22; the three key themes peace, unity and equality are not only applied to the biblical audience but are also relevant to the people of today. Paul talks about how the Jews and Gentiles have peace among both groups of people through Chrism’s death on the cross. In the same way, this concept applies to people of today because we are all made one before Christ. The Jews of the time of Paul ere in the same way like the Christians today brought up in church all of their lives, while the Gentiles of the biblical time were like the born again Christians in the world today.
This should not divide us in the church rather this passage should speak to us about equality. No matter your color or personal background we are all one before Christ because He broke down the walls that were separating the Jews and Gentiles, and He does the same for people of the church today. We should take the principles of this passage and apply it to our lives today, by living in unity every believer and let God’s peace and equality cover us in our day to day lives. Throughout this paper there has been a close exegetical look on the passage Ephesians 2:14-22 and what it meant to the original biblical audience.
This paper has also examined the differences between the biblical audience and today’s audience to better understand how the passage can be applied to the lives of today. Exegetical Block Diagram (14)For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, (1 5)by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose as to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, (16) and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17)He came and thus making peace, were far away and peace to those who were near. (18) For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (19) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household with (21) In him (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. The whole building is Joined together ND rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. In him you too are being built together (22)And to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Exegetical Idea: God has brought peace among the two people groups and has also created potential for unity as a church through the death of Christ Jesus. 1) Paul says that God is our peace and that He is going to create peace between the two groups through the sacrifice of Christ. (vs. 14-20) a. Our God is peace (vs. AAA) I. Paul tells us that God himself, has made the two groups into one and destroyed the barrier, the wall of hostility so that there will peace. vs. 14) it. Paul also says that he came to preach peace so that people could see that peace is possible because Paul had it (vs. 17) b.
God will demolish the dividing walls between the two groups of people and create peace (vs. bob-1 5) I. Chrism’s death on the cross broke down the barriers of hostility between the two groups of people (vs. bob, 16) it. Since hostility is broken, there is an opportunity for peace (vs. bob, 15) iii. The two groups of people are no longer separated, so they become one nation in Christ Jesus, thus making peace (vs. 1 b) c. Through the restoration of Jesus on the The cross, there is peace mongo the Jews and Gentiles (vs. 16) I.
Since Jesus Christ died on the cross it created a peace for all (1 b, 17) 2) In Christ, the two groups are Joined together as one to rise and become a holy temple, being built together to become a dwelling place for God’s spirit to live. (vs. 21-22) a. The two groups of people are Joined together (vs. 21 a) I. Paul says that In Jesus Christ, the whole building is Joined together because the two types of people are united as one (vs. 21 a) b. The two groups are Joined together as one to rise and become a holy temple (vs. 21 b) I.