SUMMARY.--Our Spiritual Condition in a State of Nature. God's Saving Mercy. Salvation by Grace Through Faith. No Longer Aliens and Strangers. Peace Between Jew and Gentile Through Christ. All Built into the Lord's Holy Temple.
11-13. Wherefore remember. Remembrance of all that God had done would awake gratitude. The Uncircumcision. Gentiles were so called by the Jews, who were the Circumcision. In the flesh. There was a circumcision not in the flesh, not made with hands, but of the Spirit, and in the heart ( Romans 2:28 Romans 2:29 ). 12. Without Christ. The past state of the Gentile Christians is described when they had no knowledge of Christ. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. Not being of the race of Abraham, who were in covenant relation with God. Strangers from the covenants. The various covenants made with the patriarchs which contained the promise of Christ, of which they were ignorant, and hence not partakers of the hope.
Having no hope. No hope in the promise or in Christ. Without God. Walking without the knowledge of the true God. 13. But now in Christ Jesus. Once so far off, separated from God, they have been brought nigh, and the means that brought them is the blood of Christ.
14-18. For he is our peace. It is the Crucified Christ that brought you nigh, for he, he only, is our peace. The creator of peace between Jew and Gentile; between alienated man and God. Who hath made both one. Jew and Gentile one. The old distinctions are destroyed. All are on the same footing before God. Hath broken down, etc. Having broken down, or ended, the law of Moses which built up a wall between the Jews and Gentiles. 15. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity. While he was in the flesh the law condemned him and nailed him to the cross. In so doing it destroyed itself. The old covenant ended at the cross, when the new covenant was dedicated by the blood of Christ. Hence, the law, the wall between Jew and Gentile, "the enmity," was taken away. To make in himself of twain one. Thus, the difference between Jew and Gentile being destroyed, both are made in the church one new race, "a royal priesthood, a chosen nation, a peculiar people," at peace among themselves. 16. That he might reconcile both to God. First, the cross makes peace between Jew and Gentile; and second, the blood of the cross cleanses both before God, and makes peace between them and God. Having slain the enmity. Not only of Jew for Gentile, but of the sinner for God. When the sinner once fixes his mind on the bleeding Savior, the "goodness of God leads him to repentance." 17. Preached peace . . . afar off . . . were nigh. The Gentiles were "afar off;" the Jews, "nigh." To both Christ preached with each other and with God. 18. We both have access by one Spirit. The Spirit of adoption enables both to cry, "Abba, Father." Both pray to one Father; hence, all are brethren.
19-22. Therefore ye are no more strangers. Gentiles have been brought nigh, and are fellow-citizens of the kingdom of God with the saints. 20. Built upon the foundation. They have been built into the temple of the Lord. The word of God, declared by apostles and prophets, is the foundation of their faith, Christ being the chief corner-stone. The corner-stone was a stone of double size at the corner, which became a part of both walls and joined them together. So he had joined the Jews and Gentiles in the building. He is the foundation-stone on which the building rests, and the stone of union. Compare Isaiah 28:16 Matt. 21:42 Acts 4:11 Acts 4:1 1 Peter 2:7 . 21. In whom. In Christ himself. All the building fitly framed together. The several parts, or buildings, are united in him, so as to form one holy temple. That is, all races, Jews and Gentiles, are compacted in one church. 22. In whom ye also. The Ephesian Christians. For a habitation of God. The Shekinah descended and dwelt in the tabernacle between the cherubim; but God, by means of the Spirit, dwells in the spiritual temple, in the hearts of believers. This temple is composed of living stones ( 1 Peter 2:5 ), has a holy priesthood, and spiritual sacrifices.