“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,” Ephesians 2:14-15
This scripture is part of a larger passage where Paul is talking about how the Ephesians were Gentiles and outside the covenant God made with the Jews. They were hopelessly lost, without even a chance of redemption-until Jesus came. He brought both together, the Jew and the Gentile, and rendered the law useless and powerless to condemn any longer. Jesus made peace through His death.
In a figurative sense, He has done the same for us. There are two people inside each of us: The one who keeps the law and the one who breaks the law. But Christ’s death abolished the law, and brought those two warring parts together, making them one under His blood. This means the war is over, with neither our righteous NOR our sinful side declaring victory. Instead, Christ has won over both.
Just as Paul lamented in Romans 7 about his inability to “get it right” and keep the law, so these “2 men” war in each of us. But Paul realized the real victory does not lie in “getting it right” or keeping the law better, but in walking in the freedom of liberty in Christ.
When we walk in that law, we are no longer under the law of sin and death, which is always focused on deeds, failures, and death. Instead, Jesus has done away with that law, making us free to follow Him instead of some misguided urge to be “good enough.” That’s why 1 John says
“Perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment”
Imagine how good it would feel to get off that treadmill of always having to measure up! Imagine how free you’d be if you’d just realize the truth: That Jesus’ death brought together those two parts of your nature – the good and the bad – into one person who is totally redeemed and forgiven. You no longer have to fear punishment.
Take a deep breath…that’s freedom!
#1 by Erica on November 30, 2010 - 10:27 PM
Freedom indeed! Years ago, I used to be continually afraid of losing my salvation because I felt the pressure to “measure up” while I knew that I didn’t always do things that “measured up”. It took years before I realized that nothing can pluck me from His hand and that He is continually at work in me. I am secure in Him — that salvation is by His GRACE alone — not by my own works. After realizing this, I finally felt free to shift my focus to Him. What a difference! What a relief. What love!