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Galatians 5:16-23 teaches that at any moment we are either walking by the Holy Spirit or according to the sin nature. Walking by the Spirit, enjoying fellowship with God, walking in the light are virtually synonymous. During these times, the Holy Spirit is working in us to illuminate our minds to the truth of Scripture and to challenge us to apply what we learn. But when we sin, we begin to live based on the sin nature. Our works do not count for eternity. The only way to recover is to confess (admit, acknowledge) our sin to God the Father and we are instantly forgiven, cleansed, and recover our spiritual walk (1 John 1:9). Please make sure you are walking by the Spirit before you begin your Bible study, so it will be spiritually profitable.

Romans 5:1-2 & Ephesians 2:12-29 by Robert Dean
Any way you spell it in the Greek, God's Word is clear we have peace with Him.
Series:Romans (2010)
Duration:53 mins 50 secs

Peace Established at the Cross
Romans 5:1–2; Ephesians 2:12–29
Romans Lesson #048
January 26, 2012
www.deanbibleministries.org

Having gone through his discussion of the need for justification and describing that justification could not possibly be on the basis of any kind of works or moral obedience to the Mosaic Law, the Apostle Paul moves from his explanation of justification in Romans 4 to his explanation of the benefits of justification in chapter 5. As he goes through the benefits and the consequences of justification, he is really setting us up for understanding the implications of justification for the spiritual life, which is the focus of chapters 6–8.

He brings us to a conclusion to focus on the primary benefit of justification in Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Having peace with God is a result of justification. It is important for us to understand that peace with God is in contrast to the enmity that every human being has with God because they are born in a state of enmity and hostility toward Him. We find the concept of enmity mentioned in verse 8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners [in the state of hostility toward God], Christ died for us.” Then he expands on that in verse 10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” The contrast with peace is this position of enmity or hostility toward God.

Last time I talked about the fact that this word peace has a lot of different dimensions to it. In some places, it has the idea of an absence of physical conflict. That is how the Hebrew word shalom and that word group is used many times in the Old Testament in terms of the lack of warfare or the opposite of physical conflict. It is also used to describe the absence of conflict between Jew and Gentile. This is what we will see in our study in Ephesians 2:12–22. It is used also in the realm of mental attitude to describe the absence of mental conflict—no worry, anxiety, or fear because our focus has been stabilized by a focus on God. Then it is also used to relate to the absence of just personal conflict between one person and another.

All of these are secondary areas of conflict that are the consequence of the fact that every human being is born spiritually dead, hostile to God. All of the other aspects of tension that we have in life and the conflict we have in life are the result of sin. Ultimately, everything gets traced back to a spiritual cause. We do not live in a closed universe despite the way modern science addresses the creation. They operate on a closed model, as if there is no input from an external creator, God, and that God does not exist.

As a result, many of their conclusions are flawed because they do not understand that the universe is really open. It is open to the control and direction of God. All causes ultimately go back to spiritual causes and the problem of sin that exists between God and man in one way or another.

In Romans 5:1, there are a couple of English translations I’ve seen that go with a reading of the Greek text that “we should have peace with God” or “let us enjoy peace with God.” Even though this reading has a lot of support from very old manuscripts, there are equally old manuscripts that handle this word “we have” as an indicative mood rather than a subjunctive mood.

Once again, this gets into the area that I was discussing in the announcements of textual criticism and understanding how variations occur within the text. When I was in Kiev, one of the things I enjoy doing every year is catch up on a number of different things that I just normally do not get time to get to every day, one of which is watching various DVDs that come out, either through one of the creation organizations or through various other organizations.

There was a debate that occurred in October (2011) at SMU sponsored by an organization that Dan Wallace, professor at Dallas Seminary, heads up that deals with recovering ancient manuscripts related to the Scriptures. He debated a scholar by the name of Bart Ehrman. I would suggest that most people here have never heard of Bart Ehrman before, unless you pay attention to the New York Times bestsellers list. The man who introduced the debaters said that for a New Testament scholar to have a book on the New York Times bestsellers list shows that signs and wonders still occur.

Satan promotes his own, so since we live in the devil’s world, we can always expect that those who are hostile or antagonistic to the Scriptures are always going to find a platform in the world today. I’ve run into the name of Bart Ehrman occasionally when I was doing work a number of years ago on the DaVinci Code. That was one of the names that cropped up. If you remember back in the 90s, there was this group of scholars that were called the Jesus Seminar. They got together every few years to go through the Gospels. They had a color-coded scale of 1–4 and would decide if Jesus definitely said this, probably said this, probably did not say this but contained His ideas, or did not say this. They color coded every statement in Scripture according to their arrogant disbelief.

Ehrman was part of that group. He has a tremendous pedigree. He was raised as an evangelical fundamentalist, went to good schools, and got his PhD studying textual matters under Bruce Metzger. Metzger was probably one of the foremost textual critics in the world—one of the top five until his death in 2007. Ehrman coauthored a couple of revisions of Metzger’s classic work on the text of the New Testament—the 4th edition and some other things. He had a more conservative view of the text at one time. He still does if you read between the lines and get past his “probablies.” The way he forms his titles and questions is very inflammatory, and they are designed to cause people to have a critical view and disrespect for the text.

He has written a couple of popular books with titles like Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. When you push Ehrman into a corner, he will admit that we are probably having 99% accurate text, but his basic claim is that we ultimately do not know because the earliest whole manuscripts that we have go back within about 100–150 years. There are some partial manuscripts that go back into the early 2nd century. There is a lot of innuendo, sometimes he overstates his case, but he has a great presentation. He has a winsome personality, and he just is able to communicate his lies and half truths. If you are looking for reasons to disbelieve the Scripture and the New Testament and that all this was just cobbled together by somebody later, then he is your man. He will give you a justification for your unbelief.

Because of his popularity, I would say there are five or six points that he makes over and over. (Someone said repetition is the first five principles of teaching.) He certainly does that. What impressed me was that I was listening to this debate between Dan Wallace and Bart Ehrman on “Do we have an accurate copy of the original text of the New Testament?”, and as I listened to him, I realized that I have heard all these objections. Whenever I have had the opportunity to witness to somebody who is a little bit knowledgeable and maybe watches the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, they have never heard of Bart Ehrman, but they are hearing his conclusions and points. They are out there, and so the average person you listen to is going to raise these objections.

It is important to understand these things because we have to give an answer for the hope that is in us. Somebody might say, “Why do you trust the Bible?” or “Why do you think we have any kind of an accurate view of the Scripture?” You can sit there and say, “My pastor says so.” Or you can learn a couple of basic facts and point people in the right direction.

None of us are going to be able to give a dissertation on the point right on the spot. People talk about how the New Testament has so many different variations. We have probably over 5,000 different manuscripts (partial or complete) of the New Testament, plus in terms of the early church fathers, we have literally tens of thousands of individual quotations of Scripture verses.

The trouble is with a quotation, you do not know if they are looking at the Scripture and writing it down and copying it specifically, or they are just going from memory or paraphrase. But, nevertheless, we have that as some kind of a guide to go by. We can look at this and compare all this information and come to a pretty good confident level of what the original text was.

Dan Wallace has done over the years an experiment in his classrooms where he has made up the Gospel According to Snoopy. He reads that to everybody in a large group; he will talk to them and train them. He will get 50–60 people in a room; then he will dictate it and people will write it down. Then he does away with the original and sees how accurately they can reconstruct the originals from untrained scribes. It is amazing that you can do that.

Yet the liberal critics say, “No, you cannot do that. We have lost the original or the copies of the original or the copies of the copies of the original and cannot reconstruct the original.” But that has been disproven.

We have over 5,000 manuscripts and 300,000 differences. That is because the differences are between spelling “hear” or “here” or “heare,” like the older English. Or between spelling “color” or “colour.” 99.9% of the differences are like that. In fact, in the Greek if you wanted to make a statement about Jesus loves Adam, there are over 15 different ways you can write that in Greek, and you will translate it the same in English, depending where you put the article or the word order which can vary a number of different ways. That does not mean that we do not have certainty as to the original.

The word we have in Romans 5:1 is the Greek verb ECHO, a long o. The difference is between the subjunctive mood which has an omega and the indicative mood which has an omicron. It would sound the same if it were being dictated. From analysis of the context of Scripture, it should be translated as an indicative that we do have peace with God.

Romans 5:2 “Through whom [Jesus Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand …” It is a present tense emphasis: We stand [completed action, the present reality of our position] in Christ. It is this grace in which we have access or approach to God.

As we look at this whole topic of peace, I want to go to an important parallel passage which is in Ephesians 2:11-12. Peace is used three times in this section, so this is an important discourse by Paul on peace and reconciliation. “Therefore remember that you [Ephesian believers] …” He has already reminded them in verse 4 that they were formally dead in their trespasses and sins. Verse 4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved.”

Again, he is going back to their former state in verse 11 “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh …” That means in terms of their physical heritage – they were not descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jews are Jews only if they can trace their lineage through Abraham, Isaac (the child of promise), and Jacob. Abraham had other sons: Ishmael by Hagar and other sons by his second wife Keturah, whom he married after Sarah died, but they are not the lineage for the Jews.

Ephesians 2:11 “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision …” Among the elite religious Jewish groups of the 1st century, or 2nd temple Judaism, there was this ethnic hostility toward non-Jews. Anyone who is not Jewish is a Gentile, and they were not circumcised because it was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. The issue here is not the physical circumcision or lack of it because there were a few other ethnic groups that practiced circumcision, but it did not have a spiritual or a covenant connotation. The emphasis here is that because they are not related to the Abrahamic Covenant, they are not worthy of anything. They were less than the dirt on the bottom of your shoes.

There is this contrast that we need to understand in this alien nation that came as a result of the Mosaic Law and the distinctiveness that God expected from the Jews in terms of their culture, their lifestyle, and their national identity. They were to be set apart to God as a kingdom of priests.

The first thing we note in terms of the contrast is this disrespect or demeaning of the Gentiles by the religious elite Jews of the 2nd temple period. This is also seen in passages we have studied in Romans 2:25–29; 3:1–2; and 4:10–12 where Paul is dealing with this issue of circumcision that claimed that by simply being circumcised and properly related through circumcision to the Mosaic Law and the Abrahamic Covenant was enough for salvation.

In Romans 2:29 Paul wrote “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart …” That the emphasis in the Old Testament was not upon physical, outward circumcision but was a spiritual circumcision. This was clearly seen in Deuteronomy 29-30.

In Romans 3:29–30 Paul has his explanation on justification. “Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.” The emphasis Paul has in Romans 2:25–29; 3:1–2; and 4:10–12 is that physical circumcision was a work of the Law and was not a basis of salvation.

The second point he makes, in Ephesians 2:12, is that the Gentiles were without Christ, that is they did not have Jesus Christ as Savior. The emphasis here on Christ should be understood in terms of its foundational meaning as Messiah. CHRISTOS in the Greek is a translation of the Hebrew noun meshiach, the anointed one. He is talking at that time former to the Cross, as we will see in the context. Prior to the Cross, there was not a Messianic hope or expectation among the Gentiles because they did not have the promises and the covenants, so they were separated from the Messianic hope. This is also seen in Romans 5:2–4 where there is an emphasis on the hope that we now have because of the peace that we have with Christ.

The third thing that he states in Ephesians 2:12 is that Gentiles were alienated from citizenship in Israel. They were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, therefore, not part of the theocracy. The theocracy meant the special nation that God set up on the basis of the Mosaic Law. If you were not related to God through the Mosaic Law then there were certain temporal blessings that would not be available to Gentiles unless they became a proselyte and converted to Mosaic Judaism in the 1st or 2nd temple period.

The fourth thing that Paul says in verse 12 is that Gentiles were not party to the covenants of promise. Notice he says covenants of promise—plural. He is not just talking about the Abrahamic Covenant but is talking about all the covenants related to the Abrahamic Covenant.

This is also in Romans 9:4–5 which states that to Israel belong the covenants of the promise. Paul writes that even after the Cross. The Jewish people still are viewed as those who are party to the covenants in the Old Testament.

Slide 12 is a chart related to the Old Testament covenants of promise and when they will be fulfilled. This timeline is related to the history of Israel. All the sections prior to the cross relate to the Age of Israel, specifically the two dispensations of the patriarchs and then Moses. You have the formation of the nation of Israel, the period of the theocracy (Joshua, Judges), the monarchy (Kings and Chronicles), the exile, and then the restoration following the Babylonian captivity.

The Abrahamic Covenant is given by God to Abraham. It is a unilateral covenant, which means that God alone bound Himself to the obligations of the covenant. In the ancient world when two parties were going to come together and sign a contract, they would do so with the literal phrase “to cut a covenant.” That grew out of the reality that they would have a sacrifice and would cut the sacrificed animal or animals in half and lay each half on the altar side by side. Then the two parties to the covenant would walk between the two halves of the sacrifice. When God made the covenant with Abraham, Abraham laid out the sacrifices and split them in two. God caused a deep sleep to come upon Abraham, so that God alone is symbolized by a smoking oven and a torch that went between the two halves of the sacrifices indicating that He alone was obligating Himself to the terms of that covenant.

For that reason, we refer to it many times as an unconditional covenant, which is a term that has a couple of ambiguities to it. It is why I prefer describing that as a covenant of promise and a permanent covenant. There were three elements to the Abrahamic Covenant that we studied many times in the past. It was a promise of worldwide blessing, of a specific piece of real estate (land that existed between the Euphrates and the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea), and of a seed (specifically pointing to Jesus Christ, who would be a blessing to all people).

Each of those elements (the land, the seed, and the blessing) was then expanded into subsequent covenants of promise. This is why Paul uses a plural in Ephesians 2:12 in terms of covenants of promise. He is referring not only to the Abrahamic Covenant but also the Land/Real Estate Covenant (not fulfilled until the millennial kingdom), the Davidic Covenant (This focuses on the seed that comes through the line of David and is not fulfilled until Jesus Christ returns to establish the kingdom in the future. When he establishes that kingdom, He will rule over Israel from His throne in Jerusalem), and the New Covenant (application to the church in this dispensation but ultimately is not fulfilled in the terms that are stated in Jeremiah 31 until the millennial kingdom).

This is what Paul is referring to here that Gentiles were aliens, estranged from or separated from the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants of promise. They were not partners in terms of these covenants. The covenants were between God and Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The fifth point Paul makes in Ephesians 2:12 is that the Gentiles had no hope. They had no hope because there was no future expectation with God in the Gentile philosophies or religious systems. They were also without God or godless—the word ATHEOI, where we get our word atheist. That describes the state of Gentiles up to the cross as a whole.

In Ephesians 2:13 Paul draws a contrast from the past or former time to the present time. He says “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” A couple of things to note here. This change that takes place between being estranged or alienated from the covenants, the promises, the commonwealth of Israel and now being brought near is not because culture has changed. It is not due to a political shift or to some sort of enlightenment on the part of the Jews that they are no longer going to be arrogant towards the Gentiles. What makes the distinction is what happened at the cross.

Another thing that we should observe here is that in the English we have the word “now,” but in Greek, there are two different words for “now.” There is the word ARTI and the word NUNI. NUNI is the word we have here. In many places, those two words can virtually be used interchangeably, but there are a number of places where when they are used in the same context, ARTI has a more immediate sense, such as right now or today or this moment, and NUNI has the sense of now in this age or in this dispensation. Paul uses it that way in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” He used ARTI in the previous verse to emphasize the immediate period of the pre-Canon, apostolic age of the church, but then he talks about what continues throughout all the church age, that is faith, hope, love in contrast to the temporary revelatory gifts of knowledge and prophecy.

Here we also have him using NUNI, and in a context it is talking about now in this dispensation, this post-cross period. We can state fairly certainly that what he is talking about is now in this new state (this post-cross period, dispensation or age), now in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus is a technical term for the believer’s position in Jesus Christ, so that is unique to the church age. Tribulation believers will not be baptized by the Spirit, will not be placed in the body of Christ. This is a distinctive term used only of the universal church, believers in Jesus Christ in this age, between the day of Pentecost AD 33 to the rapture of the church.

I want to go back and pick up on this issue of what happens because of our position in Christ. Two specific passages that talk about the baptism by means of the Holy Spirit also emphasize that as a result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, this ethnic distinction that had been part of the Old Testament ritual was no longer in effect and is completely removed.

1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit [God, the Holy Spirit used here in a passive voice verb “we were all baptized,” indicating he was the means of baptism] we were all baptized into one body …” Notice this comes to play in our passage in Ephesians 2 talking about this new body, this new entity that came into existence on the Day of Pentecost. This is the church. This is what is so important for us to understand that in this new body of Christ, there are new spiritual realities that involve not only our relationship to God but also our relationship to one another. Specifically, in context of Ephesians, the relationship between Jew and Gentile in Christ—there was no longer to be this distinction as had existed in the Old Testament.

Remember in the Old Testament, the only ones who could have any kind of close or direct access to God in the temple or previously in the tabernacle were male Jews. Gentiles could only get so far: They had to stay in the Courtyard of the Gentiles in the temple. Women could not go into the inner courtyard: They had to stay in the Courtyard of the Women. They could not get as close to God in terms of worship. If you were a slave, you were also restricted in your worship of God in the ritual of the worship of the tabernacle and the temple.

Passages like 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:26 ff are not saying that ethnicity disappears. It is not saying that sexual distinctions disappear. He is not saying that people who are slaves are suddenly emancipated, or people who are free are suddenly enslaved. There is no change in terms of your natural physical status: You are still a slave, still a Gentile, still a women, but in terms of relationship to God, those distinctions no longer have a role because of the work of Christ on the Cross.

1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body [equally members of that body]—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink [or receive] into one Spirit.”

Paul expands on that in Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” He is using a technical term for sons of God there. In contrast earlier, he had been using an analogy about young children in a Roman household, who were governed by a tutor who basically dominated their life tyrannically until they reached the age of maturity when they became an adult son. That would be a term that would not be sexist and would relate to someone who had reached maturity and would be treated as an adult with all the rights and privileges that they would have within the family.

He equates every believer to the rights and privileges of an adult son within a Roman household. We all become adult sons, have those full privileges in Christ as a result of faith in Christ. He explains this in Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” There is no mention of the Holy Spirit there; we just have a use of the same verb baptize, but now we have the goal which is Christ – the body of Christ. Putting on Christ is a positional term, just as being baptized into Christ is a positional term related to our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Here we have three pairs of individuals that are contrasted: Jew/Greek, slave/free, male/female. You wonder how blind people are – they say this means that in the body of Christ that there are no sexual distinctions, so you cannot say women cannot be pastors. Well, then Paul must be the biggest idiot and inconsistent person in the world because that is exactly what he says in 1 Timothy 2. He does not say that these physical distinctions are eradicated in terms of function, but in terms of immediate access to God and spiritual privilege, there are no distinctions anymore as you had in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law.

Galatians 3:29 “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” I want you to see how these main ideas always crop up together with Paul, and he is tying them together. We have the baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ and the unity of this new oneness in the body of Christ. Then he says “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed…” We have studied that in Romans 4 when we are talking about the true descendants of Abraham are not those who simply follow him genetically but follow him in terms of his faith in God. That is the true spiritual descendant of Abraham.

That is what Paul says here: We are Abraham’s descendant if we have faith in Christ following Abraham in terms of justification. Verse 29 “…heirs according to the promise.” That is one of the main ideas that Paul kept hitting on throughout chapter 4 that if the blessing is based on promise, then it is not based on works and should be based on faith.

Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace …” Jesus Christ is our peace, referencing back to verse 13 that we “have been brought near by the blood of Christ,” which is just a metaphor for the death of Christ. He Himself is our peace – Paul emphasizes this with the repetition of the pronoun. “… who has made both one …” Who is he talking about; who is the “both?” It is Jew and Gentile. Ultimately, there is a barrier between man and God, but here he is talking about the barrier of the Law between Jew and Gentile. That is exactly what was said in Galatians 3:28 that we are all one in Christ. Now he is talking about the fact that in Christ this distinction between Jew and Gentile is destroyed.

We really have two different areas in which there is a barrier. There is a barrier between Jew and Gentile, and then there is a barrier between Jews and Gentiles together and God. That barrier is a state of hostility or enmity between God and the human race on one hand and between Gentiles and Jews on the other hand on the basis of the Law.

This becomes eradicated in Ephesians 2:15 because Christ abolished the enmity in His flesh. The enmity which existed between God and mankind and between Jew and Gentile is eradicated where? Not at the point of salvation but at the cross historically—AD 33. This is when that eradication takes place objectively before God. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances …” This is a reference to the Mosaic Law.

He renders the Mosaic Law inoperative. Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law …” Jewish/Gentile hostility on the basis of those legal distinctions of the Mosaic Law is eradicated at the cross.

Ephesians 2:15 “… so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” In Christ there is not a distinction. The enmity here starts off between the two, but then it moves and starts making the shift to solving the problem between God and man. Ephesians 2:16, “And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity [that exists between Jew and Gentile and between Jews and Gentiles and God].” As a result of the Cross, enmity is replaced by peace. The issue is now the Cross. It is not the Law, culture, sin, or anything else.

When we look at the illustration of the barrier, on the left are the elements of sin that create a barrier between God and man. The fact of sin, the penalty of sin, character of God in terms of His righteousness—those three aspects of the sin problem are all solved by the universal aspects of the Cross, that is the unlimited part of unlimited atonement. Unlimited atonement is for all, as we are studying in Colossians. He cancelled the certificate of debt for all at the Cross. The penalty of sin was paid for by Christ in terms of redemption, and the character of God in terms of justice is satisfied by propitiation.

The next sin problems—the lack of righteousness, our spiritual death, and our position in Adam are resolved only when we put our faith in Christ. At that point, we receive the imputation of Christ’s perfect righteousness, we are declared justified, we are born again spiritually, and we are placed into Christ. All of that happened simultaneously at the instant of faith in Christ.

Ephesians 2:17 “And He [Christ] came and preached peace to you who were afar off [Gentiles] and to those who were near [Jews].” They were near only because they had the privileges of the covenants, not because they are closer to salvation. As Paul described in Romans, they are closer to God in terms of the covenants, so they have blessings, but these do not include salvation.

Ephesians 2:18 “For through Him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit to the Father.” The results are then spelled out in verses 19-22. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Before they were not citizens or members of the commonwealth of Israel, but now they are members of something new. Jews and Gentiles are now fellow citizens in this household of God. Verse 20 “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets …” That phrase does not refer to Old Testament prophets. If it were referring to Old Testament prophets, it would be in chronological order—prophets and then the apostles. These are the New Testament gifts of apostleship and prophets. These were temporary gifts given only during the period of the foundation of the church in the 1st century.

Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone, and the foundation is the apostles and prophets who gave new revelation related to the mystery doctrine of the church age during the 1st century. Verse 21 “In whom the whole building [imagery is of the church as a building], being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” This is a spiritual temple; it is not referring to the physical temple. Here it is the corporate temple of the body of Christ and not the individual temple within each believer.

Ephesians 2:22 “In whom [Christ] you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” It is talking about the corporate body. It is not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but the dwelling of God in the body of Christ as a spiritual temple to God. This is all a result of the peace that occurs objectively at the cross.

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the enmity that is removed. We learn from Ephesians, there is peace between Jew and Gentile in Christ. And there is peace between mankind and God. This is the basis for our access to God, which is in Christ.