is a verse repeatedly used to support the traditional statement that “the law
has been done away with.” We’d like to investigate and see if this verse is really
making this claim.
Let’s take a look and see.
For context, we can see that Paul has just told the Ephesians:
11Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands--
12 remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Messiah Y’shua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:11-13
In essence, Paul said, “Before you were born-again, you Gentiles were in the state of verse 12; you had no part with the people of God.
BUT NOW, you are NOT separated from Messiah, you are INCLUDED in the commonwealth of Israel, you are NOT a stranger to the covenants of promise, you HAVE hope and are WITH God in the world.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:14-16
This is the verse that is used to support the traditional statement that “the law has been done away with.” However, is this really what this verse is saying?
v. 14 tells us that Y’shua made both Jew & Gentile into one. Is this supported elsewhere? Yes, it is.
And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek Romans 10:12
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor
free man, there is neither male nor female; for you
are all one in Messiah Y’shua. Galatians
These verses tell us that everyone who comes to salvation through Y’shua is Abraham’s seed, an heir of the promise; there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; indeed, God sees no distinction of any kind between those who come to Him.
and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall
This tells us that what was torn down was the thing that divided Jew and Gentile- the barrier, the dividing wall*.
(*a reference to a wall within the Temple area inside of which Gentiles could not go)
by abolishing in His flesh the enmity
What was abolished? Paul tells you – the ENMITY
the Law of commandments contained in ordinances
What caused the enmity? He tells you: the Law of commandments
The enmity was caused between the Israelites and those around them by the law – God’s instructions – which caused the Israelites to live differently than the rest of the nations, or to put it another way, in the eyes of their neighbor’s, the Israelites lived strangely.
that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace
Y’shua made those who followed God’s ways and those who did not into ONE. By being one, this made peace between the two. With everyone doing the same thing, there was no longer any reason for hostility (enmity) between the two groups.
The question that begs to be asked is this:
Did Y’shua make all into one PAGAN man, or into one GODLY man? If all were to live like the pagans, then the law has been abolished. However, if all were to live according to the instructions of God, if all are now part of “the commonwealth of Israel” (v. 12), then we are all now ISRAELITES. Do any other passages support this? Yes, the Scriptures above (Gal. 3:28-29), as well as Romans 11:11-24 (please read), in which Paul tells the Gentiles that they were grafted into an EXISTING olive tree; God’s family tree - ISRAEL.
and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity
The purpose of the cross was to reconcile two types of people – those who lived according to God’s ways and those who did not - and make BOTH groups into ONE BODY – BOTH following the ways of God – the torah/law!! It was NOT to make both groups into one body that followed the ways of the nations!
If the traditional teaching is correct, that the torah/law has been done away with, then we were not made into a Godly people, but into a PAGAN people! Scripture does not support this, therefore, this statement and belief is NOT true.