Abolished in His Flesh

Ephesians 2:15-17 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 

‘Abolished’ – The Law of Commandments have been abolished [Greek: katargeo] make of no effect (Rom. 3:3; 4:14; Gal. 3:17; 5:4); come and bring to naught (1Cor. 1:28; 2:6); done away (1Cor. 13:10; 2Cor. 3:7, 11, 14); fail (1Cor. 13:8); cease (Gal. 6:11); vanish away (1Cor. 13:8); make void (Rom. 3:31); cumber (Luke 13:7); deliver (Rom. 7:6); loose (Rom. 7:2); put away (1Cor. 13:11); put down (1Cor. 15:24); destroy (Rom. 6:6; 1Cor. 6:13; 15:26; 2Thess. 2:8; Heb. 2:14); and abolish (2Cor. 3:13; Eph. 2:15; 2Tim. 1:10).

It is clear from these passages that whatever is abolished is completely null and void. What is it here that is abolished? It is the law of commandments in decrees or the law of dogmatic commandments. The word for ordinances is dogma, translated “decree” (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; 17:7) and “ordinance” (2:15; Col. 2:14). The law was made to expose sin (Rom. 3:19-20; 7:13; Gal. 3:19-25) and to keep the Jews a distinct people until Christ came. After that, it was no longer needed.

‘His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances’ – This means by His death the law was abolished (2:14-15; Col. 2:14-17; 2Cor. 3:6-15).

‘To make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.’ This was the purpose of doing away with the law that brought enmity and made the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles. God planned to make of both classes one new man – the body of Christ – so making peace between all men (3:6; 1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).

‘Reconcile’ [Greek: apokatallasso] to bring together again (Col. 1:20-21).

‘Slain the enmity thereby’ – If the enmity that the law brought is slain, then the law which caused this enmity is abolished (2:14-15).

‘You which were afar off’ The Gentiles (2:11-13).

‘Them that were nigh’ – The Jews (2:11-13).

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