"One" Thoughts on Ephesians

One. We know it most commonly as the first number of all numbers. It is the first whole number of which when other ones are added you get two, three, etc. Yet, there are other ways to understand one. One can denote singularity instead of duplicity. Instead of two or more of something there is “one”. Another way to understand one is regarding unity, communion, and fellowship. Unity is the joining of two or more things, typically two things, but not always. In Ephesians we have numerous contexts to understand one; however, one (all pun intended) stands out. That one “one” is the joining or unity of two things together.

In Ephesians 1:10 we have things “in heaven” and “on earth” “He might gather together in one”. All government in heaven and earth in one in Christ. Another in Ephesians 2:14 “who hath made both one”. The preceding verses clearly indicate the two, later expressed as “twain” (Eph. 2:15) are the circumcision and uncircumcision or the Israelite and Gentile. The Israelite and Gentile are “both made one”, “for to make in Himself of twain one new man”, and “that He might reconcile both unto God in one body”, “for through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Then in Ephesians 5:31 Paul utilizes marriage to speak of His great mystery. Marriage of course is “a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

Unity and communion between two are in view in these passages. Christ being the instrument of the Father to bring about unity is also in view. In Ephesians 2:11ff Paul draws the Ephesians memory to before God came and preached peace to them. Prior to Paul coming to Ephesus he received grace and apostleship from the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. This grace given to Paul is part of the riches of His Father’s grace Father’s grace in Christ Himself. For in Christ by the cross God had reconciled the world unto Himself and sent Christ to send Paul with a ministry and message of grace and peace to the world. Although God’s wrath is revealed He isn’t dispensing it and seeks Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel to be reconciled to Him through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Paul was sent out with this grace to Jew and Gentile. Not only did God open the door of faith to the Gentiles as the scriptures foresaw when God preached before the gospel to Abraham in His uncircumcision, but He would do so before the prophesied time, under unprophesied conditions (through Israel fall and not their rise), and for an unsearchable purpose – unsearchable for us, but hid in God and part of His eternal purpose in Christ.

The Ephesians were and we are beneficiaries of the unsearchable judgments of God. Gentiles at large were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and now through their fall and Christ at the right hand of the Father we, believers, are citizens of the kingdom of His dear Son. Once strangers from the covenants of promise, but now through Israel’s fall and because of Christ we, believers, are blessed with all spiritual blessings as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Once without hope now we will enjoy the good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. Our hope in the fulness of times, in the ages to come, consists of Him shewing the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Today, due to His unsearchable judgments executed He takes Israelite and Gentile and makes them one for to make in Himself of twain one new man reconciling them both unto God in one body. Such revelation is different from time past of course, but also different from the future peaceful situation that will exist between the Hebrews and Gentiles in Christ’s kingdom on the earth.

Look Up,
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher  

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