2:11-12 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Paul calls Gentile Christians to a time of remembrance. He calls them to remember when their position was not in Christ but was rather in the flesh.
Prior to the finished work of Christ’s Gospel, salvation was ascertained by circumcision and works.
Paul is reminding the Gentiles to remember the time prior to their salvation where they could be referred to as uncircumcised (Gentiles) by the circumcised (Jews).
Gentiles were isolated from the promises and blessings from God to Israel. This isolation left them with no hope.
This is exemplified through Matthew 10:5-6 when Jesus instructs His disciples to go not into the way of Gentiles; but, rather focus themselves on the nation of Israel.
2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
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.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Through the offer and power of Christ’s Gospel offered through His completed work. This is once again referring to the position change and placement into the Body of Christ.
Christ’s blood ended isolation for everyone and instituted the Body of Christ. It is this one body [v.14] that Christ created by tearing down the Spiritual wall that divided Jew and Gentile.
When this wall was torn down, it was in this Body that Paul states that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).
This marvelous creation is what we deem “The Church”. Not a building. Not the thing that an offering plate funds. The Body of Christ is The Church.
In the church, peace is made by way of placement into His body and He stands as our intercessor. This makes the right relationship with God possible.
Ephesians 2:15 defeats the basis for replacement theology. The Church does not become the “New Israel” after Christ’s Gospel is established. Jew and Gentile distinctions are removed upon belief in His Gospel.
Differences are reconciled within the Body of Christ which stands as a “new man”.
A new man refers to the Church, an unique institution to Israel (Although roots and Gospel derives). It also refers to the “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the “new man” that is put on from renewal of true knowledge of Christ (Colossians 3:10).
Therefore, the new man can refer to the church and the adherents that make up the Body of Christ.
Lastly, verse 18 shows the unity of the Trinity in how Christ (The Son), gives us access through the Holy Spirit to the Father.
2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Christ is the foundation and the cornerstone of our faith. A cornerstone is traditionally the first stone laid and the most significant with the construction of an institution.
Jesus is the foundation of our faith. By Him, we are allowed sainthood (sanctification) upon the acceptance of His Gospel and membership into the family of God.
Christ being the cornerstone of our faith also sets the distinctiveness of preeminence. That He has always been and was before the Apostles and prophets from which our faith is derived.