5. Ephesian-2:13-16 Christ has broken down The Middle Wall V.
December 15, 2017
1. OBSERVATION-What does the text say? What do you see?
2. INTERPRETATION-Which answers the question, what does it mean? And thirdly;
3. APPLICATION-My friends this is the MOST important part.
Now, we are only in stage 1. Observation; do not be too quick to get to stage 2. Interpretation, what does it mean? This is the off-ramp where many have gone astray. We lean toward what the KJV calls private interpretations, which gives birth to more denominations, and we don’t need any more of those.
Observation is just taking note of what you see. Therefore, in light of that fact, we will put these principles to use in the following passages:
Ephesians 2: 13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (NKJV)
One should never read the Bible without purpose. There are a vast amount of treasures to be found simply by doing a little Detective work. I hope that a good Detective like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has never questioned you. On the other hand maybe Hollywood’s Colombo. Sherlock Holmes was an incredibly OBSERVANT character. If something at the murder scene were out-of-place, he would be the first to know it. Once he’d thoroughly perused the crime scene his catch phrase was, “The game is afoot”. Alternatively, after Colombo annoyed his potential suspect with a barrage of seemingly innocent questions, you knew the suspect was done for when the Detective would walk away as if he were leaving, then stop…turn around using his catch phrase “Oh, I almost forgot…one more thing.” That meant he had already figured this thing out, he just wanted his suspect to think he was bumbling unkempt idiot. In reality, he knew that person was guilty as sin.
Both these characters were masters at observation & interrogation. They would wear suspects down with question after question, until they came to the most logical conclusion. Another term that could be applied to Inductive Bible Study is deductive reasoning. Some would lead you to believe that in order to have a productive Bible study, you would need to leave your brain should be inactive, or go into shut down mode. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Acts 17: 2 “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
From the OT, God Himself wants to “reason together” with us. He does not want us to love and obey Him apart from us exercising our God-given free will. In addition, Jesus did not shut Nicodemus down because he had questions. He answered his questions with truth and grace. Even The Apostle Paul was in the habit of engaging the minds of practically everyone he met. In my next blog, we’re going to grill Eph. 2: 13-16 hopefully together, with the questions below in order to make good OBSERVATIONS, which will lead to the correct INTERPRETATION. Then we can begin to arrive at the most beneficial APPLICATIONS for the good of the entire Body of Christ. Therefore, I invite you all to reason together over the scripture, instead of this my way or the highway interpretation. Maybe we can at least start chiseling at some of these walls that kept us apart. We can work together at looking for the answers to questions like:
1. Who wrote the text?
2. When was it written and to whom (or who)?
3. Who are the people in that particular chapter or book?
4. Where is this taking place and where are the people in this narrative?
5. When did these events occur in relation to where the characters are?
6. What happened to the people in the text?
7. How were the characters affected? For good or evil?
8. How does this or that fit?
9. How long did this take place and will it ever happen again? Ect.
I don’t have all the answers; I don’t even have all the questions. However, think about what we can accomplish if we all work together as Christ prayed that we should (John 17). To be continued…