We desperately need peace.

But where do we find it?

Paul is clear that Jesus not only gives us peace, but more so IS our peace! And as our peace, He proclaims peace.

In this expositional message, Nathan Johnson examines Ephesians 2:16-17 and talks about the power of reconciliation, how it relates to peace, and why it is a beautiful and powerful declaration when we proclaim the Gospel of peace.

Listen to + Download the Study

Key Passage: Ephesians 2:16-17

Ephesians 2:14-17 – For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

A Simple Bible Study Resource

Reconciliation (2:16)

  • Normal Word for Reconcile” (katallasso): to change from one condition to another; a change of attitude or relationship
    • the word used of bringing together friends who have been estranged // William Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 134.
    • Used 6x in NT
      • one time it is used as the reconciliation between husband and wife – 1 Cor 7:11)
      • 2x in Romans 5:8-11 (also with noun form – found 4x in NT)
      • 3x in 2 Cor 5:18-21
    • Romans 5:8-11: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified [made righteous in God’s sight] by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled [katallasso] to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled [katallasso], we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation [noun form of katallasso].
    • The resulting paradox, that God reconciles those he recognizes up to the moment of reconciliation as enemies, is no greater than in the command “Love your enemies.” For love always treats its enemies as no enemies at all. [Evang Dict of Theology]
    • If we were reconciled through His death – what is He going to do in and through us by His life?!?
    • 2 Corinthians 5:18-21: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled [katallasso] us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation [noun form of katallasso], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling [katallasso] the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation [noun form of katallasso]. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled [katallasso] to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Our word for “reconcile” in Ephesians 2:16 – (apokatallasso): reconcile completely
    • Used 3x in NT (E2.16 + 2x in Col 1)
    • Colossians 1:19-22: For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile [apokatallasso] all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace [eirēnopoieō] through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled [apokatallasso] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…
      • We were alienated, enemies, full of wicked works and yet He made peace and reconciliation and has presented us holy, blameless, and above reproach
    • Ephesians 2:14-16: For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 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, and that He might reconcile [apokatallasso] them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
      • Reconcile: Aorist (focus on the action)
      • Active (Jesus is the one doing the work)
      •  Subjunctive: realm of possibility

Proclamation of Peace (2:17)

  • Ephesians 2:17: And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
  • Peace is NOT sitting on a beach with lemonade or even a truce in battle
  • Peace is …
    • Greek “eirênê” (peace) – Harmonious relations and freedom from disputes; harmony, tranquility
    • Hebrew “shalom” (peace) – peace is the removal of every enemy faction; also contains the idea of well-being, health, prosperity, security, soundness, and completeness/wholeness
  • Jesus is our peace (2:14)
  • Jesus makes peace (2:15)
  • Jesus proclaims peace (2:17)
  • Harkening Back to Isaiah
    • Isaiah 57:19-21 – [I, God create] … the fruit [message] of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
      • A man without God is like the troubled sea – always restless and in motion
        • Opposing forces pulling upon him (moon, earth’s gravity, wind, etc) causing a great storm
        • Mire and dirt and seen as a result (the sea vomits it up upon the shore after a storm)
  • Jesus preaches the same message to both groups
    • The Jew needed salvation just as much as the Gentile.
    • 1 Timothy 1:15: This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief [the worst].
    • Martin Lloyd-Jones: “To be an inch outside the kingdom is no advantage over the man who is a thousand miles away from being in the kingdom. . . . [Peace] is needed by all.”
  • Beautiful Feet
    • Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
      • There is a statement of desire and wonder
      • The feet of those who preach peace and glad tidings are seen as “adorned,” “beautiful,” “crowned”
  • Ephesians 2:17: And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
    • What is proclaimed – Peace! … Harmony, Security, Completeness, Wholeness, a Removal of every enemy faction
      • A message of victory and triumph!
      • You can be free of sin and defeat!
      • An undaunted courage amidst any storm (you have the Prince of Peace)
        • Jesus doesn’t always calm the storm but He does give a confidence and assurance in it
      • Romans 8:35, 37-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      • Romans 6:11-14 – Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
  • The Shoes of Peace (We are to Proclaim Peace)
    • Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
    • Romans 10:13–15 – For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
    • Ephesians 6:13, 15 – Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. … and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
  • Shoes + Feet
    • Revelation 1:15, 18b – his [Jesus’] feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. … who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
    • Genesis 3:15 – I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
    • Romans 16:20 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
    • 2 Samuel 22:10 – He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.
    • Deuteronomy 33:24–25 – And of Asher he said, “… let him dip his foot in oil. Your [shoes] shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.”
    • Song of Solomon 7:1a – How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O noble daughter! …
  • » The only way to proclaim peace is to first have peace

In Our Next Study Together …

I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life. 

  • The focus of our next study: Ephesians 2:18
  • We will examine the rich intimacy that we can have with the Father because of Jesus as found in Ephesians 2:18.
  • I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 2:11-22.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe on your favorite app by searching for “Deeper Christian Ephesians” or clicking the button below.

Help Others Out …
Leave a Rating & Review on Apple Podcasts 

If you enjoyed the show, please take 30 seconds and rate it on Apple Podcasts and write a brief review. This would be a tremendous blessing to help us get the word out to others who might also enjoy it—as Apple uses the rating and reviews in their searches to help other people find the show.

About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.

Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.

About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

Receive the Deeper Digest

Receive Deeper Christian’s weekly content in ONE convenient email each Saturday (all the quotes, articles, podcasts, etc.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, deeperChristian will receive an affiliate commission (with no additional cost to you). It is a great way to support the work and ministry of deeperChristian. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”