Institution Granting Degree
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Nonobligatory ordinances, One new man in Christ, Ephesians (epistle to the), Judaism, Gentiles
"No More Walls! The Nonobligatory Ordinances Contained in the Law and the Creation of One New Man in Christ: Ephesians 2:11-22" provides an in-depth exegesis of Eph 2:11-22 shedding new light on God's desired unity among all believers. In this passage, Paul uses three metaphorical images to teach his predominately Gentile addressees how close-knit God wants their unity to be with Him and one another. Firstly, Paul uses metaphorical imagery depicting Christ as having done away with the Jewish and Gentile believers' hostility the same as if He had removed a "party-wall" that had existed between their personal contiguous residences. Secondly, all believers exist as part of the same body, in which every part is important for the health of the whole. Lastly, Christ's followers collectively make up the very building, the home, that God lives in, with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone of its foundation.
The research laid out in this dissertation will bring new understanding to the meaning of two aorist participial clauses [Special characters omitted.] and [Special characters omitted.] . The difficult nature of both clauses will be discussed thoroughly in chapters 2 and 3. Then, in chapter 4, an exegesis is given on Eph 2:11-22 using the information gleaned from the research described in chapters 2 and 3 and any additional research needed to discuss some of the key areas of scholarly concern. Hopefully, the conclusions drawn from the given research will find resonance among present and future scholars. This research leads to an understanding that God wants Christ's followers to live together as one family, God's family, the Body of Christ. Christ's death on the cross provides reconciliation for those within the Body. In order to facilitate a realized unity on earth, Christ has declared the purity and cultural ordinances of the eternal Torah as optional to all. Now, those who do not obey these ordinances are no longer transgressing God, and therefore, they are to be fully accepted by those who do and vice versa: there are to be no " dividing walls" in the family of God.