|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-18 Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ was their Peace, the author, centre, and substance of their being at peace with God, and of their union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.
Verse 18. - For through him both of us have our access by one Spirit unto the Father. Further illustration of identity of position of Jews and Gentiles, and of the work of Christ in bringing it about. Subject of this verse, access to the Father; predicate, this access effected through Christ by the one Spirit. Our having access to the Father is assumed as a matter of spiritual experience; the converted Ephesians knew that in their prayers and other exercises they did really stand before God, and felt as children to a Father. How came this to pass? "Through him." Sinful men have not this privilege by nature; "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). They need a Mediator; Jesus is that Mediator; and through him, both Jews and Gentiles enjoy the privilege. But right of access is not enough; in approaching God and holding fellowship with him there must be some congeniality of soul, a fellow-feeling between God and the worshipper; this is effected through the same Spirit. Some render "in the same spirit, or disposition of mind." This is true, but not all the truth; for the question arises - How do we get this suitable disposition? And the answer is - It is wrought by the Holy Spirit. As the state of the soul in true intercourse with God is substantially the same in all, so it is brought by the same Holy Spirit. In fact, this verse is one of the characteristic texts of Ephesians, in which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are brought together.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For through him we both have an access, That is, both Jews and Gentiles; the Arabic version reads, "we both factions": being made one, and reconciled unto God, and having the Gospel of peace preached to both, they have through Christ freedom of access and boldness in it:
by one Spirit unto the Father: they may come to God as the Father of spirits, and of mercies, who has made their souls or spirits, and bestowed his mercies on them in great abundance; and as the Father of Christ, and as their God and Father in Christ: and the rather they should consider him in this relation to them, in order to command in them a reverence and fear of him; to secure a freedom and liberty in their approach to him; and to encourage an holy boldness, and a fiducial confidence in him; and to teach them submission to his will: and their access to him is "through" Christ, who has made peace for them, and atonement for their sins; who has satisfied law and justice, and brought in an everlasting righteousness for them; so that there is nothing lies in their way to hinder them; and besides, he takes them as it were by the hand, and leads them into the presence of his Father, and presents their petitions for them, on whose account they have both audience and acceptance with God: and this access is also "by one Spirit"; the "Holy Spirit", as the Ethiopic version reads; and who is necessary in access to God, as a spirit of adoption, to enable and encourage souls to go to God as a father; and as a spirit of supplication, to teach both how to pray, and for what, as they should; and as a free spirit to give them liberty to speak their minds freely, and pour out their souls to God; and as a spirit of faith to engage them to pray in faith, and with holy boldness, confidence, and importunity; and he is said to be "one", both with respect to the persons to and by whom access is had, the Father and Christ, for he is the one and the same Spirit of the Father and of the Son; and with respect to the persons who have this access, Jews and Gentiles, who as they make up one body, are actuated and directed by, and drink into one and the same Spirit: hence this access to God is of a spiritual kind; it is a drawing nigh to God with the heart, and a worshipping him in spirit; and is by faith, and may be with freedom, and should be, with reverence, and ought to be frequent; and is a peculiar privilege that belongs to the children of God; and who have great honour bestowed upon them, to have access to God at any time, as their Father, through Christ the Mediator, and under the influence, and by the direction and assistance of the Holy Spirit: this is a considerable proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead, of their deity and distinct personality.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Translate, "For it is through Him (Joh 14:6; Heb 10:19) that we have our access (Eph 3:12; Ro 5:2), both of us, in (that is, united in, that is, "by," 1Co 12:13, Greek) one Spirit to the Father," namely, as our common Father, reconciled to both alike; whence flows the removal of all separation between Jew and Gentile. The oneness of "the Spirit," through which we both have our access, is necessarily followed by oneness of the body, the Church (Eph 2:16). The distinctness of persons in the Divine Trinity appears in this verse. It is also fatal to the theory of sacerdotal priests in the Gospel through whom alone the people can approach God. All alike, people and ministers, can draw nigh to God through Christ, their ever living Priest.
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