Paul says that Christ preached peace to “you who were far off”? You who were far off are Gentiles in the flesh (Eph. 2:11). You Gentiles were once “separated from Christ” (v. 12). You Gentiles were once “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.” You Gentiles were once “strangers to the covenants of promise.” You Gentiles were “having no hope and without God in the world.” “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (v. 13).
Who are “those who were near”? They are the Jews. “He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him” (Ps. 148:14).
Christ preached peace to both Gentiles and Jews. This is Christ’s message of peace. By His death, Jewish and Gentile believers are reconciled. By His death, the Law is no longer the basis for getting right with God. By His death, there is no dividing wall between them. By His death, there is no more hostility between them. In Christ, both Jewish and Gentile believers are one. That is Christ’s gospel of peace.
Three Christian brothers met one day
To speak of things divine;
They had so much of Christ to say,
With joy their faces shine.
The first one said, `My brothers dear,
By virtue of Christ’s blood,
My heart retains no guilty fear,
I now have “Peace with God”.’ (Rom. 5. 1)
The second brother answered bold,
`You lag on heaven’s road;
I grasp the truth with higher hold,
I have the “peace of God”.’ (Phil. 4. 7)
The third dear brother drew up tall;
He laughed and scarce could cease:
`My brothers dear, I beat you all—
I have the “God of Peace.”—T. Baird
The Bible says that people who trust Christ have peace with God. People who pray and commit all things to God have the peace of God. Yet people who trust Christ have Christ–the God of peace. To be in Christ is to be joined to Christ and to have his peace. To be in Christ is to be joined with other believers.
Are you joined to Christ today? Then you have the God of peace in you. You are joined with other believers also.
There is therefore no place for hostility toward believers of another race, color, or gender. You are joined with other believers in Christ. There is no place for discrimination toward believers of another class or social status. In Christ, there is no rich or poor, man or woman, for all are one in Christ. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28).