The emphasis that began in chapter 1 concerning what we have "in Christ" continues. In this passage, the focus is on the unhindered fellowship within the body of Christ regardless of the previous walls and animosities that existed. In Christ they are all torn down. The central portion of this passage (v.14-18) grounds this truth with the logic of what was accomplished at the cross. Namely, Christ tore down the wall that separated the "have's" from the "have-not's". He did this by fulfilling the law perfectly (Matt. 5:17), thereby abolishing it as a means of distinguishing who is in and who is out of God's covenant family. In Christ there is now a newly established unity that trumps all hostilities. Only in him are we reconciled to God; and being thus reconciled, the hostilities between us are emptied of all animosity. As Paul begins to push toward practical issues concerning life in the body of Christ, it is vital to see that these coming exhortations are direct entailments of the gospel of Christ crucified and risen by which we come to be in that fellowship. The gospel that grants us entry into the community of faith is the very thing that defines our life within that community. Philippians 2:5, "Have this mind (of humble service, unity and love toward fellow believers) among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus ..." As Bonhoeffer so forcefully asserts in Life Together , this unity and humble attitude is not something we have to produce ourselves. It is something that already exists in Christ. Because both I and my brother come to God in Christ Jesus, it is Christ Jesus who always stands between us. As I relate to my brother, I do so through Christ. He is our unity.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
Διὸ μνημονεύετε ὅτι ποτὲ ὑμεῖς τὰ ἔθνη ἐν σαρκί, οἱ λεγόμενοι ἀκροβυστία ὑπὸ τῆς λεγομένης περιτομῆς ἐν σαρκὶ χειροποιήτου,
remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
ὅτι ἦτε τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ χωρὶς Χριστοῦ, ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ξένοι τῶν διαθηκῶν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, ἐλπίδα μὴ ἔχοντες καὶ ἄθεοι ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
νυνὶ δὲ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ὑμεῖς οἵ ποτε ὄντες μακρὰν ἐγενήθητε ἐγγὺς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
For he himself is our peace,
Αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν,
who has made us both one
ὁ ποιήσας τὰ ἀμφότερα ἓν
and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
καὶ τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας , τὴν ἔχθραν ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ αὐτοῦ,
by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances,
τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν καταργήσας ,
that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two,
ἵνα τοὺς δύο κτίσῃ ἐν αὐτῷ εἰς ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον
so making peace,
and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross,
καὶ ἀποκαταλλάξῃ τοὺς ἀμφοτέρους ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι τῷ θεῷ διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ,
thereby killing the hostility.
ἀποκτείνας τὴν ἔχθραν ἐν αὐτῷ.
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐηγγελίσατο εἰρήνην ὑμῖν τοῖς μακρὰν καὶ εἰρήνην τοῖς ἐγγύς•
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
ὅτι διʼ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
Ἄρα οὖν οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι καὶ πάροικοι
but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
ἀλλʼ ἐστὲ συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων καὶ οἰκεῖοι τοῦ θεοῦ,
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν,
Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
ὄντος ἀκρογωνιαίου αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ,
in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
ἐν ᾧ πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ συναρμολογουμένη αὔξει εἰς ναὸν ἅγιον ἐν κυρίῳ,
In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε εἰς κατοικητήριον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν πνεύματι.
Ground or Explanation?