In today’s Church, there are many conversations regarding the “One New Man” concept that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 2:15. As we see in the Word this is not a new concept… quite the contrary; it has actually been included in the Bible since it was first canonized. Only in recent years has it has been highlighted; much like the “born again” term was highlighted back in the late 1950s (see Jn. 3:3, 7). Being born again speaks of spiritual regeneration, as is found in both the Old and New Testaments.
“ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”—Ezekiel 36:26
“…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit…”—Titus 3:5
The One New Man concept speaks of the Believer as a new creation (cf. Ezek. 11:19, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15, Eph. 4:24).
Why highlight any one scriptural concept over another? It simply helps us focus on one of the many important concepts contained in the Word of God.
As with any highlighted concept from the Word, we need to read it in context and ask ourselves, “What does this mean to me?” We must remember that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV).
How does this help us in our walk and strengthen our covenant relationship with the Lord?
DO WE TAKE ‘AT FACE VALUE’ WHAT WE ARE TAUGHT, OR DO WE SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES?
It is wonderful to sit under a pastor or teacher and receive what seems to be very inspired teaching. However, we need to actively examine all that we are taught. Our relationship with the Lord and each other must be an active relationship. We need to “…receive the Word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so” (Acts 17:10-11).
We need to ask questions regarding concept validity and its relationship to the rest of the Word. It is unfortunate that many pastors and teachers are simply passing along what they were taught and have not thoroughly, nor prayerfully, searched out the truth for themselves. Through the years various concepts have arisen that are commonly accepted… but are they necessarily true?
How do we look at, or use, the scriptures?
First, we must read the Word for ourselves. Developing or finding a daily reading regimen is a good start. This should include selections from both the Old and New Testaments each day, perhaps using various translations and commentaries as needed for understanding.
Second, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, set aside any suppositions and allow the Word to speak to you.
Third, add to this, prayer. Having a set time and place is also very helpful. Between praying, reading, and meditating, God’s Word will come alive for you!
WHAT DOES THE “ONE NEW MAN” MEAN TO ME?
Okay, this is all fine and good, but what are we talking about when it comes to the One New Man? Ask yourself the question… “How does this apply to me?”
The Jewish Believer must set aside any separateness from the non-Jewish Believer, and the non-Jewish Believer needs to do likewise. Jesus, Yeshua, is our Messiah. He prayed for our unity as He is One with the Father (Jn. 17:20-21). This does not mean that the Jewish Believer must give up their Jewish beliefs or their Jewishness to accept Jesus as Savior. Accepting Jesus is a completion to their Judaism.
Likewise, according to Acts 15, the non-Jewish Believer is not required to follow all the requirements that were placed upon the Jew. However, since we have the complete written Word in our Bible, we should know how the Old and New Testaments interact with each other, and how it applies to both the Jew and the Gentile, together.
Some years ago, Curt Landry and Tim Alsbaugh of the House of David in Fairland, Oklahoma were privileged to work with Don Finto to provide a study workbook based on his book, “Your People Shall be My People.”
Don Finto’s book and this study explores the Hebrew roots of our Christian faith, revealing how the Jew and the Gentile (non-Jewish people) became separated in their belief regarding Messiah. The study gives great insight and understanding to the Gentile Christian of what it means for a Jewish Believer to embrace their Messiah within a Gentile belief system. The separation that occurred through this was harsh and costly.
The separation of Jew and Gentile was never God’s intended plan. Much was lost to both the Gentile Believer and the Jewish Believer in this separation. Misunderstanding of the Hebraic roots of the faith and God’s instruction to the Believer in Messiah, led to deception and corruption lasting still to this day.
WHY THE SEPARATION OF THE JEWISH AND THE GENTILE BELIEVERS?
The Apostle Paul saw this problem arising—the separating of Jew and Gentile Believers—and wrote extensively to prevent this separation. The forces that immediately entered in to create an unnecessary roadblock for the Gentile to accept Christ along with other unnecessary and troubling rules had to be headed off.
As the early Church became more established and grew in number throughout the Gentile world, the Gentile leadership in turn became larger in number than the Jewish leadership. As the Jewish leadership declined in number and other prophesied problems began to beset the Jewish population, many Gentile Believers saw this rejection of the Jew as God’s total rejection. Erroneous concepts began to grow, causing vast separation—a devastating schism between the Jew and Gentile.
This leads us into deeper exploration in God’s Word and questions to ponder…
- What were some of the prophesied problems that added to this schism, and who prophesied them?
- What were the problems that the Apostle Paul encountered, and to whom did he write about it?
Join us for Part 2 of this One New Man: What Should this Mean to the Believer series, where we will answer these and many other questions regarding this separation.