For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (Ephesians 2:14-15)


Leslie M. John

  • “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14)
  • “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephesians 2:15)

The Gospel of Grace was preached during Acts Period and many Gentiles were saved during this period. After Death, Burial and Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, message of salvation was proclaimed to Jews first and Gentiles next

The Book of Acts contains historical facts of Apostles, primarily that Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul. The Book of Acts contains the historical transition of the “Kingdom” message to the message of “One New Man” the “CHURCH”, whose head is Lord Jesus Christ with members from Jews and Gentiles.

The transition and the progression could be seen from:

  1. Preaching of Gospel in Jerusalem (“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” Acts 6:7)
  2. Preaching of Gospel in Judea and Samaria (“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied”. Acts 9:31)
  3. Preaching of Gospel in Tyre and Sidon (Herod was smitten by God and the Church is blessed. “But the word of God grew and multiplied”. Acts 12:20-24)
  4. Preaching of Gospel in Asia Minor (“And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily” Acts 16:5)
  5. Preaching of Gospel in Europe (“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified” Acts 19:17

(a) “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it” Acts 28:28

(b) “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” Acts 28:31)

The Gentles saved during Acts period were not circumcised to become proselytes. In Christ circumcised and un-circumcised are all equal members of the Church. Peter, James, Mark, Paul and Barnabas were as much equal members of the Church as any other Gentile, who believed in Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior. If it is argued that there was no Church during Acts period, then it goes to say that Peter and Paul were also not members of the “Body of Christ”.

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14)

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephesians 2:15)

Who is “one new man” mentioned in Ephesians 2:15?

Before we go into the details as to who the “one new man” is, let us read two verses where we find the phrase “new man”, which has different meaning than that of “one new man”.

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”.  (Ephesians 4:24)

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10)

Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 point towards the one who has accepted Lord Jesus Christ as personal savior and become ‘new man’ by putting put off the old man in him. He is a new creation in Christ Jesus. God considers him as righteous and holy. He is renewed in the knowledge of God who created him.

The phrase “one new man” referred to in Ephesians 2:15 is the one body of Christ that has members from Jews and Gentiles. They are made one in Christ and there is no difference between them.

There are few conditions that need to have been fulfilled before “one new man” came into existence.

  1. Firstly, the condition “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances” should have been fulfilled.
  2. Secondly, the one becoming part of that “one new man” should have been cleansed of his sin through the blood of Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. That is to say the person who becomes a member of that “one new man” should have repented of his/her sin and accepted Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior.
  4. Obviously the “one new man” is the “Church”, or it is “the body of Christ” or it is the “Bride of Christ”. Thirdly, the condition “to make in himself of twain” should have been fulfilled.


The condition was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified on the cross.

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost”. (Matthew 27:50)

The veil in the Temple was rent into two from top to bottom, opening the way from Holy to the Holies and earth did quake and rocks rent. (Matthew 27:51)

The centurion and others who were with him, watching Jesus saw the earthquake and things that have happened at that time and greatly feared and acknowledged that Jesus was the “Son of God”  (Matthew 27:54)

Jesus rose from the dead on the third day (Matthew 28:6), and after forty days he ascended into heaven and will come back again in the same manner he ascended into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11)


Bible says we all, irrespective of whether we are Jews or Gentiles, have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:9, 23) and the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

In order to becoming partakers of God’s blessing, and to receive salvation one has to repent of his/her sins and accept Jesus Christ as personal savior. Bible says:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.  (1 John 1:9)


Whoever has accepted Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, have been made to drink of one spirit and for by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.  (1 Corinthians 12:13)


“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”.  (Hebrews 4:15)

The barrier between Jews and Gentiles was removed. That is to say, the provision for “one new man” was made immediately when Jesus was crucified on the cross.

When the day of Pentecost was fully come as we read in Acts Chapter2 there were in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven”. (Acts 2:5)

Also in Acts 2:9-11 there is a mention of all those who were present from different regions.

“Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God”. (Acts 2:9-11)

The people present there when Peter spoke of Jesus starting from Acts 2:14 were from Judea and from those who dwell at Jerusalem. Note how the scriptures clearly distinguish those who were present in Jerusalem as from “Judea” and “all ye that dwell at Jerusalem”.  If only Jews were there at that time, the distinction should not have been made, but the scriptures clearly distinguish two categories of people present at the time when Peter spoke about Jesus of Nazareth.

These people who were present there in Jerusalem during the time of Pentecost when Holy Spirit, who was the “Promise of the Father” came upon all those who were asked by Jesus  to wait in Jerusalem until they were empowered to speak about Him. Acts 2:4 says:

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.

When this news was heard abroad, multitudes came together and were confused because every man heard them speak in his own language and they all understood one another. They were all amazed and marveled and said to each other, “…Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:1-8)

Paul quotes Hosea Chapter 1 and says in Romans 9:25 that those Israelites who were unfaithful to God were called “Not my people” by God. They were all Gentiles. But what about those who were not the descendants of Jacob, who were present in Jerusalem at the time when Peter spoke of Jesus?

Were there no Roman Government officials? How sure is anyone to say that those who were called “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians” were also the descendants of Jacob?

I Chronicles Chapter 1: 17-28 have the details of sons of Shem, Elamites, and many others. Neither scriptures nor the history records of Flavius Josephus show that all those were descendants of Jacob. They were all Gentiles.

There is no basis to say that those three thousand saved when Peter preached were only Jews or descendants of Jacob.  There are some who say without producing any evidence that they were mixed generations from Jacob’s descendants and pure Gentiles and there are some who say that they were all from “House of Israel” who mixed up with Samaritans without showing where those from “House of Israel” were or are now. Some try to make up some stories even from those narrations which are mystery.

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls”. (Acts 2:41)

Later many more souls from Jews and Gentiles were added to the Church.

“Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47)


When Peter spoke of Jesus of Nazareth that He was a man approved of God (Acts 2:22), he had full knowledge of Jesus, because Peter was a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter knew that Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus and Joseph had purposed earlier to put her off when Joseph came to know that Mary was pregnant. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary of the works of Holy Spirit.  He saw Jesus die on the cross, and saw resurrected Jesus Christ.

Later in his life Peter wrote in his 1 epistle Chapter 1 a great message honoring “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has begotten us unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance, and undefiled, and that fades not, which is reserved for us”. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

This Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ said in Acts 2:21-24 that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  This Peter addressed the men in Israel and testified about Jesus of Nazareth that he was approved of God and did miracles and wonders and signs.

Peter said that they took Jesus, who was delivered by the determinate counsel of foreknowledge of God, and killed him and that God raised Him from the pains of death, which could not hold him Jesus ascended into heaven and seated on the right hand of the Father and will come back after all his enemies are brought to His footstool.(Acts 2:21-25, 31, Psalm 16:8-11).  Peter also quoted the David and his prophecy about Jesus Christ. (Psalm 110:1)

Before Peter went to meet Cornelius, an uncircumcised Gentile, a devout man, who feared God and gave much alms, and also prayed to God always, God taught a lesson to Peter.

It was when Peter was still thinking about Mosaic Law and ordinances.  Even though he was hungry he had determination not to eat that which was forbidden under Mosaic Law and Ordinances.

Jesus had already ascended into heaven by this time, and the Apostles had already begun preaching the Gospel of grace.  It was not the kingdom message that they were preaching, but the Gospel of Grace. The message was that Jesus was crucified by sinful people like me, and that he died for saving the sinner, and that he was buried and rose on the third day from the dead and after forty days ascended into heaven. Peter was the first one to preach about this fact as we read in Acts Chapter 2.

Later in Acts Chapter 9 there is narration of how Paul, who persecuted Christians, was encountered by Jesus, who said that He was the one whom Paul was persecuting. When Christians are persecuted Jesus felt that he was being persecuted.

It was this Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the very God himself, who said to Peter to go to Cornelius to give him the salvation message.  Before going to Cornelius, Peter saw a man named “Aeneas” sick of palsy at Lydda. Peter said to him “…Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately” (Acts 9:34). Because of this miracle done by Peter in the name of Jesus, many turned to the Lord. Later Peter prayed and raised Tabitha (also known as Dorcas) from the dead. Many believed in the Lord.


Then Peter went to Simon, who was a tanner, and stayed with him for many days. Peter did not have any hesitation to stay in the house of the tanner for many days.

“And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner”. (Acts 9:43)


Cornelius saw an angel of God in a vision saying to him that his prayers and his alms to people were honored by God. The angel of God said to Cornelius that he should send word for Simon Peter (the disciple of Lord Jesus Christ), who stayed in the house of one named Simon, who was a tanner. Cornelius sent two of his servants to Joppa to call for Simon Peter.  (Acts 10:1-8)


A ‘tanner’ is the one who deals with dead animals. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia describes ‘Tanner’ as:

Quote:  “tan’-er (burseus, from bursa “a hide”): The only references to a tanner are in Ac 9:43; 10:6,32. The Jews looked upon tanning as an undesirable occupation and well they might, for at best it was accompanied with unpleasant odors and unattractive sights, if not even ceremonially unclean. We can imagine that Simon the tanner found among the disciples of Jesus a fellowship which had been denied him before. Peter made the way still easier for Simon by choosing his house as his abode while staying in Joppa. Simon’s house was by the seashore, as is true of the tanneries along the Syrian coast today, so that the foul-smelling liquors from the vats can be drawn off with the least nuisance, and so that the salt water may be easily accessible for washing the skins during the tanning process. These tanneries are very unpretentious affairs, usually consisting of one or two small rooms and a courtyard. Within are the vats made either of stone masonry, plastered within and without, or cut out of the solid rock. The sheep or goat skins are smeared on the flesh side with a paste of slaked lime and then folded up and allowed to stand until the hair loosens. The hair and fleshy matter are removed, the skins are plumped in lime, bated in a concoction first of dog dung and afterward in one of fermenting bran, in much the same way as in a modern tannery. The bated skins are tanned in sumach (Arabic summak), which is the common tanning material in Syria and Palestine. After drying, the leather is blackened on one side by rubbing on a solution made by boiling vinegar with old nails or pieces of copper, and the skin is finally given a dressing of olive oil. In the more modern tanneries degras is being imported for the currying processes. For dyeing the rams’ skins red (Ex 25:1-40 ff) they rub on a solution of qermes (similar to cochineal; see DYEING ), dry, oil, and polish with a smooth stone” Unquote.

Bible emphasizes Peter’s stay in the house of a tanner: When Bible mentions specifically an incidence it is not without any significance. It needs serious consideration.

“And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner”. (Acts 9:43)

“He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do”. (Acts 10:6)

It was one just before Peter spoke to Cornelius, who was a Roman uncircumcised Gentile from Italian Band.  Cornelius was baptized later.  Points to note Tanning is unclean. Tanner is unclean. Gentiles were unclean in the sight of Jews. Yet God said what he called as ‘clean’ man should not call it as ‘unclean’.

Hebrew Strong’s Number 2931 is “tame’ ” translierated as “taw-may’ ”

In KJV the word “Unclean” is mentioned as defiled , 5; infamous, 1; polluted, 1; pollution, 1; unclean, 79

Greek Strong’s number 169 transliterated as “Akathartos” is found in KJV as KJV (30) – foul, 2; unclean, 28;

“Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty”. Leviticus 5:2 and also there are more details about dietary restrictions imposed on the children of Israel. These instructions included that they shall eat the beasts that have

  • parted hoof
  • cloven-footed and
  • Chew the cud

But they shall not

  • Camel because he chews the cud, but has no divided hoof
  • Coney because he chews the cud, but has no divided hoof
  • Hare because he chews the cud, but has no divided hoof
  • Swine because he chews the cud, but has no divided hoof

God said the children of Israel shall not eat their flesh and they shall not touch their carcasses. They are all considered as ‘Unclean” by God.  (Leviticus 11:2-8)


On the morrow when the servants of Cornelius were reaching the city, Peter went upon the housetop to pray. It was about sixth hour and Peter was very hungry. Before he went to eat with Tanner, he saw a vision. In the vision he saw heaven opened and a certain vessel descending towards him.

It was like a great sheet knit at the four corners and let down to the earth.  The sheet contained variety of animals; four-footed beasts, wild beasts, creeping things and fowls of the air. Peter heard a voice saying to him to rise, kill and eat.

However, Peter refused to eat because there were animals that were prohibited to be eaten as per Mosaic Law and ordinances. Peter said that he had never eaten that which is common or unclean.   The voice said to him second time, and Peter refused to eat. The voice said to Peter that what God had cleansed should not be called common by him. This was done three times and the sheet was retrieved into heaven. (Acts 10:10-16)


While Peter was in trance and thought on the vision, the Spirit spoke to him and said to him that three men were seeking him. Peter was asked to arise and go with them without doubting. Peter obeyed the voice and went with the men to Cornelius and said that he was Peter.

Just before Peter identified himself Cornelius fell on the feet of Peter and worshipped him; but Peter lifted him and said that he was also a man.  He meant that God is the only One who is to be worshipped and none else. Peter saw in the home of Cornelius many others who were there to listen to him. Peter, who was a Jew, asked

Cornelius, who was an un-circumcised Gentile, as to why he sent word for him knowing fully well that it was unlawful for Jew to keep company with Gentile. Cornelius said to Peter that he saw a man in bright clothing stood before him four days ago when he was fasting and said to him that his prayers were honored and his alms were recognized by God.

Cornelius continued saying that the man, whom he saw, asked him to send word for Peter, specifically mentioning the name as Simon, whose name was Peter, and who was staying with a ‘tanner’.  That is the reason why he called for him and said that they were all there to hear what God had to say to all of them in his house.


After Peter spoke to the congregation consisting people from various nations and tongues the message of salvation as we read in Acts Chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit fell on them and they all talked in many languages that could be understood by everyone, the gospel of Jesus Christ that peter gave to Cornelius, a Gentile, was a full message of grace, whereby a person can have salvation.

Peter spoke saying with God there is no partiality and that whoever works righteous and fears God is accepted by Him.  Peter said that Jesus of Nazareth is the Lord of all, and that preached peace unto the children of Israel and the baptism that John preached. The word was published throughout Judea from Galilee.

Jesus of Nazareth did miracles and healed the sick after he was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.  Jesus also cast away evil spirits from those who were oppressed of the devil. Peter testified that The Father in heaven was with Jesus, the Son of God, and that the disciples were all witnesses to the preaching, and miracles of Jesus of Nazareth.  They were witnesses to all that they saw in the land of Jews, and in Jerusalem, and yet Jesus was killed and he was hung on the Cross.

God raised Jesus the third day and He appeared to all of them on different occasions and ate and drank with them. Peter said that Jesus asked them to preach to people that He was ordained of God to be the Judge of the quick and the dead. All the prophets spoke about Jesus and whoever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter was still speaking Holy Spirit fell on all of them that heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Jews, and the brethren, who came with Peter, were surprised to see that Holy Spirit fell on all of them to whom Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. They all spoke in tongues and magnified God. Then Peter asked if there is any obstruction for them to be baptized in the name of the Lord and commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. They requested Peter to stay with them for few more days. (Acts 10:19-48)

Apostles and brethren, who were in Judea, heard that Gentiles also received the word of God and they spoke in tongues. When Peter went to Jerusalem they argued with him as to why he went to Gentiles and ate with them. Their questioning was based on the instructions of Jesus who earlier said to them that they should not go in the way of Gentiles.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not” (Matthew 10:5)

Peter recollects this after Cornelius receives salvation that God was teaching him a lesson that whether it be Jew or Gentile, circumcised or un-circumcised, everyone who receives salvation is equal in the sight of God and none is ‘common’ or ‘unclean’.


Peter rehearsed before them the entire vision when he saw ‘common’ and ‘unclean’ animals in a vessel on a sheet that descended from heaven and a voice asked him to rise, kill and eat them; and that he refused. But the voice said to him that he should not call as ‘common” and “unclean” that which God has cleansed (Acts 11:1-10).


Cornelius became a member of “THE CHURCH”.

Salvation to Gentiles was already in the plan of God. Israel is blinded in order that Gentiles may receive salvation. (Romans 11:6-8, 2 Corinthians 3:14)

Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus.

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust”. (Matthew 12:17-21, Cf. Isaiah 42:3)

Abraham, who was the father of faith, was the root of Olive Tree. Gentiles, who are compared to wild Olive Tree, believed in Jesus as their savior, the unbelieving Jews were cut off and believing Gentiles were grafted into the Natural Olive Tree in their places and thereby Jews and Gentiles are made one in Christ. They became the body of Christ, and they are all collectively called the “bride” of Christ’.

The Gentiles who believed Jesus as their savior were saved by grace through their faith in Jesus and became partakers of the root who is Abraham, who was known as father of faith. Both Abraham’s descendants through Isaac, and Jacob, the believing Jews, along with unbelieving Gentiles are now the members the ‘Church”, whose head is Lord Jesus Christ, who identified himself as the true “vine”.

“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17)

Apostle Paul’s analogy of wild olive branches being grafted into natural olive tree is to mean that the Gentiles are made equal partners in the spiritual blessings along with Jews. Some of the natural branches were cut off because of their unbelief and in their place the wild olive branches are grafted.

This is also not to mean that to accommodate Gentiles in the natural olive tree the branches of the natural branches were cut off, but because of their unbelief that the Jews, who are considered as natural olive branches, were cut off. The wild olive branches are asked not to take pride in themselves because they were grafted into natural olive tree. Paul warns that if natural branches were cut off because of their unbelief, God will not hesitate to cut off wild olive branches. This does not mean that salvation will be lost by any beiever in Christ, but it only means that they will be cut off to make way for the natural branches.

Paul argues if God had cast away the natural branches and says “God forbid”.

“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1)”.

Here neither Peter nor Paul said that the Gentiles who believed in Jesus and were saved by grace through faith in Him became Jews first and then had the salvation, but the argument is that by faith in Jesus Christ Jews and Gentiles became one in Christ and Gentiles have become partakers of the faith of Abraham.

There is no difference whether it is Jews or Gentiles, they are all one in Christ right from the period in Acts Chapter2 when three thousand were added to the Church, and Acts Chapter 10, where we see about salvation that was granted to an uncircumcised Gentile, Cornelius as also to others who were with him, and now and even until Jesus comes again to take his bride away.

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls”. (Acts 2:41)

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter” (Acts 10:44-46)

The Church came into existence in Acts Chapter2 and the “One New Man” is the Church, which has members from Jewish community and from Gentiles. They are all one in Christ.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (Romans 12:5)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)