Ephesians: Christ Is Our Peace


Greetings in Jesus’ name!

It’s time to begin our service this evening. I am so glad to have you all here with us. I especially send my greetings to all the different ones who have reached out over the past week. I am always rejoicing to hear all the good reports of what the Lord is doing. We are continuing to see many people exit our former doomsday cult, and we are doing all we can to comfort and support them.

In case you are not a regular listener here, I and most of the listeners here are former members of a doomsday cult based on the teachings of William Branham, known as The Message. It is a large international group with millions of members. I am near Jeffersonville, Indiana, where the cult was started back in the 1940s. My name is Charles Paisley, and I am formerly the associate pastor of the second oldest message church in the world, and one of the largest message churches in North America. For the past few years, I have been helping people escape from the cult.

I personally left the cult after I started to notice a widespread pattern of what I believed to be abuse, and when I slowly began to realize that a significant number of people had died. They died, in my opinion, as a direct result of the cult’s teachings, which led me to begin questioning the practices of the group and ultimately led me to conclusions that we had been in a destructive cult.

And of course, if you are familiar with the historical research into the cult, there has been a mountain of horrors unearthed that have gone on throughout The Message cult around the world. The cult, as it turns out, started out as a congregation founded by national leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. Many of the most well-known cults in American history could be considered splinter groups of the message, including Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple or David Berg’s Children of God, and many more. Much of the history we were taught about The Message and William Branham, while we were inside The Message, has turned out to be untrue. Over the years, most Message churches became gradually more and more radical, like a pot of water slowly being brought to a boil. At a certain point, you realize you’ve got to jump out, or you are going to be cooked to death.

I am saying all of this because the title of our message today is “Christ is Our Peace.” And when you have lived all or most of your life in a doomsday cult, you probably have a twisted idea of what peace is because peace and doomsday fears are pretty much opposite things.

As we go into this lesson today, I hope and pray you are comforted by the peace of God. And I invite you to open your Bibles with me to Ephesians chapter 2. This is our fifteenth lesson since we started this series on the book of Ephesians. I hope you have found it helpful. I know I have. And we are going to pick up in verse 13. Let me read:

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 

Ephesians 2 ESV

Let us pray.

Lord God, we thank you for the Bible. As we look at this passage today and talk about the peace we have in Christ Jesus, I pray that you bless our understanding. Help us to know you through our Savior. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.


As we begin to look into these verses about the peace that Christ brings, I want to start by talking about the different forms of peace.

Because the peace that the Bible talks about comes in two different forms or two different applications. There is peace with God, and then there is peace with one another.

All these two aspects of peace come from God through Jesus Christ, and, in a sense, they are both one and the same. And as we read these verses here in Ephesians, both of those aspects are part of what Paul is looking at. Paul here is looking both at our peace with God and our peace with each other.

Peace With God

And we will see that as we go along. Each of these verses is related to slightly different aspects or forms of peace. And together, this is all the peace of God, but I think it’s important for us to understand some of these verses are talking about peace with others, others are talking peace with God, and then some verses are talking about both forms of peace at the same time. And I think you will see that as we examine these verses more closely.

Now let me read verse 13 and 14 again, and let’s break those verses down.

“13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”

Ephesians 2 ESV

In the Old Testament, under the law of Moses, you had what was called a peace offering, and a peace offering was a sacrifice that someone would make to God. Now the peace offering could take different forms, but it was always an animal, maybe a lamb, or a goat, or an ox. And whichever animal was being offered had to be a perfect animal. It could not be sick, or have blemishes, or have a limp, or a broken bone, or anything like that. It had to be a perfectly healthy, well-kept animal. And the person who needed to make the sacrifice would take the animal to the temple, where the priests would sacrifice the animal as a peace offering. And you can read about how that was done in Leviticus chapter 7.

And that sacrifice was a symbol that was pointing to Jesus Christ. It was pointing towards a Savior who would come and be the fulfillment of that symbolic sacrifice. Because the peace offering in the temple was just symbolic, its true power rested in the genuine peace offering that was Jesus Christ. And when Jesus came and died on the cross, he fulfilled what that symbolism was pointing towards. Jesus Christ was our peace offering, the one true genuine and final peace offering.

And that is very much what verse 14 is pointing towards. Paul writes, “For he himself is our peace” or our peace offering.

And the Bible explains to us exactly what a peace offering is all about. The peace offering symbolizes peace with God. You and I, before we come to Christ, are still sinners. When we’re living the kind of life Paul wrote about in the first three verses of this chapter, when we are living a life to our selfish ends, when we insist on being our own god, we are rebelling against God. When we are living like that, we are at war with God as sinners.

And the peace offering is something that symbolizes the end of hostilities. It is laying down the hatchet, so to speak, where the war between us and God comes to an end, and now we have peace. And in offering the peace offering to God, we are acknowledging that we are the guilty party, the one who did something wrong, and the one who needs to offer something to God to make things right. And that is what the peace offering is. It is the thing being offered to God to make things right.

And of course, in the days of the Old Testament, they did that symbolically. They offered an animal sacrifice at the temple, to God, as a peace offering, to make things right. But now, Jesus Christ has come into the world, and he is our peace offering. We don’t need to make symbolic peace offerings anymore. Those were just types and shadows pointing towards the true peace offering, which Jesus Christ made on the cross.

You and I don’t have to go offer an animal at the temple for a peace offering, but instead, we look to Jesus. He is our peace offering. He died to make peace between us and God.

“13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace.”

Ephesians 2 ESV

So that is the first form of peace we can see here in these verses. Paul is speaking toward our peace with God, the cessation of our battle against him. In a sense, we have surrendered to God, admitting he is right, and we are wrong.

And Jesus Christ is the one who died and shed his blood as our peace offering.

And the truth is, that was really the only way we could truly make peace with God. The animals were never really going to cut it; there is nothing we could ever offer on our own to make peace with God. We don’t have anything good enough, but Jesus was enough, good enough.

And it was always going to take his sacrifice to truly make peace, and that is what we have in our Savior. He is a peace offering, which we could have never made on our own; he made it for us. And when we accept him as our peace offering, we recognize his kind love towards us, to pay the debt we could never pay, to be and do what we could never be and do.

Jesus Christ is our peace offering in a practical, functional, literal way. Although you and I may understand that, and know that, and believe it to be true, there is also a deeper spiritual knowledge of this peace with God. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit to really give us peace down in our soul, to make us understand this peace deep down in our inner being, to truly know, deeply know, that we have peace with God, to truly make it real to us that Jesus paid it all, to take it beyond the realm of just functional knowledge, and to make it a living reality in our hearts and minds.

And that is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in. The fruit of peace is when the rubber meets the road, so to speak. It’s where these things become more than simple knowledge. It is when peace with God begins to define our character and our nature, where we are truly living in that peace which Jesus Christ made for us.

Peace with Each Other

Now there is another form of peace Paul is also talking about here, besides peace with God, and he does it in these same verses, Verse 13.

“13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”

Here in the second half of verse 14, Paul is speaking about peace between Jews and Gentiles, or even more broadly, peace between the members of the body of Christ. Christ, in his flesh, through his sacrifice, also breaks down the walls of hostility that divide Christians from one another. You and I have peace with each other because of Christ.

In these passages, Paul is especially speaking of peace between the Jewish and the Gentile Christians. Whereas Jews and Gentiles had once been two separate groups, who would not be caught dead with the other, now, in Christ, they are one group. Peace has been made between them because of the blood of Christ, and faith in Christ, is the great equalizer. All the reasons to look down on others, all the reasons for there to be divisions or envy or strife—in Christ Jesus, those things can all be healed.

That doesn’t mean they always heal right away; we can read of times in the Scriptures where there were still tensions between the Jewish and the Gentile Christians. It takes the Holy Spirit at work in our lives to let us live in this peace that Jesus Christ has made. But when we are in Christ, it puts us on a path where all our divisions can fade away and cease to be.

And this peace with one another has similarities to our peace with God. It actually takes the work of the Holy Spirit to bring this to a reality in our hearts. We can intellectually understand that when we are in Christ, there is peace between us, but having that be a living reality in our hearts is a different matter.

Just like our peace with God, there can be times when we still struggle in the flesh, when we do things that are less than following perfectly in the footsteps of Christ. And Jesus Christ pointed that out when he taught the disciples to pray. Jesus understood that we would still make mistakes, so he told his disciples to pray, “Father forgive us our trespasses.”

Because Jesus knew there would be times when we would still fall short, and Jesus knew we would need to ask God to forgive us, so he told the disciples to pray for that.

And it is the same with our neighbors. Although we have peace with our Christian neighbors through Jesus Christ, there can be times when that relationship is not all it should be. And just like Jesus told us to pray, “Father forgive us,” he also said we should pray, “Father forgive those who trespass against us.”

Even though we are in Christ, at times situations arise that require some forgiveness on our part. And our capacity to forgive and ask forgiveness are both important things for us to remember when it comes to maintaining peace with our brothers and sisters. We should not go into relationships with each other expecting it’s always going to be perfect. We should go into our relationships with one another realizing sometimes we may have to say, “Father forgive those who trespass against us,” and it is important for us to be willing to do that when it is needed.

And our ability to do that, our ability to live in peace and to be peacemakers, those things are part of the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of peace in our lives.

Let me read that again.

“13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”

The way Paul writes this verse, saying “Christ is our peace,” lets me know that there is something about Christ in us that brings us to peace with one another. There is something about realizing my brother and my sister are also in Christ, just like I am in Christ, that will help to bring peace to any situation.

When we can step back and see each other in Christ, it can heal our divisions and break down our hostilities.

“13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.”

The peace Paul is describing there in verse 15 includes both peace between man and God and peace between Christian neighbors.

Those are the two forms of peace Paul is speaking of there in verse 15.

What I want to draw your attention to in verse 15 is who it is that is creating this peace. Notice the word “create” is there in verse 15. That he might CREATE in himself one new man, in place of two, so making peace. This peace is something created in Jesus Christ and created by Christ. Jesus created this peace in himself.

And I want you to catch that. You did not create this peace. I did not create this peace. Jesus Christ created this peace. It is a product of what he did on the cross.

When you think about a creation, it is making something new. It is creating something that did not exist before. Before Christ created this peace between us and God, there was not really true peace between man and God. It took the work of Jesus Christ to create the peace.

I think that is something that is easy for us all to understand—that Jesus Christ created the peace that exists between man and God. But that is not the only thing verse 15 is telling us. Verse 15 is also telling us that Jesus Christ created peace between the different members of the body of Christ.

And in this example, Paul is speaking specifically of the peace that was created between the Jews and the Gentiles. That peace, the peace between Christian neighbors, that peace was also created by Christ Jesus, in himself.

As we think about that in our individual relationships, when people have conflicts, when you or I have conflicts with one another, the peace between us already exists in Jesus Christ. The peace and the healing of our relationships already exist in Jesus before we ever experience it directly. And it is Christ moving on our hearts and souls and in our lives to create peace.

Verse 15 conveys the manner in which he will accomplish this. He does it by making us all one, by making us see each other as parts of each other, by understanding that we are all connected and all related, and that we are all one family, one body, one unit. Christ causes us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves by recognizing that we are all part of each other. And here is the thing: If we are all one in Christ, then we really are loving ourselves when we love our Christian neighbors because we are all one in Christ.

When we realize that we are not a bunch of little islands, all out doing our own thing, when we realize we are part of something bigger—a community of people—and that our actions are like throwing a stone into water, it ripples out bigger and bigger, and some of those ripples even come back on us. When we realize our actions are like that, we understand that mistreating someone has a ripple effect—a bad ripple effect, and it makes the whole place a little less stable. But the same is true with love and goodness; it also has a ripple effect and makes the place better.

When we can see those things and understand them and realize that we all want to live in a better world, it is going to affect the way we treat each other. It absolutely will. And Paul is hitting at that sort of a thing in verse 15. Jesus Christ has made us all one; he has united us in a community, and that itself is part of the peacemaking process.

15 … that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 

Peace with God and peace with each other.

In the specific context here, remember, this is speaking specifically of Jew and Gentile.

Paul is telling us here, this is one single united church. There is not a Jewish church and a Gentile church. There is not a foolish virgin church and a wise virgin church. There are not these separate independent churches. There is just a single church, and we are all part of it, no matter who we are, what we are, where we are. We are all part of the single church when we are in Christ. And the church is not Jew, it is not Gentile; it is something altogether new. That is also what verse 15 conveys to us: the church is something altogether new—a new creation.

Before we were in Christ, we were Jew and Gentile, but now as the church, we are neither. We are the church; we are a new creation. Those distinctions, like Jew and Gentile, become irrelevant; those distinctions died on the cross with Jesus Christ.

Now, let me read verse 16:

16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

In verse 16, Paul is basically repeating the same thing he said in verse 14 and 15. We are reconciled with each other and with God in this one new body, which has been created by Jesus Christ through his peace offering on the cross of Calvary.

Verse 17 follows:

17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

He preached peace to those who were near—that would be the Jewish people, who were nearer to him, and then to those who were far off—that would be people outside of Israel. Jesus preached peace to both. He preached a message targeted at both those who were near and those who were far away, instructing his disciples to take the gospel message to the ends of the world.

Out of two, he made one new creation. He united all these different people together into something new—the Christian Church, the body of Christ.

And within the church, Jesus Christ is what produces and creates peace between the members.

Rest in Christ

Now there is one last aspect of peace I want to touch on before I close this lesson. And it has to do with rest. Peace and rest go hand in hand. When you are at peace, you are at rest. And ultimately, that is what God’s peace achieves in our lives. That is part of what it produces when we live in the fullness of that peace. There is a restfulness that comes with peace. There is an ability to stop and smell the roses, and not be so hurried, or feeling that big pressure anymore, knowing there is something hanging over your head. And there is a joyfulness that accompanies peace. And there is a contentment that comes with peace.

That is something that I think, perhaps some people can miss with peace. Peace with God will lighten our labors, and by that, I mean our spiritual labors. True peace with God will enlighten us to the fact that Jesus really did pay it all. It takes a load off your shoulders.

And, I will tell you what, the load is often a lot heavier on people who have come from rigorous religious backgrounds, like the Jewish people. Because there was all kinds of stuff the Jewish people had to do every day, in order to please God. They had to strap a kippa on their head. They had to say certain prayers at the right time in the right way, every day. They had to be careful of everything they touched, everything they ate. And there were all kinds of dates and appointments they needed to keep at the temple. It was a very busy life, full of rituals and symbolic acts they needed to perform.

But the peace that comes from Christ allows there to be a rest from those sorts of things. There are no more sacrifices you need to offer at the temple. You can take off that phylactery. Your meal choices just got a whole lot bigger. Where you go and what you touch no longer make you unclean.

You have peace with God. The debt is paid in full. You don’t have to keep making monthly installments towards your salvation. You don’t need to work hard on maintaining all those symbols of salvation anymore. You finally have the genuine article. Peace has been made, and you don’t need to keep doing things to try and make peace. And that knowledge, when it sinks into your being, it will produce true peace and true rest.

And, there are ways to detect a lack of peace within yourself or within others. Going back to what I said at the start of this lesson concerning peace in a doomsday cult: People in a cult like that never find a restful peace. They will have something they call peace, but it is not the restful peace of scripture. Those groups are constantly chasing something, constantly preparing something. There is some new rule they need to add to the list. There is some special place they have to be to hear the latest revelation. There is no contentment, there is no genuine peace. There is no rest, because their labors are never finished, and they never get to the place where they feel like the work is finally done. There is always more.

Unless they can hear the mystery of the seven thunders, they are not going to make it. If they never find the rapturing faith, they will be left behind, so they are constantly searching for something they will never find and never obtain. They are always chasing something, never content, never satisfied, never truly at peace.

One common thing we heard a lot was that you need the word for your day because the word of Jesus’ day can’t save you, the word of Paul’s day can’t save you, and that keeps you constantly chasing something. They are ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They have a new word every day and every hour, and it never brings them to a true knowledge that Jesus paid it all. It never brings them to a place of rest.

It’s not the pottery wheel of the Lord; it’s the hamster wheel of the devil. It never ends, and you never get where you are going. But Jesus gives us a peace that this world doesn’t give. Jesus gives you a peace that you can’t find in a doomsday cult. The peace Jesus gives brings contentment and satisfaction. The peace Jesus gives you is rooted in the knowledge that the work is already finished in Christ, and it was finished on the cross at Calvary.

Through his death, burial, and resurrection – Jesus already finished the work. There is no work that you must perform – Jesus already performed it. The only work you need to do to make it is to believe in Christ. What must we do to do the work of God? Believe in him whom God has sent. That is Jesus.

And when you do that, you become his workmanship. God will mold you. God will make you into a vessel of honor. And it is a guarantee, like Paul explained in chapter 1 of Ephesians.

And the peace that Jesus gives is rooted in the understanding of those things: being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from all wrath. Being justified by his blood, you will not burn up in the tribulation from the wrath of God. And there is nothing else you need to obtain for that to be true, besides Christ as your savior. There is no such thing as rapturing faith – there is only saving faith. There is no such thing as needing a revelation of seven thunders to escape the wrath to come. All you need is saving faith in Christ, and being justified by his blood, you are going to be just fine.

And as long as you think you need to chase rapturing faith, you will never know the true peace that Jesus offers. As long as you think you can’t make it without discovering the secret mystery of the seven thunders, you will never know true peace. As long as the true plan of salvation is hidden from you, as long as the gospel is hidden from you, you will never know true peace.

Because true peace can only be found through a revelation of Jesus Christ as your savior, and what he did. A revelation of the gospel message.

And there are lots of people who boast of all their so-called revelation. Yet they lack only revelation which actually can save a person. A revelation of the gospel.

What Jesus Christ did on the cross is enough to save us. The peace offering that Jesus Christ made is peace offering enough. His peace offering was good enough.

And when you come up with all these other things you need to mix in, what you are saying is that the peace offering Jesus made was not good enough. It was not adequate.

If you believe you need to add something to the work of the cross, then you don’t believe the work of the cross was good enough. You can’t have it both ways. And as long as you refuse to believe the work of Christ on the cross was enough to save you to the utmost, then you can never know true peace.

Because you have no security when you don’t believe Christ is enough. Your security depends on something that is unstable or mysterious. Your security depends on learning secret mysteries, or your security depends on membership in a special group. Or your security depends on performing certain good works, on living a certain lifestyle.

And that is a work that is never finished. No matter how much you learn, there is always more. No matter how many good works you do, there is always more to be done. No matter how good a lifestyle you have lived, you still need to live more of it tomorrow.

In that sort of a life, there is no resting in the knowledge that the work was finished by Christ. There is no peace. There is constant striving, there is constant chasing.

Instead of resting in the knowledge that Jesus paid it all, you will live your life in a constant and desperate pursuit of whatever the doomsday cult has convinced you that you need to make it. And underneath everything the cult tells you, is the fact that they do not believe that Jesus Christ, and what he did, is good enough.

They will try and convince you that you have a sort of peace. And brainwashing and thought control can produce a form of man-made peace. A false peace.

But it is not the peace which comes from knowing the completeness of the work of Christ. You can’t find the sort of peace I am talking about in the doomsday cult we come from because they won’t ever tell you that Jesus is enough. Because if Jesus is enough, what do you need them for?

A very wicked preacher said that very thing not long after I left the cult. He said, if what Charles is saying is true, then why do you need us?

And those sort of statements give away the game. They truly think you need them. They have added themselves to the formula for salvation. And what they are doing is ultimately something that is designed to make you dependent on them, rather than dependent on Christ.

They have usurped the role of savior. And instead of teaching you to look to Christ for saving faith, they are teaching you to look to them for rapturing faith. Instead of having you trust in the finished work of Christ, they have you thinking the finished work comes with the secret mystery of the seven thunders. And then they convince you that is something you can only get from them.

If you are off in the wilderness and you miss the seven thunders, then you are not going to make it. If you don’t get ahold of the rapturing faith, you are not going to make it. If you haven’t learned the word for your hour, every hour on the hour, you are not going to make it. And they are quite plain in saying that. And they are equally plain in saying they are the only ones who can give it to you.

Brothers and sisters, these are deceivers who are departed from Christ. These are they which lead astray silly people. They have a symbolic form of holiness and godliness. But they deny the effectiveness of the saving power thereof.

They are people who are always chasing something or not at rest or peace. Ever learning new revelations, but never able to come to a knowledge of the gospel truth.

And what they actually do is rob the saints of their peace. And there are saints there in their cult churches. There are honest God-loving Christians in those cults. They are beat down, wounded, some of them barely hanging on. Some of them driven to the brink of suicide over and over by these wicked men. I know it, because a lot of them speak to me regularly.

I ask you all to pray for them. Because these groups do everything in their power to destroy and ruin the lives of anyone who tries to leave.


And today, if you are listening in, and you are not living in peace. If you are living in torments, foisted on you by false doomsday preachers, constantly telling you end-of-the-world predictions that always turn out to be a hoax. Who torment you, who judge you, who tell you will burn up and die a torturous death when you leave their church. If you are under preachers like that and you are recognizing that sort of preaching is the opposite of peace.

If you are perhaps gripped with fear because you want to leave, I want you to know, the fear they put on you for wanting to leave is not the convicting power of God. That fear you may feel over your desire to leave is a work of Satan which has been wrought on your mind by the time you spend listening to false doomsday preachers. Jesus offers you peace, not fear. Jesus offers you peace, not threats. Jesus offers you peace, not an endless pursuit of something you can never find. Jesus says, I have finished the work. And my peace I leave with you.

And if we are not all we should be, if we look at our lives and see things in them that we don’t like, and that we are asking God to help us with. Then we say, he is still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. We say don’t judge me yet; I am unfinished work.

And we have peace and rest in our hearts, knowing that he has promised to finish that work. And it is his work, not our own.

Amen. I encourage you today, seek God, and he will help you to find peace and comfort in the totality of your salvation. Let me close in prayer.


Lord God, I know today there are many people who are listening who have been totally robbed of their peace by false preachers. Men who have spiritually raped the people, having a form of godliness, they deny the power of the gospel of Christ, which is enough to save all who believe. Lord, we pray such wicked men repent and turn to you, but if they don’t, may you swiftly judge such wicked men before they bring harm to more people. And may you comfort the hearts of the wounded, give them true peace, the peace that a cult cannot give them. I know you can give them, and we ask that you give us all that peace, in Jesus’ name. Amen.