I Cornelius, member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) for many years, now converted to the true gospel of Christ.
Members and former members who are still faithful to the doctrines of the Church, I encourage you use your wisdom, be open-minded, but if you are offended of anything in this article, you can choose to stop reading.
My favorite doctrine of the Church is the teaching of how Christ created one new man, to avoid the law of God that each one will pay his/her own sin, by creating one new man, even if Christ did not sin, He died for the sin of his body, the Church. This is the answer for my very own question why Christ has to die on the cross even if He did not sin. That is so logical and very clever teaching. How can you not believe that only a messenger can interpret the bible correctly? No other religions that I know teach this.
The INC Doctrines on One New Man
The Iglesia Ni Crito (INC), the Church that Christ will save (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation) because Christ made His body – the Church (Col 1:18) and He is the head of His body. By doing this He made a one new man (Eph. 2:15-16 NKJV) to reconcile the body which is the Church from (Col.1:18 NKJV). Christ needed to create one new man so as not to violate God’s law, that whoever commits a sin, the same person must die for that sin (Dt.24:16).
Theory of Equivocation
In previous article I covered the mystery is referring to “that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel“. The one new man created by Christ are the Jews and the Gentiles [ all non-Jews are Gentiles] contrary to INC teaching that the one new man is Christ the head, the body is the Church. Christ created one new man by abolishing the laws. In INC teaching, Christ created one new man so as not to violate the law in Deuteronomy 24:16. The laws are referring to Mosaic law or the law of Moses not only to the law of sin and death. For example Jews are required to be circumcised, while Gentiles are not. Under Christ, the requirements for Jews are no longer the same.
Understanding Ephesians 2:15-16
To understand the two verses it is important to split verse 15 and we will cover them in details
- having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances
- so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace
We will cover the two topics in details now.
Abolishing the law
In INC doctrine on Ephesians 2:15, Christ created one new man to meet (follow or not violate) the law of God that one will pay for his/her own sin. That is not the case if we read verse 14, the context is abolishing the law.
We need to understand in Christ there is no differences between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. There is only Christians as recorded in Galatians 3:28.
Christ broke the middle wall of separation (Eph. 2:14)
“broken down the middle wall of separation” .
[Side topic: In the Jerusalem Temple area, in the day of our Lord, there was an outer court, which was the court of the Gentiles, and the Gentiles could enter that court. This court of the Gentiles was separated from the rest of the Temple area, and there was this barrier wall. Many see this “barrier wall” in the Temple as what Paul is referring to here. They see breaking down this wall as symbolizing the Jew and Gentile worshiping as one. And then there was a court of the women, and the women could get a little bit closer if they were members of the Nation Israel. And then there was a court of the priests, there was a court of the men and a court of the priests, and of course the most holy area where only the priests, as they carried out their ministry, could go – based on David Curtis teachings and Josephus’ “The Wars of the Jews”.]
One logical thought is that the wall of separation is the Mosaic law which is not applicable to the Gentiles. There is no need to apply the Jewish law to the Gentiles so that they can be fellow heirs of the promise.
“having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances” – the wall dividing the Jewish courts from the Gentile courts was an image picturing the bigger spiritual wall of the Law. It was Torah that separated the nations from Israel. What makes a Hebrew a Hebrew? Bottom line, it was Torah. And in Christ’s finished work, we see that this wall, or as Paul explains, this enmity—the Law of commandments—has been destroyed and abolished – based on David Curtis teachings and Josephus’ “The Wars of the Jews”.
The Mosaic Law created a barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles. The Mosaic Law was given exclusively to Israel as God’s covenant people. Many stipulations in The Law excluded Gentiles from the Jewish forms of worship. The priests alone could perform the sacrifices and ceremonies. Only Jews who had properly gone through the cleansing rituals could approach the altar with their sacrifices. The ceremonial food laws made it impossible for a devout Jew to eat a meal with a Gentile, or to stay in a Gentile home. So The Law created a barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles – this is what Christ is abolishing by creating one new man.
Create in Himself one new man from the two
It is now making sense to understand the making of one new man after breaking down the middle wall of separation, that is the Mosaic law.
If we go back in verse 11-12. Apostle Paul explained the Gentiles were “strangers to the covenants of promise,“. This was the position of all Gentiles: hopeless, without God:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near ” – Gentiles are always said to be far-off by Apostle Paul.
“create in Himself one new man from the two “- Christ created in Himself, not only from his head and using a newly created body just like the INC teaching, but in Himself, one new man from the two – the “two” referring to the Jews and the Gentiles. Remember Apostle Paul is the one speaking to Ephesians who are Gentiles.
“thus making peace” – Jesus established peace by abolishing the Mosaic Law and making the two into one New Man. There are not two saving covenants. There are not two saved people of God. Contrary to the teaching of the INC, God abolished “chosen people“. That was the thing of the past, that was during the Mosaic period.
In verse 16, “reconcile them both to God in one body“. The Jews and non-Jews are reconciled to God in one body – there is no more chosen ones, it is all in Christ.
“through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” – The enmity has been put to death by our Lord Jesus Christ who has taken upon Himself the judgment that the broken law required, that He has paid to the full for the people of God.
In verse 17, Apostle Paul clarifies Christ preach peace to you [Gentiles, remember Paul speaking to Gentiles] who where “afar off” and to those who are near [Jews].
In previous post titled “For The Promise Is To You And To Your Children, And To All Who Are Afar Off“, we learned there are only two groups of people not three as taught inside the INC.
The one new man from the two refers to Jews and Gentiles not Christ as head and body as Church. This is part of the mystery that the Gentiles are fellow heirs of the promise. The Gentiles are strangers to the covenants of promise before Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ abolished the law, the Mosaic law in order to create one new man. There is neither Jews, nor Greek [non-Jews who are Christians], there is only Christians now.
Now there is a new answer for my very own question why Christ has to die on the cross even if He did not sin – He abolished the Mosaic law, created one new man from Himself so that He can fulfill the redemption of our sin through his death thus making peace.