Ephesians Chapter Two
In chapter 2  the operation of the power of God on earth, for the purpose of bringing souls into the enjoyment of their heavenly privileges, and thus of forming the assembly here below, is presented, rather than the unfolding of the privileges themselves, and consequently that of the counsels of God. It is not even these counsels; it is the grace and the power which work for their fulfilment, by leading souls to the result which this power will produce according to those counsels. Christ is first seen, not as God come down here and presented to sinners, but as dead, that is, where we were by sin, but raised from it by power. He for sin had died; God had raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand. We were dead in our trespasses and sins: He has quickened us together with Him. But as it is the earth that is in question, and the operation of power and grace on the earth, the Spirit naturally speaks of the condition of those in whom this grace works, in fact of the condition of all. At the same time, in the earthly forms of religion, in the system that existed on earth, there were those who were nigh and those who were far off. Now we have seen that in the full blessing of which the apostle speaks the nature of God Himself is concerned; in view of which, and to glorify which, all His counsels were settled. Therefore outward forms, although some of them had been established provisionally on the earth by God's own authority, could now have no value. They had served for the manifestation of the ways of God as shadows of things to come, and had been connected with the display of God's authority on earth among men, maintaining some knowledge of God-important things in their place; but these figures could do nothing as to bringing souls into relationship with God, in order to enjoy the eternal manifestation of His nature, in hearts made capable of it by grace, through their participation in that nature and reflecting it. For this, these figures were utterly worthless; they were not the manifestation of these eternal principles. But the two classes of man, Jews and Gentles, were there; and the apostle speaks of them both. Grace takes up persons from both to form one body, one new man, by a new creation in Christ.
In the first two verses of this chapter he speaks of those who were brought out from among the nations that knew not God-Gentiles, as they are usually called. In verse 3 he speaks of the Jews-"We all also," he says. He does not enter here into the dreadful details contained in Romans 3,  because his object is not to convince the individual, in order to shew him the means of justification, but to set forth the counsels of God in grace. Here then he speaks of the distance from God in which man is found under the power of darkness. With regard to the nations, he speaks of the universal condition of the world. The whole course of the world, the entire system, was according to the prince of the power of the air; the world itself was under the government of him who worked in the hearts of the children of disobedience, who in self-will evaded the government of God, although they could not evade His judgment.
If the Jews had external privileges; if they were not in a direct way under the government of the prince of this world (as was the case with the nations that were plunged in idolatry, and sunk in all the degradation of that system in which man wallowed, in the licentiousness into which demons delighted to plunge him in derision of his wisdom); if the Jews were not, like the Gentiles, under the government of demons, nevertheless in their nature they were led by the same desires as those by which demons influenced the poor heathen. The Jews led the same life as to the desires of the flesh; they were children of wrath, even as others, for that is the condition of men; they are in their nature the children of wrath. In their outward privileges the Israelites were the people of God; by nature they were men as others. And remark here these words, "by nature." The Spirit is not speaking here of a judgment pronounced on the part of God, nor of sins committed, nor of Israel having failed in their relationship to God through falling into idolatry and rebellion, nor even of their having rejected the Messiah and so deprived themselves of all resource-all of which Israel had done. Neither does He speak of a positive judgment from God pronounced on the manifestation of sin. They were, even as all men, in their nature the children of wrath. This wrath was the natural consequence of the state in  Man as he was, Jew or Gentile, and wrath, naturally went together, even as there is a natural link between good and righteousness. Now God, though in judgment taking cognisance of all that is contrary to His will and glory, in His own nature is above all that. To those who are worthy of wrath He can be rich in mercy, for He is so in Himself. The apostle therefore presents Him here as acting according to His own nature towards the objects of His grace. We were dead, says the apostle-dead in our trespasses and sins. God comes, in His love, to deliver us by His power-"God, who is rich in mercy, according to his great love wherewith he loved us." There was no good working in us: we were dead in our trespasses and sins. The movement came from Him, praised be His name! He has quickened us; not only that-He has quickened us together with Christ. He had not said in a direct way, that Christ had been quickened, although it may be said, where the power of the Spirit in Himself is spoken of. He was however raised from the dead; and, when we are in question, we are told that all the energy by which He came forth from death is employed also for our quickening; and not only that; even in being quickened we are associated with Him. He comes forth from death-we come forth with Him. God has imparted this life to us. It is His pure grace, and a grace that has saved us, that found us dead in sins, and brought us out of death even as Christ came out of it, and by the same power, and brought us out with Him by the power of life in resurrection-with Christ,  to set us in the light and in the favour of God, as a new creation, even as Christ Himself is there. Jews and Gentiles are found together in the same new position in Christ. Resurrection has put an end to all those distinctions; they have no place in a risen Christ. God has quickened the one and the other with Christ.
Now, Christ having done this, Jews and Gentiles, without the differences which death had abolished, are found together in the risen and ascended Christ, sitting together in Him in a new condition common to both-a condition described by that of Christ Himself.  Poor sinners from among the Gentiles, and from among the disobedient and gainsaying Jews, are brought into the position where Christ is, by the power which raised Him from the dead and set Him at God's right hand,  to shew forth in the ages to come the immense riches of the grace which had accomplished it. A Mary Magdalene, a crucified thief, companions in glory with the Son of God, all we who believe, will bear witness to it. It is by grace we are saved. Now we are not yet in the glory: it is by faith. Would any one say that at least the faith is of man?  it is not of ourselves in this respect either; all is the gift of God; not of works, in order that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship.
In how powerful a way the Spirit puts God Himself forward, as the source and operator of the whole, and the sole one! It is a creation, but, as His work, of a result which is in accordance with His own character. Now it is in us that this is done. He takes up poor sinners to display His glory in them. If it is the operation of God, assuredly it will be for good works: He has created us in Christ for them. And observe here that if God has created us for good works, these must in their nature be characterised by Him who has wrought in us, creating us according to His own thoughts. It is not man who seeks to drawnigh to God, or to satisfy Him by doing works that are pleasing to Him according to the law-the measure of that which man ought to be; it is God who takes us up in our sins, when there is not one moral movement in our hearts ("none that understandeth, none that seeketh after God"), and creates us anew for works in accordance with this new creation. It is an entirely new position that we are placed in, according to this new creation of God-a new character that we are invested with according to the pre-determination of God. The works are pre-determined also according to the character which we put on by this new creation. All is absolutely according to the mind of God Himself. It is not duty according to the old creation. 
All is the fruit of God's own thoughts in the new creation The law disappears with regard to us even as to its works; together with the nature to which it applied. Man obedient to the law was man as he ought to be according to the first Adam; the man in Christ must walk according to the heavenly life of the second Adam, and walk worthy of Him as the Head of a new creation, being raised up with Him, and being the fruit of the new creation-worthy of Him who has formed him for this very thing (2 Cor. 5:5).
The Gentiles therefore enjoying this ineffable privilege-although the apostle does not recognise Judaism as a true circumcision-were to remember from whence they had been taken; without God and without hope as they were in the world, strangers to all the promises. But however far off they had been, now in Christ they were brought nigh by His blood. He had broken down the middle wall, having annulled the law of commandments by which the Jew, who was distinguished by these ordinances, was separated from the Gentiles. These ordinances had their sphere of action in the flesh. But Christ (as living in connection with all that), being dead, has abolished the enmity to form in Himself of the two-Jew and Gentile-one new man; the Gentiles brought nigh by the blood of Christ, and the middle wall of partition broken down, to reconcile both to God in one body; having by the cross not only made peace, but destroyed-by grace that was common to both, and to which one could make no more claim than the other, since it was for sin-the enmity that existed, till then, between the privileged Jew and the idolatrous Gentile far from God, abolishing in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances.
Having made peace, He proclaimed it with this object to the one and the other, whether far off or nigh. For by Christ we all-whether Jews or Gentiles-have access by one Spirit to the Father. It is not the Jehovah of the Jews (whose name was not called upon the Gentiles); it is the Father of Christians, of the redeemed by Jesus Christ, who are adopted to form part of the family of God. Thus, albeit a Gentile, one is no longer a stranger or foreigner; one is of the christian and heavenly citizenship; of the true house of God Himself. Such is grace. As to this world, being thus incorporated in Christ, this is our position. All, Jew or Gentile, thus gathered together in one body, constitute the assembly on earth. The apostles and prophets (of the New Testament) form the foundation of the building, Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. In Him the whole building rises to be a temple, the Gentiles having their place, and forming with the others the dwelling-place on earth of God, who is present by His Spirit. Firstly, he looks at the progressive work which was being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the whole assembly according to the mind of God; and, secondly, he looks at the union which existed between the Ephesians and other believing Gentiles and the Jews, as forming God's house on the earth at that moment. God dwells in it by the Holy Ghost. 
Chapter 1 had set before us the counsels and purposes of God; beginning with the relationship of the sons and the Father, and, when the operation of God is spoken of, the assembly as the body of Christ united to Him who is Head over all things. Chapter 2, treating of the work which calls out the assembly, which creates it here below by grace, sets before us this assembly on the one hand, growing up to a holy temple, and then as the present habitation of God here below by the Spirit. 
 It is this power which, raising the saints with Christ from the death of sin, and uniting them to Him the head, forms their relationship to Him as His body. The first part of the chapter gave our individual relationship to the Father, in that Christ is the firstborn among many brethren. Here we come to corporate relationship to Christ, the last and risen man. Up to the second part of the prayer we have the counsels of God. From the latter part we have the operations of power to accomplish them. And it is here our union with Christ first comes in, which, though God's counsels as to it are revealed, yet spiritually is wrought now, as seen in chapter 5.
 Take especial notice here, that, in the Ephesians, the Spirit does not describe the life of the old man in sin. God and His own work are everything. Man is viewed as dead in his sins; that which is produced is therefore entirely of God, a new creation on His part. A man who lives in sin must die, must judge himself, must repent, by grace be cleansed; that is, he is dealt with as a living man. Here man is without any movement of spiritual life: God does everything; He quickens and raises up. It is a new creation.
 Faith, when taught by the word, always goes back to this: judgment refers to deeds done in the body. But we were dead in sins-no living movement of the heart towards God. We do not (John 5) come into judgment, but are passed from death unto life.
 Here it is a wholly new creation, and the new estate is looked at simply in itself. We were dead towards God in our old one. Man is not looked at here as alive in sins and responsible, but as entirely dead in them, and created again: hence in this part of the epistle we have no forgiveness, no justification. The man is notlooked at as a living responsible man. In Colossians we are risen with Christ, but "having forgiven you all trespasses" which Christ had borne in coming down into death. Here, too, we have not the old man, and death brought into it, though both walk and the old man are recognised as facts, though not in connection with resurrection. In Colossians we have; even when "dead in your sins" is spoken of, it is added, "and the uncircumcision of your flesh," for it is dead towards God. The epistle to the Romans looks at responsible man in the world; hence you have fully justification, death to sin, and no resurrection with Christ. The man is a living man here, though justified, and alive in Christ.
 It is not merely life communicated (that we had in Romans), but a totally new place and standing which we have taken, life having the character of resurrection out of a state of death in sins. And here we are not viewed as quickened by Christ, but quickened with Him. He is the raised and glorified man.
 In Colossians the saints are only seen risen with Christ, with a hope laid up for them in heaven, and are called to set their affections on things above, where Christ and their life with Him are hid. Moreover their resurrection with Christ is only an administrative one for this world in baptism, in connection with faith in the power which raised Christ. We have no union of Jews and Gentiles in Him as risen and in heavenly places. Indeed in Colossians, Gentiles only are before the mind of the apostle.
 I am quite aware of what critics have to say here as to gender; but it is equally true as to grace, and to say, "by grace ... and that not of yourselves," is simply nonsense; but by faith might be supposed to be of ourselves, though grace cannot. Therefore the Spirit of God adds, "and that [not it] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." That is, the believing is God's gift, not of ourselves. And this is confirmed by what follows, "not of works." But the object of the apostle is to shew that the whole thing was of grace and of God-God's workmanship-a new creation. So far, grace and faith and all go together.
 Not that God does not recognise the relationships He had originally formed-He does fully when we are in them; but the measure of the new creation is another thing
 It is exceedingly important in these days to see the difference between this progressive building, never complete till all believers who are to form Christ's body are gathered in, and the present temple of God on earth. In the former Christ is the builder. He carries it on without fail, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. This is not yet complete nor viewed as a whole till built. Hence in the Epistles we never find a builder in this case: in Peter, "unto whom coming as to a living stone, ye also as living stones are built up"; so here, in Ephesians, it grows to a holy temple in the Lord. But, besides this, the present manifested professing body is looked at as a whole on earth; and man is looked at as building. "Ye are God's building" (1 Cor. 3). "I, as a wise masterbuilder, have laid the foundation: let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon." Man's responsibility comes in, and the work is the subject of judgment. It is the attributing to this the privileges of the body, and of that which Christ builds, that has produced popery and all that is akin to it. The corrupt thing which is to come under judgment is falsely clothed with the security of Christ's work. Here in Ephesians 2 we find not only the progressive and surely constructed work, but the present building together as a fact in the blessing of it, without reference to human responsibility in building.
 Chapter 2 speaks indeed of the body (v. 16); but the introduction of the house is a new element and requires some development. Although the work which is accomplished in the creation of the members who are to compose the body is all of God, it is accomplished on earth. The counsels of God have in view, first individuals, to place them near Himself, such as He would have them; then, having exalted Christ above every name now or hereafter, gives Him to be head of the body, formed of individuals united to Christ in heaven over all things. They will be perfect according to their Head. But the work on earth, if it gathers together the new-born, gathers them together on the earth. Now that which answers here below to the presence of Christ in heaven is the presence of the Holy Ghost on earth. The individual believer is indeed the temple of God, but in this chapter it is the whole body of Christians formed on earth that is spoken of; they become the house, the dwelling-place, of God on the earth. Wonderful and solemn truth. Immense privilege and source of blessing; but equally great responsibility. It will be observed that, in speaking of the body of Christ, we speak of the fruit of God's eternal purpose and own operation; and, although the Spirit may apply this name to the assembly of God on earth, as accounted to be composed of real members of Christ, nevertheless the body of Christ, as formed by the quickening power of God according to His eternal purpose, is composed of persons united to the Head as real members. The house of God, as now set up on earth, is the fruit of a work of God, here entrusted to men, not the proper object of His counsels (though the city in Revelation in a measure answers to it). In so far as it is the work of God, it is evident that this house is composed of those who are truly called of God, and so God set it up, and as it is spoken of here (compare Acts 2:47). But we must not confound the practical result of this work, accomplished in the hands of men, and under their responsibility (1 Cor. 3), with the object of the counsels of God. A true member of Christ can no one be without being really united to the Head, neither a true stone in the house; but the house can be the dwelling-place of God, although that which is not a true stone may enter into its construction. But it is impossible that one not born of God should be a member of the body of Christ. See the preceding note.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Ephesians》
The riches of God's grace towards men, shown from their deplorable state by nature, and the happy change Divine grace makes in them. (1-10) The Ephesians called to reflect on their state of heathenism. (11-13) And the privileges and blessings of the gospel. (14-22)
Commentary on Ephesians 2:1-10
(Read Ephesians 2:1-10)
Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses and sins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon a corpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is now fled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man. But if we viewed things aright, we should be far more affected by the thought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin is a state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves to Satan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition which there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men. From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been most prone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, being naturally children of disobedience, are also by nature children of wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly for that grace which will make them, of children of wrath, children of God and heirs of glory! God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God: he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust; sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above this world, by Christ's grace. The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power. It was his purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our good conversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can from Scripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency to evil. All who do so, are without excuse.
Commentary on Ephesians 2:11-13
(Read Ephesians 2:11-13)
Christ and his covenant are the foundation of all the Christian's hopes. A sad and terrible description is here; but who is able to remove himself out of it? Would that this were not a true description of many baptized in the name of Christ. Who can, without trembling, reflect upon the misery of a person, separated for ever from the people of God, cut off from the body of Christ, fallen from the covenant of promise, having no hope, no Saviour, and without any God but a God of vengeance, to all eternity? To have no part in Christ! What true Christian can hear this without horror? Salvation is far from the wicked; but God is a help at hand to his people; and this is by the sufferings and death of Christ.
Commentary on Ephesians 2:14-18
(Read Ephesians 2:14-18)
Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ was their Peace, the author, centre, and substance of their being at peace with God, and of their union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.
Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22
(Read Ephesians 2:19-22)
The church is compared to a city, and every converted sinner is free of it. It is also compared to a house, and every converted sinner is one of the family; a servant, and a child in God's house. The church is also compared to a building, founded on the doctrine of Christ; delivered by the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New. God dwells in all believers now; they become the temple of God through the working of the blessed Spirit. Let us then ask if our hopes are fixed on Christ, according to the doctrine of his word? Have we devoted ourselves as holy temples to God through him? Are we habitations of God by the Spirit, are we spiritually-minded, and do we bring forth the fruits of the Spirit? Let us take heed not to grieve the holy Comforter. Let us desire his gracious presence, and his influences upon our hearts. Let us seek to discharge the duties allotted to us, to the glory of God.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Ephesians》
 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
And he hath quickened you — In the nineteenth and twentieth verses of the preceding chapter, St. Paul spoke of God's working in them by the same almighty power whereby he raised Christ from the dead. On the mention of this he, in the fulness of his heart, runs into a flow of thought concerning the glory of Christ's exaltation in the three following verses. He here resumes the thread of his discourse.
Who were dead — Not only diseased, but dead; absolutely void of all spiritual life; and as incapable of quickening yourselves, as persons literally dead. In trespasses and sins-Sins seem to be spoken chiefly of the gentiles, who knew not God; trespasses, of the Jews, who had his law, and yet regarded it not, Ephesians 2:5. The latter herein obeyed the flesh; the former, the prince of the power of the air.
 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
According to the course of this world — The word translated course properly means a long series of times, wherein one corrupt age follows another.
According to the prince of the power of the air — The effect of which power all may perceive, though all do not understand the cause of it: a power unspeakably penetrating and widely diffused; but yet, as to its baneful influences, beneath the orb of believers. The evil spirits are united under one head, the seat of whose dominion is in the air. Here he sometimes raises storms, sometimes makes visionary representations, and is continually roving to and fro.
The spirit that now worketh — With mighty power; and so he did, and doth in all ages.
In the sons of disobedience — In all who do not believe and obey the gospel.
 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Among whom we — Jews.
Also, formerly had our conversation: doing the will of the flesh — In gross, brutal sins.
And of the mind — By spiritual, diabolical wickedness. In the former clause, flesh denotes the whole evil nature; in the latter, the body opposed to the soul.
And were by nature — That is, in our natural state.
Children of wrath — Having the wrath of God abiding on us, even as the gentiles. This expression, by nature, occurs also, Galatians 4:8; Romans 2:14; and thrice in the eleventh chapter. Romans 11:24 But in none of these places does it signify, by custom, or practice, or customary practice, as a late writer affirms. Nor can it mean so here For this would make the apostle guilty of gross tautology, their customary sinning having been expressed already, in the former part of the verse. But all these passages agree in expressing what belongs to the nature of the persons spoken of.
 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Mercy removes misery: love confers salvation.
 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
He hath quickened us together with Christ — In conformity to him, and by virtue of our union with him.
By grace ye are saved — Grace is both the beginning and end. The apostle speaks indifferently either in the first or second person; the Jews and gentiles being in the same circumstance, both by nature and by grace. This text lays the axe to the very root of spiritual pride, and all glorying in ourselves. Therefore St. Paul, foreseeing the backwardness of mankind to receive it, yet knowing the absolute necessity of its being received, again asserts the very same truth, Ephesians 2:8, in the very same words.
 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
And hath raised us up together — Both Jews and gentiles already in spirit; and ere long our bodies too will be raised.
And made us all sit together in heavenly places — This is spoken by way of anticipation. Believers are not yet possessed of their seats in heaven; but each of them has a place prepared for him.
 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The ages to come — That is, all succeeding ages.
 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
By grace ye are saved through faith — Grace, without any respect to human worthiness, confers the glorious gift. Faith, with an empty hand, and without any pretence to personal desert, receives the heavenly blessing.
And this is not of yourselves — This refers to the whole preceding clause, That ye are saved through faith, is the gift of God.
 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Not by works — Neither this faith nor this salvation is owing to any works you ever did, will, or can do.
 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
For we are his workmanship — Which proves both that salvation is by faith, and that faith is the gift of God.
Created unto good works — That afterwards we might give ourselves to them.
Which God had before preprepared — The occasions of them: so we must still ascribe the whole to God.
That we might walk in them — Though not be justified by them.
 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Wherefore remember — Such a remembrance strengthens faith, and increases gratitude.
That ye being formerly gentiles in the flesh — Neither circumcised in body nor in spirit. Who were accordingly called the uncircumcision - By way of reproach.
By that which is called the circumcision — By those who call themselves the circumcised, and think this a proof that they are the people of God; and who indeed have that outward circumcision which is performed by hands in the flesh.
 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Were at that time without Christ — Having no faith in, or knowledge of, him.
Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel — Both as to their temporal privileges and spiritual blessings.
And strangers to the covenants of promise — The great promise in both the Jewish and Christian covenant was the Messiah.
Having no hope — Because they had no promise whereon to ground their hope. And being without God - Wholly ignorant of the true God, and so in effect atheists. Such in truth are, more or less, all men, in all ages, till they know God by the teaching of his own Spirit.
In the world — The wide, vain world, wherein ye wandered up and down, unholy and unhappy.
 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Far off — From God and his people.
Nigh — Intimately united to both.
 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
For he is our peace — Not only as he purchased it, but as he is the very bond and centre of union.
He who hath made both — Jews and gentiles, one church. The apostle describes, 1. The conjunction of the gentiles with Israel, Ephesians 2:14,15. And, 2. The conjunction of both with God, Ephesians 2:15-18. Each description is subdivided into two parts. And the former part of the one, concerning abolishing the enmity, answers the former part of the other; the latter part of the one, concerning the evangelical decrees, the latter part of the other.
And hath broken down the middle wall of partition — Alluding to that wall of old, which separated the court of Israel from the court of the gentiles. Such a wall was the ceremonial law, which Christ had now taken away.
 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;
Having abolished by his suffering in the flesh the cause of enmity between the Jews and gentiles, even the law of ceremonial commandments, through his decrees - Which offer mercy to all; see Colossians 2:14.
That he might form the two — Jew and gentile.
Into one new man — one mystical body.
 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
In one body — One church.
Having slain — By his own death on the cross.
The enmity — Which had been between sinners and God.
 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
And he came — After his resurrection.
And preached peace — By his ministers and his Spirit.
To you — Gentiles.
That were afar off — At the utmost distance from God.
And to them that were nigh — To the Jews, who were comparatively nigh, being his visible church.
 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
For through him, we both — Jews and gentiles.
Have access — Liberty of approaching, by the guidance and aid of one Spirit to God as our Father. Christ, the Spirit, and the Father, the three-one God, stand frequently in the same order.
 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Therefore ye are no longer strangers, but citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem; no longer foreigners, but received into the very family of God.
 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets — As the foundation sustains the building, so the word of God, declared by the apostles and prophets, sustains the faith of all believers. God laid the foundation by them; but Christ himself is the chief corner-stone of the foundation. Elsewhere he is termed the foundation itself, 1 Corinthians 3:11.
 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
On whom all the building fitly framed together — The whole fabric of the universal church rises up like a great pile of living materials.
Into an holy temple in the Lord — Dedicated to Christ, and inhabited by him, in which he displays his presence, and is worshipped and glorified. What is the temple of Diana of the Ephesians, whom ye formerly worshipped, to this?
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Ephesians》
Chapter 2. Have Faith in Christ
One New Man
In One Body
I. Saved by Grace
II. Former Stance in Misery
III. Present Stance in Grace
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Two General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THE CHAPTER
1) To consider the riches of God's grace toward sinners, how we are
saved by grace through faith
2) To understand the Gentiles' condition outside of Christ, the effect
Jesus' death had on the Law, and what Gentiles can now become in
Having expressed his desire that his readers might know the exceeding
greatness of God's power toward those who believe (1:19), Paul reminds
them of how they had been dead in sin but made alive together with
Christ. Indeed, they were raised and made to sit together with Christ
in the heavenly places, that God might show even more riches of His
grace in the ages to come. All this God did by His love, grace, and
mercy. While it involved their faith, it did not involve any works
whereby one could boast. The end result is that they have been created
in Christ to walk in good works, as God planned beforehand (1-10).
Paul also wants them to remember how far they have come as Gentiles,
courtesy of Jesus Christ. Once strangers from the promises made to
and without God in the world, they can now draw near through the Israel
blood of Jesus. By His death on the cross Jesus abolished the law of
commandments which separated Jews and Gentiles, and has reconciled them
both to God in one body. The Gentiles can therefore be fellow-citizens
and members of God's family; they are also part of that grand temple
being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus
as the cornerstone, in which they serve as a habitation of God in the
I. RAISED AND SEATED ON THE THRONE (1-10)
A. OUR CONDITION OUTSIDE OF CHRIST (1-3)
1. Dead in trespasses and sins (1)
2. Walking according to the course of the world and the devil (2)
3. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind, by nature the
children of wrath (3)
B. MADE ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST (4-10)
1. God made us alive together with Christ (4-5)
a. By virtue of His mercy and great love
b. Even when dead in trespasses
c. By His grace we have been saved
2. God raised us with Christ (6-7)
a. Made to sit with Him in heavenly places
b. That in ages to come God might show the exceeding riches of
3. Saved by grace through faith (8-9)
a. Not of ourselves, it is the gift of God
b. Not of works, lest any man should boast
4. We are thus God's workmanship (10)
a. Created in Christ Jesus for good works
b. Created to walk in good works which God prepared beforehand
II. RECONCILED AND SET INTO THE
A. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "WITHOUT" CHRIST (11-12)
1. Aliens from the
2. Strangers from the covenants of promise
3. Having no hope and without God in the world
B. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "THROUGH" CHRIST (13-18)
1. Made near by the blood of Christ (13)
2. Can now be "one body" with the Jews, because...
a. Jesus has made Jew and Gentile both one, breaking down the
wall of division between them (14)
b. Jesus abolished in His flesh the law of commandments
contained in ordinances that had separated them (15)
c. Jesus now reconciles them both to God in one body through
the cross (16)
d. Jesus preached peace to those afar off and those near (17)
3. Can now have access by one Spirit to the Father (18)
C. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "IN" CHRIST (19-22)
1. They are now "fellow citizens with the saints" (19)
2. They are now "members of the household of God" (19)
3. They are now part of "a holy temple in the Lord" (20-22)
a. Built upon a foundation of the apostles and prophets, with
Jesus the cornerstone
b. Joined together and growing as a holy temple, a habitation
of God in the Spirit
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- Raised and seated on the throne (1-10)
- Reconciled and set into the temple (11-22)
2) What was our condition outside of Christ? (1-3)
- Dead in trespasses and sins
- Walking according to the course of this world and the devil
- Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind, by nature the
children of wrath
3) What motivated God to save us? (4)
- His rich mercy and great love
4) What did God do, even though we were dead in trespasses? How? (5)
- Made us alive together with Christ
- By grace
5) What else has He done? Why? (6-7)
- Raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places
- To show the riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ
in the ages to come
6) Upon what basis have we been saved? Upon what basis have we not
been saved? (8-9)
- By grace through faith, as the gift of God
- Not of ourselves or of works, lest anyone should boast
7) What are we now in Christ Jesus? For what purpose? (10)
- God's workmanship
- Created in Christ Jesus to walk in good works which God prepared
8) What was the Gentiles' condition outside of Christ? (11-12)
- Aliens from the
- Strangers from the covenants of promise
- Having no hope, without God in the world
9) What has Christ done through His blood? (13)
- Those who once were far off are now brought near
10) How has Jesus become "our peace" through His death on the cross?
- By breaking down the middle wall of partition between Jew and
- By abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments contained in
ordinances that had separated Jew and Gentile
- By reconciling them both to God in one body
- By preaching peace to those afar off (Gentile) and those near
11) What do we both have through Christ? (18)
- Access by one Spirit to the Father
12) What can Gentiles now become because of what Christ has done? (19)
- Fellow citizens with the saints
- Members of the household of God
13) Upon what are we being built? (20)
- The foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the
14) What kind of building are we? For what purpose? (21-22)
- A holy temple in the Lord
- To be a habitation of God in the Spirit
Our Condition Outside Of Christ (2:1-3)
1. In the last half of chapter one, we saw where Paul mentioned several
things for which he had been praying in behalf of the Ephesians:
a. That they might know God - Ep 1:17
b. That they might know the hope of His calling - Ep 1:
c. That they might know the glorious riches of His inheritance in the
saints - Ep 1:18b
d. That they might know the exceeding greatness of God's power toward
believers - Ep 1:19
2. In a previous lesson we briefly noted that Paul equated this great
power with the working of God that was exercised...
a. In raising Jesus from the dead and exalting Him to be the head of
all things - Ep 1:20-23
b. In our own conversion, when God took us who were "dead in sin" and
made us "alive together with Christ" - Ep 2:1-7
3. In order that we might appreciate more fully the grace and power that
was at work in our conversion, this lesson will focus on the
description of our condition BEFORE our conversion
a. For we will not likely appreciate our PRESENT wealth, unless we
fully appreciate our FORMER poverty!
b. Without a proper appreciation of our PRESENT wealth, we will not
likely heed the exhortations found later in this epistle (e.g.,
Ep 4:1,17; 5:1-2)
[As we consider, then, "Our Condition Outside of Christ", we learn that
prior to our conversion we were truly "the walking dead"! For as Paul
states at first, we were...]
I.DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS (1)
A. "DEAD" IN WHAT WAY?
1. Not in the sense of being devoid of ANY good or godly desires
a. As some who believe in "Total Hereditary Depravity" would
b. For consider that most of those people whose conversions are
described in Acts were "God-fearing, Bible-believing" people
BEFORE their conversion!
1) The thousands of "devout men" in
for Pentecost Jerusalem
- Ac 2:5
2) The Ethiopian Eunuch, who had traveled great distances to
worship God and was reading Isaiah when Philip found him
- Ac 8:27-28
3) Cornelius, a devout God-fearing Gentile who "prayed to
God always" - Ac 10:2
, a prayerful woman "who worshipped God" - Ac 16: Lydia
5) The "fair-minded" Bereans - Ac 17:11
6) Saul of Tarsus (i.e., the apostle Paul) - Ac 22:3; Ph 3:
2. Rather, "dead" in the sense of being "separated" from God
a. Just as "physical death" is a separation of body and spirit
- cf. Ja 2:26
b. So "spiritual death" exists when we are separated from God
- cf. Ro 6:23; Is 59:1-2
B. THE CAUSE OF THIS "DEATH"...
1. Our separation from God has been brought about by "trespasses
and sins" - cf. Ro 6:23
a. "trespasses" (deviations from the straight and narrow path,
Hendriksen) - what we might call "sins of COMMISSION"
b. "sins" (inclinations, thoughts, words, and deeds which "miss
the mark" of glorifying God, Hendriksen) - including what we
might call "sins of OMISSION"
2. "trespasses and sins" that WE committed...
a. As made clear in verse two of this chapter ("in which you
b. Not those of our forefathers - cf. Ezek 18:20
[Before our conversion to Christ, then, we were "dead" because of our
OWN sins, and as such, spiritually separated from God, even if we were
as religiously devout as those described in the book of Acts. That
should tell us something about the terribleness of sin!
But the terribleness of sin becomes clearer as we learn what sort of
"company" we kept before our conversion. For though "dead", we were...]
II. WALKING WITH THE WORLD AND THE DEVIL (2)
A. WALKING "ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD"...
1. Before conversion, one walks "in conformity with the customs
and manners of the world at large" (Barnes)
2. The moral condition of those still "in the world" is described
more fully in Ep 4:17-19
a. Alienated from the life of God because of ignorance and
hardened hearts, those "in the world"...
1) Walk in the futility of their mind
2) Have their understanding darkened
b. Being past feeling, those "in the world"...
1) Give themselves over to licentiousness
2) Work all uncleanness with greediness
-- Sounds pretty much like our own present generation, doesn't
3. With keeping such "company" before one's conversion, you can
understand why they are spiritually "dead" (separated from God)
- cf. 1 Jn 2:15-17
B. WALKING "ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR"...
1. Before our conversion, it is not just the "world" we walk
according to, but "him" who Paul describes as:
a. "the prince of the power of the air"
b. "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience"
2. This can be none other than Satan himself!
a. The great "Adversary" (the word "satan" literally means
"adversary") who seeks to "devour" all he can - cf. 1 Pe
b. Those "in the world" are under his influence, captives to do
his will - cf. 2 Ti 2:26
3. Those still under his influence are called the "sons of
disobedience", because they serve him rather than obey God!
[Influenced by Satan, walking "according to the course of this world",
we can see why a person before their conversion is truly "dead in
trespasses and sins"!
But is this also true of those devout, religious souls who are not yet
"in Christ"? Like those devout Jews at Pentecost, the Ethiopian Eunuch,
, the Bereans, Saul of Tarsus, and God-fearing Gentiles like Lydia
Yes! For as Paul says in verse 3, "among whom ALSO WE ALL once
conducted ourselves...". Yes, even the religiously devout before
conversion to Christ were...]
III. FULFILLING THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND MIND (3)
A. BEFORE HIS CONVERSION, EVEN A RELIGIOUSLY DEVOUT PERSON LIKE
1. Conducted himself "in the lusts of our flesh"
a. "Living to gratify the flesh" (Barnes)
b. As described in Ro 7:14-24, even one who desires to do
good, outside of Christ finds himself "enslaved" to the "law
of sin" in the members of his flesh
2. Fulfilled "the desires of the flesh and of the mind"
a. The "desires of the flesh" are those "unrighteous cravings,
such as belong to and are spawned by the flesh" (Hendriksen)
b. The "desires...of the mind" would include "all kinds of
hostile, self-righteous, and/or immoral plans and
cogitations, which finally result in wicked deeds"
B. THUS, EVEN RELIGIOUSLY DEVOUT PEOPLE BEFORE CONVERSION ARE
"CHILDREN OF WRATH"...
1. "just as the others", Paul says, placing himself before
conversion on the same level as the "sons of disobedience"
described in verse two
2. All are "children of wrath" (or "sons of disobedience") "by
a. Some understand this "nature" to be something one is born
1) This passage (Ep 2:1-3) does not actually say "when" we
began to be "children of wrath"
2) Only that before we became "children of God" (at our
conversion), we were "children of wrath"
b. The term "nature" can be understood as "a mode of feeling
and acting which by long habit has become nature" (Thayer)
1) In the context of Ep 2:1-3, Paul is not talking about
sinful conduct committed by ancestors, the consequence of
which is felt by their descendants
2) But sins in which "YOU once walked", "WE all once
conducted ourselves", i.e., sins PERSONALLY committed
c. Therefore, because of our "conduct" before our conversion,
we developed a "nature" that resulted in our being:
1) "sons of disobedience" - 2:2
2) "children of wrath" - 2:3
1. We have seen that "Our Condition Outside Of Christ" is one in which
a. Dead in trespasses and sins - Ep 2:1
b. Walking with the world and the devil - Ep 2:2
c. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind - Ep 2:3
-- And thus "sons of disobedience", and "children of wrath"!
2. How can such "sons of disobedience" and "children of wrath" ever
a. "holy and without blame"? - Ep 1:4
b. Receive the "adoption as sons"? - Ep 1:5
c. And be "accepted" by God? - Ep 1:6
3. The answer will be explained more fully in Ep 2:4-10, where we
learn of "Salvation By Grace Through Faith"
a. We will examine that answer in detail in our next lesson
b. But for now, compare carefully Ep 2:5 with Co 2:11-13
Have you experienced the working of God's grace in your life, by being
buried with Christ in baptism where your sins are "cut away" and then
raised with Christ, thereby "made alive together with Him"...?
Salvation By Grace Through Faith (2:4-10)
1. In the previous lesson we saw our true condition outside of Christ:
a. Dead in trespasses and sins - Ep 2:1
b. Walking with world and the devil - Ep 2:2
c. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind - Ep 2:3
-- Truly we were "sons of disobedience" and "children of wrath"!
2. At the close of the previous lesson, I asked, "How can such 'sons of
disobedience' and 'children of wrath' ever become..."
a. "Holy and without blame"?
b. "Receive the adoption as sons"?
c. "Accepted" by God?
3. In the text for this study (Ep 2:4-10) we find our answer, where we
learn that "salvation by grace through faith" involves many elements
besides just grace and faith
[To begin with, "Salvation By Grace Through Faith"...]
I. INVOLVES THE "GREAT LOVE" OF GOD (4)
A. THIS IS THE BEGINNING POINT OF SALVATION...
1. From this, all else flows
2. What mercy, grace, etc., that God shows mankind is founded upon
the fact that God has a great love for us - cf. Jn 3:16
B. THIS LOVE IS NOT BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE, BUT WHO GOD IS...
1. God did not love us because we were lovable, but because God is
2. As John wrote in an effort to inspire his brethren to love one
another, God is love, and that moved Him to offer His Son -
cf. 1 Jn 4:7-10
[Starting then with the love of God, "Salvation By Grace Through Faith"
II. INVOLVES THE "RICH MERCY" OF GOD (4)
A. DEFINING MERCY...
1. The word "eleos" is defined by Vine's Expository Dictionary as
"the outward manifestation of pity"
2. Mercy, then, is compassion that one has for those in trouble
B. GOD'S "GREAT LOVE" MAKES HIM "RICH IN MERCY"...
1. His great love for sinners enables God to be filled with
compassion toward them
2. The riches of His mercy seek to reach out to all who will
accept it - cf. 1 Ti 2:3-4; 2 Pe 3:9
[Unfortunately, not all receive His great mercy. But for those who do,
they soon learn that "Salvation By Grace Through Faith" also...]
III. INVOLVES BEING "MADE ALIVE TOGETHER" WITH CHRIST (5)
A. HERE IS WHERE "GRACE" REALLY ENTERS IN...
1. For notice that Paul says "WHEN we were dead...(God) made us
2. While STILL "dead in trespasses" God has somehow made us alive
together with Christ!
3. Though not fully explained in this passage how (and when) this
happened, it occurred because of God's "unmerited favor" (the
definition of "grace")
B. HOW (AND WHEN) WE WERE "MADE ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST" IS
1. Especially in Co 2:11-13
2. Where we learn that it is in baptism...
a. We are buried with Christ and then raised with Him - Co 2:
12; cf. Ro 6:3-6
b. We, who were "dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision
of your flesh", were thus "made alive together with Him
(Christ)" - Co 2:13
c. Our trespasses were all forgiven - Co 2:13; cf. Ac 2:38;
[So while our text in Ephesians doesn't actually refer to baptism
itself, it describes that which occurs when one is baptized into Christ:
by the grace of God we are being "made alive together with Christ"!
But there is more, for as we continue to read our text we learn that
"Salvation By Grace Through Faith"...]
IV. INVOLVES BEING "RAISED UP TOGETHER" WITH CHRIST (6-7)
A. WE SAW IN EP 1:20...
1. Where Christ was raised from the dead
2. And then was seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly
B. NOW WE LEARN FROM EP 2:6-7...
1. That we too are raised up and made to sit together with Christ
in the heavenly places!
a. This speaks of our present condition in the "spiritual
realm" (heavenly places)
b. Because of our union with Christ, we enjoy an exalted
position together with Him
c. Which union serves as the basis for our wonderful spiritual
blessings - cf. Ep 1:3
2. But our present condition, and the blessings it entails, are
only the beginning!
a. There is more "in the ages to come"
b. There are "exceeding riches of His grace in kindness" yet to
be shown in Christ Jesus!
[How wonderful, then, is this salvation by grace! Not only does it
pertain to "this age", but looks forward to the "ages to come"!
As we continue, we find Paul making sure we understand the basis of this
wonderful salvation, and that it...]
V. INVOLVES "FAITH", AND NOT MERITORIOUS WORKS (8-9)
A. SALVATION IS FIRST AND FOREMOST, BY "GRACE"...
1. Up to this point, Paul has said nothing about man's part in the
process of salvation
a. It was GOD'S mercy, love, and grace which made salvation
b. It was GOD's working that "made us alive...raised us up...
made us sit together with Christ"
2. Truly, salvation is...
a. "not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"
1) Some understand this phrase to refer to "faith"
2) But I understand Paul to be referring to salvation
b. "not of works, lest anyone should boast"
1) We are not saved by works of merit, whereby we earn
2) But as Paul told Titus "according to His mercy He saved
us..." - Ti 3:5
B. NEVERTHELESS, SALVATION IS BY GRACE "THROUGH FAITH"...
1. "Faith", together with the "working of God", is how we were
"raised with Christ" in baptism - cf. Co 2:12
2. In other words, it is an obedient faith that receives the
salvation in Christ - cf. He 5:9
3. So when a person in faith is being baptized...
a. They are not "earning" their salvation
b. Rather, they are "receiving" their salvation which is by
God's grace and God's working, for in baptism they are
receiving Jesus Christ and all He accomplished by His death
and resurrection! - cf. Ga 3:27
[Finally, we note that while "Salvation By Grace Through Faith" does
not include meritorious works whereby we try to earn our salvation,
VI. INVOLVES BEING "CREATED...FOR GOOD WORKS" (10)
A. IN CHRIST, WE ARE "HIS WORKMANSHIP"...
1. As Paul intimated in his discussion of baptism in Co 2:12 ("the
working of God")
2. Through God's "working" in which He...
a. "made us alive"
b. "raised us up"
c. "made us sit together in the heavenly places"
...we have truly become "a new creation"! - cf. 2 Co 5:17
B. THE GOAL OF THIS "WORKMANSHIP": CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS...
1. Though not saved by good works, we are to do good works!
2. God "prepared beforehand that we should walk in them"
a. It is part of His predetermined plan
b. Not just to save, but to create a people diligent in good
works! - cf. Ti 2:11-14
3. Therefore, the people of God should...
a. "be ready for every good work" - Ti 3:1
b. "be careful to maintain good works" - Ti 3:8
c. "learn to maintain good works" - Ti 3:14
1. So it is "by grace through faith" that...
a. "Children of wrath" can become "children of God"!
b. "Sons of disobedience" can "receive the adoption as sons" of God!
c. We can be "accepted" by God!
2. Because "Salvation By Grace Through Faith" involves:
a. God's great love
b. God's rich mercy
c. God making us alive together with Christ
d. God raising us up together with Christ to sit with Him in the
e. An obedient faith that trusts in God's workmanship, not one's own
f. A new creature that is diligent in doing good works to the glory
How can one receive this wonderful salvation? Let Jesus and His
apostles show you the way, for it is when we in faith submit to the
Lord's command to be baptized that we enjoy the blessings of God's love,
mercy, and workmanship... - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; Co 2:12-13
How Gentiles Became Fellow Heirs (2:11-22)
1. It should be evident by now that one of Paul's purposes in writing
this epistle was to help answer his own prayer for the Ephesians;
e.g., that they might know such things as:
a. What is the hope of His calling - Ep 1:
b. What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
- Ep 1:18b
2. In the first half of the second chapter, Paul has spoken of the
wonderful grace of God as expressed in their "personal" salvation -
3. Paul now speaks in more "general" or "corporate" terms, especially as
it relates to the salvation of the Gentiles and how they became
"fellow heirs" - Ep 2:12-22
a. This is an important section, as it pertains to the "mystery" to
which Paul refers in Ep 3:3-6
b. But this passage is also important because it describes "us", as
most of us are likely "Gentiles" rather than Israelites
c. And it also makes clear what our condition can be today, either
"outside" of Christ, or "through" and "in" Christ!
[Let us begin, then, by observing...]
I. HOW THE GENTILES BECAME FELLOW HEIRS
A. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "WITHOUT" CHRIST...
1. "Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" (12)
a. They were not part of the state of Israel
b. They were not included together with God's "chosen people"
2. "Strangers from the covenants of promise" (12)
a. Promises and covenants were not made with them
b. Promises such as "...to be God to you...and I will be their
God" - Gen 17:7-8
3. "Having no hope" (12)
a. Hope springs forth from promises made
b. Being strangers from the covenants of promise, they did not
have the hope the Jews did
4. "Without God in the world" (12)
a. In one sense, they did have God, as "He did not leave
Himself without witness..." - cf. Ac 14:17
b. But they did not have the true knowledge of God, a knowledge
that provides righteousness, peace and the joy of salvation
B. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "THROUGH" CHRIST"...
1. Can now be "one body" with the Jews (13-16)
a. Because of Jesus, who is "our peace"
b. Because of Jesus, who broke down the "middle wall" of
1) That "law of commandments contained in ordinances" which
once separated Jews from Gentiles
2) By His death on the cross, he abolished that which
created "enmity" between Jew and Gentile
3) I.e., the law of Moses given at Mt. Sinai
c. Because of Jesus, who "made peace" by reconciling both Jew
and Gentile to God in one body through the cross
2. Can now share access to the Father with the Jews (17-18)
a. Because of Jesus, who came and "preached peace" to those
"afar off" (Gentiles) and those "near" (Jews)
b. Because of Jesus, for "through Him we both have access by
one Spirit to the Father"
1) The access to the Father is "through Him" (Jesus) - cf.
2) The access to the Father is "by one Spirit" (Holy Spirit)
- cf. Ro 8:26-27
C. THE GENTILES' CONDITION "IN" CHRIST...
1. They are now "fellow citizens with the saints" (
a. Before, they were "aliens" from the commonwealth of Israel
and "strangers" from the covenants of promise
b. But now, they are "fellow citizens" with God's people
2. They are now "members of the household of God" (19b)
a. Before, they were "without God in the world"
b. But now, they are members of "God's family"
3. They are now part of "a holy temple in the Lord" (20-22)
a. Before, they "without God in the world"
b. But now, God dwells in them through His Spirit!
II. MAKING APPLICATION OF THIS PASSAGE TO OUR LIVES
A. UNDERSTAND WHAT ONE'S CONDITION "OUTSIDE" CHRIST TRULY IS...
1. A person is still an "alien" and "stranger", with no
participation in covenants and promises that God has with His
2. A person has no basis for hope, and must go through life
without the blessing of God guiding them in this world!
B. UNDERSTAND WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED "THROUGH" CHRIST...
1. He has brought to an end the Old Law; we should not seek to be
justified by the Law - cf. Ga 5:4
2. He has sought to unite all into one body; we should not try to
undo the work of Christ on the cross through religious division
- cf. Ep 4:1-6
C. UNDERSTAND WHAT WE HAVE BECOME "IN" CHRIST...
1. We have become "fellow citizens with the saints" in the
wonderful kingdom of God; let's live accordingly! - cf. Ro 14:
2. We have become "members of God's household (family)"; let's
behave and treat each other as the family of God! - cf. 1 Ti
3. We have become "the temple of God" in which God dwells through
His Spirit; let's be careful not to profane God's holy
habitation! - cf. 1 Co 3:16-17; 1 Co 6:19-20
1. Though Paul may have been speaking in "general" or "corporate" terms,
I trust that we have seen the implications of what he has said
affects each of us "personally"
a. With salvation coming to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, we
each benefit greatly on an individual level
b. With salvation coming to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, we
each bear an individual responsibility to live up to our "holy
calling" as God's kingdom, God's family, and as God's temple!
2. What is YOUR condition in regard to Jesus Christ?
a. Are you still "outside" of Christ?
b. Have you benefited from the work that was done "through" Christ on
c. Are you living as a person should who is now "in" Christ?