In Ephesians chapter 2 we see God’s grace in action towards the Gentiles.
In Section (A) from verses 1 to 3 Paul gives the description of their life before they became committed to Christ. In Section (B) from verses 4 to 10 he shows the difference in their new status as a result of their being united “with” Jesus in His death, resurrection , ascension and session at the right hand of God. The theme in these verses is “WITH” Christ.
Paul then uses repetition as he had already done in chapter 1. He goes back to their pre-Christian life which he describes in Section (C) verses 11 and 12. Then Section (D) follows in which Paul gives the contrast with their new life “in Christ”. The theme here is “IN” Christ.
GOD’S GRACE IN ACTION. The “Apart From Christ” people, and the “Now In Christ” people
|A). WHAT THE GENTILES WERE. PART 1. “Dead”. Eph 2:1-3||B). WHAT THEY ARE NOW IN CHRIST . “With Him’”. Eph 2:4-10.|
|They were “dead IN SIN” before they came to Christ. Eph 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, THEIR ENEMIES. (Compare the vows made in Baptismal and Confirmation services stressing the need to renounce the world, the flesh and the devil).
THE RESULT OF SUCH LIVING. and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
|a). They Were “Made Alive With Christ” By God’s Mercy, Love And Grace When They Came To Christ. GRACE. Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved—
b). They Were “Raised And Seated With Christ”. To Reveal His Grace.
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (in the place of honour, acceptance and authority)
Eph 2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
c). They Were Saved By Him By Grace Through Faith, Not By Works. Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
d). They Were Re-Made By Him. God’s Continuing Work Of Grace
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship (Greek poiēma, masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
|C). WHAT THE GENTILES WERE. PART 2. “Far Away”. 2:11-12||D). WHAT THEY ARE NOW IN CHRIST. “In Him”. “Near”. 2:13-end|
|Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands– 12 remember that you were at that time
|a). Brought them near to Himself. Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. b). United Jewish and Gentile believers in Him in peace. Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
c). Set them free from the law. Eph 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances,
d). Created a new humanity of Jewish and Gentile believers thus bringing peace. that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
e). Reconciled us (Jewish and Gentile believers) both to God. Eph 2:16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
f). Brought the message of peace to us. Eph 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off (Gentiles) and peace to those who were near (Jews).
g). Enabled them both to have direct access to Him. Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
h). Enabled all believers to share one citizenship, belong to one separated (to God) people; one household; one temple built on Christ and the apostles; a temple where God dwells by His Spirit. Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION : –
1). What do you think Paul means by people following the world, the flesh and the devil in verses 1 to 3? Have these verses any meaning for us personally today?
2). In verse 6 Paul describes believers as being raised with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenlies. What assurances can we get from that description of ourselves as believers?
3). Verse 10 tells us that God has good works for us to do. What would stop us from knowing and doing those good works He has for us to do?
4). There is a lot of hostility in today’s world. What does verse 16 suggest as a way of overcoming the hostility?
5). From verse 18. What preparation do we need to make to come before God?