Ephesians 2: 1- 22, One New Man in Christ.
Outline of Ephesians: Ephesians 1-3, doctrine, our position in Christ. Ephesians 4-6, practical application, our walk with Christ.
VV 1-3, 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
”He made alive” in verse 1 is a scribal error not in the original manuscript. We were once dead in trespasses and sins. Trespasses are intentional sins. Sins can be intentional or unintentional. The Greek word for sin is ”hamartia”, which means to miss the target. We were once hopelessly, helpless, and had missed the perfect standard of God. We wandered about aimlessly through life, according to the world’s direction, according to satan’s agenda, according to the flesh, dominated by evil desires and lusts. Romans 6:23, ”the wages of sin is death”. James 1: 14-15, ”but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death’’.
VV 4-7, 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We were once spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. But through grace, Christ who is rich in mercy saved and revived us by dying for us on the cross. Romans 5:8, ”But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Christ loved us to death and died for us when we were in our worst spiritual condition.
VV 8-10, 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Grace is unmerited favor, a gift of God. Salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ, not by works of the law, not by ritual observance, not by temple sacrifice, and not by religious performance. Even the faith that we have is a gift and grace of God. GRACE- God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Boasting is excluded except boasting about Christ. We are God’s workmanship. The Greek word for workmanship is ”poema”, which means poetry. We are God’s poetry, whom He predestined, and preplanned beforehand.
VV 11-13, 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
We were once called uncircumcision by the Jews. We were once without Christ, without God, without hope, without covenant, without connection to Israel but in Christ, we who were once alienated from God were reconciled to Him by the blood of Christ.
VV 14-18, 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 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, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ, the Prince of Peace, broke down the wall of enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles creating one new man in Christ. The wall between the court of the Gentile and the Holy Place in the Temple separated the Jews from the Gentiles. Christ demolished this wall making the Jews and the Gentiles into one new entity. There is no more division between the Jews and the Gentiles. The Church is the new man, new identity, new entity, and new spiritual body. Jews and Gentiles had access to the same God, same Christ, and same Holy Spirit.
VV 29-22, 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
The Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens, but members of God’s family on earth and citizens of God in heaven. The foundations of the church are the apostles and the prophets and the chief cornerstone is Christ. The Jews built a wall to alienate and isolates the Gentiles. Jesus demolished this wall to make them into one new entity, the church. Galatians 3:28, ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. The whole world rejoiced when the Berlin wall that separated East and West Germany was demolished in 1989.