Monday, April 13, 2015

Ephesians 2: Once dead, now alive in Christ!

Ephesians chapter 2 is usually famously known for 2:8-9, and rightly so, but there is so much more in this chapter of Ephesians.  Lets take a look...

Ephesians 2 (NRSV)
You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ[a]—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth,[b] called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to 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. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body[c] through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.[d] 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.[e] 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually[f] into a dwelling place for God.


  1. Ephesians 2:5 Other ancient authorities read in Christ
  2. Ephesians 2:11 Gk in the flesh
  3. Ephesians 2:16 Or reconcile both of us in one body for God
  4. Ephesians 2:16 Or in him, or in himself
  5. Ephesians 2:20 Or keystone
  6. Ephesians 2:22 Gk in the Spirit

  • Chapter 2 begins with verse 1 and  the strong statement, "You were dead in your trespasses and sins..."  Now think about that for a moment.  You were dead.  DEAD!!  What can a dead person do?  The answer is NOTHING.  A dead person cannot do anything, because they are dead.  Because of our sin, we were dead...unable to save ourselves...unable to do anything for ourselves.  We followed the ways and the ruler of this world, and were unable to follow our Lord.  We were creatures of desire, creatures of the flesh.  It goes on to say on 3 that we were by nature children of wrath.  Wrath is defined as "extreme anger".  In other words, we were dead spiritually, and a hot mess in any other sense of the word.
  • But then our gracious Lord comes in.  Starting in v4 we learn that out of God's great mercy and love, even though we were dead, though Jesus Christ he made us Alive!!  Much like the Lord on Easter Sunday, we are brought from death (in our former state), to life in Christ Jesus (in our current state).  How wonderful!
  • This is followed then by the famous verses 8-9, that tell us that it is our faith that saves us, and that the faith is given as a gift of God, not a work of man, so that we may not boast.  This is pivotal to understand: there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.  Our God, in His infinite mercy has given us Jesus, and the gift of faith, so that through belief we can be saved.  This is His gift to us, not our action!!  We cannot boast of our salvation as something we earn, because we do not earn it.  It is gifted to us by an all loving, all merciful God.
  • Vv10-22 go on to then speak of the unification between Gentile and Jew.  There is no more differences amongst the people of God.  There is unity in Christ.  Those who believe are all God's children, the wall has been brought down, the distinction of the circumcision, the law has all been brought down and we are one in Christ.  I love the imagery in vv 11-15, that at one time we were strangers in the land, aliens, we had no hope, we did not have God.  But then, we are brought near and unified to the Kingdom through the blood of Christ.  How awesome.  I mean seriously how awesome!!  Once unified, all of the people of God are brought in under Jesus Christ, the cornerstone.
I'll leave it here for now.  Chapters 1-2 of Ephesians are just so powerful, so uplifting...they should provide all Christians a tranquil reassurance that our loving and merciful God has spared no expense to save us and bring us close to Him.  How great is our God!! 


  1. I love this! There was nothing we did to be saved and there is nothing we can do for God but be obedient. All he wants is for us to abide in the vine, he will nurish and bring forth the fruit. All the things people strive to do for the Lord are a completed by faith and obedience. If you trust in the Lord with all thy heart, all these things Automatically flow out of your life.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.