Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Ephesians 2:1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
These were your grave clothes. You were wrapped up in them. Nay, this was your sarcophagus. You were shut up in it, as in a great stone coffin: “Dead in trespasses and sins.”
Ephesians 2:2. 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.
You were once no better than the workshop of the devil. He is the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience, as the smith works in his forge. When you hear foul language, when you see bad actions, these are the sparks coming out of the chimney that let you know who is at work within, down below. What a dreadful thing it is — a man dead to all that is good, but alive through the indwelling of the devil that is within him. “The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
Ephesians 2:3. 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.
Not children of God, even as some profanely assert when they talk about the universal fatherhood of God. Ye were children of wrath, even as others. And the best of men were no better than ethers by nature. They were as dead, as much under the influence of Satan, as much under the influence of the lusts of the flesh as others are who are left where they are. It is only sovereign grace that makes us to differ. “Were by nature,” not by error; by nature, not by a mistake, not by a few actions, but by nature, the children of wrath, even as others. See what you used to be. Let this make you humble. See what you would have been. Let this make you grateful. “You hath he quickened.” He has put life into you. He has made you quit your graves. He has made you come from under the dominion of Satan and the devices of your own heart. Will you not bless his name tonight?
Ephesians 2:4-5. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,
Wonder! The life that quickens. Christ quickens all the members of his mystical body, and this has come to us through the riches of God’s mercy. Whatever God has, he has in abundance, but of his mercy we read that he has riches of it; and truly all those riches of mercy he has shown in our case. We cannot but have riches of gratitude for such riches of mercy.
Ephesians 2:5. (By grace ye are saved;)
See, Paul puts that in a parenthesis. It was not necessary to the sense, but he knew that there would come a time when men would not like this doctrine, so he puts it in, “by grace are ye saved.” They cannot bear it, and therefore they shall have it. They shall have it when the sense does not seem to demand it. To make it quite clear, he will insert it, “by grace ye are saved.”
Ephesians 2:6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We are not only raised from the dead with Christ, but we are spiritually raised into the heavenly places with him. It is a great thing when a man learns to look up from earth to heaven. It is a greater thing when he learns to look down from heaven upon earth — to have you sitting at the right hand of God, and then to look down on all the things of this present life as far below you.
Ephesians 2:7. That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Brethren, we are to be a show, an exhibition case, in which God will exhibit the riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Angels will count it a high joy to study the life of a regenerate man, to see him rise from death in sin to the glory of God in Christ Jesus. What is so precious in God’s esteem ought to excite our praise continually.
Ephesians 2:8. For by grace are ye saved
There it is again. Paul rings that silver bell in the deaf ears of men. “By grace are ye saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9. Through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
We should be sure to boast if we could. We are a boasting people. Man is a poor mass of flesh, and he is largely given to the corruption of pride, He will boast if he can.
Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship,
If there is any good thing in us, he put it there. It is not for us to boast. It is for him to boast if he pleases.
Ephesians 2:10-11. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember,
Oh! that is a good word for us, “Remember,” we are so apt to forget. “Remember.”
Ephesians 2:11-12. 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; that at that time ye were without Christ,
Had you to do with Christ? The Jews call you uncircumcised dogs. What had you to do with the Messiah? Was not the Messiah for God’s Israel? You did not belong to Israel.
Ephesians 2:12. Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise,
The covenant was in Isaac. You are not the children of Isaac. You are not descended from Abraham. You were strangers from the covenants of promise.
Ephesians 2:12. Having no hope,
Either here or hereafter.
Ephesians 2:12-13. And without God in the world:
But now Oh! what a contrast.
Ephesians 2:13. In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
You are brought near to Israel. You are brought nearer still to Israel’s God. Now you are not aliens. You are not strangers from the covenant. You have a hope, you have a God.
Ephesians 2:14-15. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 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;
There is no circumcision and uncircumcision now, for that is done away with. There is no Israel according to the flesh now, and Gentiles who are not of God, for there is a spiritual Israel, to which we belong, as well as those of Abraham’s race. He has swept out of the way all the ordinances which divided us, and we are now one in him.
Ephesians 2:16-17. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
To the Gentile and to the Jew, to the atrociously wicked, and to those who were religious after a fashion — he has brought them both in by the cross.
Ephesians 2:18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Here you have the Trinity in a single line of Scripture, and it needs the Trinity to make an acceptable prayer. Through him (that is, Christ) we have access by one Spirit unto the Father, and now, today, the Church of God is one in prayer, whether Jew or Gentile. We come to God by the same Mediator, helped by the same Spirit. We have answers of peace from the same Father.
Ephesians 2:19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God:
There are many here whom we do not know. We have not seen their faces before, but if they are in Christ and we are in Christ, we are very near of kin. There is an old proverb that blood is thicker than water, and depend upon it that when there is the blood of Christ sprinkled upon us, it makes very near kinship. When we are bought with the same price, quickened by the same life, and are on the way to the same heaven, we are very near of kin. We are no mere strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and all the household of God. They make a great fuss when they give a man the liberty of the City of London. There is a fine gold box to put it in. You have got the liberty of the new Jerusalem, and your faith, like a golden box, holds the deeds of your freemanship. Take care of them, and rejoice in them.
Ephesians 2:20-21. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
The church is a framed house. It has an architect. Some seem to think that it is a load of bricks. They have no church officers. There are none set apart to this work, and none to the other. It seems to be just a heap of stones thrown down anyhow. But a true church is, by the Spirit of God, a building fitly framed together. One is a door, another is a window. One lies low and hidden in the foundation. Another may have a more prominent position in the wall; and it should be so with us — that we should each have a place that God has appointed him, and keep to that place. Lord, build up thy Church upon earth at this time.
Ephesians 2:22. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
We are not builded to stand like a carcase. It is a ghastly sight to see houses in London nearly finished, but never occupied: but it is the glory of the Church of God that it is inhabited. It is a habitation of God through the Spirit. Holy Spirit, dwell in thy Church more evidently. Keep open house for all poor sinners that come to Christ, and glorify God.
Monday, March 27th, 2017
the Fourth Week of Lent
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