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2:1-3:21 GOD’S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH
Sinners saved by grace (2:1-10)
In their natural state, all people are spiritually dead because of sin. Nothing they do can bring them back to life, because no matter how much good they try to do, they are still sinners. This is true of Jews and Gentiles alike. In body and mind they are under the control of Satan, and consequently are rebellious against God (2:1-3). Such rebels do not deserve God’s love, but God loves them nevertheless. God does for sinners what they cannot do themselves. He gives them new life, and he does this on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection. By God’s grace, Christ not only died to bear the penalty of human sin, but he rose to glorious life in the heavenly world so that repentant sinners can have a glorious new life in him (4-7).
This salvation is entirely God’s work. Sinners cannot save themselves. Through faith they can only turn to God in their helplessness, and humbly accept the salvation that God offers. Good works cannot earn them salvation, but once they are saved their lives should be full of good works. When God gives people a new life, they must live a new life (8-10).
Jew and Gentile made one in Christ (2:11-22)
For centuries there had been bitterness and tension between Jews and Gentiles, mainly because of the way proud Jews looked down on Gentiles. Jews had circumcision as the sign that they were God’s people; Gentiles did not. Because they were not God’s people, Gentiles enjoyed none of Israel’s privileges through the covenants and promises. They had no hope for a Messiah and no knowledge of God (11-12). The Jews, having been chosen to receive God’s law, considered themselves close to God but the Gentiles far from him. They did not even allow Gentiles into the holiest part of the temple. It was as if a solid wall separated the two. But Christ, through his death, broke down this wall, abolished the offensive law and commandments, destroyed the hatred and made peace (13-16).
No longer are the ‘near’ Jews more privileged than the ‘far off’ Gentiles. In Christ there is no longer a distinction between Jews and Gentiles, for all who believe are God’s people. All have equal status as citizens of God’s heavenly city, all are members of his family, and all come into his presence through the one Spirit (17-19). The new temple in which God dwells is not a building like the old Jewish temple. It is a spiritual dwelling place. Apostles and prophets form the foundation, other believers form the main building, and all is built around and built into Christ (20-22).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ephesians 2". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany