Eph. 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—
Eph. 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
We are all Gentiles here.
We must remember that we were outside the covenant of the Lord God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. We were excluded and destined to damnation.
Our works would judge us and we know that works can save no man.
Psalms 143:2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
Romans 3:10 As it
is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
We were separated from Christ,
and because of that we had no access to the Father.
Ephesians 4:18 They
are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God
because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their
We were without hope and without
God in the world.
Eph. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Those who were outside the old covenant with Israel
are now brought in thorugh the new covenant in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is
the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the
promised eternal inheritance— now that he has died as a ransom to set them
free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Through the blood of Christ we have access to the
Father as only Israel had before.
Rom. 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Eph. 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
Eph. 2:15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,
Eph. 2:16 … and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Jesus Christ made peace for us with the Father by
His death on the cross. The perfect sacrifice He made satisfied all
the requirements of the Law and paid the penalty of death for our sins.
Jesus destroyed the barrier men had to a relationship with God. There
is a popular graphic that illustrates this that I will include here in
The Father’s purpose in this plan through Christ,
other than salvation, was to bring together in one body, Jew and Gentile.
The body of Christ is now made of up those who believe in Jesus Christ
through faith, both Jew and Gentile. The hostility between the chosen
people of God in Israel and the Gentiles is put to rest forever in Christ.
Notice that this new body, made unified by Christ, is IN Christ.
Christ created in Himself the Church. The Church is truly the body
Eph. 2:17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
Both Jew and Gentile can now know the peace of Jesus
Christ. There is no more separation between people. We are
all precious in God’s eyes.
1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
Rom. 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to
establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according
to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed
and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal
God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—to the only
wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
As Christians we no longer view fellow believers or
even the world in terms of separation of races or cultures. We no
longer view people with bigotry but in the love of Christ. But unfortunately
there is still a lot of bigotry and race hatred among Christians.
It is even being promoted by Christian organizations. When we become
believers, our main focus is no longer culture and traditions but on the
body of Christ and building it up. This is a radical statement in
the current world atmosphere of putting so much focus on culture and tradition,
but Paul says he counted it all as rubbish, garbage.
Phil 3:4-9 If anyone else thinks he has
reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on
the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew
of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting
the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever
was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more,
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider
them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having
a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through
faith in Christ— the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
The fact is the traditions of men are often in opposition
to the will of God and what He wants of us.
Mark 7:8-9 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one
takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends
on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on
Be careful about those who try to trap you in human
tradition and culture.
The Gospel is the message of peace to the world, not
plans for global unity, not unity among the different religions, not the
effort to stop wars. The Gospel is what has made peace with God and
gives us peace within.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access to
the Father by one Spirit.
Both Jew and Gentile believers have access to the Father through the Spirit. This is only possible if you are born again of the Spirit, which is only possible by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
There are two criteria for admittance into heaven. The first one every man has. Every man and woman is born of water. As a baby God brings you to birth by spending nine months in water. When you are born you come out with the water. We are all born of water. That is the first birth. But that is not enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must also be born of the Spirit, born again.
3:3 In reply
Jesus declared, "I tell you
the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Eph. 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,
Those who are true believers of any people group, nation, background, income level, or color are now part of one household, the household of God. If you are members of God’s family in his house then you have a place to live. You have fellowship. You have brothers and sisters you would not have had in the sinful world. When you become a citizen of a country like the US you are then entitled to all the privileges of that country. If you are a member of the FSM you are entitled to certain privileges in the US by virtue of the FSM having a relationship to the US. But someone who is, say, and Indian citizen does not have the same privileges in the US. They cannot collect social security, welfare, get food stamps, get a job, or even stay indefinitely because they do not belong to the “household” of the US. In the same way those who are members of God’s household are entitled to the privileges of being in that house. We are no longer foreigners but citizens entitled to all God has to offer. What are we entitled to as citizens in God’s household? Life, joy, peace, hope, love, glory, fulfillment, growth, security, wisdom, and eternal life.
Eph. 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
What is God’s household built on? Jesus Christ
the Cornerstone, obviously. We have been discussing that. But
is it is also built on the foundation Christ has laid as the cornerstone
which is that of the Apostles and prophets. This is not talking about
new apostles and modern prophets. It is talking about the foundation,
the beginning, and the basis for the building of the Church being laid
down by those to whom God gave the revelation of the mystery of Christ.
The foundational apostles and prophets are dead and gone. We as the
Church are building, to completion, the household of God on earth based
on the teachings of Christ as passed down and interpreted for us by the
Apostles and prophets. These are contained in our Bible. Beware
of those who would try to steal the authority of the apostles and prophets
and the Word of God today by claiming they have the same authority.
We will go into that later, but those who claim to be equal to or greater
than the apostles today are what Paul called “false apostles”.
2 Cor. 11:12-15 And I will keep on doing what
I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those want an opportunity
to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such
men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of
Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of
light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants
of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Be very careful of those who claim to be apostles today. There are one type of “apostle” left today but they are not foundational to the Church. The only type of “apostle” we have today is a church-planting missionary, and we call them that so that they will not be confused with the foundational Apostles. But many churches are confusing people by calling those in authority over them “apostles”. There are no more apostles like Paul. We will study this later in Chapter 4.
Eph. 2:21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
In Christ the whole building of the church is in unity
and is rising day by day as a holy temple to the Lord. There is no
temple in Jerusalem anymore, and if one is built it will be an abomination
to the Lord. Why? Because the Church is the temple of the Lord.
The Church is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The individual
Christian has access to the “holy of holies” in the body of Christ and
in the Holy Spirit Who indwells them.
Heb. 10:19-22 Therefore, brothers, since
we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that
is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and
having our bodies washed with pure water.
Notice that Jude uses the same word “most holy” to describe our faith, our relationship to the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, build
yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Eph. 2:22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
The Church is the dwelling place of the Spirit as
well as the individual Christian.
2 Corinthians 1:22 set his seal of ownership
on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing
what is to come.
We will study these two passages later, but they show
that the Spirit is in the individual Christian and in the Church as a whole.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Eph. 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.