Ephesians 2:1-22


This chapter is really an introduction to some additional thoughts Paul gives to the church at Ephesus.

A. Verse 1-10 begins this thought by addressing salvation, which they already have.

B. He continues in verse 11-22 declaring how the church at Ephesus has been brought into a relationship with Israel through the blood of Jesus Christ.

1. Paul is not saying that Israel and the church is the same body, or that they will ever be the same body.

2. He is saying they are brought into a relationship with Christ that is common to each.

3. They are separate, and will remain separate, but the relationship they have to Christ is the same.

4. There are promises that relate to Israel that do not relate to the church, and there are promises that relate to the church that do not relate to Israel.

5. There are some promises that relate to both Israel and the church.

C. Chapter 3 continues this same thought by going into more detail concerning the mystery of the local church Jesus organized during his personal ministry.


Verse 1, And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

I. Paul is talking to the members of the church of Ephesus, not to the population at large.

II. Definitions of words:

A. Quickened.

1. to make one alive together.

2. Christians, with Christ

B. dead

1. one that has breathed his last, lifeless, deceased, departed, one whose soul is in Hades, destitute of life, without life, inanimate

2. spiritually dead i.e. destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins; inactive as respects doing right

3. destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative

C. trespass.

1. to fall beside or near something

2. a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness; a sin, misdeed

D. sin.

1. to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin.

2. that which is done wrong, sin, an offense, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act.

3. collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many.

{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:

I. Ye walked according to the course of this world.

II. According to the prince of the power of the air

III. The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

{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.

We all:

Everybody was in exactly the same position as to their sinful condition before God.

Three things we did in total depravity:

1. Had our conversation in the lust of our flesh. The word conversation means "manner of life", or the way we lived, the manner of our thinking.

2. Fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind.

3. Were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Titus 3:3-5 The thing that made the difference was not some good we did, but the goodness of God toward us. Notice that the goodness of God appeared while the person was still in their sinful, fallen condition. It was God that removed that sinful, depraved condition; through the precious blood of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

{4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

{5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

{6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in 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 through Christ Jesus.

{8} For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

I. Salvation involves two things: grace and faith.

A. Grace is unmerited favor, and is God's gift to mankind.

1. Eph. 2:1-3 shows us we were all totally depraved.

2. Titus 3:3-5 is another place that shows we were all totally depraved.

3. Ps. 14:1-3 shows that God looked down upon the children of men to see if there were any that sought Him. There was none.

4. Rom. 3:10-18 shows men don't look for Christ in the New Testament times, just like they didn't look for Christ in the Old Testament times.

B. Faith is man believing the promises (word) of God.

1. A person must believe God when He says they are totally depraved, and ought to die and go to hell because of their unbelief.

2. Then they must believe that Christ paid their hell on the cross, suffering because of their sin.

II. That not of yourselves.

A. Grace is not from us, because only God can give that which isn't deserved.

1. John 1:12,13 - We are born again by God, not by any work that we do.

B. Faith isn't from us, because nobody has the kind of faith that is required to be saved.

III. It is the gift of God.

A. Romans 6:23 - The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

B. You don't work for a gift, or expect a gift. It is freely given.

{9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

I. Is salvation by works or grace?

A. It sounds logical that salvation is a "reward" for a good life, but God does punish evil and reward good.

B. Consider:

1. Titus 3:3-7 (verse 5) - Not by works of righteousness which we have done.

2. Romans 11:6 - There is no mixture of grace and works.

3. Eph. 2:8,9 - Salvation is a gift.

4. Romans 6:23 - Salvation is a gift.

C. If it's possible to earn salvation, why did Christ die?

1. If we say "It takes both grace and works", then God (Christ) couldn't do enough to save us by Himself.

2. I Peter 3:18 - The just suffered for the unjust - to bring us to salvation.

D. God doesn't pass over (ignore) sins. He forgives them.

1. I Peter 3:18 - Jesus suffered for our sins.

2. II Cor. 5:21 - Jesus became sin for us.

3. Rom. 5:9 - Justified by His blood.

4. Heb. 9:26 - Suffered once to put away sins.

II. Nobody can boast about being saved, but everybody can be thankful they are saved.

A. If salvation was partly by works, then we could brag about our part.

1. Can't you just imagine the ridiculous scene in heaven of people gathered around a central meeting place, comparing tales about what they did to provide a part of their own salvation, and how hard it was for them?

2. They would be so busy bragging about themselves, they wouldn't have time to even think about what Jesus did.

B. The only one we can brag about is Christ, who saved us.

1. We will spend all eternity giving glory to God for his unspeakably great salvation.

2. Rev. 4:9-11 - The 24 elders cast their crowns before the throne, proclaiming that God is worthy to receive glory and honour and power because He is the creator, and everything was created to give Him honor.

{10} For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I. His Workmanship.

A. We belong to Jesus, not to ourselves.

B. All our lives belong to Jesus, not to ourselves.

1. We ought to live for Him, not for ourselves.

2. We ought to give Him all the glory for our lives, and works, not take that glory for ourselves.

II. Created in Christ Jesus.

A. The word created is not like "invented", or "discovered".

1. Invent means to fabricate out of material already present. Edison invented the light bulb. He didn't discover it because it wasn't already there. He put several substances together making them into a light bulb.

2. Discover means to bring to light things that are previously hidden. For example, Columbus discovered America. He didn't invent America, or create America.

3. Create means to originate or bring forth out of nothing. Jesus Christ created the earth and the heavens. In the same manner, He has created new creatures out of old creatures, sinless creatures out of sinful creatures.

B. II Cor. 5:17 - We are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away, behold, all things are new.

C. Galatians 6:15 - Uncircumcision, nor circumcision counts. Whether the person is a new creature in Christ Jesus is what really counts.

III. Unto good works.

A. Good works come after salvation, not before.

B. God has foreordained that we walk in good works.

1. This is not an option for us.

2. We have been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and do not belong to ourselves, but to God.

{11} Wherefore remember, 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;

I. This verse begins the introduction to chapter 3.

II. Paul wants these people to remember their past condition without Christ.

A. He compares them to the Jewish religion, which is the only other true religion. There were pagans at this time, but they didn't have a true religion.

B. The circumcision (Jews) looked down on the uncircumcision (Gentiles) because the Jews believed they had the body of truth, but all they had was a physical circumcision, they didn't have circumcision of the heart.

C. When the members of the church at Ephesus was lost, and before Christ sent His gospel to the Gentiles, they would have to leave their homes, travel to Israel, learn the Jewish religion, join themselves to the Jews, and sacrifice in Jerusalem.

D. Now there is a new organization, a new organism, so every person can worship God in their own community, without giving any animal sacrifice, but looking back to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

{12} That at that time ye 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:

I. There are five things these Gentiles didn't have.

A. Without Christ.

B. Separated from the commonwealth of Israel.

C. Strangers (separated) from the covenants of promise.

D. No hope - neither personally, nor nationally.

E. Without God in the world - completely destitute of any good future, in this world, or in eternity.

{13} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

I. This is the turning point for all Gentiles, for when Christ died on the cross, he fulfilled the ceremonial parts of the law.

A. No longer would it be necessary to travel all the way to Jerusalem to offer an animal sacrifice.

B. Every person can receive salvation in their own homes, then attend church services in their own community to worship God with others who also believe in Christ.

II. This passage hints of the organization of the local church by Jesus Christ during his personal ministry.

A. The Jews and Gentiles no longer have to go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices.

1. They can gather together in their own communities with other believers and worship God through Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit because Jesus has already offered Himself as a living sacrifice for their sinfulness.

B. God is turning away from Israel because of their unbelief.

1. He is turning to the Gentiles.

2. They worship God in a church (assembly) which Christ organized during His personal ministry.

{14} For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

What is the middle wall? It is the ceremonial law of offering animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins. Jesus fulfilled all the elements of the ceremonial law and delivered real peace to the believers, both Jews and Gentiles.

{15} 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;

Christ body was the perfect sacrifice, fulfilling the outward aspects of the ceremonial law. His "self" was the perfect inward sacrifice, fulfilling all the spiritual aspects of the ceremonial law.

{16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

The intents of the cross was to make salvation equally available to all, both Jews and Gentile.

{17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

It wasn't Jesus who preached, but His apostles and prophets. The gospel message went first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.

{18} For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

This is the method of prayer.

A. It wasn't necessary to go to Jerusalem.

B. Every person could pray to God the Father, through Jesus Christ, having access by the Holy Spirit.

C. No longer would it be necessary to pray through a priest, or any other person.

D. Every person could pray to God individually.

{19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Each person who is saved is of the household of God. They are not necessarily members of a local church, but they are joined together with all believers in salvation.

{20} And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

These prophets are New Testament prophets, not Old Testament prophets.

A. It is the apostles and prophets, not prophets and apostles!

B. Jesus Christ, the stone which the builders disallowed, is become the head of the corner.

{21} In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In the church, Jesus is turning from an unbelieving Israel to a believing people, whether they are Jew or Gentile. As time goes by, more and more believers will be assembling together to worship God.

{22} In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

God is building the church at Ephesus together with all the other believing assembles for a dwelling place of God. This is all made possible by the Holy Spirit of God.