Ephesians 2

Resurrected from death of sins 1
Made alive and lifted to heavenly places 4
Salvation by grace through faith 8
Made near by the blood 11
Christ, our peace and access 14
Built on Christ, the cornerstone 19
.1 ¶ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
.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:
.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.
  1 - Dead in trespasses They were wicked and as unconscious or sleeping being unaware of their fateful condition.
  2 - Prince of the power of the air Evil angels, as well as good ones, are not visible. Satan's influence is everywhere, especially for the disobedient. Evil is around us like the atmosphere. So is grace ro0520.
  3 - Conversation The word means behavior in modern English literally "to turn here and there."
.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 shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
   6 - Sit ... heavenly places We may breathe the atmosphere of heaven through the grace of Christ. And one day we will be there ourselves sitting with Him in judgment re2004, re0321. The word, places, is not in the Greek text. It could mean "things." Obviously we are not physically in heaven. Paul is following his metaphor of being like Christ. In v1, we were resurrected.
   7 - Ages to come In our heavenly home we will have the joy of telling others in the universe about the marvelous grace of Christ in saving sinners.
.8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
   8 - By grace are ye saved This translation is okay. NASB says "have been saved." Although this is how it is often seen, the Greek text literally reads, "by grace you were and are being saved."
   8 - Grace through faith See on re1406e.
   10 - Good works The thought is not complete without this verse. Paul often writes as if his readers are spiritually strong or holy ep0101. One might be tempted here to assume that if we have accepted grace, whatever we do is holy. While behavior is not the means of salvation, it cannot be ignored. See the link with v8 above.
.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;
.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:
.13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
  12 - Without Christ Or "apart from Christ." They simply hadn't had the opportunity to know about Him.
  12 - Aliens Literally "having been alienated." See v19, co0121.
  12 - Strangers from the covenant It was not God's plan that they should be strangers. The people chosen to spread the blessing of the covenant made with Abraham had instead considered it almost exclusively for themselves. The Lord finally gave them 70 weeks of years. They did not change and put their Messiah to death. da0924-27, jn0111. The new church became free to take the pure gospel to the Gentiles. The failure was of the Jews as a nation. Individual Jews are saved according to their character as is anyone else. lu2447.
.14 ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
.15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain [two] one new man, so making peace;
 16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
.17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
 18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
  14 - He is our peace The "he" is emphatic in the Greek.
  14 - Middle wall The Jews had erected an extra wall at the temple. It was a barrier that the Gentiles were not to cross.
  15 - Abolished enmity ... law of commandments What commandments? See the note below.
  15 - Of twain one new man The topic is Gentiles being the same before God as Jews. The Greek word for "new" means different in quality.
  17 - See ze0615.
.19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
 20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
 21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
 22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
  19 - Foreigners From paroikoi. More precisely, "residents without citizenship rights."
  19 - Saints All are now followers of Christ and are full citizens in the Christian church whether Jew or Gentile. See ga0326-29.
  20 - Foundation Apostles and prophets are the foundation with Christ as the cornerstone. It was not built on one man.
  21 - Fitly framed ... groweth Paul expands the metaphor with the idea that Christ , the cornerstone provides the harmony for maintaining the building. In symbols, he sees the building growing (apparently in the sense of construction). The growth represents an increase in members. It is done "fitly" or "with careful planning."
  22 - Ye also Contrast the status of Gentiles with the description in v1.
Note for verse 15 the law of commandments 
    Looking at the context we see that Paul is writing to the Gentile believers of Ephesus about their change in status. They had been strangers v12, but in Christ, were brought near v13. Christ has removed the middle wall v14 and abolished the law of commandments in ordinances. The basic moral law, the ten commandments, did not cause the enmity, at least not for those who had loving hearts. The problem was the multitude of exactions added to it and to the ceremonial laws lu1146. How did Jesus abolish these rules by His death? The wickedness of the Jewish leaders was exposed. He also took the "chosen" status away from them and gave it to others mt2143. The divine requirements are few, simple, and clear. The ceremonial laws that pointed forward to Christ ended at His death, but here we may see particularly those added, corollary rules. We may see them as the "commandments" that had been added to the "ordinances." For Paul's opinion of the law, see ro0331.
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