Ephesians Chapter 2

April 27, 2013

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Ephesians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Ephesians 2:1-22 (NIV)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 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)– 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 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, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:1-2

Paul says that before we knew Christ we were spiritually dead because of our sin. We were following the evil one, whether we knew it or not. If you are not following Christ, you are following the evil one by default. Paul describes the evil one as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air”.

In the resurrection, Jesus was victorious over the devil and his power. In His first coming, death, and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God. He is the permanent ruler of the whole world. When Jesus comes back, He will consummate the Kingdom and set everything right. In this in-between time, the evil one is only the temporary ruler of the part of the world that chooses to follow him, by choice or by default.

Ephesians 2:3-5

We have all sinned and cannot save ourselves. We can never be good enough in our own strength. We might do a lot of good things and be a really good person, but never good enough to earn salvation. It is only when we are ‘in Christ’, united with Christ’s perfect life can we become good in God’s sight.

We are still a work in progress, yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, trying to do the next right thing, sometimes failing, but in Christ we have been set free and can now choose to the next right thing with his help.

Ephesians 2:6-7

In the coming ages – the age to come

Ephesians 2:8-10

This life in Christ is a complete gift. You can’t earn it and you can’t pay for it. It is a gift. It is what sets Christianity apart. All the other ideas or systems are about what you have to do…in Christianity is all about what has been done for you, by Jesus. Sheer gift and grace.

We become Christians through God’s unmerited favor, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the church.

We are God’s masterpiece (work of art, workmanship). The word is poema, where we get the word poem. You are God’s poem in Christ. Our salvation is something only God can do. It is his powerful, creative work in us. You are His masterpiece.

Ephesians 2:11-22

“In Christ”, we are the church. Not just a building but a body, a family, God’s household. He lives in us and shows himself to a watching world through us. People can see that God is love and that Jesus Christ is Lord as we live in harmony with each other and in accordance with what God says in his Word. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom and members of his household.

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