Ephesians 2:11-22, August 25, 2019
BUT NOW and CONSEQUENTLY
Ephesians 2:1-10 Review
2:4-7 Present/Made Alive
2:7-9 Future/Because of and By Grace
2:10 Future/To Do Good Works Here in v10 Paul is seen in agreement with James 2:17-18 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
2:11-12 THEREFORE Before Paul begins his summary of what he has presented so far in chapter 2 verses 1-10. He provides a reminder of the status of the Gentiles [us] as “uncircumcised.” We were considered unclean both physically and spiritually by “the circumcised.” In fact many Jews wondered how God could love such a people. Look at the five things listed in v12 we the uncircumcised were denied. We were 1) separate [initially] from Christ, 2) excluded from citizenship in Israel, 3) foreigners to the covenants of the promise and 4/5) without hope and without God in the world.
2:13 BUT NOW!!! We, who were the ones who were once far away, are no longer far away !!
Paul addressed this very directly in Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Jesus did the same in John 3:16-18 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
2:14-18 Reconciliation and Peace
This was not just talk as one of the pillars of this “dividing wall” was excavated in 1871. It reads in the Greek: “No man of another nation is to enter within this fence and enclosure round the temple. And whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death ensues.”
Jesus broke down this dividing wall and joined together Jew and Gentile creating one new single humanity reconciled to God through the cross while destroying the hostility and enmity between us.
Recall in verse 12 the five things we did not have because we are uncircumcised?
We are 1) no longer foreigners and strangers of the covenants of the promise. We are now 2) fellow citizens [not of Israel, but of God’s Kingdom] with God’s people and members of His household. We are 3) unified through the prophets, the Apostles, and especially Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone of our unity. Because of Jesus we are 4/5) no longer without hope and without God in this world.
2:21-22 UNITY – New building, new temple
Together all believers become the new building, the new temple. And together we are all becoming a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. Individually this is already occurring
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Verse 7 spoke of a coming age – C.S Lewis gives a description of what this may be like.
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis, “The Last Battle”