Ephesians 2

2:1-10

2:1-3

Ok so in 1:19-23 Paul just set forth the overwhelming glory and might of Jesus. Now he moves back to us in 2:1-3; and wow what a contrast that is. 

What are some ways Paul describes us in 2:1-3?

Dead in trespasses and sins

following the course of this world

following the prince of the power of air-who works in the sons of disobedience 

of whom we once were because we carried out the passions of our flesh/desires of the body/mind 

by nature children of wrath.

Why does Paul describe mankind this way?

He’s describing the truth of our existence without God. Let\’s unpack that existence a little more before continuing to 1:4.

Whats’ “dead in trespasses and sins” mean? How were we dead in sin?

We had no life in God but only our sin. “and sin when it is full grow gives birth to death” (James 1) We continually did sin; it was the whole sphere of activities in our life (that’s what I think Paul means by “walked”); we sinned naturally, habitually, and easily. Sin was a natural and continuous habit in our natural state. 

Whats “following the course of this world”?

“Going with the flow” We were dead in sin flowing down the river called ‘world’ without a care where the river would take us; we just went with it with no resistance. 

“following the prince of the power of the air” Who’s the prince?

Satan. Who is the rule “of the power of the air” But what\’s that mean?

““the air” being that sphere in which the inhabitants of the world live and which, through the rebellious and godless condition of humanity, constitutes the seat of his authority\”

Or IE ’the heavens’ or ’the sky’ or perhaps even ‘fog’. The idea here is that Paul is saying that Satan exercises his power/rule over all around us; kinda like how air is around us now. Paul is trying to communicate that ever-presence danger and evil that operates around the believer and in the life of the sons of disobedience. We will pick up on this idea again in chapter 6. 

Talk to me a bit more on this Satan character. Who is he? What’s he do? Why do I care?

He’s the accuser to the Elect and challenger to God’s throne. He harasses the elect day and night to try and get them to turn from God and become slaves to him in sin/disobedience to God.

I care about this because every time I’m tempted to sin, according to the word of God, Satan is not offering me true pleasure but a mere bread crumb in exchange for life-long, brutal, torturous slavery to a slaveholder that wishes nothing less than maximum pain for his amusement. Not a very good deal is it? Think about that next time we’re tempted to sin/disobey a loving, merciful, and kind  Father. 

the prince” Satan. God has allowed him to be prince, not king, to rule and reign here and now insofar as God as allowed Him to do so before He crushes Him at the final day. 

I’ll explain it to you the way it was explained to me: 

Imagine a good king who has a vast, mighty kingdom; but there’s an enemy, evil king and kingdom that\’s the size of an ant and the might of dust that challenges this good king. This good king allows the evil one time; time to gather whatever armies and resources he wants to challenge him with and then they will reconvene at an appointed time to battle it out to see who rule over all the kingdoms. The evil king gathers all his might, all his forces and all his strength to challenge the good king at the appointed time and yet still the good king utterly decimates the evil one with an ease that was more easy to him than breathing. And the good king is totally victorious and all the people are in awe of his incredible might and power forever. 

That is why Satan has any power now; to be utterly decimated by King Jesus at the appointed time. 

Everyone w/o a savior is a son of disobedience

“the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” So we just established that Satan is the prince, the spirit that Paul is talking about here. And his goal is to cause disobedience. 

How does he cause disobedience in the life of the believer?

The temptation of sin. 

How do we remain faithful/obedient to God in temptation/how to fight temptation? 

Turn to Ephesians 6:10. We’ll take a quick look at 6:10-18. 

What ways does Paul tell us to combat Satan/temptation?

“the whole armor of God” so we need all the parts of the armor. A solider without shoes ain’t lasting too long in the fight. 

Truth 6:14

righteousness 

gospel of peace

faith (in all circumstances) (6:16)

salvation

the word of God (6:17)

pray always (6:18)

These weapons/tools are how we fight off the temptations of the devil. We’ll cover this more in Chapter 6. 

One more on 2:2, who are the “SoD”?

The unrepentant. They are enslaved to Satan.

2:3

What are “the passions of the flesh”?

the desires of the body/mind springing up from or in accord with our nature/our natural selves. 

Who are these “children of wrath”?

Mankind. Unrepentant sinful man. 

Do y’all get why I stress the wrath of God so much in explaining the gospel?

So our very own nature heaped God’s wrath/anger upon us. Is there anything we can do to save ourselves?

No. Just Christ alone. Christ alone is our savior. Not our own works or righteousness. He is the only one who could have and did take the wrath of God upon Himself. 

2:4

“But God” Its a running joke in Christian circles that in the kid\’s ministry when the kids are asked to remember a verse they remember John 11:35 which is, “Jesus wept”. 

If you were to have only 2 words of the whole bible memorized I’d tell you to pick these 2. 

Would you like to guess why I might say that?

They are probably the sweetest words in the bible. 

“oh, I’m just little old me…But God”

“I am hopeless…but God”

I am unclaimed and unloved…but God”

I am caught in the snare of sin…but God”

I am weak and needy… But God”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

“rich in mercy” meaning what? 

If someone came to me rn and said: “Evan I have 28K to give you to pay for your 28K of debt.” They give in accordance w my need. But if a trillion gave me a million then he gives out of his riches. Likewise with God. God is so overly filled with mercy that He gives this mercy in accordance w that overabundance. And that overabundance indeed meets our needs as well so God gave His mercy out of an abundance thereof. 

“even when we were dead” God loved us first. Never forget that.

One more thing: to anyone that challenges the truthfulness of scripture I’d point them to these few verses. Would you like to take a guess why I’d do that?

Because nowhere else will you have any text that universally describes humanity this way; dead, slaves of Satan, rebellious by nature. You simply can’t find this anywhere else. Moreover, even if you ever did find this elsewhere, you would never see “but God” come afterward. Maybe ‘And God’ as in “And God swiftly satisfied His wrath by unleashing it upon all these disobedience.’ maybe, “and God, being rich in wrath, because of His great anger against us leave us for dead in our sin and rebellion against Him’ But not “but God”. 1-3 are the dark black curtain against which the first 2 words of 2:4 shine all the brighter. If these 2 words do not stir up in you a humble, awful view, and therefore worship, of God then this is your homework assignment: go home, read this chapter until you heart is moved by God’s great love for His children. 

2:7

For what reason, according to this verse did God save you?

So that He could be kind to you now and forevermore. God chose you, the imperfect dirty jar you are, to send forth His kindness upon you now and forever. Now, why would God chose to do such a thing like that?

He loved us before we loved Him there’s no other explanation than that. 

You were made to show God’s kindness to the world. 

Turn to 1 King’s 19. I read this morning and I wanted to share a small insight into the Lord’s kindness in the life of Elijah. 

2:8 

I’m curious y’all thoughts on this, the “it” in “it is the gift of God, not a result of works…” what does the “it” refer to”?

(Faith).

2:10

So in 2:7 we just established that we are saved to show God’s kindness but here Paul says we’re saved for good works. Put those to 2 puzzle pieces together and what do you come up with?

Out of His love God chose us to be a vessel of kindness through good works. Not salvation from good works or toward good works but for good works. Faith = justification + good works. NOT

Faith + works =justification

Faith = justification – works. 

Also, notice this: we are saved for good works. Not because of good works. 

2:11-22

2:11-12

We’re gonna stay here a few minutes.

Why would Paul tell us to remember our time of separation from Christ? 

The Gentiles/uncircumcision experienced 2 types of alienations. 1st was social resulting from the animosity that had existed between Jews and Gentiles for thousands of years. J considered G to e outcasts. The 2nd was spiritual because the Gentile were cut off from God in 5 different ways 1) they were separated from Christ, having no savior and without divine purpose. 2) they were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel; a nation who’s King was Christ. 3) G were stranger to covenants of promise/not partakers of God’s divine covenants in which He promised to give His people land, priesthood a nation, a king. 4) They had no hope because they had no divine promise 5) they were without God; they had many gods but didn’t know the one true God. 

That said why would God make circumcision the sign of His covenant with the Israelites? 

Circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham

When God told Abraham to be circumcised, he was past the age of bearing children and his wife, Sarah, was incapable of having children (Gen 18:11). Nevertheless, it would be through Sarah’s womb (Gen 17:2118:14) that God would fulfill His promise of innumerable offspring to Abraham (Gen 12:1–3). God’s covenant with Abraham could only be realized by miraculous intervention.

The miraculous nature of Isaac’s birth is the key to understanding circumcision as the sign of the covenant. After God made His promise to Abraham, every male member of Abraham’s household was required to be circumcised (Gen 17:15–27). Everyone knew that circumcision was connected to God’s promise. It probably didn’t make any sense, though, until Sarah became pregnant.

Everyone in Abraham’s household witnessed the miracle of Isaac’s birth. From that point on, every male understood why they had been circumcised: Their entire race—their very existence—began with a miraculous act of God. Every woman was reminded of this when she had sexual relations with her Israelite husband, and when her sons were circumcised. Circumcision was a visible, continuous reminder that Israel owed its existence to Yahweh, who created them out of nothing.

In the New Testament, membership in God’s family is “circumcision neutral” (Gal 5:6). It is faith in Christ, not a Jewish identity signified by circumcision, that makes someone part of the Church. Paul even connects baptism to circumcision (Col 2:10–12). Like circumcision, baptism is a response driven by faith. Both signs are for men and women.

Thinking on 2:12 how are we without hope when we’re without God?

No hope without God because we have no trust that the future could work out for our good. 

2:13-16

What\’s Paul talking about here?

How the Church is being built from 2 different people groups, J and G.

“our peace” literally He is our shalom that brought peace from God to both parties. He alone is the source of salvation and therefore also our peace. 

“brought near by the blood of Christ” 

Have y’all ever thought about how much God wants to be with you? 

I think when we understand that God does desire us it will increase our desire for Him and the more. 

Another thought to think on later: God wants to be with you and to be close to you.  

“broken down in the flesh the dividing wall of hostility…” So is this in reference to a literal wall or just a metaphor?

Literal. In the Temple, there was a wall dividing between the Jews who could enter into the temple and the “god-fearing” G’s who couldn’t enter in at all. He points to the wall as a social, religious and spiritual separation that kept J and G apart. Paul here is saying that that wall is now broken down and there is no more separation between J and G. God, at this point in redemptive history, is building His church and His true people not the exclusively the Israelites. 

2:16

This one is somewhat of an off-brand question for me but: do y’all think/fit there’s hostility in the church today?

Why so?

And how do we fix it?

2:19

“household of God” Redeemed sinners not only become heavenly citizens but also a member of God’s own family. 

2:20

“built on the foundation of the apostles…” Not them personally. But the divine revelation they taught as they authoritatively spoke the word of God. 

How is Christ the cornerstone?

He holds it all together in unity. 

Whats’ one big take away for all this for y’all?

Have boldness before God in prayer because of His kindness. 

Thoughts: 

2:1 “were” and “walked” past tense

2:2 “following” present. the course of this world    

                                        the prince of the power of the air-the spirit that is now at work in sons of disobedience. “sons” because disobedience originates from this “prince”?

2:3

“passions of our flesh” and “carrying out desires of the body” same thing 2 ways of saying it?

“child of wrath” are “sons of disobedience”?

2:4-5

Saved by God because of His great/rich mercy. 

2:1

Paul helps us to see our need for a savior here. We don’t kiss the feet of our Savior unless we feel our need to be saved. 

How do we come to know Jesus without knowing how lost and dead and hopeless we were without Him

We are commanded, 2:11-12, to remember Him. Our “deadness” is the dark black curtain that makes His diamond shining love pop all the more. We know our deadness to remember our need for Him; to not remember is to disobey. 

The 1st need of why we need a savior: Because of our deadness. 

What\’s dead mean?

2:3 IE everything you did to bring on the wrath you did by nature.

2:2 disobedience runs in the family/mankind. We need a savior not because I sin. But because I am a sinner-by nature a rebel.

That is alive to the flesh but dead to Spirit. 

2:10 “created” God’s work. Resurrection and new creation are both pics of conversation. 

Everything we did was by our nature was sin thus everything we did was sin before Christ. 

Did you do anything for the glory of God before being saved? no of course not. 

Do you see our horrible/wretched you are without a savior?

Understand this; you’ll love Jesus all the more. Romans 8:6-11

what is the flesh “rebellion, enmity against God, un-pleasers of God” 

“Death” unsubmissive to God. The Word shows us how desperate we are with Him. 

We preach/teach/hold accountable to each other on sin to behold the sweetness of the savior. 

3 reasons we need a savior: 

2:1 dead

2:2 captive to an alien power

2:3 child of wrath by nature. 

Prove of word from God. No human would ever say these things; we know that because they never ever have. 

God sends His son to bring me life, to set me free, and to give me a new nature. 

The way to freedom from this world is to let God interpret your situation

2:2

There is a being that works and moves in “the air” in the SoD/heathen. He makes them in step with the times/age.\\

“air” the dwelling of mankind. Between the Earth and the Heavens. 

“the prince of the power of the air” Eph. 6:12. “power of the air” a collective reference to all the demonic forces against you now. 

Authority/power that influences the “air” that influences us.

“the prince” Satan. God has allowed him to be prince, not king, to rule and reign here and now insofar as God as allowed Him to do so before He crushes Him at the final day. 

I’ll explain it to you the way it was explained to me: 

Imagine a good king who has a vast, mighty kingdom; but there’s an enemy, evil king and kingdom that\’s the size of an ant and the might of dust that challenges this good king. This good king allows the evil one time; time to gather whatever armies and resources he wants to challenge him with and then they will reconvene at an appointed time to battle it out to see who rule over all the kingdoms. The evil king gathers all his might, all his forces and all his strength to challenge the good king at the appointed time and yet still the good king utterly decimates the evil one with an ease that was more easy to him than breathing. And the good king is totally victorious and all the people are in awe of his incredible might and power forever. 

That is why Satan has any power now; to be utterly decimated by King Jesus at the appointed time. 

“the course of this world” IE godliness 

Everyone w/o a savior is a son of disobedience to this prince, evil prince, they’re not free but captives/slaves to him. 

We need a savior, not just because we’re dead in sin but because Satan is at work to try and keep them dead. There is the sin/corruption of our hearts and that corruption is all around us in the world. 

Satan tries to guard us against the light to keep that light away from our hearts. to keep us from seeing God.

Dead people don’t need any help doing evil deeds; it is in accordance w their nature. 

How at home are you in the world; the harmony between sinner and satan?

by nature, we did things God hates. But nature we put the wrath of God upon ourselves. 

Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come. 

Never forget from where you’ve been saved because otherwise, you wouldn’t treasure Him as savior and if you don’t treasure Him then you don’t have Him as savior. 

cherish or perish.

Why did we need a savior? Because, we were dead in sin 2:1, held captive to satan/being led by him 2:2, our very nature heaped wrath upon us 2:3. 

For the Christian, God has given in place of wrath grace in kindness 2:7

Our of His richness of mercy He was merciful to you. God will never run out of ways to be merciful to you. 

Out of His riches, He will show us kindness for as long as we live and thereafter. 

He gives out of His richness, not our need.

God will never run out of resources to supply you joy and happiness in Heaven.

“seated us” 2:6 our hearts are in heaven/set on the heavenly. When converted, God made you homesick for Heaven. 

Jesus saved you to be free. In Christ is true freedom. 

2:1 and 2:5

dead and alive

2:2 and 2:6

following course of the world and raised up and seated w Him. 

2:3 and 2:(8), 10 

by nature children of wrath and created in Christ for good works. 

#EphesiansBibleStudy

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