INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES Ephesians Lesson 2
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Ephesians Chapter 2

Memory verses for this week: 1 John 1:3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:4  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Introduction: In chapter one, we found that Christ is the head of the church, and unless we let him direct the church, we will not be effective nor successful.  God’s plan for the church can not be improved upon. 

I.                Salvation by Grace

Ephesians 2:1  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:

We are dead spiritually until we find Christ as our Lord and Savior.   God makes the sinner alive when he or she accepts Christ as our Savior.  The lost sinner is spiritually dead, and has no power in himself to bring about the second birth.  If a man is ever saved, it will be all of God and by God’s grace.   All we do is accept or reject Christ.    Being dead in trespasses and sin, we walked according to the course of this world. If we accept the prevailing standards of the world as our basis for our morals, we will have no morals since the standards change day by day.  The world wants to leave God out, and have no exact true standard for right and wrong.   But God has set standards that will never change.  We need to know that the world is an enemy to God.  The prince and power of the air is Satan.

2 Corinthians 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

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

We see that we were all found to be under the domination of the desires of the flesh.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The lust of the flesh is not of the Father.  Friendship of the world is enmity with God.  

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

By nature, we are all sinners.   In Adam, we all die. 

1 Corinthians 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 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. 

God loved us when we were dead in our sins.  But after we know Jesus as Savior, He has made us to sit in heavenly places, and promises us the great riches in his grace.

 

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. 

These verses are simple and very clear.  They plainly state that a man is saved by grace without regard to works.    Some verses that back this up can be found over in Romans.   Abraham was justified by believing.   We need to understand that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.   The law was given to show us that we are guilty in the sight of God.  We can’t boast of anything before God… our salvation is totally a gift from the Lord. 

Romans 4: 1  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture?  Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

I thought J. Vernon McGee’s comments on these verses was good. 

These are the great verses that consummate this section on the believer’s past, present, and future. We were dead in trespasses and sin, God saved us by His grace, raising us now to heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and we will someday be in heaven displaying the grace of God. None of this depends on our own works or merit, “for by grace ye have been saved.” Notice I have changed it to the literal phrase “the grace.” The article points out that it is something special. The great emphasis is upon the grace of God. It is favor bestowed on the unworthy and undeserving.

Now don’t come along and say, “I hope to be saved.” If you have put your trust in Christ, you can say, “I am saved.” Someone may say, “Oh, I wouldn’t dare make a statement like that because I don’t know what the future holds.” Friend, your salvation rests upon the grace of God—not upon your faithfulness. You can be confident of this very thing, “… that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). If you are a child of God, you may wander from Him, but He will always make a way back for you because it is by His grace and that alone that you are saved. You have a finished salvation. On the basis of what Christ has done for you and on the fact that the Holy Spirit has inclined you toward Christ and you have believed the Word of God and have trusted Him, you can say, “I am saved.” It’s not an “I hope so” salvation or an “I’ll try” salvation. It is a salvation that is by the grace of God, by means of faith, and it is not of yourself. It is a gift of God.   

 

 

II.  Try Child of God is to Do Good Works 

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

Good works do not cause or contribute to our salvation, but they flow from it.   We work for the Lord because of the debt we feel towards God for what He has done for us.   Those works come into play in regards to our rewards, not to determine if we have or keep our salvation.

 

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

1 Cor 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1 Cor 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 Cor 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Cor 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

III.   The Gentile Position by Nature 

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.  

We notice several things in these verses in regards to the gentiles in times past. 

a.  They were separated from Christ.  The had no knowledge of Him or any interest in him.      During this time, salvation was of the Jews. 

John 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 

b.  They were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel – as uncircumcised and not entitled to citizenship in it.

c.  They were strangers from the covenants made with Abraham or any of his descendants.

d.  They had no hope.

e.  They were without God in the world.  They had many ‘gods’, but did not have nor know the true and living God.

f.  They were afar off.

Romans 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;   29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.   

By the blood of Christ, the Gentiles were made nigh.  I am so thankful that all those (including us) that were non-Jews were given the opportunity for salvation just like the Jews.   We are living in the era of the Gentiles today, but this will end when the Seven Years of Tribulation begin and God opens the eyes of the Jews to the truth about Jesus being the True and Living Messiah.  

IV.  Both Jew and Gentile in One Body (the Local Church) 

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 one new man, so making peace; 

Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile.  In His flesh, Christ destroyed the ground of our enmity, the law of enacted ordinances.

 Colossians 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:   17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

 

The Believers Study Bible had these notes on Verse 14. 

2:14 The “middle wall of separation” refers to the Mosaic Law, but may be symbolized by the wall in the temple which separated the court of the Gentiles from the court of the Jews—the wall beyond which no Gentile was permitted to pass. Stone markers, engraved in Hebrew and Greek, warned Gentiles against crossing the line on pain of death. One complete marker and a fragment of another have been excavated from Herod’s temple. In Acts 21:27–29, Paul was falsely accused of bringing the Ephesian Trophimus into the Jewish area and desecrating the temple. The elaborate Jewish observances of the law, including the painful rite of circumcision, had long represented hindrances to the Greeks’ coming into the synagogue as full Jews. Many preferred to remain “God-fearers” and worship God at a distance. There was no longer any reason for one to feel left out of the full worship of the true God.  

 

Christ took the Jew and Gentile and made them as one.   There is no difference between the Jew and Gentile as both are born again and have the new man when they receive Christ as Savior.   They become new creatures in Christ. 

Galatians 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  

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.  

Both the Jew and Gentile are united in “One Body”, the church.   We all now have access to the Father by one Spirit. 

The King James Version Study Bible elaborated on how God brought the Gentiles and Jews together into one body. 

2:19, 20. Now therefore draws a conclusion from verses 14–18: Christian Gentiles are no longer alienated from God, but now enjoy the same intimate relationship with Him and the same spiritual blessings as do Christian Jews. Three figures express this unity and equality existing between believing Jews and Gentiles. (1) A city: This figure comes from the Greek city-state political concept whereby all inhabitants of a particular city-state were fellow citizens enjoying the same privileges. (2) A family: Since Gentiles have been reconciled to God (v. 16) and to His people (v. 15), they are now members of the household of God, that is, children of the divine family. (3) A building: Believing Jews and Gentiles are part of the same divine structure, the church. The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than on the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. 

 

V.  Each True New Testament Church is a Temple for the Habitation of God

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

These Gentiles were no longer strangers and foreigners, but were now 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; 

Each true church is built on the one foundation which is Jesus Christ, the tried and true Cornerstone. 

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

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. 

The New Testament Church is fitly framed together and is the habitation of God through the Spirit.   The Holy Spirit dwells inside the believer, and He is with the Church always. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.   

 

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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

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