This middle post on Ephesians Chapter 2, consists of comments from two highly respected writers of Biblical commentaries. Dr. C.I. Scofield and Dr. R.C. Sproul provide excellent “food for thought” for the scriptures that are addressed. Wherever I may add a thought, I will precede such a comment with the notation of, “My Note.”
Scofield’s Notes, C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference
For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.
Ephesians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Brought Near by His Blood
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you 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 you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Christ Our Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
2:2 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:
kosmos = world-system. Colossians 2:20 ; John 7:7 . (See Scofield “Revelation 13:8”) .
2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Death (spiritual), Summary: Spiritual death is the state of the natural or unregenerate man as still in his sins. Ephesians 2:1 alienated from the life of God Ephesians 4:18 Ephesians 4:19 and destitute of the Spirit. Prolonged beyond the death of the body, spiritual death is a state of eternal separation from God in conscious suffering. This is called “the second death.” ; Revelation 2:11 ; Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:14 ; 21:8 .
saved (See Scofield “Romans 1:16”) .
2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
grace Grace (in salvation). Ep 5,7,8 Colossians 1:6 ; Romans 3:24 ; John 1:17 (See Scofield “John 1:17”)
See note, (See Scofield “Romans 1:16”)
2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(See Scofield “Ephesians 4:24”) .
2:12 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:
kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield “Matthew 4:8”) .
2:15 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;
Here the “new man” is not the individual believer but the church, considered as the body of Christ in the sense of Ephesians 1:22 Ephesians 1:23 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:13 ; Colossians 3:10 Colossians 3:11 . (See Scofield “Hebrews 12:23”) .
Dr. S.C. Sproul, Reformation Study Bible
Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. He is also co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. He can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and around the world, and on RefNet 24-hour Christian internet radio. Dr. Sproul has contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, has spoken at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and has written more than ninety books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, and Everyone’s a Theologian. He also serves as general editor of The Reformation Study Bible.
Ephesians 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
Reformation Study Bible
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2:1 you were dead. See “Regeneration: The New Birth” at John 3:3.
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
2:1–3 The natural state of all human beings is a kind of spiritual death. This spiritual condition is universal: both Gentiles (v. 2) and Jews (v. 3) are “by nature children of wrath” (v. 3; on Paul’s view of “nature” see Rom. 1). Second, they are in active rebellion against God; note the use of “walked” in regard to Gentiles in v. 2 and “lived” in reference to Jews in v. 3. Third, they are subject to the evil rule of Satan (called in v. 2 “the prince of the power of the air”; cf. Gal. 4:3; Col. 1:13). Fourth, they are totally unable to change themselves from rebellion against God (John 3:3). Fifth, they are exposed to the just anger of God (v. 3; 5:6; Rom. 1:18–20).
2:1 you were dead. See “Regeneration: The New Birth” at John 3:3.
Ephesians 2:1 : Col. 2:13; [Col. 1:21]
Ephesians 2:1 : ver. 5; [ch. 4:18]; See Luke 15:24
Ephesians 2:2 : ch. 4:17, 22; 5:8; Col. 3:7; See Rom. 11:30; 1 Cor. 6:11
Ephesians 2:2 : [ch. 6:12; Rev. 9:11]; See John 12:31
Ephesians 2:2 : ch. 5:6; [1 Pet. 1:14]
Ephesians 2:3 : Gal. 5:16
Ephesians 2:3 : See Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12
Ephesians 2:3 : [2 Pet. 2:14]
4 But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved.
2:4 But God. Paul paints this bleak portrait of the human situation to throw into relief God’s gracious and merciful response to it. “because of the great love” God loves His people of His own will. Paul excludes any consideration of merit, effort, or ability on the part of those who come to life (cf. Deut. 7:7, 8). The hopeless condition of sinners apart from Christ that Paul has described in vv. 1–3 is the basis for understanding his teaching on God’s election in 1:4–6, and on His gift of life here in vv. 4–10. Note the summary in Rom. 8:29, 30.
Ephesians 2:4 : ver. 7; Titus 3:5; See Rom. 2:4
Ephesians 2:4 : See John 3:16
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved —6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
2:5, 6 made us alive . . . raised us up . . . seated us. These are historical events in the life of Christ: His resurrection from the dead and enthronement at the right hand of God. But Paul also applies them to what has happened to believers. Paul teaches a union between Christ and those who come to trust Him (1:3; Col. 3:1–4), so that what is said of the Redeemer can also be said of the redeemed. What once happened to Jesus will one day happen to believers as well (2 Cor. 4:16): they will be resurrected to glory at His return (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15). For the present, there is a new mind (4:23, 24; Rom. 12:1, 2), a new identity as God’s children (Rom. 8:14–17), and a new ability to live free from the control of Satan (Rom. 8:1–4; 2 Cor. 5:17).2:5, 6 made us alive . . . raised us up . . . seated us. These are historical events in the life of Christ: His resurrection from the dead and enthronement at the right hand of God. But Paul also applies them to what has happened to believers. Paul teaches a union between Christ and those who come to trust Him (1:3; Col. 3:1–4), so that what is said of the Redeemer can also be said of the redeemed. What once happened to Jesus will one day happen to believers as well (2 Cor. 4:16): they will be resurrected to glory at His return (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15). For the present, there is a new mind (4:23, 24; Rom. 12:1, 2), a new identity as God’s children (Rom. 8:14–17), and a new ability to live free from the control of Satan (Rom. 8:1–4; 2 Cor. 5:17).
Ephesians 2:5 : ver. 1; [Rom. 5:6, 8, 10]
Ephesians 2:5 : Col. 2:12, 13; [John 14:19; Rev. 20:4]
Ephesians 2:5 : ver. 8; See Acts 15:11
Ephesians 2:6 : See ch. 1:20
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
2:7 The ground of our salvation is God’s love and mercy, and its goal is the promotion of His grace and kindness (3:6 note).
Ephesians 2:7 : ver. 4
Ephesians 2:7 : Titus 3:4
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
2:8 you have been saved. Salvation is a completed action that has a present effect. In his earlier letters Paul usually refers to salvation either as a future event (Rom. 5:9, 10) or as a present process (1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15). One exception is Rom. 8:24, where Paul puts salvation in the past, but qualifies it as needing completion at Christ’s return: “in this hope we were saved.”
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. This parenthesis is thought by many to refer to the whole complex of salvation by grace through faith as a gift of God. Others, however, take “this” as referring specifically to “faith.” Sinners are dependent on God’s gracious gift for their believing response to Christ from the moment of conversion. Paul makes explicit here what is implicit elsewhere in the New Testament about the ultimate source of saving faith (Acts 13:48; Phil. 1:29).
Ephesians 2:8 : ver. 5
Ephesians 2:8 : 1 Pet. 1:5; [Rom. 4:16]
Ephesians 2:8 : [2 Cor. 3:5]
Ephesians 2:8 : [John 4:10; Heb. 6:4]
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2:9 works. Only faith, not works, can bring us acceptance with God. But good works are the vital consequence and evidence of life with God (Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14; James 2:14–26). God chose us to make us holy sons and daughters (1:4, 5), and He has now fashioned us to be new bearers of His image (4:24), designed for the kind of life that conforms to God’s character (4:1–6:20). Also see “Antinomianism” at 1 John 3:7.
Ephesians 2:9 : 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; See Rom. 3:20, 28
Ephesians 2:9 : 1 Cor. 1:29; [Judg. 7:2]
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2:10 that we should walk in them. See 4:1; 5:2, 8, 15; note the ironic comparison with 2:2; 4:17.
Ephesians 2:10 : Deut. 32:6, 15; Ps. 100:3
Ephesians 2:10 : [ch. 3:9; 4:24; Col. 3:10]
Ephesians 2:10 : ch. 4:24
Ephesians 2:10 : [ch. 1:4]
Ephesians 2:10 : Col. 1:10
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
2:11 made in the flesh by hands. The opposite of this circumcision is the spiritual circumcision of the heart (Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4), applied to Gentiles as well as Jews (Rom. 2:28, 29; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11–13).Cross references:
Ephesians 3:11 : See ch. 1:11
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
2:12 at that time. Contrast with “But now” in v. 13; see also 5:8. In Rom. 9:3–5, Paul lists the privileges of Jews. Here he lists five disadvantages of Gentiles.
alienated . . . strangers to the covenants of promise. They were not citizens of the nation with whom God was in covenant relation. Though God’s relationship with Israel included a promise to bless the nations (Gen. 12:3), Gentiles had no awareness of that hope.
without God in the world. God had revealed Himself to all humanity in nature and in the conscience. But Gentiles had suppressed what truth they did know, turning instead to idolatry (Acts 17:22–31; Rom. 1:18–2:16).
Ephesians 3:12 : Heb. 4:16; 10:19
Ephesians 3:12 : See ch. 2:18
Ephesians 3:12 : 2 Cor. 3:4
Ephesians 3:12 : Mark 11:22; Phil. 3:9
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ
2:13 in Christ Jesus . . . by the blood of Christ. There are two dimensions to Gentiles’ being brought near to God. The first is their experience of spiritual union with Christ (vv. 4–10); the second is the historical basis of that experience in Christ’s sacrificial death (vv. 14–16; 1:7).
far off . . . near. See v. 17.
Ephesians 3:13 : ver. 1
Ephesians 3:13 : [2 Cor. 1:6]
2:14–16 See 4:22–24; Col. 3:9–12 and notes.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
2:14 the dividing wall of hostility. This refers to the courts of the temple in Jerusalem. A wall separated Gentiles and Jews, and signs were posted excluding Gentiles from the inner courts where sacrifices for sin were performed.
Ephesians 2:14 : Ps. 72:7; Mic. 5:5; Zech. 9:10; [Col. 3:15]; See Luke 2:14
Ephesians 2:14 : See Gal. 3:28
Ephesians 2:14 : Col. 1:21, 22; [Rom. 7:4]
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
2:15 abolishing the law of commandments. Christ offered in His own body the final sacrifice to which the temple’s sacrifices merely pointed. The ceremonial laws of the Old Testament that separated Jews and Gentiles are no longer appropriate after their fulfillment in Christ.
Ephesians 2:15 : Col. 2:14, 20
Ephesians 2:15 : See Rom. 6:4
16 And might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Ephesians 2:16 : Col. 1:20-22; [1 Cor. 12:13]
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
2:17, 18 Isaiah had prophesied a day when God’s peace would be proclaimed to those “far” and “near” (Is. 57:19). Through the gospel of Christ the Spirit brings Gentiles (“you who were far off”) and Jews (“those who were near”) together before the Father, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise.
Ephesians 2:17 : Isa. 57:19
Ephesians 2:17 : ver. 13
Ephesians 2:17 : Deut. 4:7; Ps. 148:14
Ephesians 2:18 : [John 14:6]
Ephesians 2:18 : ch. 3:12; [John 10:7, 9]; See Rom. 5:2
Ephesians 2:18 : ch. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:13; [John 4:23]
2:19–22 These verses describe the reversal of the Gentile disadvantages outlined in vv. 11, 12 (cf. 3:6). The building of a new spiritual temple replaces the outmoded one in Jerusalem.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
2:19 no longer strangers. The kingdom of God is now international.
Ephesians 2:19 : ver. 12; [Heb. 11:13; 13:14]
Ephesians 2:19 : Phil. 3:20; [Heb. 12:22, 23]
Ephesians 2:19 : See Gal. 6:10
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
2:20 The foundation of God’s house was laid once for all by the New Testament apostles and prophets. The cornerstone is Christ (1 Cor. 3:10, 11).
Ephesians 2:20 : [Jer. 12:16]; See 1 Cor. 3:9
Ephesians 2:20 : Matt. 16:18; Rev. 21:14
Ephesians 2:20 : [1 Cor. 3:11]
Ephesians 2:20 : Ps. 118:22; Isa. 28:16
21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
2:21, 22 grows . . . being built. God’s house grows through the continued addition and integration of people as “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5). The house is also a temple because God Himself lives in this new building of people.
Ephesians 2:21 : ch. 4:15, 16
Ephesians 2:21 : See 1 Cor. 3:16, 17
Ephesians 2:22 : 1 Pet. 2:5
Ephesians 2:22 : [ch. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15]
My Note: Consider the things that God has already done for us (past tense) in the following verses. Nothing can change or undo the things that God has done for us; not any of us, who have been born again, or anyone else.
1. Before we were born again, we were spiritually dead. After we were born again, God gave us eternal spiritual life, past tense.
6. God has put us in the Presence of Jesus, in Jesus, past tense.
8. It was only by the grace of God, due to His mercy and love (vs 4), that He put us in the Presence of Jesus, in Jesus, past tense.
10. We were created in Jesus for good works, past tense.
13. We are “now” in Christ, past tense to whenever we were born again.
The following song of worship and praise was sung by Rodney Brooks during the 1998 Pastors’ Conference that was held at the First Baptist Church, in Jacksonville, FL. (Southern Baptist Convention). Dr. Mac Brunson is the present Senior Pastor of the church. Consider the strength of your spirit being anchored in the Spirit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus; once it is there, it can not be removed.
The Anchor Holds