Ephesians two is a condensed history of the Christian life. It is summarized in a triad of BEFORE’s and AFTER’s. The chapter outlines itself, consistent with the promise of the “preliminaries” that a uniqueness of this ONE commentary would be to allow Paul to exegetically speak for himself and the way this Apostle of Jesus was moved by the Holy Spirit. There are three paragraphs in the New English Version, and each one is a contrast of what it was like before ‘the Christians at Ephesus were Christians; and then what it is like now that they are Christians. Each paragraph rapidly makes the transition between the past and the present– the “before Christ” and the “after Christ.”
So thorough and so well organized is Ephesians 2–indeed the whole book of Ephesians—that you can almost appreciate Mitton’s conclusion in his commentary that another author other than Paul wrote Ephesians, and that he had in his possession all the previous letters of Paul to study.
5-1: SunGrist simply builds on the natural outline of the chapters:
- The TIME Contrast. (Ephesians 2:1-7)
“TIME WAS when you were dead in your sins and wickedness, 2 when you followed the evil ways of this present age, when you obeyed the commander of the spiritual powers of the air, the spirit now at work among God’s rebel subjects. 3 We too were once of their number: we all lived our lives in sensuality and obeyed the promptings of our own instincts and notions. In our natural condition we, like the rest, lay under the dreadful judgement of God. 4 But God, rich in mercy, for the great love he bore us, 5 brought us to life with Christ even when we were dead in our sins; it is by his grace you are saved. 6 And in union with Christ Jesus he raised us up and enthroned us with him in the heavenly realms, 7 so that he might display in the ages to come how immense are the resources of his grace, and how great his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (NEB)
- The MEMORY Contrast. (Ephesians 2:11-16)
“Remember then your former condition: you, Gentiles as you are outwardly, you, ‘the uncircumcised’ so called by those who are called ‘the circumcised’ (you were at that time separate from Christ, strangers to the community of Israel, outside God’s covenants and the promise that goes with them. Your world was a world without hope and without God. But now in union with Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood. For he is himself our peace. Gentiles and Jews, he has made the two one, and in his own body of flesh and blood has broken down the enmity which stood like a dividing wall between them; for he annulled the law with its rules and regulations, so as to create out of the two a single new humanity in himself, thereby making peace. This was his purpose, to reconcile the two in a single body to God through the cross, on which he killed the enmity. Thus, in his own person he put the enemy to death.” (NEB)
- The CHRIST Contrast. (Ephesians 2:17-22)
“So he came and proclaimed the good news: peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were nearby; for through him we both alike have access to the Father in the one Spirit. 19 Thus you are no longer aliens in a foreign land, but fellow-citizens with God’s people, members of God’s household. 20 You are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the foundation-stone. [Or: built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the keystone.] 21 In him the whole building [Or: every structure.] is bonded together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you too are being built with all the rest into a spiritual dwelling for God.”
NOTE: Very important to see this “proclaimed” of Jesus is the same as preaching and prophesying as contrasted today to Theology which is of the wisdom of men. God the Holy Spirit led prophets in the OT to preach, then led Jesus and His Apostles to preach certain most important quotes from the OT into the NT and to explain and implement them.
You have seen those “before and after” advertisements. For example, the pictures of persons that looked better after they lost twenty-seven pounds as compared to before they lost the twenty-seven pounds. The Before and After. Well, the second chapter of Ephesians is a Before and After of the Christian life.
The past or before of the Christian life is identified in each of the triads. In the TIME contrast, the past is “Time was when you were dead in your sins and wickedness… “; in the MEMORY contrast, it is “Remember then your former condition… “ ; and the past in the CHRIST contrast is “So he came and proclaimed the good news… “
The present or after of the Christian life, also set forth in each triad, has a more joyful sound, reechoing some of the spiritual blessings in heavenly places of Ephesians l: the present in the TIME contrast, “But God brought us to life… “; the present or after in the MEMORY contrast, “But now in union with Christ Jesus… “ and the present or after in the CHRIST contrast, “for through him we both alike have access to the Father in the one Spirit. There is a lot of bleakness or darkness in God’s analysis of what it is like “before a Christian,” but the chapter builds up to a climax of “in Christ” like a light shining in darkness, like the welcome relief of an oasis after trudging through the filth and garbage of death, wickedness, and rebellion before in Christ then comes the good news of how Christ came and proclaimed the gospel. Thus, Before and After Christ is the climax and theme of the second chapter.
The first of the triad of contrasts is TIME. This first before and after begins in verse one of the second chapter, a contrast of time, past and present–the very first word of Ephesians two is the word “time,” Paul and God through Paul wants us to think about history and time.
“TIME WAS when you were dead in your sins and wickedness, 2 when you followed the evil ways of this present age, when you obeyed the commander of the spiritual powers of the air, the spirit now at work among God’s rebel subjects. 3 We too were once of their number: we all lived our lives in sensuality and obeyed the promptings of our own instincts and notions. In our natural condition we, like the rest, lay under the dreadful judgement of God. 4 But God, rich in mercy, for the great love he bore us, 5 brought us to life with Christ even when we were dead in our sins; it is by his grace you are saved. 6 And in union with Christ Jesus he raised us up and enthroned us with him in the heavenly realms, 7 so that he might display in the ages to come how immense are the resources of his grace, and how great his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1-7)
In the KJV: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins 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….”
Christians are reminded of what they were like in the past, “Time was when you… “: and what non-Christiana are still like in the present, “the spirit now at work among God’s rebel subjects.” And although Paul will tell us in Ephesians 6 that our warfare is not primarily against “flesh and blood”, he makes it clear in Ephesians 2 that the spirit at work in the non-Christian is the opposite of that in the Christian, that spirit or attitude which it places us on diametrically opposing sides, alias the children of light and the children of the world. It is not being critical of the one who is not in Christi for it is a strong reminder that we were once in the sane condition, and if it were not for the grace of God in salvation (Eph. 2:8,0) we would still rebel against God.
NOTE: You have read the statement of faith of the MTDs, what condition do you think that they are in as they describe for themselves. At first it seems like a middle of the road position before in Christ and after in Christ, a motivation to please their professor and to maintain the extreme toleration of the American Democratic Faith. If they are indeed still in that condition described in Ephesians and the rest of the Bible as rebels again God and His will, then they have also become overcome by the love of this world as contrasted to the Bible’s own love of life.
The past, before being a Christian, is a story of ugliness, doom, and defeat, it describes the condition of man outside of Christ. Then when we have reached rock bottom with disillusionment of how bad humanity is, the encouraging ray of hope penetrates the darkness–“But God… ” The difference between defeat and victory, the difference between loafing and winning, the difference between despair and hope is found in the active intervention by God. “But God, who is rich in mercy hath quickened us together with Christ…. (2:4,.5 KJV)
Apart from Christ, what is man like? Ephesians m:-3, just before the intervention of God, describes that condition, the awful state of humanity apart from God and Christ is described, it is not pleasant to read, it is definitely not nattering, and it goes counter to which of the world’s philosophy that see man as inherently good but it is the analysis of God Himself, the Creator of man. A God who created man without sin, but Who gave man freedom of choice, If God made a mistake, and He didn’t, it would be in giving man freedom of choice, Adam and Eve sinned, and sin entered the blood stream of the human races so that all men everywhere are by nature and by choice sinners. This is a necessary part of God’s psychology. We begin without a beginning if we do not face up to this initial analysis.
And nowhere else in the Bible except in the book of Romans will you find such a thorough description of the person who is not a Christian, He is
- Dead in sins and wickedness.
- Following the evil ways of this present age.
- Obedient to Satan.
- Living in sensuality.
- Obeying personal instincts and notions.
- Under the dreadful judgment of God.
Six itemized facts of what it is like not to be in Christ, six discouraging aspects of how God Himself describes the person not a Christian.
DEAD IN SINS AND WICKEDNESS, the person without Christ is dead. He is dead to God; he is dead to eternal life; and he is dead in an overwhelming life of sin and wickedness. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. …. There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:20)
FOLLOWING THE EVIL WAYS OF THIS PRESENT AGE. King James says “course of this world;” ani Stott contrasts this age of evil and darkness with the age to come of Jesus and points out how this world is a society “organized. without reference to God,” or secular.
Before you were a Christian, you OBEYED THE COMMANDER OF THE SPIRITUAL POWERS OF THE AIR, ‘!HE SPIRIT NOW AT WORK AMONG GOD’S REBEL SUBJECTS. Paul will tell us more about this commander near the end of Ephesians- are than flesh and blood, rulers of darkness, and in high places. They all obey this commander, and we still wrestle with him. (Eph. 6:2)
Another aspect of before, LIVING A LIFE IN SENSUALITY. Perhaps the King James is more descriptive here “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh” (2:3&) Similar to the loving “not the world” of I John with lusts of the flesh and eyes.
OBEYING THE PROMPTINGS OF OUR OWN INSTINCTS AND NOTIONS. others may say, “we are only doing what is normal and natural,” we are doing it our way,” “we are doing our thing.” But God’s Word says that it is not right to follow your natural instincts and notions. To do so is the same as being dead in trespasses and sins, and without God.
NOTE: Many men well educated in Theology now are striving to retain popularity in spite of the inevitable falling away with music and entertainment, to simulate the worldly attractions of the secular world and appealing to the natural instincts and notions, like the group Passion. It is run like a business with faith resources to sell, and they have bought several churches, even published a Jesus Bible, so called. This is the very personification of the “den of thieves” spoken of by Jesus and Jeremiah, changing God’s houses of prayer into dens of thieves. So overwhelmed is the American religious public now with Christian fables (II Timothy 4:4,5) that you can almost appreciate the conclusion of Dr. Smith that so many interpretations are causing the faithlessness of MTD. Several things you can count on in this apostate age: if it is popular, drawing and amassing crowds it is wrong and false.
Lastly, UNDER THE DREADFUL JUDGEMENT OF GOD. If all the other six descriptions of a person outside of Christ, in the before state, do not sound so bad, this one should. To be under the dreadful judgment of God is obviously a state in which we do not want to exist? It is not a matter of waiting for judgement in eternity. It is already. “… but be that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18 KJV)
Then we come to the more pleasant part, the after condition. From the past to the present, and what God has done to deliver humanity from the death of trespasses and sins. “But God, rich in mercy, for the great love he bore us, brought us to life with Christ even when we were dead in our sins it is by his grace you are saved.” (Eph. 2:4,5 NEV)
It gets better–
“And in union with Christ Jesus he raised us up and enthroned us with him in the heavenly realm, so that he might display in the ages to come how immense are the resources of his grace, and how great his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it :s by his grace you are saved, through trusting him: it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift, not a reward for work done. There is nothing for us to boast of. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us.” (Eph. 2:6-:0 NEV)
Here is God’ original design when He first created man, “to devote ourselves to the good deeds. It is a more pleasant roll call with the emphasis on God rather than what man has done wrong. God is rich in mercy; God bore us a great love; God brought us to life with Christ: it is by God’s grace that we are saved; God raised us up from the dead; in union with Christ God enthroned us with Christ in the heavenly realms where God plans to show in the future the resources of His grace; God intends to show us the extent of His kindness in Jesus it is by God’s grace that you are saved, it is not because of something that you have done it is a gift of God; and it is not a rewarding compensation not a single person has the right to boast as he considers the difference between the past and the present. Christians are the handiwork of God’s created in Christ Jeans and created for the good deeds for which God designed us.
5-3: Second of the Triad.
The second triad of before/after’s begins in 2:11. The NEV begins the second paragraph at this verse of the three paragraphs in Ephesians 2. This is the beginning of the second BC and AC for Before Christ and After Christ, or perhaps it should be called BIC and AIC for Before In Christ and After In Christ. All world tine dates from the birth of Christ with personal time for the Christian dating from that point in his personal history, also a point in history important to God and planned in eternity, when he came to know Christ.
It is the Christian’s most pleasant memory. Paul reminds those at Ephesus of it. “Remember then your former condition….” and describes with “you, Gentiles as you are outwardly, you, the uncircumcised so called by those who are called the circumcised (but only with reference to .an outward rite)–you were at that time separate from Christ, strangers to the community of Israel, outside God’s covenants and the promise that goes with them. Your world was a world without hope and without God.” (Eph. 2:1-3 NEV)
What should they remember from the past? Certainly not that you are called “uncircumcised” by the “circumcised” Jews this is parenthetical in Ephesians, has to do with externals and true circumcision is of the heart as Paul laboriously explains in the book of Romans. Even Abraham, the father of the Hebrews, believed God. I and it was imputed to him for righteousness, independent of any of the works of the law.
However, their memories from the past should include certain facts about their condition as God saw it, BIC they were
- Separate from Christ
- Strangers to the community of Israel
- Outside God’s covenant and the promises that go with it, and
- Without hope
- and Without God.
And that was what was important to God and Paul about what should be stored in the past addresses of their memory banks, it sets up the present condition, the AIC (After in Christ):
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 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, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He candle and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:14-18)
And “now in union with Christ Jesus” is in the Good News Translation (GNT)—
“But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies. 15 He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace.” (Ephesians 2:14-15)
NOTE: You can see why the Scofield mites and Messianic Judaizes have discouraged the New English Version (NEV) and the GNT above, for they hardly want to abolish “the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules”, for they strive to re-establish those rules and regulations along with postulating a false kingdom reign by the Hebrews with their customs and regulations in Jerusalem. This is a false and second kingdom to the Gospel of the King and the Kingdom of the Bible but is found in their study Bible notes. Likewise, true of the New English Bible (NEB).
This is the present status of a believers brought near to God through the shedding of Christ’s bloods having peace with God through Christ, becoming members of the one body that includes Jews and Gentiles experiencing an eradication of the enmity between Jew and Gentile, having the rules and regulations removed that sat over their head like a dark cloud: and becoming part of the new humanity that God created in Christ. Always the emphasis is on what God and Christ have done. In the first of the triads it was by the grace of God, by the mercy of God, a gift of God, and not of works lest any man should boast. Now, in this second, it is through the shedding of the blood of Christ that brings humanity back to God. It is Christ Himself that is our peace. It is His own body and blood that has broken down the middle wall of partition.
5-4: Third of the Triad.
Thus, we come to the third of the BIC and AIC triad. This one dwells even less on the past: dwells more on the presents and goes beyond into the future. Only half a sentence is devoted to the past, “So he came and proclaimed the good news: peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were nearby …” (Eph, 2:7 NEV) It is the beginning of the third paragraph and the third of the triad in Ephesians 2, And even the past part is good news. The good news about the good news that Christ preached. He proclaimed peace–peace to those that were far off and peace to those that are near,
Then Paul switches to the presents “…for through him we both alike have access to the Father in the one Spirit. Thus, you are no longer aliens in a foreign land, but fellow-citizens with God’s people, members of God’s household. You are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus Himself is the foundation stone. In him the whole building is bonded together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you too are being built with all the rest into a spiritual dwelling for God.” (Eph. 2:7-22 NEV)
Quickly Paul passes into the central theme of Ephesians, unity and ultimate integration. Loaded words that are directed toward an all-inclusive attitude–“fellow-citizens with God’s people”, leaving the impression of a country or community made up of God’s people: “members of God’s household”, connotating a large family: “foundation of the apostles and prophets”, which in Ephesians 4 will be presented as gifts from God to grow the church, and fifth Christ Himself as the foundation-stones and a whole vast building that grows, lively stones of Christians, forming a huge dwelling for God.
Never. Never does he want them to forget that each Christian is just one member of God’s household, just one citizen in God’s country, and just one living atone in the temple of God. It prefaces the discussion of Ephesians 4 about growing a church and sparing no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives, introducing the building that “is bonded together and grows”.
Peace comes with integration, unity, and oneness, peace is a large word in Ephesians 2. Christ is our peace. Christ proclaimed peace to those that were far off and peace to those that are nearby. Our foundation-stone preached peace, the apostles and prophets preached peace, and directly to the extent that we are bonded together and growing, we will preach and promote peace.
And “in the one Spirit”, (Eph. 2:9 NEV) Later, also in Ephesians 4, there will be more about the unity of ONE Spirit and One Father.
With all the Rest
“In Him you too are being built with all thereat into a spiritual dwelling for God.” (Eph. 2:22 NEV) In him Church of Christ you too are being built with all the rest. In him Roman Catholics you too are being built with all the rest. You too Mormons with all the rest. And you too, fundamentalists; or any local church body or larger group of Christians that either claim to be the only Christians or propagate that attitude.
Like the necessary discipline in a family, like the necessary constraints of citizenship, like the structural defects in a building, it is often as now, the function of others in the Christian movement to exercise correction in the family, legality in citizenry, and removal of defects in the building. Believers incorporate in Christ must unite to oppose the teaching, preaching, and proselyting of heresies that tend to tear apart the body of Christ and that preach any other gospel, even if they be an angel, than that delivered by Christ and Paul. Half-truth and lies are dangerous to the whole body when taught in the name of Christianity such as salvation by baptism, revelation in Bibles other than the 66 books we have come to accept as the Word of God, continuing revelations known only by an exclusive few, and especially the stance–completely contrary to the Bible and in particular Ephesians–of being the only church body.
NOTE: The Passion Group, business, and church are good examples of this as they use Bible concepts and words to attract like Passion which reminds one of the Roman Vatican’s Passion week and others Passion Plays, the name Jesus is thrown around and the so-called Jesus Bible. Jesus said many would come in his name during the last of the last days, so should it seem so strange that also many like Passion will use His name. Satan is subtle and powerful as the prince of this world, to each good preacher he comes like as unto Jesus to divert them with promises of popularity, wealth, and goodness. There most dangerous heresies are to make statements of faith without Scriptural justification as if from men’s wisdom is sufficient, much like other theology; and besides being at least half Pentecostal, they have come to believe and practice new revelations from God that are extra-biblical. They with their new teachings, ways, and itching ears theology are like Paul called savage wolves that separate Christian youth from legitimate though lukewarm churches, that make disciples to themselves and a movement they can glory in and gain the status of falling away redeemers. Any big and popular revival just cannot be of God and of Christ during this great apostasy, it is rather some efforts of desperate men to find a substitute for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
5-5: Another Contrast?
To the memory, time, and Christ contrast of Ephesians 2 would by way of commentary only added another contrast–that between the spiritual blessings in heavenly realms of Ephesians with the conditions of a person that is not in Christ as listed in Ephesians 2. The AIC is brought to life with Christ and raised by God from the dead. The BIC is dead in sins and wickedness. AIC the believer is designed by God for good deeds, the handiwork of God, created in Christ Jesus. BIC the unbeliever follows the evil ways of this present age. The AIC is brought near to God with enmity taken away while the BIC is obedient to Satan. AIC is a new humanity contrasted to BIC which are living in the lusts of the flesh: we are being built as a spiritual dwelling for God at the same time they are obeying their own instincts and notions; and we are members of one great body while they are under the dreadful judgement of God, separate from Christ.
Believers incorporate in Christ are saved by His grace, enthroned in heavenly realms with Christ where the full resources of His grace will be shown to us later, the extent of His kindness, we have peace of God which is Christ, rules and regulations are wiped out, we have access to God the Father through the one Spirit, we are no longer aliens in a foreign land but fellow-citizens with all God’s people, members of God’s household and a spiritual dwelling for God. BIC, they are separate from Christ, strangers to the community of Israel, outside God’s covenant and promises, without hope, and without God.
Other Scriptures on the Contrasts
Someone has said, “Read your Bible, it will throw a lot of light on the commentaries.” One of the fundamental principle of hermeneutics, the science of biblical interpretation, is to compare scripture with scripture. What God has said through His Word in John and Romans will help to understand what He has said in Ephesians and vice versa.
First, on the TIME contrast, the obvious contrast here is between the before condition in death, sin, and wickedness and the after condition of life, the stress is on the fact that man in his natural condition needs salvation. It reminds us of the doctrine of the new birth or regeneration as clearly sat out in the third chapter of John. Nicodemus was a religious man, but he was still in the natural before state, Jesus recognized that as soon as Nicodemus came to Him, saying immediately: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 33 KJV)
Also, since the six itemized analysis of a natural man BIC may seem harsh in Ephesians 2, a comparison should be made with the book of Romans, Ephesians is mild compared to Romans, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not ones There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God,” (Rom. 2:10 KJV) And this is only the introduction to much more and stronger words:
“They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one, Their throat is an open sepulchre with their tongues they have used deceits the poison of asps is under their lips Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness Their feet are swift to shed blood.: Destruction and misery are in their ways And the ways of peace have they not knowns There is no fear of God before their eyes,” (Rom, 3:2-8 KJV)
And even as the grace of God is the means of transition from the before to the after state in Ephesians, so also in Romans : grace the only means for justification in the sight of God.: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God… ” (Rom. 3:24,25 KJV)
In Romans above it is “a propitiation through faith in his blood”, reminding us of how in the MEMORY contrast it is “brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood.” (Eph. 2:3 NEV) And the Romans description of the natural man as “ways of peace have they not known” reminds us of the after contrast of MEMORY of “For he is himself our peace.” (Eph. 2:4 NEV)
The CHRIST contrast is easy. That is the prime subject of’ the Bible. “For God so loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the worlds but that the world through him might be saved,” (John 3:16 KJV)
The good news that Christ proclaimed of peace to those close and far is the good news announced by the angels at the birth of Jesus and the gospel proclaimed by Paul.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:4 KJV)
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (I Cor. 15:4 KJV)
Jesus Himself spoke of that peace!
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John :4:27 KJV)
And in that last discussion with the first disciples before His crucifixion and resurrection and ascension, Jesus promised. a continuing peace through the comfort of the Holy Spirit:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever Even the Spirit of truths whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” (John 14:16,17 KJV)
“… for through him we both alike have access to the Father in the one Spirit.” (Eph. 2:8 NEV)
5-6: Living Doctrines in Ephesians 2.
Paul will in Ephesians 4 make a Living doctrinal statement of faith:
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your callings One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (4:4-6 KJV)
The foundation for this statement of faith is laid in Ephesians 2, but further discussion is so extemporaneous, lively, and pertinent to the problems at Ephesus that you don’t realize that it is doctrine. And so, doctrine should be in the Bible–it is living doctrine, not cold statements of fact.
In the third paragraph, with the Christ contrast, it is “in the one Spirit” that we have access to the one Father through the one Son.
All three paragraphs with all three contrasts in Ephesians 2 tells us things about the One God. It is the God of Creation with “God’s rebel subjects” they lay under the indictment of this God, “under the dreadful judgement of God”; it is the God “rich in mercy” and love that brings back to life; it is that God that raises up, enthrones, displays, and demonstrates His kindness as salvation is by this God’s grace, a gift from this One God; complete redemption is a handiwork of this God, the purpose for which He originally designed us; it is this God’s covenants and promises that the BIC leaves us without, without this God; and it is to this God that Christ reconciled the Jew and Gentile in one body; access is to this God the Fathers; it is this God’s country that has citizens, His households; and it is His holy temple and His spiritual dwelling that is being built.
We are brought to life with this one Christi it is in union with this one Christ that we are raised up; God’s kindness is in this one Christs; the new creation is in this one Christ Jesus; BIC, we are separate from this one Christ; we are brought nigh to God in union with this one Christ, through His once shed bloods this one Christ is Himself our peace, He made the two one with His own body and flesh, He annulled the laws and regulations, creating a new humanity in His one self–that was His purposes, and He proclaimed peace, giving us access to God through Him; and this One Christ Jesus is the foundation-stone, bonded in Him, and built in Him.
Gentiles and Jews have been made into this one body, into this single (one) new humanity; reconciled into a one single body; peace to those near and far to have peace among the whole body; one body–no longer aliens, but citizens and members; the whole one building is bonded together and the whole one temple grows; and you with all the rest are a single spiritual dwelling for God.
One Hope. BIC, you were without hope and without God : AIC, you have been brought near to God and given peace.
One Faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” (Eph. 2:8)
One Baptism. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ… ” (Eph. 2:5 KJV)
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