As for you, you
were dead in your transgressions and sins,
reference to spiritual death. Adam and Eve died “in the day” they ate the
fruit, although Adam lived more than 900 years.
transgressions and sins.
Transgression is a violation
of the Law. Sin, however, is a violation of God will although no Law is
given. Paul is showing that both Jews and Gentiles are guilty; Jews are
guilty of transgressing the Law while Gentiles are guilty of the same error,
except they were not given the Law. Jews transgressed; Gentiles sinned. The
outcome is the same.
which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the
ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who
which you used to live.
Paul gives five proofs that we were dead spiritually: 1. Followed the ways
of the world, 2. followed the ruler of the kingdom of the air (this is
All of us also lived among
them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature
following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects
3. gratifying the
cravings of our sinful nature, 4 following the flesh’s desires 5 and
by nature objects of wrath.
The real reason we were dead
in our sins was because we inherited the sinful “nature” from Adam. We are
not sinful because we sin; we sin because we are sinful.
But because of his great love
for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
because of his great love for us.
God’s motive to save us was simply love. Love cannot be explained; it is
in mercy. God has
other characteristics such as justice and judgment, but mercy triumphs over
made us alive with
Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have
us alive with Christ.
Eternal life is now in our spirits. We do not wait to be made spiritually
alive at the resurrection because a true believer is made spiritually alive
now. Since the problem for the human race was that they were “dead in sins”
the answer is not in reformation or rehabilitation, but in “life.” Man needs
God’s life to change.
grace you have been saved.
Grace by definition is
unmerited. A dead man can do nothing to make himself alive, so it is with
Christ. God did it all. He made us alive. The two other monotheistic
religions—Judaism and Islam—teach that man must in some way earn God’s
favor. Christianity is completely opposed to merited or earned salvation.
And God raised us up with
Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
raised us up with Christ.
Jesus death is our death and his resurrection is our resurrection.
us with him. It is
against protocol to sit in the presence of a king who is seated on the
throne. Everyone must either remain standing or kneeling, but not with
Christ. He makes us equal to him in rights and blessings.
Three heavens are mentioned in the Bible: 1. physical heaven, 2. Spiritual
dwelling of angels 3. God’s throne. We are there in the highest heavens as
far as God is concerned. Even angels must be submitted to us.
order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his
grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
ages. God’s full
grace is not expressed in this age alone. God needs the coming ages to
express his grace to us.
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
God’s full expression of his kindness can only be seen through Christ
For it is by grace
you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the
gift of God—
through faith. The
means that we receive this free salvation is our belief in Jesus Christ.
Grace is God “giving”, faith is our “receiving”. A gift not received does
nothing for the recipient of the gift. Salvation is not universal. It
belongs only to those who trust in Christ.
by works, so that no one can boast.
works. In case
there is any doubt as to the meaning of “grace” Paul emphasizes the negative
side by saying no amount of works—even good works—can save an individual.
we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which
God prepared in advance for us to do.
workman is proud of his product. God will see to it that believers show good
created in Christ Jesus to do good work.
Far from being against the value of good works, Paul shows that good works
will naturally result in us being born again or as he puts it, “made alive.”
that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by
those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the
hands of men)—
remember that at
that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel
and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God
in the world.
separate from Christ.
This is a good definition of “spiritual death.” Death means
“separate” from God.
But now in Christ Jesus you
who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
through the blood of Christ.
The cross shall always stand
out as the way God expressed his love for us.
For he himself is
our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the
dividing wall of hostility,
the two one. That
is Jew and Gentile into one family. Christ unites us both.
destroyed the barrier.
The barrier was the Law of
Moses. The Law covered not just the “moral” laws, which never becomes
obsolete, but the laws that governed the nation. There is no way to fully
bring the Law of Moses into every nation, for how could other nations, with
their own laws, try to incorporate the Law of Moses into their country?
by abolishing in his flesh the
law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in
himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,
abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.
The Law had to go
because it was limited in several ways: first in its outreach: it extended
only to Israel’s family. Second it was limited in its power: the atonement
covered men’s sins for only one year. Third it was limited in its guarantee:
as long as there was a temple and the rightful high priest to offer the
sacrifices then the atonement was good, but if either the temple disappeared
or the lineage of the high priest is unknown then the sacrifices end, which
is the case for today. Fourth, it was limited in its cleansing: it could
never do away with sin, it only covered it. Fifth, it was limited in its
application: it never defeated the devil or caused a believer to receive the
in himself one new man out of the two.
The new creation is the new man in Christ.
and in this one
body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to
death their hostility.
death their hostility.
Who can doubt that there is great hostility between Isreal and her
neighbors? Once Israel comes to Christ then we can expect the hostility to
end because the Jews would no longer consider themselves special solely
because of their physical ancestry but they will recognize all have sinned
and all need salvation through Jesus, the Messiah.
He came and preached peace to
you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
came and preached peace.
This is peace with God. There will be no peace between each other until we
accept the “Prince of Peace.”
who were near. The
For through him we both have
access to the Father by one Spirit.
to the Father by one Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit that draws us to God the Father.
Consequently, you are no
longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and
members of God's household,
word “citizens” soompolites. Polity, taken from this word, means an
organized community. The church is like a government. All have rights and
obligations. We are not saved outside of citizenry. We are a public
community, much like citizens of other countries. Church must have an
organized government to conducts her affairs, thus the need for pastors,
teachers, deacons, administrators, and such, etc. The “home church”
movement without structure is not of God unless it encourages involvement in
the institutional church.
members of God's household.
More personal is this description and less formal than citizenship. We are a
family. There is no need to choose between citizenship and family. We are
built on the foundation of the
apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
I cannot be a Christian
without being built on God’s first leaders. To accept the epistles is to
accept the apostles. Many claim to follow Christ and not the apostles, but
this claim is superficial. Christ chose the apostles to lead. Prophets can
refer to the Hebrew scriptures. It can also refer to modern preachers with
an unusual, anointed message to the church.
In him the whole
building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
whole building is joined together.
You cannot really live successfully as a believer without being attached to
a community of believers with real, ordained leaders.
to become a holy temple.
The first century church laid the foundation; we should be building on it
And in him you too
are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his