Ephesians 2 is about repentance and letting your sinful nature die, but more importantly, it’s about a new life in Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus said that he’d come to bring us life, and that life would be abundant.
Ephesians 2 is essentially how that life will begin. It’s how we can pursue it, and fulfill the promise Jesus gave us.
However, we can’t receive this great gift of life on our own unless we know Jesus because he’s the source of this life, and the only way to receive it is in him.
Jesus is the way means something simple. It means that Jesus has come to save us from this horrid worn out, and sinful world.
We need to get in the lifeboat because nobody else is coming.
That is the essence of what Ephesians 2 is saying. How do we receive this gift? It’s given to us through Jesus Christ and it’s something we didn’t earn. He loved us so much that he decided to give it for free.
Personally, I’m blown away by this thought process. It doesn’t make any sense. I sinned against God, and he sends his son to die, so I may eventually turn back to him.
The Bible states that while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us. This means That God loved you, and me so much, that he sent Jesus to die. All the while hoping we’d choose to follow him. Ephesians 2 is about us reconnecting with God, living life with him, and fulfilling what he created us to be.
2 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature, we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
When we sinned against God, we chose to place ourselves under Satan’s rule. Prior to that, God had given us dominion over this planet, but when we rejected God, our ownership transferred to Satan, and we became slaves to sin.
We were born into this, and sadly many are dying in this.
However, Paul begins to explain that God sent his son Jesus to die for us. While we still hadn’t chosen him, we were still rebelling against him, living our lives and doing horrible things.
Jesus was sent to restore our relationship with him, we had nothing to do with it.
Something I’ve realized after reading Ephesians 2 multiple times for this post, I’ve been hit by the reality of Verse 9. I will sometimes try to earn salvation, and that’s not possible. If it was, then Jesus wouldn’t need to come and die.
Turns out I repeat prayers, and pray until I feel better whenever I sin, in reality when I ask for forgiveness with a pure heart. I’m forgiven right then and there. Somehow I believe there is a short period of time where I’m in limbo, and the spirit of God has deserted me.
The fact of the matter is that he’s never deserted you, even when you’ve run from him, he’s always right next to you.
Ephesians 2 Oneness and Peace in Christ
11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
Ephesians 2 reminds us that gentiles used to be outsiders. A gentile is basically a person who isn’t Jewish. I know the term is probably a bit deeper than that, but we’ll keep it simple for now.
Jesus essentially came to remove racism between the Jews and the Gentiles, in fact, Paul states the broken body of Jesus united the two groups.
I believe the broken body of Jesus can do the same thing today. The great unifier is the cross of Jesus. Only he can give justice, and only he can bring peace.
If we want to achieve true unity, we need to have Jesus at the center of our lives.
I know many people will take issue with what I just wrote, but let me say, Jesus isn’t the one who hurt you. He isn’t the one who’s divided us either.
We’ve divided ourselves by choosing one thing over the other, by not showing love to our neighbors, and generally by sinning against God.
This is what has caused racism to run rampant in this world. We are the culprits, and Jesus is the cure.
Ephesians 2 A Temple for the Lord
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
When we allow Jesus to unite us with him, we all become members of God’s family. With that membership, we receive all the rights and benefits of being a member.
What happens when you become a child of God?
God takes care of his people, and he sent Jesus to die because he loves us. What else would a father do for his children?
Many of the people in our world don’t believe God exists, or if he does then he doesn’t take action in our world. I believe that mindset to be wrong.
God doesn’t take action because he’s given us the ability to make choices. We have free will and many of our choices cause traumatic events to the world around us.
If God steps in every time there’s an issue, what choices would we really be making? Instead, the tragedies that happen point us to God (if we’re looking) and those tragedies can show the mercy and grace of his presence.
Choose Jesus this day, he’s the only way, and without him, there’s no hope.
3 Ways To Become Dead To Sin
I’ve struggled with a lot of issues in my life, but these 3 things are what I always come back to, and what always seem to help me find my way. When following Christ these are the 3 things you need to do, so you can stay on the straight and narrow.
Read Your Bible
A lot of people don’t read their bibles, and I’ve been guilty of that for a long time myself. However, the bible feeds your spirit. It gives you wisdom and helps you understand God. (start in Ephesians 2)
The Bible is a record of who God is, and how he acts toward people he loves and is trying to discipline. You can make a good case study by reading the Bible to see who God is.
Or course you’ll never discover everything by just reading. You have to know him. And that’s where we come to the 2nd thing you’ll need to do.
Pray All The Time
Prayer is simply spending time with God, and while it’s not mentioned a lot in Ephesians 2, prayer is where you can get on a personal level with God. It’s where I hear his voice and direction. His presence is where I find peace and comfort.
Ephesians 2 starts with the beginning of the relationship, however for us to keep that healthy. We really need to pray. No relationship on the planet can survive without seeing the other person.
When you don’t pray, you’re putting God on a shelf, walking away, and only taking him off the shelf when you need something.
That’s not the relationship that Ephesians 2 describes is it?
Find A Good Church And Surround Yourself With Friends Who Follow Jesus
This is an important piece because you need people around you. We were built to live in a community with each other. Hermit living is not healthy, is mentally debilitating, and is it really living?
It’s what we crave, and what we desire. To be in a community of people who know us. Ephesians 2 tells us about that community. We are children of God, adopted into his family, and God knows us.
Isn’t that what we’ve always wanted? to be known?
Ephesians 2 In Conclusion
Ephesians 2 is the definition of our relationship with God, of course, we still have to choose it. However Ephesians 2 also speaks of the grace and mercy of God, and what his son Jesus went through for us.
If you’re struggling today, all you need to do is ask God for help. Confess your sins to God, and believe that he raised Jesus from the dead.
If you ask, he will help somehow, it might not be the way you think, but you’ll be amazed at what happens when you let God lose in your life.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.