SGA Ephesians Lesson 3

Lesson 3
Ephesians 2:1-10

In this portion of Scripture the apostle magnifies the riches of God's grace in the salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ. He describes what we were by nature (Vs. 1-3). He then relates what God has done for us in Christ (Vs. 4,5). He next observes our present and future blessings and glory (Vs. 6-10).

(Vs. 1.) Every man by nature is dead in sin – separated from God (v. l 2), without God, without Christ, without the Spirit, completely deprived of any spiritual ability to do anything good (Gen. 6:5; Jer. 13:23; Rom. 8:7; 3:10-12). The fountain cause of this spiritual death was Adam's sin (Rom. 5:12, 17-19). This corrupt state of sin and spiritual deadness is continued through reproduction (Ps. 51:5; 58:3).

(Vs. 2.) Sins and evil are the path (road or direction) in which all unbelievers walk. Walking denotes a continuous practice or tenor of life. Sin was our daily employment and occupation. In this walk of darkness we had two guides.

(Vs. 3.) The apostle says that in this condition, conduct and state we all (Jew and Gentile, himself included) lived and walked.

(Vs. 4, 5.) "But God who is rich in mercy..." Mercy is an attribute of God as well as righteousness and justice. God's mercy is plenteous, free and infinite in Christ. His love and mercy to his chosen people in Christ are from everlasting and arise altogether out of himself, not because of any merit foreseen in them.

"Even when we were dead in sins," he made us alive in union and fellowship with Christ. Consider this in two ways.

(Vs. 6, 7.) This is a spiritual resurrection from death (in sin and separation from God) unto spiritual life (a living union with God in Christ). Christ (our Representative, our federal Head, our great High Priest) has already entered into heaven, and we are loved, forgiven, accepted and made one with God in him. Throughout eternity we shall be displayed as the trophies of God's wonderful grace. All of the elect angels and elect men will forever praise the Lord for his mercy and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Rev. 5:9-14).

(Vs. 8, 9.) We are redeemed from death and sin to life and glory by the free grace of God. Election, redemption, calling, repentance, faith, sanctification and eternal glory are all ours by the free grace of our Lord (1 Cor. 1:30). Faith in Christ is the way, means, or instrument by which we receive and enjoy salvation; and this saving faith is not the product of man, but the gift of God. We receive salvation by faith and give all the glory to God. Any works of righteousness done by us are not ours, but are by the grace of God.

(Vs. 10.) However, lest (by commending God's grace as the cause, source and sustaining power in salvation and excluding works as making any contribution in our justification) the apostle should give the impression that works and a holy life are unnecessary, he adds, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." The spirit that lives in us is the spirit of love, joy, faith, humility and truth. Our calling is a "holy calling". Our Father is a "merciful and holy Father". Our walk is with him (Phil. 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 6:11).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.