By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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—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. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
One in Christ
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 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, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Ephesians 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Identity. The dictionary defines identity as the sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; a distinguishing character or personality of an individual; an equation that is satisfied for all values and symbols. (Merriam-Webster)
Many times people identify their identity by who they are and what they’ve accomplished. Identity is something many cling to, for it is a mark of who they’ve become. Sadly too, for some identity has been marked by past assaults on their lives or person and it has defined them.
Our spiritual life in Jesus has brought a tremendous new identity. I think we sometimes relegate this reality though to the back burner. Through the costly price of His life, Jesus offered a brand new identity to each who would call upon His name and believe. This identity is something we should each consider as a gift from Jesus Himself who has called us and is reshaping and molding us to be like His character and personality.
Paul says, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked…” (Ephesians 2:1). This is what our character used to be. This is what our identity was before Jesus. We knowingly veered from the path of righteousness and missed the target. Our identity was marred by sin. We were the walking dead until Jesus brought life back to these bones.
Yet, each day we are faced with a choice. Will we embrace this new identity in Christ or fall back to who we once were?
“I have set before you today life and prosperity and death and adversity…”Deuteronomy 30:15
We are faced with many things each day which either will lead toward a fuller life or begin the slow turn of spiritual death.
The Life Application has an amazing chart reminding us of our new identity. It is not surprising these thoughts all come from Paul. Be reminded of the new person you are in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are justified, declared not guilty of our sin (Romans 3:24). No condemnation awaits us (Romans 8:1). We are set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). We are sanctified and made acceptable in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2). We are righteous and holy in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). We will be made alive at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:22). We are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). We receive God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are one in Christ with all other believers (Galatians 3:28). We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). We are holy, blameless and covered with God’s love (Ephesians 1:4).
We are adopted as God’s children (Ephesians 1:5,6). Our sins are taken away and we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). We will be brought under Christ’s headship (Ephesians 1:10,11). We are marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). We have been raised to sit with Christ in glory (Ephesians 2:6). We are God’s work of art (Ephesians 2:10). We have been brought near to God (Ephesians 2:13). We share in the promise in Christ (Ephesians 3:6). We can come with freedom and confidence into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12). We are members of Christ’s body, the church (Ephesians 5:29,20). We have been given fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We are set free from our sinful nature (Colossians 2:11). We will have eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10).
You have a new identity. Live in it. Embrace it. Become it.
Ephesians 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Many of us today live under the illusion that we simply can’t change. Hidden deep under a “that’s just the way I am” attitude is a deadliest of all sins – human pride. It’s the same thing that Paul is directly targeting here in Ephesians 2 verses 11-12. In order for growth to occur, we must begin to call out our flesh and allow the Spirit to deal with it. Every time a believer says, “that’s just the way I am,” we insult the very God who we claim to follow. Pride loves “whiteout conditions,” because you sit there in the same place with no direction or accountability. It’s just you and your thoughts. It’s the same thing that keeps people in their seats when there’s an altar call.
And what does our pride tell us in those moments? “I’m OK.” “I’m not that bad.” “I have good intentions.” “I’m not as bad at that person over there.” Or how about the classic statement, “I’m right.” What does Paul say here in Ephesians 2? He says just the opposite of all those statements. He says “remember…”
So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh – called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. 12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.Ephesians 2:11-12 HCSB
Why is it so important in this relationship with Him to remember our separation from Christ?
- We will protect ourselves from boasting in our own beauty.
- We truly see grace for what it is – miraculous, unearned and undeserved.
Isn’t this what we want? We desire to experience life on the razor edge of our faith, putting our old lives behind us and not wasting a single moment. When you don’t remember where you were, you will look to yourself, over and over again. When you remember where you were, you begin to fulfill your calling just like King David when he proclaimed, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam 17:37) Not me, but Him.
My prayer is that we would remember. It’s not to beat ourselves down, but to realize how He has brought us so far up.