Ephesians 2:11-22: Jews and Gentiles, One in Christ

Addressing the Ephesians church in the capital of the Roman province of Asia, the apostle Paul now writes about the the merger of the Jews and gentiles as one in Christ Jesus.

In the following verses Paul makes reference to his audience as the “uncircumcised” otherwise known as the gentiles among the jews, or “circumcised”.

11 Therefore, remember 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).” (Ephesians 2:11)

Circumcision was an Abrahamic sign among the Jews, also a surname used to differentiate the Jewish nation from those uncircumcised referred to as gentiles. Paul’s target audience was obviously not from Israel, the land of the chosen people.

Paul reminds us of the days we were without Christ, a time when all non-believers are excluded from the promise land and without spiritual rewards that come along a relationship with Jesus Christ..

12 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.” (Ephesians 2:12)

Paul describes those not in Christ as hopeless, without a covenant with God. To be without God is to be of the world, in the world. Those without God dwell in darkness, clueless as to the great rewards and promises that stem from our divine father.

Those in Christ however are blessed beyond measure through salvation by grace through faith. Believers’ cups are filled by the blood of Christ shed on the cross as we are brought closer to our creator.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)

The only way for gentiles to come closer to God is through the blood of Christ, through the eternal sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross as He paid fully and entirely for our sins.

The once a physical temple wall separating Jews and gentiles was been brought down by Christ, prince of peace. Paul here does not condemn the law but releases believers from it since it is the relationship with Christ that has become the law we are called to abide by.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)

The “new man” comprised of both Jews and gentiles is to be one of peace having put hostility aside in the name of redemption. Paul clearly outlines this joint venture commanded upon the circumcision and those uncircumcised.

17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” (Ephesians 2:17)

Jesus touched both the Jews and the gentiles alike guiding both the circumcision and those uncircumcised toward the same gates which lead to eternal life in heaven.

Paul tells us through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit gentiles are no longer alien to the promise land rather we are fellow citizens of God’s household, the church built on a solid foundation to which Christ is cornerstone.

18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:18-20)

A chief cornerstone is the first definitive stone laid at the corner of a building, which becomes the guideline for all other stones to rely upon. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Christian church and the foundation of the church rests solidly upon the apostles, prophets and disciples of the Lord.

21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:21)

The temple here is the church, the body made up of Jews and gentiles. Each person is joined according to God’s perfect plan to fulfill a predestined mission, to spread the good news about the coming of the Lord and the new earth.

22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)

Through Christ Jesus both gentiles and Jews come alive as one body where the presence of God is felt throughout the world.

Paul’s message in these verses is clear. No matter who you are, Jew or gentile, through Jesus Christ you can be a part of the building, of the body. What starts with a simple prayer of repentance and acceptance end with countless rewards and fulfilled promises of eternal life in heaven. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through trials,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Fill our hearts Lord with revelation, kindness, with wisdom,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.