Viewing: chapter 2 - View all posts

Ephesians chp 2 vs 11 to 22 - Dont Just go to Church be the Church - JS Gillespie   

Ephesians chapter 2 is a call first to reflection and to remember. Remember what once you were, dead in trespasses and sins, what you now are, raised up with Jesus Christ in the heavenly places and ask the question; so what? Does this make a difference to my life?

In Ephesians chapter 2 we see that the Christian enjoys 4 great spiritual privelages and blessings: 

1 - Peace with God 

This peace is both verticle; between the Christian and God and horizontal, between believers. We see a picture of this peace in the peac offering of Leviticus chapter 3 with the removal of the diaphragm or caul above teh kidneys. 


2 - Privelage of prayer 

This access to God by His Holy Spirit can be and is manifested in at least 5 distinct forms of prayer:

  1. Thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6)
  2. Worship (Hebrews 13:15)
  3. Intercession (Romans 8:26)
  4. Supplication (Philippians 4:6)
  5. Confession (1 John 1:9)

Here is a challenge to enjoy the blessings and privelages God has for us in Christ. 

3 - Place in God's church, as believers we are not expected simpy to ‘go to church’ nor simply to be part of the congregation, but rather to be part of the concrete, an integral component of the church which He is building! 

4 - Presence and reality of God in His church and amongst His people.

Systematic teaching from the letter to the Ephesians 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

26th March 2024

A Little Touch of Heaven - Ephesians chapter 2 verses 5 to 10 - Dr J Stewart Gillespie  


So what is the Christian life all about? 

  • Evangelism?
  • Service?
  • Worship?
  • Testimony?
  • Fellowship with Christ?
  • Raising a family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
  • Playing our part in the Church?

The list could go on and grows the more we think about it! Ephesians chapter 2 helps to point us to a summary of the content and purpose of the Christian life in the proverbial nutshell! The Christian is lives out his life in 2 spheres; and in the experience of two relationships, he is both in touch with and in fellowship with Jesus Christ in heaven (Ephesians 2:6), seated and enjoying that living relationship with Christ and he is similtaneously walking amongst men on earth (Ephesians 2:10). Here is a soul once “dead in trespasses and sins” and now “alive in Christ”! This is same soul who was dead and alienated from the l life of God (Acts 3:5); who rejected the light of God (John 1:5); the love of God (John 3:16) and the language of God (John 8:43) but who now lives out his live in love (Ephesians 3:19), light (Ephesians 5:8); life (Ephesians 2:5) and enjoying the language of heaven (Ephesians 1:13)! This saved and regenerated soul has been let loose in a dark, cold, world of empty despair. It is against the deep darkness that is the night of this world that the glorious light of the gospel and of those who belong to Christ shines the most brightly. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

But God - Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4 - JS Gillespie  

It was an appreciation of "but God" that delivered Joseph from despair, 'but God meant it for good,' that rescued and guided Israel from the wilderness 'But God' would lead His people, it was resting in 'but God' that saved David from weakness, when his strength failed but God was the strength of his heart, it was resting on 'But God' that would redeem David from the grave and all of my hopes for heaven and salvation depend upon the 'but God' who commends His love towards us that whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie Bible Teaching from Ephesians 

Dead in Trespasses and Sins - Ephesians chapter 2 vs 1 to 3  

Ephesians chapter 2 verses 1 to 10 is a great section detailing:

  • Where we were
  • Where we are 
  • Where God intends me to be

In our outline it equates with that period of the journey extending from Egypt to Canaan. A period we have referred to as sanctification, a period when we leave Egypt behind (Exodus 14, Ephesians 2:1-3) and press onwards and upwards, first of all up the Mountain of Sinai to encounter God (Exodus 19 + 20). In Ephesians 2:5-10 we go even higher of course, into heaven itself. 

At times interestingly the nation os Israel toyed with the idea of going back, of returning, perhaps at times for the food of Egypt! 

This was based in the false premise, the false ASSUMPTION that they COULD go back! 

Their ASPIRATION was founded on an ASUMPTION. 

They WOULD go back because they COULD go back.

In reality of course this was false! 

They could not go back!

There was no way back!

The waters of the Red Sea had been closed behind them (Exodus 14:26-27)!

No turning back, no turning back. 

Did Israel really think that there was any place for them in Egypt? Seriously? After slaying the Egyptian army and bringing the 10 plagues of destructive Divine power down on Egypt with the death of the first born?


Did they really think they had a place in Egypt? 


  • Did not want them
  • Did not like them
  • God did not permit it

Dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1

Ephesians 2:1 sheds considerable light on the rather obscure and difficult verse we find in Genesis 2:17:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

This is a verse that has caused a few to stumble, come up with unlikely explanations and which appears on the surface to contradict subsequent events as recorded in Genesis. 

Adam and Eve did not apparently immediately die after eating the fruit, in fact Adam lived for 930 years! So what does that verse mean? Does it mean?

  • God doesn’t keep His promises?
  • Grace modifies or softens law? 
  • Error in the bible? 
  • God was exaggerating.
  • Biblical contradiction?
  • The verse refers not to physical reality but spiritual?

The atheist has a field day with this verse!

The solution is doubly surprising however! 

The solution lies primarily in the fact that Genesis 2:17 in the AV is a bad translation! 

  • ‘die’ appears once in the English translation but twice in the Hebrew, in 2 different tenses. 
  • The Hebrew text contains the imperfect form of the verb “you shall die” and the infinitive absolute “dieing
  • A similar construction exists in Numbers 26:65 “The Lord God said of them they shall surely die in the wilderness...” – to die they shall die.
  • Could be translated “dieing you shall die
  • Death will be both:

And so from the very moment of eating that fruit the PROCESS of death began immediately in the physical realm at the cellular:

  • Death is deliberate biologically 
  • Death is programmed 
  • Death is by Design 
  • Hayflick limit 
  • Apoptosis 

That physical process will ultimately have it’s own product, final physical death! 

Physical death at the level of the person is not only a POINT in time but a PROCESS:

  • Overwhelming insult, attack or infection on the body
  • Failure of the major organs, renal, haematological and cardiac
  • Cardiovascular insufficiency – ischaemia, brain, heart, kidney and limb damage 
  • Progressive shut down of body 
  • Automatic functions of brain stem take over 
  • Biochemical abnormalities, acidosis
  • Final shut down of all brain functions and cardiovascular collapse

This can take, hours, days or weeks. 

What is interesting, when we come to Ephesians 2:1, we find that what God said would happen in Genesis 2:17 has actually happened! God regards that verse to have been literally fulfilled! God said: “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” And in Ephesians 2:1 God says we “were dead”! 

Maybe that doesn’t sit too well with us? 

I feel very much alive! 

Surely a bit of an exaggeration! 

One of the first lessons taught when starting work on the wards; how to diagnose death! 

  • Unresponsive to pain
  • Unresponsive to light 
  • Absence of working heart 

In Ephesians 2:1 that is exactly where we are as unbelievers, or exactly where we were! 

That is we were unresponsive to the:

  • Life of God – crucified the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15), John 11:53
  • Love of God – Matthew 11:17; Luke 13:34; Mark 10:21
  • Light of God – John 1:5; 3:19
  • Language of God – John 5:24; 5:38; 8:37; 12:48; 10:3, 16, 26-27

We have never known what it was to be in the pre fallen world. 

As believers we are looking to go up, to press on, to grow in grace. The message of God’s word for the unbeliever in the gospel is overwhelmingly positive! It is a message for all who believe of salvation, forgiveness of sins, redemption, regeneration, relationship restored, hope, life, light and love! 

Adam uniquely knew what it was like to go in the opposite direction! To move down that slope, to lose everything. Adam knew what it was like for the bottom to fall completely out of His world! 

  • To lose that relationship with God
  • To be plunged into despair
  • For love to fade and for fear to take its place 
  • To hide, hide, hide behind everything, anything, even fig leaves! Hiding from the omnipotent God of teh universe! 

Maybe if I had known what life had been, maybe if I had known what it had once meant to be alive without 

  • pain, 
  • suffering and 
  • sorrow and 
  • sickness, with 
  • no struggle and 
  • no disappointment and 
  • without fear 
  • without darkness

Maybe then I would know that what I see today in fallen humanity could only be described as death! That we are indeed 'dead in trespasses and sins’

Maybe there is a little echo of this, as what remains in us of the image of God, instinctively feels and appreciates that the world without does not fit with the expectations within. The character and nature of God within is not reflected in the character of the world without! The world is not what it ought to be! 

Ironically this results in many concluding that therefore there is no God, when it is precisely because there is a God that we say this! The inner reflection does not recognise the outer reality! 

From that “deadness” (2:1) there arise the “lusts of our flesh” (2:3).

If there is one thing a body is designed to do is to stay alive

A dieing body will fight and struggle with all of its regulatory systems to stay alive, it wants to live. 

The kidneys will work as hard as they can to regulate salts and BP, the heart will keep beating as long as it can to perfuse the body, the hormonal systems will keep going as long as they can to regulate the body! 

The body cries ‘I want to stay alive’

From that soul dead in trespasses and sins a similar cry arises! From the remnants of the image of God, from that fallen human nature, (Romans 7:18, 20) the “flesh” (Ephesians 2:3) not only corrupted desires but desires with a new intensity; corrupted not only in QUALITY but QUANTITY seeking anything and everything that will make me feel alive! I want to feel alive! 

These works of the flesh are the intensification, the amplification of what remains of God given desires! 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,” Galatians 5:19


A dieing body desires life

A dieing person desires life

A dieing human soul desires life 

There is a desperate grasping after life!

A human nature dead in trespasses and sins wants to live! 

From the song of one fallen soul: 

I just wanna feel real love

And life ever after

There’s a hole in my soul

You can see it in my face 

It’s a real big place

And I need to feel

Real love and the love ever after 

I cannot get enough

Robbie Williams ‘Feel’


dieing you shall die” (Genesis 2:17)

But I want to feel life, I want to live, I don’t want to die!

I want to feel that LOVE, LIFE, LIGHT for which my soul was created! I don’t feel it but I know that what ought to be there is missing, I know that I’m empty! 

Cut off from the God who is:

  • Love
  • Light
  • Life

I want to feel

  • Love
  • Light
  • Life 

I want to feel alive

So many of these works of the flesh are a clambering to hyperstimulate, to shock into life the dieing remnants of the soul. An attempt to use a defib on a dead shell of a body. 

  • That I might be alive
  • That I might live again 
  • That I might feel a live

That’s what I hear when I talk to people sunk into such darkness and despair that they self harm, abuse drugs / alcohol. 

I just want to feel alive, feel anything, I don’t want to feel empty and dead! 

Let me feel something, anything, even if it is pain! 

  • Unrestrained sexual desires – adultery and fornication 
  • Physical apetites 
  • Unrestrained desires of “uncleanness” or “lasciviousness” 
  • “wrath” – “thumos” – passion of the mind 
  • “revelling” – “kumos” - feastings 

“But God” (Ephesians 2:4) 

  • Isaac on the mount Moriah, on the altar, knife raised, his end seems certain, ‘but God’ – Jehovah Jireh
  • Jacob and his 11 sons, imminent starvation, Joseph now in 2nd command in Egypt, men meant it for evil “But God meant it for good” – but God (Gen 50:20)
  • Israel trapped between the armies of Pharoah and Red Sea “But God” (Exodus 14:31)
  • Israel facing starvation in the wilderness with no obvious means of support “but God led the people about through the way of the wilderness” (Exodus 13:18)
  • Standing on the brink of possessing the promised land, trembling and shaking, a quiver progresses up from the sole of your feet to your knees and hips, a cold sweat on your brow, a lump in your throat, your mouth dry and jaw clenched, looking off into the horizon; Hittites, Amorites, Canannites, Jebusites (Deut 7:1), many a battle ahead! “But God” (Deut 7:23). “But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction until they be destroyed”
  • Samson about defeated not by the Philistines but by thirst “but God cleaved a hollow that was in the jaw” (Judges 15:19)
  • Israel against the Philistines and Goliath of Gath, undefeated and undefeatable! “But I com to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Sam 17:45). But God.


  • Elijah and the widow of Zarephtha now with a dead son “but God” 


  • When facing death and the grave “but God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave for He shall receive me” (Psalm 49:15)


  • In my final and complete weakness “my flesh and my heart faileth but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26) 


  • When I face injustice “but God is the judge” (Psalm 75:7)


  • When I don’t know the answers, nor the way forward, when the future seems so uncertain, and where to go unclear, “But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets” (Dan 2:28


  • When things seem to be impossible “with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26


  • When burdened and broken by sins “who can forgive sins but God only” (Mark 2:7)


  • When faced with death, is there hope? “He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Mark 12:23) 


  • “The patriachs moved with envy sold Joseph into Egypt BUT GOD was with him” (Acts 7:9). In my trials, in my despair, in my tragedy, BUT GOD.


  • When lieing dead in the grave “but God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30)


  • But God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)


  • In trials and in testing “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful” (1 Co10:13)


Remove “but God” from the Bible and from the stories of God’s people then you have:

  • No Deliverance from enemies
  • No Provision in famine
  • No Resurrection from death 
  • No Salvation from sin
  • No Preservation in trial 

What does it mean to be alive “quickened” (Ephesians 2:5)? 

The opposite of what it means to be dead! (Ephesians 2:1)!

We were unresponsive to: 

  • Life of God – Acts 3:15; John 11:53
  • Light of God – John 1:5; 3:19
  • Love of God – Matt 11:17; Luke 13:34; Mark 10:21
  • Language of God – John 10:3, 16, 26-27; John 5:24, 38; 8:37; 12:48

O rescue me from death Christ entered into:

  • Darkness – from 6th to 9th hour 
  • Distance – ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me?’
  • Deafness – ‘I cried in the night hour and you have not heard me’ 
  • Death – at Calvary 


But now we have been brought into a common relationship with God and share a common life; the life of God! This is a:

  • Fellowship of life – John 5:26 
  • Sourced from Christ – John 4:14; 5:40; 6:53
  • Sustained by Christ – John 6:33; 6:35, 48, 51, 53 

It is the “Spirit of Life” (Romans 8:2) which frees me from death and from the law of sin and death! Free to live again! 

Free to be what God designed me to be, a reflection of His image, existing for His Glory!

for His glory we are and were created” 

Cf 2 Co 4:10 and Galatians 2:20 – new life is upon dependence upon Christ. 

Only where there is Divine life can there be the fruit of the Spirit; the product of life (Galatians 5:22ff and John 15).

We must be connected to the vine.

This connection with Christ, this commonality of life allows the character of Christ / of His Spirit to be exhibited. 

This life brings:

  • Love – fruit of the Spirit (John 15; Galatians 5:22)
  • Light 
  • Relationship and Fellowship with God (John 4; Isa 57:15)

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15

        In the setting of Isaiah 57 this probably indicates that we have a God who is sovereign, heavenly and transcendant, the God of the Universe, the God of Creation, the God up there! And yet where a soul humbles himself and repents of his sin that same God is willing to stoop down and draw close, ie to become imminent! 

        In the light of Ephesians 2 there is another possible meaning. We have a God, sovereign and above all, transcendent and heavenly, but from Ephesians chapter 2 we can discern that His plan for His people is not so much to stoop down to them but to raise us up to Him!! 

  • Dependence on God (John 6)
  • Worship (John 4:24)
  • Hear the language of God (John 6:63

There is:

  • The Life of God restored 
  • The Love of God restored 
  • The Language of God restored – communication is restored, as the “Spirit beareth witness with our spirit” (Romans 8:15,16) and “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

We are beginning to feel alive!

And God breathed into Adam the breath of lifes

Oh God let’s do it again! 

Do it again! 

Breath into fallen man and make him alive again! 

Isn’t it interesting that in John’s Gospel as we see the Son of God coming into this dark, lost world we see His life giving power reversing the death, darkness and despair and brokenness of this lost world.

  • New birth – John 3 
  • Joy – John 2 
  • Living water – John 4 
  • Power to walk – John 5 
  • Bread to sustain – John 6 
  • Grace to forgive – John 8 
  • Light in the darkness – John 9 
  • Resurrection life – John 11 

This new life in Christ in Ephesians is point by point in contrast to the deadness of my old life in trespasses and sin! 

“dead” (v1) “alive” (v5)
“in sins” (v1) “good works” (v10)
“walked” (v2) “seated” (v6)
In the sphere of world (v2) In the sphere of heaven (v6)
Under power of Satan (v2) Raised and seated with Christ (v6)
Dictatorship (v2) Fellowship (v6)
Satan in us (v2) We are in Christ (v6)
Subject to wrath (v3) Recipients of kindness (v7)


Just as the world once had a draw on me, it’s culture, media and ideology, now as a believer it is heaven which draws on me, like that description we have in Job 38:31 “sweet influences of Pleiades” – the draw of heaven upon earth.


This helps me understand what is meant by being “raised up together and ... sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (2:6). 

In the past our connection with Satan (2:2) does not necessarily mean that I met with him, communed with him in a physical or material way but rather we are indirectly or directly under his:

  • Power
  • Authority 
  • Dominion 

Now in these ‘heavenly places’, Christ has His draw and pull upon us today! New:


Under new management 

It is interesting to see pictures of those raised up in scripture! 

  1. Mephibosheth (2 Samuel ) 

Raised up by a King:

  • Motivated by grace and kindness (2 Samuel 9:1) 
  • Unable to walk aright (9:3) 
  • Given a place at the Kings table (9:10,11,18)
  • A new master (9:6,8)
  • A new house (9:3) – Place 
  • A new walk (9:3) 
  • New food (9:4-7) – Provision 
  • New inheritance (9:7)


  1. Lazarus (John 11) 
  • Raised up from death 
  • Given a place at the table with Christ (John 12:1-2) 
  • Perhaps a picture of a 3 fold privilege of the believer in John 12:
  • It was Lazarus who passed through death and the grave, who was delivered from:


  • “we who were dead...” – DEATH 
  • “in trespasses and sins...” – BONDAGE 



One of the great privileges of being raised up by a King / by the Lord is to sit with Him and eat at His table! 

Now that I have been raised up by Christ, now that I have life in Christ, I must be sustained by Christ. 

Now for:

  • Fellowship (Ephesians 2)
  • Filled (Ephesians 3) 
  • Feeding (Ephesians 3) 
  • Faithful (Ephesians 4 + 5) 
  • Fighting (Ephesians 6)


Dead in trespasses and sins, what we were before Christ saved us, dieing with a 'hole in my soul, it's a real big place,' crying that we want to 'feel real love and the life ever after.' Separated from the life of God, the light of God, the love of God and the language of God. I was dead! 

From the languishing of the dieing man comes the flesh, the remnant desires corrupted in quantity and quality! Perversion and corruption motivate the dieing man trapped in the Adamic fall, seeking desperately to feel alive, just to feel anything! God's grace in Christ reaches down, saves and lifts me to be seated together with Christ in heavenly places. Just as Moses moved up mount Sinai into the cloud of God's presence, the Christian has a higher and more glorious experience than the world can ever provide, alive, raised up and seated with Jesus in heavenly places!

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

Ephesians Chapter 2 Vs 11 to 17 - He is our Peace - J Stewart Gillespie  

Afraid to live? 
Afraid to die? 
We have the answer. “He is our peace.” 

Ephesians chapter 2 verse 11: 
“Remember,” – Good to remember, “the hole of the pit whence ye are digged,” (Isa51:1). 

This is of course not so much remembering our sin! Rather remember the “mercy” (v4), “love” (v4) and “grace” (v5,8) of God. 

“The humility which springs from the removal of our sins must ever be deeper than that which springs from the discovery of them. The former connects us with God: the latter has to do with self.” (CH Mackintosh p313) 

Sometimes we might be tempted to think that now we’re saved, we’ve something to glory in, but all we are is what Christ has made us (2:8,10) 

“Gentiles,” & “Circumcision,” is “in the flesh.” 

This DIVISION of humanity is at the level of the FLESH. (2:11-17) 
The new and eternal DIVISION of humanity is at the level of the SPIRIT. (2:1-10) 
1. Those who are DEAD – Spiritually (v1-3) 
2. Those who are ALIVE in Christ – Spiritually (v5-10) 

Reconciliation therefore must also be at the level of FLESH (v15) 
“Flesh,” - Sometimes used of muscle tissue; It is used in this way in the last mention of, “flesh,” in NT (Rev19:21). 
More often in the Bible the idea od the flesh is used of the “fallen human nature,” eg when speaking of the “Works of the flesh,” (Gal5:19), cf Eph2:13 

Flesh can also be used in the sense of a “living humanity,” John 1:14, Hebrews 5:7, Ephesians 5:30, the word ‘flesh’ is used in this sense here. 

Note the 5 fold condition, mainly relative to the flesh: 

“Without Christ,” – refers to the Messianic hope in the context, cf. Romans 9:5 “The God of Hope,” (Rom15:13). “Without God,” thus, “no hope,” 

“Christless, stateless, friendless, hopeless & Godless.” (W. Hendricksen) 

“No Hope,” A deep source of problems and of despair in our society. A deep seated problem underpinning spiraling suicide rates amongst the young, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse. Do we have a genuine care and thought for others? If so ought not this to spur us onto evangelism? 

Position (v13) 
“But now,” – The turning point of Division at the level of the Flesh 
cf. 2:4 – Turning point of Division, at the level of the Spirit. 
Position – “in Christ Jesus,” 
Reconciliation: Notice the Sphere of Reconciliation (v14-15) 

“in His flesh” & “in Himself” (v15) 

“He is our peace,” – Peace in a person, compare John 20:19, Isaiah 9:6 

PEACE with God & PEACE with one another this is OBJECTIVE PEACE 
There is also the personal experience of that peace consider the illustration of this in Mark 4:35,39,5:1 

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still,” (Mark 4:39) : This is a SUBJECTIVE PEACE. 

When Christ presents redeemed humanity to God, doesn’t present a humanity that is divided. Chris presents a united humanity to God. 
It is significant that it was at the level of the flesh there was division (2:11). 

Thus division is put away at the LEVEL OF THE FLESH (2:15). 
Consider also the division at the LEVEL OF THE SPIRIT (2:5). 

“Flesh”(v15), significant choice of words. Not just the death of Christ, as indicated by, “Body,” or “Blood,” but indicates the life of Christ (John1:14, Hebrews 5:7, Ephesians 5:30), given in death (Romans 7:4), to abolish the law, but continuing on as a new humanity (2:15). Cf. Luke 24:39. 

“These ordinances had their sphere of action in the flesh. But Christ (as living in connection with all that), being dead, has abolished the enmity to form in Himself of the two – Jew and Gentile – one new man…” (JND) 

Consider the Peace Offering of Leviticus chapter 3: 

Peace that on the basis of shed blood (Leviticus 3:8) 
Peace that was on the basis of a sacrifice (Leviticus 3:6) 

In the peace offering we note that God and the Priest and the offerer all having a portion (Leviticus chp7). This is a unique scenario in the law of the offerings! 

We are able to describe a procedure characteristic of the Peace Offering, found also in the Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:9), but only as the sin offering relates back to the Peace Offering (Leviticus 4:10). 
This procedure is performed upon the sacrificial animal. We note that in the Peace Offering that the priest is always to be careful to remove, “The caul above the liver,” (Leviticus 3:4,10,15). 

There is only one organ that is above the liver & kidneys; that is the DIAPHRAGM 
The priest was always careful to take the animal, to remove the diaphragm, the organ that divided the animal in 2 parts, chest and abdomen, “the middle wall of partition,” and to make, “both one.” The New Testament believer would understand this. 
There was to be no division in the peace offering. 
What Christ has made, we keep. 
“in His flesh” & “in Himself” (v15) - the Sphere of Reconciliation 
Saved Jew & Saved gentile both in Christ; brought together with that dividing wall between them taken down forever as it was in the peace offering, both are now part of a New Humanity in Christ. 

The Means of Reconciliation (v16) 

“By the Cross,” – The Means cf. “In his flesh,” (v15) – The Sphere 

“The Cross,” – Put away the law, which prevented Jew & Gentile coming together, (Rom7:4) 

“The Cross,” – Put away sin, which prevented Jew & Gentile coming to God, (Heb9:26) 

Bible teaching from Paul's letter to the Ephesians chapter 2. "He is our Peace". A message from our systematic bible study in the Ephesian epistle. Join us as we preach and study through the letter to the Ephesians, in this expository verse by verse Bible Teaching series. Yours by Grace in Christ, Dr J Stewart Gillespie.



Ephesians Chapter 2 Vs 1 to 10 - The Doctrinal Basis of Sanctification - J Stewart Gillespie  

The Doctrinal Basis of Sanctification 

Ephesians chapter 2 is the middle of the doctrinal section in Ephesians 
Chapters 1 to 3 – Lays the foundation of the doctrinal basis for Chapters 4 through to 6 of Ephesians. 
We see the development of the doctrine of sanctification in the Ephesian epsitel in both negative and positive terms: 4:1, 17; 4:22, 24; 5:18 
Paul lays the foundation for sanctification in this section here (2:1-10) 
There are 2 fundamental errors which will undermine your sanctification: 
1. An elevated appreciation of the world: A world which seems to the Christian so appealing, a place it would seem of unimagined possibilities, adventure, excitement, riches, pleasure 
2. An impoverished appreciation of Christ: What we have in the Lord Jesus seems hardly worth holding onto, let alone sacrificing anything for. 
The second of these two errors is usually the greater and more fundamental of the two! Perhaps the illustration of the strength and sanctity of a marriage bond is relevant here. A married couple stay together, not so much because everyone else becomes ugly to them but rather because they appreciate and value supremely what they have in one another. 
There are two ways you can preach sanctification: 
1. We could attempt to preach believers away from the world, exposing it for what it is. 
2. Preach & present Christ, what we have & can find in Him. 
Paul does both: 
1. What We Were in the World: Dead in Sins: Condemnation (v1-3) 
2. What We Have in Christ: Alive in Christ: Transformation (v4-10) 

What We Were in the World: Dead in Sins: Condemnation (v1-3) 
There are 3 great powers or influences that controlled our pre-conversion self: 
1. The World (v2) 
2. The Devil (v2) 
3. The Flesh (v3) 
The World (v2) – “the age of this world,” – an unusual phrase. This would indicate everything that characterizes this present age: 
• In the secular sphere of the world – Repudiating God 
• In the moral sphere of the world – Amoral – Repudiating Absolutes 
• In the physical sphere of the world – it is Materialistic – Glorifying money & possessions 

The Devil (v2): “The prince of the power of the air.” Paul chooses his title for Satan carefully, relates him to the earth, “air,” – used by Greeks to refer to lower atmosphere, between earth & moon, surrounding the earth.The REPRESSIVE, MALEVOLENT influence of Satan. 
The authorised text omits an “of,” at the beginning of this phrase in verse 2 – “of the spirit that now worketh,” – A Greek genitive. It is that spirit, which brings a pervading influence of evil in, “the children of disobedience,” 
Perhaps here we are able to perceive the all pervasive influence and atmosphere of Satan in the world! 
We recall at Ephesus the world and the entertainment it provided in the amphitheatre (Acts19:29), the world & its commerce seen in the silver shrines (Acts19:27) and the world & its religion; that of the great Temple of Diana of Ephesians. None of these secular influence were of positive spiritual value to a genuine believer; in fact they actively opposed and distracted from the Lord Jesus Christ! God sees all of this activity as under the influence of Satan! 
We have perhaps heard the question, what harm is in it? Perhaps we must first perceive, as the apostle does here in Ephesians chapter 2 that in examining the anatomy and structure of this world we discover that Satan is in it!! 
For the Christian the question often arises as to where to draw the line? Perhaps the correct answer is the one that many are most reluctant to apply in practice: ‘As far away from this world as possible!” 
Jim Elliot: “We cannot have both heaven and earth for our part & as our portion, a wise man chooses that which lasts the longest.” 

We notice that there were three features that characterised us in our pre conversion days: 
1. Death (v1) 
2. Disobedience (v2) 
3. Desires of the flesh (v3) 
We were spiritually dead in: “Trespasses,” – Broken Laws – Sins of commission and in “Sins,” – Missed Standards – Sins of omission 
That’s the mess, that’s what you were in the past 2:1,2,3, “were…times past,” – Don’t go back to it! The antidote to this is personal sanctification. 
What We Have in Christ: We are alive in Christ: Transformation (v4-10) 
“But God,” (v4) – Only God could do something in these circumstances 
God & His, “mercy,” (v4), “love” (v4), “grace” (v4,8) 
Notice in this section the 3 words beginning with the Greek prefix of ‘sun’ “συν”: 
v5 – “Quickened together” – linked with His RESURRECTION 
v6 –“Raised up together” – Linked with His ASCENSION 
v6 – “Sit together” – Linked with His SESSION 
Yet what do these 3 great statements all mean for me? I’m very much here on earth! These are great statements of what we refer to as positional truth: “with Christ,” (v5), “in Christ” (v6), “through Christ,” (v7). These are not theoretical nor abstract and certainly not pie-in-the-sky statements of truth! 
These are positional truths; meaning that these truths, these conditions and blessings which we have been brought into we personally do nothing to bring them about. As a consequence of course nothing you do will shake them either! Cf. Salvation John 10:28-29; Ephesians 1:4. These great positional truths are ours because of our ‘position’ in or perhaps better still because of our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Because we are personally connected the Lord Jesus certain attributes and blessings which rightfully belong to Jesus become ours too! 

“Quickened together” – linked with His RESURRECTION (v5) 
Perhaps we can understand a bit about ‘quickening’. We were once “Dead in trespasses & sins,” but by conversion and by salvation our condition has been radically transformed so that we now are the possessors of new life in Jesus Christ (John chapter 3). 
We can surely recognise the evidences of that new life by: 
• Our Appetite for spiritual food and nourishment, bread to sustain this new life in Christ – Heb5:12; 1Pet2:2. 
• Our Alienation from the world – Gal6:14; we really feel estranged from this world and it’s values, morality (or lack of it) and spirituality. We don’t belong here 
• Desire for the word – 1Pet2:2; a sure evidence of the new Divine nature in a human soul. 
• Fellowship with believers – 1 John 3:14 – a desire given by God; an attraction of like for like! 
• A Delight in the things of Christ – 1 John 2:3 – a phenomenon incomprehensible to a fallen world. 

“Raised up together” – Linked with His ASCENSION (v6) 
Does this refer to a time in the future? (1 Thessalonians 4:17, 2 Timothy 2:12) Note the tenses here however: an aorist tense or point tense, usually in the past. Notice too the timing here: “together with Christ,” associated with what happened to Christ in the past. If verses 1 to 3 tell us what we were in the world then verses 4 to 10 surely tell us what we have in Christ. We now move in a different sphere and belong to a different order. We belong to those “Heavenly places,” places above “the World,” and above “The prince of the power of the air.” We left all of that behind us. We are no longer under the old repressive regime of, the world, the flesh, and the devil. It used to be the case that when Satan said, “jump,” we jumped. We are now marked by: 
1. ELEVATION → Above it all, diff. Sphere/atmosphere 
2. LIBERATION→ Not controlled by the world, flesh, devil. 
• We share in Christ’s victory (1:20-22; 2:2) 
• 1Jo4:4, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” 
• Rom6:18, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” 
• Rom8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” 
• We may of course even as Christians fall or sin, but power is given to resist, when we fall we make a choice. We are now under a new regime and under a new authority. 
God did not “quicken us together with Christ,” simply to bring us back under the same old repressive forces. Brought us into a liberty & freedom. 
Here’s what we have in Christ, we now have the power to: 
• “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” (Eph4:1) 
• “walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind” (Eph4:17) 

“As living evidences of His kindness, we shall point people, away & beyond ourselves to Him, to whom we owe our salvation.” 
(Stott p82 on verse 7) 

Bible teaching from Paul's letter to the Ephesians chapter 2. A study in the sanctification of the Christian. A message from our systematic bible study in the Ephesian epistle. Join us as we preach and study through the letter to the Ephesians, in this expository verse by verse Bible Teaching series. Yours by Grace in Christ, Dr J Stewart Gillespie.