Verse 1 – And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
Without Christ, people are dead in the most vital part of the human personality, their spirit.
Verse 2 – in which you once walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
Before coming to Christ, all live according to Satan, the prince of the air. Some that don’t know their Bible will argue that this is not true. However, according to Scripture, all walk in disobedience until they become a believer.
Verse 3 – among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Apart from Christ, people are dominated by fleshly desires. In rejecting Christ, all will face God’s wrath and eternal punishment.
Verse 4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Verse 5 – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Verse 6 – and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Because of God’s great mercy, He sent Jesus to take the punishment of our sin and nail it to the cross with His death. Those who reject Christ are still slaves to sin. But the difference after accepting Jesus for the believer is, we are acquitted of all penalty of sin by the blood that was shed for you and me.
And, because you are now in Christ and Christ in you we are seated in Christ in heavenly places!
Verse 7 – that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
The salvation of men and women is a display of God’s divine grace. God did all of this in Christ with a single goal, “to save the world!”
Verse 8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God,
Verse 9 – not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is for God’s glory and is not accomplished by human works. The whole process of salvation is not a human achievement, but is an act of God’s goodness. The emphasis is always on Christ, the object of our faith, not on the amount of faith. Salvation is by God’s complete unmerited favor.
Verse 10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Here is where works fit in a Christian’s life: Out of gratitude of this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. God has pre-ordained every good work that we will do in our life – He knew beforehand.
Verse 11 – Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncirumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands –
Verse 12 – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Paul was telling Gentiles what state they were in before they were introduced, came to the knowledge of Christ. They were not part of the covenant with God’s people. They had no rights to the inheritance. They were without hope.
Verse 13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.
But now Gentiles have a new relationship. The blood that was sacrificed by our Lord and Savior washes away the penalty of sin, for those who are now in Christ Jesus.
Verse 14 – For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us,
Broken down the divisions between the Jew and the Gentile.
Verse 15 – having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, thus making peace,
Verse 16 – and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
This actin of Jesus brought not only the Jews and Gentiles together, but also with God. Gentiles did not become Jews, nor did Jews become Gentiles, but rather they came together to form “The Church,” one body. He removed the enmity, the hatred between the two, forever.
Verse 17 – and He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
Verse 18 – for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
The Jews had to go to God through the high priest through works of the law. The Gentiles were afar off because they knew little to nothing about the true God. Both groups had to hear the gospel of Christ to be reconciled to God through Christ.
Verse 19 – Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Verse 20 – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Verse 21 – in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Verse 22 – in whom you also are being built together for habitation of God in the Spirit.
Here is what I honestly believe: If more preachers would preach what Paul preached and leave out all the foolishness that goes on in churches today, I don’t believe there would be one single Christian that would “Backslide” back into sin! There would be no way a truly born-again Christian could lay by the way-side of what all Christ has done for them! But too many Christians get frustrated in trying to understand what their salvation truly means, and they give up!
Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in each believer, that believer is being built at the same time the body of all believers are being built to become one in Christ Jesus.