CITIZENS part 4 – The Essence Of Citizenship (Eph 2:11-22) – Steve Sudworth
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 2:11-22
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. In this second portion of Chapter 2 Paul’s emphasis is on the oneness of the Church. Paul spent the last 10 verse reminding and expanding on the fact that those who were once condemned and enslaved to the world and now free by Christ, and Christ alone. It is from that basis that Paul says, “therefore,” drawing the church from a place of revelation into action.
Text: Eph. 2:11-22
11 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—12 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 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, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Jews and Gentiles who were once at hostility are now one in Christ. Paul is addressing the anthropological difficulty of the time, drawing the solution from the finished work of Christ on the cross. Paul is setting himself for the statements made in chapter 3, clarifying to the church, that it is because of Christ that we are all now one.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- What is the modern Jew/Gentile division?
- How should this division be addressed in the church?
- Why is the answer always found in Christ?