11: Salvation and Reconciliation (Eph
established the understanding that Christians are a special people (saints) and
form the body of Christ as the church, Paul in this section explains about the
grace of God in the death of Christ and the necessity of faith alone in taking
hold of this salvation. Not only has the atoning sacrifice of Christ given us a
new life, it also brings reconciliation between the Jews and Gentiles.
“For by grace you
have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of
“and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body
through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (2:16).
Did You Know…?
Uncircumcision/Circumcision (2:11): Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with
Abraham and his descendants (Gen 17:10-14). Consequently, the Gentiles came to
be known as “the uncircumcised.”
Apostles and Prophets (2:20):
The prophets here refer to the New Testament prophets (cf. 3:5; 4:11).
Chief cornerstone (2:20; cf.
Job 38:6; Isa 28:6): “The stone at the corner of two walls that unites them;
specifically, the stone built into one corner of the foundation of an edifice
as the actual or nominal starting point of a building.” 5/258
Why does Paul emphasize that we
were once dead (see verses 1 and 5)?
Describe the death that we were
Why is the devil described “as
the prince of the power of the air” (2)?
Although the passions of the
flesh have been mentioned in other scriptures (see Gal 5:16,17;
Rom 7:18), here in verse 3, Paul elaborates that it consists of two parts i.e.
the desires of the flesh (body) and of the mind. John meanwhile categorizes the
love of the world into three—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and
the pride of life (1Jn 2:16). Discuss how these categorizations complement each
other. Also discuss specific examples for each of the desires of the flesh and
the desires of the mind.
What spiritual transformation
takes place in a believer upon his conversion?
What is the nature of God’s
salvation that Paul emphasizes here?
Verses 8 and 9 are often misinterpreted
as meaning that confession of Jesus Christ is all that is necessary for
salvation. Thus they argue that the keeping of all other commands, including
the command to be baptized or to receive footwashing,
is not necessary. How would you explain these verses knowing full well the
implications of verses such as Acts 2:38 and James 2:10?
Compare and contrast the two
kinds of “works” in 9 and 10.
According to verse 10, what is
the purpose of God’s calling?
In the light of our discussion
on verses 8 and 9, it would now be clear that the good works for which we have
been ordained to walk in are the works of faith. Starting with members in the
Bible Study group, discuss what kinds of good works should prevail in the
church and whether we have been successful in discarding the old ways and
walking in the new way.
Ephesus was a city in Asia with most of
its inhabitants being non-Jews i.e. Gentiles. This passage describes how God
reconciles Gentiles to Himself. Why are Gentiles without Christ in time past
described as ‘having no hope and without God in the world (12)?
What has brought the Gentiles
near to God?
With reference to verses 14 and
15, what is the dividing wall of hostility that has separated Gentiles from
Jews for centuries?
Why is it so important that the
Gentiles and the Jews be reconciled?
The broken body of the Lord
also reconciled all men, including both Jews and Gentiles, to God. Technically
speaking, this fact as stated in verses 16 and 18 is to be seen as different from
the breaking down of the middle wall of separation (thus reconciling Jews and
Gentiles) recorded in verse 14. See the symbolic tearing of the veil that
separated man from God (Ex 26:33) at the death of Christ (Mt 27:51). Read also
Describe the household of God.
What practical teachings can we
gather from each of the following terms?
Household of God
Foundation of the apostles and
Jesus Christ the cornerstone
Growing into a holy temple
A dwelling place of God in the