Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Galatians to Colossians)
Salvation and Reconciliation
TOC | Previous | Next

11: Salvation and Reconciliation (Eph 2:1-22)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Having 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.

Key Verse

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (2:8)

and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (2:16).

B.     Did You Know…?

1.      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.”

2.      Apostles and Prophets (2:20): The prophets here refer to the New Testament prophets (cf. 3:5; 4:11).

3.      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

II.    Observation

A.     Outline









Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     2:1-3

4.      Why does Paul emphasize that we were once dead (see verses 1 and 5)?

5.      Describe the death that we were once in.

6.      Why is the devil described “as the prince of the power of the air” (2)?

7.      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.

B.     2:4-7

8.      What spiritual transformation takes place in a believer upon his conversion?

C.     2:8-10

9.      What is the nature of God’s salvation that Paul emphasizes here?

10.  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?

11.  Compare and contrast the two kinds of “works” in 9 and 10.

12.  According to verse 10, what is the purpose of God’s calling?

13.  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.

D.     2:11-12

14.  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)?

E.     2:13-18

15.  What has brought the Gentiles near to God?

16.  With reference to verses 14 and 15, what is the dividing wall of hostility that has separated Gentiles from Jews for centuries?

17.  Why is it so important that the Gentiles and the Jews be reconciled?

18.  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 Col 1:20-22.

F.      2:19-22

19.  Describe the household of God.

20.  What practical teachings can we gather from each of the following terms?

21.  Household of God

22.  Foundation of the apostles and prophets

23.  Jesus Christ the cornerstone

24.  Growing into a holy temple

25.  A dwelling place of God in the Spirit


PDF Download