Ephesians Chapter 2 Part 11
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).
V.11- All non-Jews were considered gentiles, or “the uncircumcision.” This title for them was the Jews’ form of reproach for people whom they considered to be inferior to them. It didn’t matter where they were from. If that little piece of skin had not been removed from their bodies, they were considered unclean. Gentiles had no relationship with God. Do you think this circumcision thing might be one of the reasons women were considered second class citizens? There definitely was a social and spiritual separation between men and women; and one between Jews and Gentiles.
Gentiles were not part of the Abrahamic covenant. That’s why Paul brought this up to them. It was a way to make them realize how blessed they were to have been forgiven of their sins, and saved by Jesus. It was not the state they were from that was important, but the state they were now in. Gentiles are circumcised within the heart when we accept our Savior. That’s a far better surgery than a simple snip of excess skin. We are never to forget what a blessing that is to us either. The Bible is one reminder of that, and we need to remind each other often. By the blood of Jesus, Gentiles were brought into covenant with God. That means us. That’s where the Vine and the branches come into play.
Let’s go read John 15:1-8. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
So- the Jews who would not accept Christ as their King and Savior were cut from the Vine. The Gentiles who did accept Christ were grafted onto the Vine. Now they were being nourished by the same Source as the saved circumcision: God. Matthew 15:13 tells us, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” John Gill explains that this can be a thing as well as people. Doctrines and ordinances that are not from God will be done away with. Gill said that, “The traditions of the elders must be opposed and rejected.” People who are not rooted and grounded in Christ are ultimately revealed, and then uprooted and cast into the fire to be burned at the judgement.
Let’s read Ephesians 3:14-19. This chapter is about the revelation of the mystery, the purpose of the mystery and the appreciation of the mystery. We will read the appreciation part. And pay close attention to what this says. It makes a huge difference in our lives. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
V.12- Although the Old Testament tells us in many places about the desire of God to save them, the Gentiles were not aware of it because they had no access to the holy writings. They had never been allowed in the Temple, therefore had probably never heard the readings that talked about salvation. We do read the Bible, and we go to church, so we have seen and heard, and know that Jesus came to the Gentiles too. But the Gentiles of that day had no way of knowing about God's grace, or about God’s deliverance to come, until John the Baptist began to proclaim it to them.
Gentiles could not live among the Jews. Jews were not allowed to eat with gentiles, or even enter their homes. Gentiles could have no say in the making the ordinances or laws unless they made themselves like a Jew and accepted all their laws. These gentiles would have to undergo the surgery of bodily circumcision, and do all the rituals that man had made up by then along with keeping the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments. Most of the gentiles had no hope of making it to heaven. Let’s read what Philo had to say about hope.
Philo, the Jew, observes, that ``the Chaldeans call a man Enos, as if he only was truly a man that expects good things, and supports himself with good hopes; and adds, hence it is manifest that one without hope is not reckoned a man, but a beast in an human form; since he is destitute of hope, which is the property of the human soul.” In other words, those who didn't know the Lord Jesus was coming to save us had no hope, therefore, they were considered as dogs.
John Gills says that without the knowledge of Christ, Gentiles were Atheists. I don’t think that’s true as atheists don’t believe in any god. The gentiles in Jesus day were actually polytheistic, serving many gods rather than the one true God of the Bible. The Gentiles didn’t know Jesus, or His mercy in dying for their salvation. But once they met Him, they loved Him and accepted Him as Savior.
Like us, they needed to be reminded to continue in the good fight. That is, unless they worshiped and praised God, and spent time with Him in the Word of God, and grew closer to Him, they were not really saved ones. That holds true to this day. If we are not taking time with God, we are not really saved in our spirits and hearts. Yes, we are saved to eternity, but when we ignore the Lord and don’t spend time with Him, we are not saved out of the world. We will have no peace, joy or true happiness until we begin to walk daily in Christ. We are not bless-able until we are totally committed to Jesus.
V.13- “But now in Christ Jesus,” is a beautiful phrase that makes it clear to us that now, by God’s grace, we are saved and partakers of the eternal life He has made available. We were once separated from God by sins, and the veil the enemy pulled over our eyes kept us from seeing. Because of His sacrifice, we have hope that is eternal. We never need to doubt what we will do for eternity. We will praise and glorify God!
Please take time to read I Peter 2:1-10.
Learning to give is essential to the Christian life. “Give and it shall be given to you,” We’ll close with reading Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your lap. For with the same measure that you measure it shall be measured to you again.”
More studies at http://www.newbeginmin1.org/BIBLESTUDYOPENING.html
About: I am a pastor, wife for almost 43 years, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of three boys and one girl. As pastor of New Beginnings Ministry, it is my daily task to work on our two websites as well as monitor our chat rooms. We have a weekly Bible study on Sunday and Thursday nights at 8:00 eastern time in the chat rooms. Everyone is welcome to join us. I also write revsnotes which are occasional studies or musings I send to a list of people who have signed up to receive them, write guest articles for www.Ciloa.org and blog here at praize.Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List
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