Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS 2\\

The design of the apostle in this chapter, is to magnify the riches of
divine grace, in the effectual calling and salvation of sinners, by
Christ Jesus; in order to which, he describes the sad estate they are
in by nature, and before conversion, even God's elect among the Jews,
and especially among the Gentiles; and then observes how peace is made
for and between them both, by Christ the peacemaker; and the various
privileges and blessings which both enjoy, in consequence of it: he
begins with the Ephesians, and expresses the former state they were in
by a death, which is ascribed to trespasses and sins, \\#Eph 2:1\\,
and represents their walk and conversation to have been according to
the world, and after Satan; who is described by his dominion over
other devils that dwell in the air, and by his influence upon
disobedient men, \\#Eph 2:2\\, and that it might not be thought that
the case of these Gentile Ephesians was worse than others, the apostle
observes of himself, and other saints among the Jews, that their
conversation before conversion was among the men of the world, and so
according to the course of it, as the Gentiles; and that it was a very
carnal conversation they had spent, in fulfilling the desires and
lusts of the flesh; and that they were as deserving of, and as liable
to the wrath of God in themselves, as other persons, \\#Eph 2:3\\, to
which former state he opposes their present one; they were not now
dead in sin, but were quickened; which is ascribed to God as the
efficient cause, and to his rich mercy and great love as the moving
cause; and to Christ as the meritorious and procuring cause, by whose
grace they were saved, and in whom they were not only quickened, but
raised, and made to sit together in heavenly places; and the final
cause and end of all this was, to show forth the abundant grace and
kindness of God, through Christ, \\#Eph 2:4-7\\. The doctrine of
salvation by grace, the apostle takes up again from \\#Eph 2:5\\, and
to the moving cause of salvation, the grace of God, he adds the means,
or instrument by which it is received and enjoyed, which is faith; and
that is denied to be owing to the power of men, but is said to be a
gift of God \\#Eph 2:8\\, and the end in view, in putting salvation
upon the foot of grace and not works, is to prevent boasting in the
creature, \\#Eph 2:9\\, and that works cannot be the causes of
salvation, either efficient, moving, or procuring, is evident; since
though they are to be performed as being agreeable to the purposing,
as well as commanding will of God, yet they are effects, both of the
work of grace upon the soul in time, called a creation, and of the
decrees of God from eternity, \\#Eph 2:10\\, when the apostle goes on
to put the Ephesians in mind of their former state in unregeneracy,
with the same view as before, to magnify the grace of God, but in a
different manner; not as common to them with the Jews, but as peculiar
to them as Gentiles; as that they were had in contempt by the Jews,
and were in a state of alienation, not only from them, but from God
and Christ, and the enjoyment of various privileges, \\#Eph 2:11,12\\,
wherefore the grace of God was the more conspicuous in their present
state of nearness both to God and his people, brought about by the
blood of Christ, \\#Eph 2:13\\, who, as the peacemaker, not only made
peace by the blood of his cross between God and them, but between them
and the true Israel of God among the Jews; which was done, partly by
abolishing the ceremonial law, which occasioned enmity, and kept up a
division among them, \\#Eph 2:14-16\\, and partly by sending, and
preaching the Gospel of peace to them both, \\#Eph 2:17\\, and by
opening a way of access for them both unto the Father through himself,
under the direction and influence of the Spirit, \\#Eph 2:18\\, from
all which it appeared, that they were not in a state of distance and
alienation as before, but all belonged to the same city and family,
and were built on the same foundation, and were united together in the
same corner stone, Jesus Christ, \\#Eph 2:19,20\\, and as the apostle
compares Christ to a foundation, and a corner stone, so the church of
Christ, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, to a temple; which being
fitly put together, becomes, an Holy One in the lord, and a suitable
habitation for God through the Spirit, \\#Eph 2:21,22\\.