Ephesians 2:4-5

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
ESV
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
NLT
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
MSG
4 Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love,
CSB
4 But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,

Ephesians 2:4-5 Meaning and Commentary

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.

Ephesians 2:4-5 In-Context

2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S John 3:16
  • 2. ver 1; Psalms 103:12
  • 3. ver 8; John 5:24; S Acts 15:11
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