Ephesians 2:11-18

One in Christ

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called 1the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
12 remember 2that you were at that time separated from Christ, 3alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to 4the covenants of promise, 5having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were 6far off have been brought near 7by the blood of Christ.
14 For 8he himself is our peace, 9who has made us both one and has broken down 10in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in 11ordinances, that he might create in himself one 12new man in place of the two, so making peace,
16 and might 13reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
17 And he came and 14preached peace to you who were 15far off and peace to those who were 16near.
18 For 17through him we both have 18access in 19one Spirit to the Father.

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Ephesians 2:11-18 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 2:11-18 In-Context

9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

Cross References 19

  • 1. Romans 2:26, 28; [Colossians 2:11, 13]
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 12:2; [Ephesians 5:8; Colossians 3:7]
  • 3. Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21; [Ezekiel 14:5; Galatians 2:15; Galatians 4:8]
  • 4. See Romans 9:4
  • 5. 1 Thessalonians 4:13; See Ephesians 1:18
  • 6. ver. 17; Acts 2:39
  • 7. [Colossians 1:20]; See Romans 3:25
  • 8. Psalms 72:7; Micah 5:5; Zechariah 9:10; [Colossians 3:15]; See Luke 2:14
  • 9. See Galatians 3:28
  • 10. Colossians 1:21, 22; [Romans 7:4]
  • 11. Colossians 2:14, 20
  • 12. See Romans 6:4
  • 13. Colossians 1:20-22; [1 Corinthians 12:13]
  • 14. Isaiah 57:19
  • 15. ver. 13
  • 16. Deuteronomy 4:7; Psalms 148:14
  • 17. [John 14:6]
  • 18. Ephesians 3:12; [John 10:7, 9]; See Romans 5:2
  • 19. Ephesians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; [John 4:23]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.