Ephesians

Ephesians 2:1-10 The New Creation (Raised with Christ)

This passage of scripture gives us one of the greatest descriptions of the NEW BIRTH. This is a more detailed look at the work of the Holy-Spirit in our lives. We saw this first in 1:13,14: “You were SEALED with the Holy Spirit of promise - the guarantee of our inheritance.” This signifies the complete work of New Creation in transforming our spirits guaranteeing our future glorification (of body and soul). 

Our spirits are now made perfect in Christ: “We are complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10). “If anyone is in Christ, he(his spirit) is a new creation; old things (the old man) have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things (in the New Creation spirit) are of God (come from God and belong to God)” (2Cor 5:17,18). The Sealing by the indwelling Holy-Spirit marking and surrounding our spirits protects them from sin, satan, and death. Our spirit is ‘vacuum-packed’ and secure far above all evil, and in constant fellowship with God (through the Holy-Spirit). The Presence of the Spirit of God indwelling, sealing & surrounding our spirit is also the GUARANTEE that one day our whole being will be glorified just as our spirit is now. This can be translated ENGAGEMENT-RING. He is our covenant-sign of being betrothed to the Lord through His blood. In the Spirit our spirits are marked and sealed by a circle of glory signifying that we belong to Him!

Paul gives greater detail of the Spirit’s working in us in 1:17-20 when he prayed that: “you may know the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named.” The power He releases toward us is so great it requires revelation to comprehend it. It is the same working of power that raised Christ from death, overcoming sin, satan, death, glorifying His humanity, exalting Him far above all things and giving Him dominion over all (‘putting them all under His feet’). This same power is now working in us!

This is confirmed when we read 2:1-7, which is a new long sentence which starts with: “and you (He made alive)”, which links to what he has just said in chapter 1. Unfortunately the chapter break comes here which breaks the flow of thought, but the same idea is being developed. He is saying that the mighty power of the Spirit worked in Christ raising HIM from the dead ‘AND YOU’ also! In other words that power also raised you from the dead! ‘He made alive’is in italics signifying that these words are not in the original. So we are left with: ‘and you’, followed by a subclause (v1-3) describing the ‘you’ (our condition before receiving Christ) leaving the ‘and you’ apparently stranded as an object without a verb. We are held is suspense until v5,6 for the verbs, which is why the translators correctly added: ‘He made alive’ from v5 to make it better sense in English. 

More fully, Paul is saying: 
“The same exceedingly great power which worked in Christ 
(1) making him alive and 
(2) raising Him from the dead far above all principality, power , might and dominion, and 
(3) seating Him at God’s right hand also 

(1) made you alive, 
(2) raised you far above and 
(3) seated you.” 

This is confirmed in v 5,6: “He (1) made us alive together with Christ and 
(2) raised us up together, and 
(3) made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” 

So the:“and you” signifies that what was done for Christ was also done for us in Christ.  

The “and you” moves the focus onto our salvation. 

In 2:1-10 (as well as in v11-23), we have a dramatic description of salvation. 

I. The PROBLEM - Our State before Salvation (the Old Man). 
II. The SOLUTION - What God did for us in Christ. 
III. The RESULT - Our State after Salvation (the New Creation). 

2:1-10 is a wonderful statement of the transformation accomplished by the New Birth in our inner-being, whereas 2:11-23 describes the change accomplished in our relationships with others and with God.

I. THE PROBLEM - OUR STATE BEFORE SALVATION (Man’s Depravity) - (2:1-3).
People ask: ‘What’s wrong with the world?’, then they realise a better question is: ‘What’s wrong with the people in it?’, then if they get more perceptive they ask: ‘What’s wrong with me?’
 Wesley said: “Know your disease, know your cure.” In treating a disease a Doctor will first give a Diagnosis (the symptoms and their cause) and a Prognosis (what will happen, how serious it is), and then a Prescription. 

The Diagnosis and Prognosis is in v1-3, before going on to the Prescription. First he describes the hopelessness of our original condition to magnify the grace of God and the greatness of His power in saving us. This is dark background to the brilliance of God’s grace in v4-7. He gives the 3 dimensions to man’s spiritual problems.

1. SPIRITUALLY DEAD: (broken relationship and fellowship with God): 
“and you - who were (spiritually) DEAD in trespasses and sins”(v1). 
The Disease is Sin
. The Symptom (obvious consequence) is spiritual deadness (death). Our spirit was in a state of death due to sin cut off from the leading and control of the Holy-Spirit (“My son was dead” - Luke 15:24). The characteristics of corpses: COLD (no warmth in worship), HARD (not tender), PRONE (does not stand or walk), HAS DECAY and will soon perish. Without Christ men are spiritual corpses incapable of response, so it is vital to pray before we witness. Spiritual death means man is totally unable save himself. It requires a spiritual resurrection that only God can do.

2. ENSLAVED: to the powers of the world, the flesh and the devil (sources of infection)Our enslavement is a second reason why we could not free ourselves from bondage. We needed God to raise us up from the dust and give us freedom and victory over these powers.

Cut off from God we came under the control of three forces:

A. THE WORLD: “in which (state of sin and death) you once walked according to (under the control of) the course of this WORLD”(v2a). We were conformed to the ways of the world-system operating independently from God. We were born into a world infected by sin and we breathed it in. We didn’t like to be different. The pressure was hard to resist. Christians should not to be enslaved to the culture around them but obey God instead. 

B. SATAN: “according to the PRINCE of the power of the air, (the PRINCE of) the spirit that now works in(energises) the sons of disobedience (sinners by nature)” (v2b). Because of being in a state of sin in Adam, and being by nature disobedient to God, we belonged to the kingdom of satan. Cut off from God we came under the dominion of darkness, under the power of the devil, who is over the world-system(2Cor 4:4). We were born into both an infected World and a Kingdom ruled by satan who was out to make us sin.

C. FLESH: “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (v3a). 
The third force is from within.
  We were slaves to the sin-nature in the flesh (everything we inherited from Adam by birth - the disease is hereditary). The sin-nature in the body also contolled the mind. Because our spirit was dead, we came instead under the control of the sin-nature in our flesh, dominated by selfishness and greed. Rather than living from our spirit, we lived from our minds and bodies. 

3. CONDEMNED:
 “and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (v3b). By our nature and by our actions we were under the wrath (judgement) of God, heading for eternal Hell. The Prognosis is that we have a killer disease needing radical treatment, or else we will be dead forever! This is a third reason we could not save ourselves! A condemned man can’t save himself, he is totally at the mercy of the authorities. We desperately needed God’s grace! There will a future ‘day of wrath’ when He will show it. 

The Gospel gives Bad News before Good News. Before we can know how good our salvation is, we must know how bad off we were: Dead, Enslaved, Hopeless men under the Wrath of God . Into this darkness comes the brilliant light of Grace. He saved us from the guttermost to the uttermost!

We have seen: I. THE PROBLEM- Our State before Salvation-the Old Man (v1-3) 
Now we will see: II. THE SOLUTION - What God did for us in Christ (v4-7). 
then: III. THE RESULT - Our State after Salvation - the New Man (v8-10).

II. THE SOLUTION - What God did for us in Christ
 (v4-7). 
The Cure or Prescription is not reformation, education, politics, science, military, self-help or religion. Only God has the Cure, for man is dead and a divine miracle of resurrection is required. To save us from our hopeless state God stepped in with His mighty power: “BUT God, who is rich in MERCY, because of His great LOVE with which He loved us even when we were dead in (through) trespasses” (v4,5a). 

Our helplessless and weakness to save ourselves means we depend totally on God’s Mercy. God was motivated by His LOVE for us. He had set His love upon us and that love was manifested, first in Christ’s sacrificial death for us and secondly in His mighty resurrection power applied to us. The first example of this power was the resurrection and glorification of Christ (1:19-23). Now Paul goes onto the second example of what this power has accomplished. Having described its effect on Christ and saying the same operation of power is now working in believers, he gets more specific and describes what the Holy-Spirit did to our inner spirit-man 
at the moment we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (2:1-10). He gave us a REGENERATION (New Birth) which is the result of His mighty resurrection power. 

Previously we saw what this power did for Christ (1:19-22). 
It (1) Imparted life, (2) Overcame all evil powers, (3) Enthroned Christ. 
Thus we would expect Paul to show how this mighty power: 
(1) resurrected our spirits from spiritual death to LIFE, 
(2) LIFTED them far above evil powers, 
(3) put them in a position of DOMINION. 

We saw that Our State before Salvation was: 
(1) Spiritual Death, (2) Enslavement, (3) Condemnation. 
Thus Paul shows in turn how God’s power reversed all three aspects of our problem.

We now see His mighty power doing three things for us:

(1) We were DEAD in sins - so He made us alive in Christ! 
The character of the Cure must be Life for the character of the Disease is Death (v1)
 

“HE MADE US ALIVE together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”(5b) He IMPARTED HIS LIFE and NATURE into our spirits, resurrecting us out from a state of death. He did it also for Jesus: “His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead”(1:20). He made Jesus alive so when we were put in Christ, He made us alive with Him by the same operation of power. Our spirits are alive with the resurrection life of Christ (Eternal life)! Alive to God, 
we begin to see, to talk to God as someone we know, to hear and respond to God. We were lying down dead but Jesus laid down in death next to us and held our hand, so when God raised him up we were raised by the same action (the same power was transmitted to us).


(2) We were enslaved to evil powers, so He “RAISED US UP together with Christ
” (v6a), far above all powers. “He raised Him (Jesus) from the dead far above all principality and power and might and dominion” (1:20,21). 
So He did the same for us by the same operation of power which overcaming all evil powers. How high were we raised? The same as Christ! He was lifted out of atmosphere (far above the realm of satan’s influence).
 That means our spirits are free from the control of sin, satan and the world, lifted far above - FREE AT LAST! 

(3) We were under the condemnation of the throne. 
God reversed this by forgiving us and then putting us on the throne with Him! 
“And made us SIT together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”(v6b). 
Being seated with Christ speaks of POSITION and DOMINION.

He IMPARTED DOMINION to Christ: “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies, far above ... every name that is named... and put all things under His feet, and gave Him headship over all.” 
The same operation of power exalts us, placing us in authority over all. Our spirit is where our new body will one day join it.

Our spirit has been saved completely by grace (new possession and new position).
1. By the RESURRECTION of Christ - changed from DEATH to LIFE. 
2. By the ASCENSION of Christ - changed from CONQUERED to CONQUEROR.
3. By the SESSION of Christ - changed from UNDER to OVER.


Why did God do all this
?: “that in the ages to come (eternity) He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (v7). His eternal purpose is to make us trophies of grace. He puts on a display of grace and glory toward us, which we will possess IN US, so that we will be to the praise of His glory. The resurrection and ascension of our spirit is to prepare the way for a future eternal explosion (revelation) of glory in us!

III. THE RESULT - Our State after Salvation - the New Man (v8-10)

“For by grace (it was all by God’s initiative and power in Christ, 
not by anything we do) you have been saved(perfect tense- it has been accomplished in your spirit and continues to be effective) through faith (all this happened to you only when you believed, for a gift must be received. Faith is the hand that takes God’s gift) - and that(salvation is) not of yourselves (you can’t acheive it); it (the salvation) is the (free) gift of God” (v8). ‘Saving faith’ is also the gift of God, (because a corpse can’t have faith) but it is not an arbitrary gift dropped on some and not others, but a gift made available to all through the preaching of the Gospel: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).  

Salvation is:“not of works (you can’t deserve it as a reward) lest anyone should boast” (v9). If we did good deeds every day of our lives it would not get us an inch nearer heaven. No boasting in Heaven!  Salvation is: (1) in MERCY, (2) by GRACE, (3) through FAITH, (4) for Good-Works. We all come on same basis (the cure for pride in Church). GRACE is the instrument, FAITH is the ordained means (channel) of GRACE. It is faith (not works) that unites us to Christ so that we share His resurrection. Faith is not a work but trusting the Giver and accepting the Gift He provides. Good deeds can’t help your cure and bad deeds you have done need not hinder you from being cured. A bad character can be saved.  Good Works don’t save us but are important after salvation. 

The transformation of our spirits (resurrected from death, made victorious over sin and satan, made free from condemnation and given dominion all requires God’s pure grace. Finally, Paul gives a final proof that it is by grace, by describing it in terms of CREATION: “For we (the real us - our reborn spirits) are His workmanship (work of art, masterpiece), CREATED in Christ Jesus for good works” (v10). The New Man is a New Creation, a new order of being and is just as real as the original creation, yet free from sin. We can’t create ourselves - only God can do this! 

We are not saved by good works but for good-works. We were recreated by God to glorify Him in a new-life of good works. We should show forth our salvation by them. Ephesians 4-6 describe the works we should be walking in. One of the main purposes of our New-Birth is: “for (the purpose of) good works which God prepared beforehand (before our new-birth, in eternity) that we should walk in them.” God has planned a life-path for us of good-works for us to walk in. As we walk in His will, these good works come forth from our inner-man for our spirit has them programmed within along with the ability to do them. When we pray in tongues, we speak out mysteries, bringing forth these works that God has put in us, sensitising us to God’s will, so we may work out what God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12,13). 

Our spirit is well-built and designed to do what God has called us to do: 
“we are His workmanship CREATED in Christ Jesus for good works, that we should walk in them.” We started by walking in sin v2, and now the final result of grace is our walking in good-works. 

Ephesians 2:1-10 knows only 2 catagories of people
- dead or alive, under satan or God (there is no gray area). 

Two major differences between the good deeds of believers and unbelievers are: 
1. ‘We are His workmanship’ - one kind springs from a good-deed of God, from a person changed by God.. He has worked on us so we can work on others. Unbelievers can do good deeds without letting God change them (Luke 11:13).   They are no better off - for they have not let God do His good-deed in them before doing deeds for others. 
2. ‘God has prepared beforehand’ Believers’ good-deeds are planned, initiated and directed by God. Also spiritual deeds (like witnessing) are only possible by believers.

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