Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 2: 1116  (ESV) 

The Uncircumcised of Heart are Alienated from God

11Therefore 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— 12remember 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. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by 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, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

 Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 2: 1722  (ESV) 

In Christ both Jew & Gentile are Joined Together by God’s Spirit

 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,d but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God bye the Spirit.

Footnotes:

a 3 Greek flesh

b 3 Greek like the rest

c 4 Or And

d 19 Or sojourners and e 22 Or in

Message map Ephesians 2: 1122

Ephesians lesson #5 — Christ Paid the Price to be The Peacemaker between Us & God!

  • Eph 2: 11-12 the Uncircumcised are Alienated from God
  • Eph 2: 13-14 Christ breaks Down the Barrier between us & god (for both Jew & Gentile)
  • Eph 2: 15-16 Christ Replaces Hostility To restore Us to peace with God   
  • Eph 2: 17-19 as Fellow Citizens And Saintswe Have entered into & Enjoy A peaceful Relationship With God
  • Eph 2: 20-22 Corporately The Church Is a holy temple Unto the Lord, In which Gods Spirit Dwells individually within Each Member

Eph 2: 11-12  the Uncircumcised are Alienated from God

Both the physically uncircumcised and the spiritually uncircumcised are alienated from God, through Jesus christ our lord.   

11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles (unbelieving, non-Jews) in the flesh (merely of human origin or empowerment), called “the uncircumcision” (uncovenanted, not in covenant with God, and not belonging to the Seed of Christ, the Messiah) by what is called the circumcision (Jewish Christians converts), which is made in the flesh by hands—

12remember that you (were at that time separated (rendered invalid) from Christ, alienated (estranged and shut out from fellowship and intimacy with God through Christ) from the commonwealth (citizenship and the administration of civil affairs) of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 

To be separated from Christ is to be “without connection and fellowship” with Him. It is “not to be in relationship with God.”  

Prior to Christ the only way to participate in the Original Covenant with God (aka Old Testament way of relating to God) was to participate in the outward rituals.  In Romans 3:20 we learn “20For by works of the law no human beingc will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”  The more we understand the law of God, the more we realize how sinful and unjustified we are.

In Hebrews 4:2 we learn that these were supposed to be “mixed with faith (KJV) or “united by faith” (ESV) with those who listened,” so that one understood they were a foreshadow of redemptive things to come!   

Note Romans 3:3-4 regarding God’s faithfulness to the Hebrew people will endure, just like it endures with us Christians:  Rom 3:3-4 (ESV) “ 3What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4By no means!”  Verse 4 = “God forbid” in KJB and “May it never be!” in NAS, and “Absolutely not!” in the CSB

The challenge or problem with the rite of circumcision is that it was accomplished by human hands. Though this was done in obedience to God, as an outward sign of being in covenant with God, it did nothing to change or regenerate the human heart through THE BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE of John 3:3!

Through the born again experience, God accomplishes Colossians 2: 11- 15 “11In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authoritiesb and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.c (c=through or in the Cross)

The truly circumcised are those who Philippians 3:3 reference, who are “in Christ, separated from the unclean multitude and truly consecrated to God.  Thus Holy Spirit performed heart circumcision provides “the extinction of the passions and the removal of spiritual impurity” from our lives!

Colossians 2:13 — When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision (uncovenanted, not in covenant with God, and does not belong to the Seed of Christ, the Messiah) of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses,

Uncircumcision is a metaphor for a person who is outside of God’s covenant, and who does not belong to the Seed (Christ, the Messiah).

Physical circumcision is the visible sign of God’s covenant, representing the opportunity from God to belong to Him by personally receiving His offer of salvation – through the Seed (Jesus Christ, the Messiah).

[203 /akrobystía literally means “what covers the extreme end,” referring to the part of the male foreskin not removed by circumcision. The duty of physical circumcision of course did not relate to women.]

Rom 6:33 The wages (divine recompense, reward,  payment, wages, salary, reward) of sin are death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jonathan Edwards Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God, Highlights the hostility that exists between God and Sinners!

The barrier between us and God is a two-fold: 1) God’s laws, with its moral and ceremonial provisions, and 2) Our disposition as sinners in juxtaposition to God’s Holy nature which creates a two-way hostile relationship on the part of both us and God.

Jonathan Edwards “Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God,” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinners_in_the_Hands_of_an_Angry_God)  is a sermon written by British Colonial Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached to his own congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts, and again on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut.  Typical of Edwards’ messags, it combines vivid imagery of Hell with observations of the world and citations of the scripture. It is Edwards’ most famous written work, is a fitting representation of his preaching style, and is widely studied by Christians and historians, providing a glimpse into the theology of the First Great Awakening of c. 1730–1755. 

The theme of the message is “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.”

Most of the sermon’s text consists of ten “considerations”:

  • God may cast wicked men into hell at any given moment.
  • The wicked deserve to be cast into hell. Divine justice does not prevent God from destroying the Wicked at any moment.
  • The wicked, at this moment, suffer under God’s condemnation to Hell.
  • The wicked, on earth—at this very moment—suffer a sample of the torments of Hell. The wicked must not think, simply because they are not physically in Hell, that God (in Whose hand the wicked now reside) is not—at this very moment—as angry with them as He is with those miserable creatures He is now tormenting in hell, and who—at this very moment—do feel and bear the fierceness of His wrath.
  • At any moment God shall permit him, Satan stands ready to fall upon the wicked and seize them as his own. (EW We understand through the Scriptures that God can turn the hard-headed & hardhearted over to a reprobate mind.”  Shakespeare’s villain Iago, likened this to “turning Othello’s mind the seamy side out” to ensnare him into murdering Desdemona.)

Jonathan Edwards Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God, Highlights the hostility that exists between God and Sinners!

  • If it were not for God’s restraints, there are, in the souls of wicked men, hellish principles reigning which, presently, would kindle and flame out into hellfire.
  • Simply because there are not visible means of death before them at any given moment, the wicked should not feel secure.
  • Simply because it is natural to care for oneself or to think that others may care for them, men should not think themselves safe from God’s wrath.
  • All that wicked men may do to save themselves from Hell’s pains shall afford them nothing if they continue to reject Christ.
  • God has never promised to save us from Hell, except for those contained in Christ through the covenant of Grace. (EW – Salvation is Christ is God’s Plan A, and there is no plan b!)

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (= God did it. God reached out; God pursued us by going out into the highways and byways and finding us, and the Holy Spirit works in us so we respond appropriately!  

  • Luke 14:23 “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
  • Matthew 22:9-10 9Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast. 10So the servants went out into the streets / highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

Our human, natural state is to think and live in a way that is in opposition to God’s ways.

Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 8:7 The carnal mind is enmity against God.  This means that the unregenerate person is in a state of opposition with God. James 4:4 “friendship of the world is enmity with God.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both (jew & gentile) one (into His church) and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall (which separated the court of Israel from the court of the gentiles) of hostility/enmity. (NW 1828 = the quality of being an enemy; unfriendly disposition)

Eph 13-14  Christ’s body & blood breaks Down the Barrier between us & god (for both Jew & Gentile)   

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (= God did it. God reached out; God pursued us by going out into the highways and byways and finding us, and the Holy Spirit works in us so we respond appropriately!  

Our human, natural state is to think and live in a way that is in opposition to God’s ways.

Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 8:7 The carnal mind is enmity against God.  This means that the unregenerate person is in a state of opposition with God. James 4:4 “friendship of the world is enmity with God.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both (jew & gentile) one (into His church) and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall (which separated the court of Israel from the court of the gentiles) of hostility/enmity. (NW 1828 = the quality of being an enemy; unfriendly disposition)

Eph 2: 15-16  Christ’s body & blood Replaces Hostility with A peaceful relationship with God   

Eph 2: 15-16: 15by abolishing (rendering inoperative and making invalid)  the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, (the ceremonial law represented a barrier), which Christ had now taken away. that he might create in himself one new man (a redeemed christian) in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body (of christ) through the cross, thereby killing (extinguishing, abolishing:) the hostility/enmity.

We are brought near to Christ through the process on the following slide, which we’ll rank order in just a moment. 

Wesley 2:14 For he is our peace – Not only as he purchased it, but as he is the very bond and centre of union. He who hath made both – Jews and gentiles, one church.

JFB – the middle wall of partition alludes to that which separated the court of Israel from the court of the gentiles. That wall was represented by the ceremonial law, which Christ removed.

I will put enmity between thee and the woman. Genesis 3:15.

The carnal mind is enmity against God.Romans 8:7.

  1. A state of opposition, as in “friendship of the world is enmity with God. James 4:4.

Eph 2: 13-14  Christ Himself Paid the Price to be the Peacemaker between Us and God!  

Rank order the processes below by which the Christ’s Body & Blood brings us near to God: 

3  a) Eph 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

1    b) Psalm 51:5 (ESV) Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

  • Job 5:7, Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. (BSB)
  • Rom 3:23 All have sinned and fallen short.
  • Rom 8:7 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

2  Rom 5:8 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ broke down the barrier between all men and God

  • Rom 8:3-4, 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,c he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The Temple & its Outer and Inner Courts

http://gospelsmuseum.div.ed.ac.uk/exhibits/show/court-of-the-gentiles/temple-overview

The Temple of Jerusalem contains 4 different courts; the Court of the Priests, the Court of Israel, the Court of the Women and finally the Court of the Gentiles. The Court of the Gentiles was the most outer Court encompassing the Temple. Despite the whole of the Temple being considered holy, this was the least holy court in the Temple.

  • 2 Chronicles 4:9 New American Standard Bible (NASB) Then he made the court of the priests and the great court and doors for the court, and overlaid their doors with bronze.

The construction of the Temple in Jerusalem began in 20 BCE under local King Herod and was considered one of his greatest projects; the entire complex that was created under Herod was enclosed by the Court of the Gentiles. The Court covers about 35 acres which is much larger than that of the previous Temple in Jerusalem. The Court unlike before is of a rectangular shape compared to the former square shape, it is paved and enclosed by a wall on all four sides.

It was given the name of ‘Court of the Gentiles’ due to the fact that Gentiles (i.e. non-Jews) were permitted into that area of the Temple, they were allowed to walk around it but were forbidden to go any further (penalty for such intrusion was death).

Acts 21: 27-30 The Account of Paul Being Arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem — 27When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.29For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.

Luke 21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  

Rev. 11:2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

Ezekiel 40:17-20 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement…

Ezekiel 42:20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.

Romans  8: 1-11  (ESV) Abolishing the Law of Commandments

1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.a 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set youb free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,c he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesusd from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Eph 2: 17-19 As “Fellow Citizens And Saints” We Have entered into & Enjoy A peaceful Relationship With God

Rom 3:23 — Since all — both Jews & Gentiles — have sinned and fallen short, of the glory of God, all need God’s gracious forgiveness and mercy!

17And he came and preached (announced the good news expressed in the person of Jesus Christ) peace to you who were far off (gentiles) and peace to those who were near (hebrews).

18For through him we both have access (are allowed to approaCH with intimate, face-to-face, interaction) in one Spirit to the Father.

19So then you are no longer strangers (without knowledge of, nor a share in) and aliens,d (a non-citizen with limited rights) but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Fellow Citizens = possessing the same citizenship with others, a fellow-citizen. It’s a reference to Gentiles as received into the communion of the saints — the people consecrated to God.

Eph 2: 20-22 Corporately The Church Is  a holy temple Unto the Lord, In which Gods Spirit Dwells individually within Each Member                       

20built on the foundation of the apostles (the first doctrines of truth God instituted through them) and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,(the principle stone which forms the corner of the foundation of two walls, and unites them). 

 (Ps. 118:22, Is. 28:16, Zech 10:4, Lk 20:17, Mt 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:10-11 & 12:28). 

Christ is The CornerStone Upon which our Peace with God is Founded.

  • Psalm 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
  • Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Lord GOD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will never be shaken.
  • Zechariah 10:4 The cornerstone will come from Judah, the tent peg from him, as well as the battle bow and every ruler together.
  • Luke 20:17 But Jesus looked directly at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
  • Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock [the cornerston of the testimony about Me] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues.

 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place (suitable habitation) for God bye the Spirit.

  • 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
  • Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
  • John 14:17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.
  • John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.
  • 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
  • Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

Let’s Pray that God ReAwakens, ReInvigorates & ReEstablish Us in Our Calls In Christ!

Thank You, LORD For sending Christ to Be The Chief Building Block of Our Salvation and Relationship with You!

Name *

Email *