SS 11-1-20 Ephesians 2:11-18
Let’s review 1 through 14:
- This letter is from Paul to the church in Ephesus, but also is a circular letter.
- We are blessed, chosen, holy and blameless, sons through adoption, all through the redemption we have received through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
- The mystery: to bring all things under the authority of Christ, to unify heaven and earth.
- The framework of salvation was in place before the foundations of the world were laid. All who put their hope in Christ are for the praise of God’s glory.
- Those who believe are marked with the seal of God, the promised Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our inheritance until we are fully redeemed (glorified in heaven).
Now, let’s review 15-23:
- Paul’s prayer is our prayer for each other.
- That the LORD would give us spiritual wisdom and revelation,
- That the eyes of our heart may be enlightened in order to know
- The hope to which He has called us,
- The riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people,
- And the incomparably great power for us who believe.
- Jesus is seated at God’s right hand over every name and every rule and authority.
- God has appointed Him to be head of the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
Now, let’s review 2:1-10:
- We were dead spiritually because of our transgressions and sin.
- We followed the ways of Satan, gratifying the cravings of our flesh with no regard to God or His covenant and laws.
- We were by nature deserving of His wrath.
- Instead, because of His great love, He made us alive with Christ! Saved by grace!
- We are seated with Him in heavenly places.
- Examples of His incomparably rich grace, expressed through Christ Jesus.
- Saved by grace, not of ourselves, so that no one can boast.
- We are His handiwork, His masterpieces, created for His pleasure and His will.
Now, for the lesson, read 2:11-18. In order to set it up, let’s look at some other passages:
- Mark 14:48-49 Scriptures fulfilled
- Matthew 3:1-3, 4-6, 7-10, 11-12 Fire and winnowing fork = Judgment
- Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6 Repentance and judgment
- Mark 12:1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12
- To whom was Jesus referring?
- What did He mean by “cornerstone? Read Psalm 118:22-23, 20, 25-27, Matthew 21:42-44
- Mark 11:12-14, 20-21
Let’s tie it all together. Christ Jesus came to bring salvation to all who believe in Him, but to bring judgment upon all who don’t. He expanded Israel to mean Himself rather than the nation or the land. Read John 15:1-2. He is the TRUE VINE. See how He ties in the fig tree? See how He ties in Israel? He expanded salvation to the whole world. Remember how God can raise stones up to be children? Remember how Jesus said at His Triumphal Entry that if the people didn’t praise Him, that the very stones would cry out in praise (Luke 19:40)? Those who believe in Jesus Christ are connected to the TRUE VINE: God has made the two one! “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross…” Ephesians 2:15-16
Around the Tables:
- How do we have access to the Father (see Ephesians 2:18)? How do Jews have access to God (trick question)?
- Read verse 11. From which group do you hail (Jew or Gentile)? According to verse 12, where did we stand with God and Israel before Christ? Where do we stand now because of the blood of Christ (v13)?
- Why is “put to death their hostility” so important a phrase? How should we feel about Jewish believers?
- How should we feel and act toward those Jews who do not believe in Yeshua as their Messiah? About all unbelievers, whether Islamic, Buddhist, Atheist, Communist, etc?