Ephesians – Chapter 2, Part 2
God’s Way of Salvation
Ephesians 2 ~ Vs. 5 – 7
Chapter 2 – Outline: Positional Relocation.
- The New Position in the Heavenlies, the new life in Christ. God has spiritually regenerated sinners, transforming them from death to life, vs. 1-10.
- The New Position in the Household, unity in Christ. He reconciled Jews and Gentiles, moving them from alienation to oneness, vs. 11-18.
- The New Position in the Habitat, the Church is a Temple for the habitation of God through the Spirit. Gentiles are no longer aliens but fellow citizens of heaven being formed into a Holy temple for God’s dwelling, vs. 19-22.
Chapter 2 – Theme: God’s Grace:
The great theme of this chapter is God’s grace towards man as Paul discusses how sinners who deserve nothing but God’s wrath can become trophies of His grace.
- Vs. 1-10, speak of the grace panorama regarding our regeneration, from death to life, and our new position individually.
- Vs. 11-17, speak of grace and the barrier regarding our reconciliation, Jews and Gentiles as one.
- Vs. 18-22, speak of grace and the Church regarding being fashioned into the Temple of God.
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Eph 2:5, “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
“Were dead” is the Present, Active, Participle of Verb EIMI with the noun NEKROS once again that identifies the state of being we were in when God’s Love, Mercy and Grace found us, spiritually dead and operating in the sphere of our “transgressions,” which is PARAPTOMA once again. This reiterates vs. 1-3, that we were spiritually dead, under the authority and influence of Satan and under the control of our Old Sin Nature.
Real spiritual death occurs for us at birth; but occurred in the garden for mankind. It is the penalty of sin, and so given as a warning to our original parents in Gen 2:17, “dying you shall die.” When they partook of the forbidden fruit, they died spiritually. The penalty was imposed at the fall of mankind.
Spiritual death is defined as separation from God in a state of total helplessness with regard to any relationship with God. It is categorized as humanity separated from God from birth. It can be classified as judgment from God.
Spiritual death is perpetuated in the human race by the imputation of Adam’s original sin to the genetically-formed Old Sin Nature inside of each new baby born. Rom 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world (Adam’s original sin), and death (real spiritual death)through that sin, so (real spiritual) death spread to all men because all sinned (when Adam sinned).”
When the entire human race is born physically alive, it is also born spiritually dead. Mankind is not condemned because of his personal sins, but through the imputation of Adam’s original sin.
There are Two Categories of Spiritual Death.
- Real spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of sin. This applies to man as real spiritual death and is the result of Adam’s original sin, which becomes the status quo of the human race at the point of physical birth.
- Substitutionary spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of perfection and impeccability. This applies exclusively to Jesus Christ. Substitutionary spiritual death applies to the saving work of Jesus Christ on the Cross when the sins of the entire human race were imputed to Jesus Christ and God the Father judged those sins.
Adam’s spiritual death in the garden and our Lord’s spiritual death on the Cross have only one thing in common, separation from God the Father in a state of judgment.
There are Eight Results of Adam’s Original Sin in the Garden.
- At the point of the original sin, Adam lost his rulership of planet earth to Satan.
- When Adam died spiritually, he entered into a state of total separation from God. He was separated from God in a state of total helplessness; there was nothing he could do to regain his relationship with God. As a result of God’s love, mercy and grace, God did all the work: He came to Adam in the garden; he did the judging and then provided the solution for our spiritual death. Adam’s spiritual death was demonstrated by the fact that when Jesus Christ came in the garden, Adam hid himself from God.
- In spiritual death, Adam became dichotomous, having only a body and soul. Real spiritual death means loss of the human spirit, by which we have fellowship with God. 1 Cor 2:14calls unbelieving dichotomous man the PSUCHIKOS, or soulish man; cf. Jude 19.
1 Cor 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Jude 1:19, “These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.”
- Adam’s original sin invented the Old Sin Nature, which is genetically perpetuated to the entire human race. From the Old Sin Nature comes our total depravity, which includes both moral and immoral degeneration.
- It was the beginning of personal sins in the human race, perpetuated from generation to generation.
- It resulted in the status of total helplessness to enter into a relationship with God on the basis of any human good, any human merit, or anything we can do, all of which is classified as dead works.
- Likewise, spiritual death was perpetuated in the human race, Rom 5:12-21. This is why the unbeliever is dichotomous and why the believer is trichotomous, 1 Thes 5:23; Job 32:8; Philemon 25; 2 Cor 7:13; Heb 4:12.
1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- The incarnation and hypostatic union is a direct result of Adam’s original sin, whereby our Lord Jesus Christ entered the world at the First Advent to provide the solution to spiritual death through His efficacious substitutionary spiritual death, His saving work on the Cross.
So real spiritual death is perpetuated in the human race at the point of physical birth. 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”
1 Peter 4:6, “For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
Therefore, Adam’s original sin brought real spiritual death to the human race. Our Lord’s sacrificial or substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross brought eternal life to the human race. The real spiritual death of Adam made the human race dichotomous, having only body and soul. The substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross makes mankind trichotomous, having body, soul, and spirit. We acquire a human spirit at the point of faith in Christ.
The point is, we were not worth loving at that time because we were spiritually dead, under the authority of Satan and our Old Sin Nature, and operating in sin. Yet, God “made us alive together with Christ,”SUZOOPOIEO EN HO CHRISTOS.
SUZOOPOIEO, συζωοποιέω is in the Aorist, Active, Indicative and means “to make alive together with.” It is a triple compound word from the prepositional prefix SUN meaning “with,” the Verb ZAO meaning, “to live or be alive” and the Verb POIEO, “to do or make.” It is used only here and Col 2:13.
Col 2:13, “And when you were dead (spiritually) in the sphere of your transgressions (willful disobedience) and the uncircumcision of your flesh (Old Sin Nature), He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
So we see that salvation is a transfer from death in sin to life in Christ.
SUZOOPOIEO is the first of three in the context that has the prefix SUN, “with.”
The first is here in vs. 5, SUZOOPOIEO, and is translated, “made alive together with Him.”
The second is in vs. 6, SUNEGEIREN, and is translated, “raised us up with Christ.”
The third is also in vs. 6, SUNEKATHISEN, and is used for, “seated us with Him.”
These verbs beautifully summarize what God does for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. First, He implants spiritual life within; then He elevates them to a new level of life; and thirdly, He gives a new level of authority in this life and in the One to come that permits us to enjoy a continuous relationship with Christ.
God accomplished all of this “by grace,” CHARIS, an instrumental case construction in the Greek language that expresses the means by which something is accomplished. “Grace” explains how God operates. It refers to “undeserved favor” and is a constant reminder that God does not manifest acts of mercy toward people because they deserve them. It is the instrumental of means, to indicate the principle of God’s grace, that God found a way to love us, even though He is perfect and the total sum of perfection, and we are the total of everything that is imperfect.
The something accomplished by grace is “you have been saved,” EIMI SOZO.
SOZO is the Greek verb meaning, “save, keep safe, preserve, rescue or make well.” Here it is in the Perfect, Middle, Participle, meaning a completed past action with continuous results. We have in this case the Intensive Perfect, which emphasizes the fact that the work of salvation is completed and the results are perpetuated forever. The Middle voice tells us that God’s grace operated, which had a benefit back to Him. That benefit was saving you from eternal condemnation and instead, entering you into His Royal Family. The Participle indicates the permanence. So we see that as there was a future to sin (wrath), and likewise there is a future to saving grace (eternal life with God).
God’s greatest act of mercy is explained in this verse. Even though we were dead spiritually, He “made us alive together with Christ.” Just as Christ was resurrected to eternal glory, so will the believer in Jesus Christ be resurrected to eternal glory with Him. Salvation is expressed this way because of the necessity of an initial act of conversion. However, God does not cease working in believers’ lives after conversion. New life happens purely by God’s grace and entails rescue from wrath. Vs. 6 then tells us of two of the “spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ,” Eph 1:3.
But before we note the blessings, we first will note the Doctrines of Salvation and Grace.
Salvation is by Grace through Faith in Christ
Faith is the only system of perception which is totally devoid of any human merit. Only the object has merit, and in salvation the object of faith is our Lord Jesus Christ. How much faith does it take to be saved? Just a little bit more than no faith at all.
The salvation work of Christ on the Cross excludes anything being added to faith. No works of any kind are allowed. Salvation is by grace through faith, “not of works, lest any man should boast,” Eph 2:9.
Grace is all that God is free to do for unsaved mankind on the basis of the saving work of Christ on the Cross. Grace is extended to homo sapiens as unbelievers, living under spiritual death in total depravity and total helplessness regarding salvation.
Therefore, as a matter of grace, salvation is entirely the work of God. It is the work of the Father in judging our sins, of the Son in being judged for our sins, and of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace. This is why the way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ, and faith alone with no works added to it.
Scripture references for Salvation by Grace.
Rom 3:24, “Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Grace excludes human works.
Rom 4:4-5, “Now to the one who works for salvation, his wages are credited, not on the basis of grace, but on the basis of debt. But to him who does not work for salvation, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.”
Rom 4:16, “For this reason, it is by faith, in order that it might be in accordance with (on the basis of) grace.”
Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained an introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.”
Rom 5:15, “But the free gift (of salvation) is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one (Adam) the many died (spiritual death), much more did the grace of God and the gift by grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
Rom 5:17, “For if by the transgression of the one (Adam), (spiritual) death reigned through one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:6-7, “Resulting in the praise of the glory of His grace, which grace he freely bestowed on us (has graced us out) in the beloved, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
2 Tim 1:8-9, “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, (Divine call), not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted to us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
Heb 2:9, “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death (as a substitute) for everyone.”
Salvation is by faith in Christ plus nothing. There are three reasons for faith plus nothing as the condition for eternal salvation.
- Efficacious grace, documented by Eph 2:8-9.
- Our Lord’s utterance on the Cross: “TETELESTAI.”
- The direct statement of scripture.
Eph 2:5, “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
Salvation is by faith in Christ plus nothing. There are three reasons for faith plus nothing as the condition for eternal salvation.
- Efficacious grace, documented by Eph 2:8-9.
- Our Lord’s utterance on the Cross: “TETELESTAI.”
- The direct statement of scripture.
Efficacious grace fits into the pattern of faith alone. When the spiritually dead person responds to the Divine call or invitation to eternal salvation, he simply responds by believing in Jesus Christ. This is classified as faith alone or faith plus nothing.
When the spiritually dead person simply believes in Christ, God the Holy Spirit causes the faith to be effective for eternal life. This is classified as efficacious grace, or the doctrine of effectual faith.
The faith of the spiritually dead person indicates positive volition and a non-meritorious function which is compatible with grace. But because the spiritually dead person who believes in Christ is helpless, his faith is ineffective without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So efficacious grace causes faith to be effective.
However, no works can be added to faith. The Holy Spirit can only make faith and faith alone effective for salvation. Works added to faith in Christ are dead works, and the Holy Spirit does not make dead works effective for salvation. So if you add any works when you believe in Jesus Christ, you are not saved at that point. If you add anything to faith, God the Holy Spirit will not touch it, and so there is no efficacious grace. The reason is because Divine omnipotence and human works or power are mutually exclusive. It is the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit that makes only faith in Jesus Christ effectual for salvation.
The sequence of the pre-salvation grace ministry of God is as follows.
- In common grace, the Holy Spirit makes the gospel message perspicuous, clearly expressed and therefore easily understood, not only to a spiritually dead person, but to a person with spiritual brain death.
- God the Father invites the spiritually dead person to believe in Christ, which is called the Divine call.
- The spiritually dead person believes in Christ, and the Holy Spirit causes faith to be effective for salvation, which is called efficacious grace.
Therefore, God does all the work in our salvation from the Cross to the Divine call in common grace to efficacious grace for those who believe. Consequently, human works added to faith in Christ cancels faith, because human works is human power, which is rejected by grace.
The very nature of real spiritual death at birth eliminates any system of salvation by works. The spiritually dead person is incapable of doing anything to obtain salvation. Spiritual death at birth includes:
- Total depravity, which means moral or immoral degeneration.
- Total separation from God.
- Total helplessness to attain a relationship with God.
- The status quo of dichotomy, having only a body and soul. Without a human spirit, we are unable to understand the simplest concepts of the gospel.
The very nature of common grace, the Divine call, and efficacious grace eliminate any system of salvation by works. Since the unbeliever is spiritually dead, he is totally separated from God and totally helpless to do anything about it. The spiritually dead person can only produce dead works, which have no validity with God.
Our Lord’s Utterance: “TETELESTAI”
The second reason for the fact that salvation is by faith plus nothing is the statement of our Lord on the Cross immediately after he was judged for the sins of the world.
In John 19:30, after bearing and being judged for our sins, Jesus Christ was still very much alive, as noted by the fact that he said, “TETELESTAI.” This is translated “finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever.”
John 19:30, “Therefore, when Jesus had received the wine, He said ‘TETELESTAI!’ and then He pushed His head forward and delivered over His spirit (to God the Father).”
TETELESTAI is the Perfect, Passive, Indicative of TELEO that means, “To complete, finish or perform.”
The Intensive Perfect refers to a completed action with emphasis on existing results of that past action. Therefore, it refers to a present state resulting from a past action. The present state is that salvation is available. The past action is that Jesus Christ was judged for our sins. The intensive perfect states in a strong way that a thing “is,” i.e., exists. It is also known as the perfect of existing state. The past action is a completed action so that the present state is a continuing status quo. In other words, our lord said, “It is finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever.”
The Passive Voice represents the subject, Jesus Christ, as receiving the action, i.e., being acted upon by someone else, e.g., God the Father, who imputed our sins to Jesus Christ and judged every one of them. The omnipotence of the Father imputed all our sins to Christ on the Cross. The justice of the Father judged every sin in the history of the human race. So Jesus Christ received the action of the verb, being judged for the sins of the human race. He completed that action on the Cross while He was still alive. Therefore, Rom 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died as a substitute for us.” The active participation of God’s love and Christ’s substitutionary spiritual death culminate in the Passive TETELESTAI of John 19:30.
The Indicative Mood is declarative for a dogmatic statement of doctrine.
John 19:30 therefore indicates that the work of salvation was completed on the Cross. When something is completed, you cannot add anything to it. The one thing in which you can take absolutely zero credit is faith; none of us earn or deserve salvation.
So the only condition for eternal life is non-meritorious personal faith in Jesus Christ, whose substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross provided all the efficacious work for salvation. That is why our Lord said after he had been judged for our sins, “finished!” Salvation was completed on the Cross. There is nothing we can add to it now or ever.
Eternal salvation is a free gift which is compatible with God’s policy of grace. Therefore, it is attained by faith alone in Jesus Christ. You can take zero credit for your faith. By adding anything to faith for salvation, man is in competition with God, and that alone is blasphemous.
The Direct Statement of Scripture.
There are many passages of Scripture that tell us our salvation is based on faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross that has been provided for us and given to us by the Love, Mercy and Grace of God the Father. Our Chapter, Eph 2, is one of the great chapters that clearly defines that our salvation is based on the grace of God through our faith alone in Christ Jesus and not by any system of works. Those who believe salvation includes belief in Jesus Christ plus a system of works or continuance of faithful deeds throughout their life, misinterpret James’ statements in James 2:17-26. He, as Paul does in Eph 2:10, was emphasizing the importance of Divine Good Production post salvation, but never meant it to be a condition for salvation.
The overwhelming majority of Scripture regarding our salvation excludes works or continued faithfulness as a condition for our salvation, and speaks solely of a one-time true act of faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. The Scripture also tells us that kind of faith results in eternal life gained as a grace gift from God. Those passages include but are not limited to the following.
John 16:8-9, “And He, (God the Holy Spirit), when He comes, He will convict, (ELEGCHO – to bring a person to the point of recognizing wrongdoing, convict or convince, BDAG), the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me.”
Our personal sins are not an issue in salvation. They were an issue at the Cross, and Jesus Christ was already judged for every one of them. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, who convicts us with regard to salvation, never convicts us with regard to our personal sins. The one sin He convicts us of is the only sin for which Christ could not die: the sin of rejection of Him, the sin of unbelief.
John 3:15, “That everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, in order that whoever believes in Him should not perish (eternal security) but have eternal life.”
John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Notice believe is repeated three times in this verse; no works are added to believe.
John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The issue in salvation is that you either believe in Christ once, or you never come to believe that He is your Savior.
John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
John 6:47, “Truly, truly, I say to you: he who believes in Me has eternal life.”
John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her (Martha), `I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
You have to believe while you are alive; there is no second chance after you die.
John 20:31, “But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name, (person).”
Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved; you and your household.” That is, if anyone in your household believes in Christ, they too will be saved.
Notice that the command is to believe; nothing is added to it.
Gal 3:26, “For you are all sons (children) of God, (royal family), through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Notice that nothing is added to faith.
Rom 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, also to the Greek, (gentiles).”
Everyone is saved the same way, both Jew and Gentile. They are saved, not by keeping the Law, but only by believing in Christ.
Rom 3:20-22, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (Old Testament), even therighteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.”
Rom 3:28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law.”
Rom 4:4-5, “Now to the one who works for salvation, his wages is not reckoned as a favor, (not on the basis of grace), but as what is due, (on the basis of debt). But to the one who does not work for salvation, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned, (receives credit), as righteousness.”
Rom 4:14, “For if those who are of the law are heirs, then faith has been made void (Perfect Tense), and the promises have been nullified (made of no effect – Perfect Tense).”
Gal 2:16, “Nevertheless, knowing that a (spiritually dead) man is not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified.”
How are we justified in the eyes of God? Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that (salvation) is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
- The only way of salvation is one act of personal faith in Jesus Christ with nothing added to it.
- To add to faith in Christ for salvation is no salvation at all. If when you believe in Christ, you are depending upon something else besides faith in Christ, you are not saved.
Phil 3:9, “And may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
2 Tim 3:15, “And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings (Holy Scriptures) which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Even if you later renounce your faith in Christ, you are still saved.
2 Tim 2:11-13, “It is a trustworthy statement (faithful is the Word): For if we died with Him (and we have: retroactive positional truth), we shall also live with Him; 12If we endure (suffering for blessing), we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him (negative volition post-salvation), He also will deny us (escrow blessings for time and eternity); 13If we are faithless, (do not believe post-salvation), He remains faithful (eternal security); for He cannot deny Himself.”
God the Father cannot deny the indwelling of the Trinity inside the saved person.
1 John 5:11-13, “And the witness / testimony is this: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13These things I have written to you who believe in the name (person) of the son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”
As we noted in Eph 2:8-9 and Rom 4:4-5 above, salvation is said to be by grace and grace excludes human works. Here are other verses that support that doctrine.
Rom 3:24, “Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
Rom 4:16, “For this reason it is by means of faith, in order that it might be in accordance with,(on the basis of), grace.”
Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained an introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.”
Rom 5:15, “But the free gift of salvation is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of one, (Adam), the many died, (spiritual death), much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the One man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
Rom 5:17, “For if by the transgression of the one, (spiritual) death reigned through one, much more those who received the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Eph 1:6-7, “To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved, 7in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace”
2 Tim 1:8-9, “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God (doctrine of Common Grace), 9who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling (Divine Call), not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
Titus 3:3-8, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.”
Heb 2:9, “But we do see Him who has been made a little lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death (as a substitute) for all.”
In the last part of Eph 2:5, we are noting, “(by grace you have been saved).”
And expanded translation is, “by grace have you been saved completely in the past with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which continues throughout present time.”
Having noted the Doctrines of Salvation and Efficacious Grace, (the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to take the unregenerated person’s non-meritorious act of faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross and make it effective for their salvation), we now turn to the overall Doctrine of Grace to understand God’s operational love, mercy, righteousness and justice expressed towards mankind, especially unbelieving man.
The Doctrine of Grace
Grace is all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the Cross of Jesus Christ, on the basis of propitiation. God is actually freed from the confinements of His own perfect character to do something for us. So grace is God’s freedom to express His love toward mankind without jeopardizing any part of His essence. The Cross freed God to save us and to save us permanently. Therefore, grace is the Plan of God, grace is the work of God, the expression of God’s perfection. Grace means very simply that God does all the work and man does all of the benefiting without work. Grace is a plan, a policy, a function, a part of God’s mode of operation.
Grace depends upon the essence or the character of God. Therefore, grace depends on who and what God is. Grace is what God can do for man and be consistent with His own character or essence. This is why propitiation is so important.
The issue. The believer must sort out the difference between grace and legalism. Legalism is man’s ability, man’s works, man’s actions intruding into the Plan of God. Anything that man throws into the Plan is no good. If it were accepted, it would neutralize or destroy grace. The Plan of God, however, is not destroyed or neutralized because grace rejects our talent, ability, plans, concepts, or anything that we have and regard as beneficial. Man’s plans and God’s plans cannot coexist. This immediately sets up in the soul a great conflict.
Grace, sanctification and the Angelic Conflict all meet. The principle is that under grace the greatest things that God can do for any believer is to make that believer like His Son who is the only celebrity of the Church Age, as well as the head of the Church. Man was created to resolve the Angelic Conflict, therefore, when the first Adam blew it through his free will and sin (the Fall), Jesus Christ as the last Adam became human, not an angel, to resolve the conflict, Rom 5:15; Heb 2:14-16.
Rom 5:15, “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
Heb 2:14-16, “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.”
The first Adam lost the victory through the Fall and the last Adam wins the victory through the Cross and then Operation Footstool, Col 2:14-15; Heb 1:3-4; 2:6-8, 14; 10:12.
Col 2:14-15, “Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us andwhich was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
Heb 1:3-4, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”
Heb 10:12, “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.”
So grace found a way to take man, created inferior to angels and in a fallen condition, and make him superior to all angelic creatures. This is accomplished in three stages of sanctification.
- Stage One: By means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit whereby every believer is entered into union with Christ and became positionally higher than angels, Heb 1-2. This is Positional Sanctification.
- Stage Two: Because of this, it is possible under the construction of the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) and the entrance into the super-grace life to become experientially higher than angels. There is nothing that frustrates the devil more than for a believer to reach super-grace, because positionally the devil cannot do anything about what happened in a second, but he can try to head off building your ECS by which God starts pouring out His grace, and He pours and He pours. Once the ECS has been constructed and once the believer enters into super-grace and maintains it, then he is under what is known as Experiential Sanctification. At this point, God is able to bless the believer here in the devil’s world to a greater extent. When God through grace can start pouring into your cup (ECS) and benefit you way above the demons, it just tears them all apart. And while God is blessing you, God is being glorified. The other side of the picture is that the demons are weeping and wailing. It tortures them to have you blessed under super-grace. The biggest issue in your life is super-grace blessing.
- Stage Three: That is when the Church receives their resurrection bodies and become the bride of Christ. When Church Age believers receive the resurrection body at the Rapture this is Ultimate Sanctification, and at that point, the believer in Jesus Christ is physically superior to the angels.
1 Cor 6:3, “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?”
The Entrance Factor into Grace. Every believer has entered the grace of God. That means he has tasted grace at least once, the moment he believed in Jesus Christ, Heb 6:4; 1 Peter 2:3.
Heb 6:4, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit.”
1 Peter 2:3, “If and you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
At the moment of salvation, every believer receives 40+ things that are irrevocable. They are just as immutable as God Himself. This grace package at salvation cannot be cancelled or destroyed either by God or by angels or by human beings. At the same time, God is freed to love you regardless of your experiential status in this life. Maximum love frees God to pour out maximum grace, but grace can only find a place to lodge where there is capacity for grace, and that is the super-grace life. Therefore, God in grace has provided super-grace in order that this might be demonstrated to us, to angels and to the entire heavenly convocation. In addition, grace never goes where grace is not wanted. The issue here is Bible doctrine. God found a way through doctrine, through GAP, to put this into operation.
The occupational hazard of believers in the field of grace is ignorance, lack of cognizance with regard to the concept of grace, that leads to disorientation of grace, which leads to reversionism in the believer’s life, Gal 5:4; Heb 12:15.
Gal 5:4, “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
Reversionism is the greatest enemy, the greatest antagonist to the whole Plan of God in Phase Two – your spiritual life. Under grace (super-grace), the believer reaps what God sows; under reversionism, the believer reaps what the believer sows, Gal 6:7-8; Prov 11:18.
As we have noted in vs. 5, God’s grace was working to provide the believer a new life in Christ, which entailed rescue from Divine wrath, (eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire), now in vs. 6 we will see two more results of God’s grace that are part of our “spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ,” Eph 1:3.
Eph 2:6, “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.”
This passage looks back to Eph 1:20-23 and shows the marked contrast between the believers’ former lost condition and our present situation in Christ. While we still live in mortal bodies on earth, we also participate in the resurrection life of Christ.
It begins with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for “and” that includes the blessing of our “new life in Christ” with what we are about to see in this verse. Therefore, God’s grace, mercy, and love have done three things:
- “Made us alive with Christ.”
- “Raised us up with Christ.”
- “Seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
Here we have three blessing in the context that all use the prefix SUN, “with.”
The first was in vs. 5, SUZOOPOIEO, and is translated, “made alive together with Him.”
The second is here in vs. 6, SUNEGEIREN, and is translated, “raised us up with Christ.”
The third is also here in vs. 6,
SUNEKATHISEN, and is used for, “seated us with Him.”
So, the second blessing “raised us up with” is the Aorist, Active Indicative of SUNEGEIRO, συνεγείρω that means, “To rise or be raised up with another.” It is used only here and in Col 2:13; 3:1.
Col 2:12, “Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
Col 3:1-2, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, (and you have), keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
SUNEGEIRO refers to the believer’s spiritual resurrection with Christ. The prefix SUN is critical to the new purpose the word serves as it gives the word the meaning of joining in with Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and session. The root EGEIRO means “to arise” and appears in classical literature as far back as Homer (Eighth Century B.C.). In the N.T. it is applied to the resurrection of Christ and human beings and sometimes it has a metaphoric sense of the “lifting up” of a person in honor and position. But only in the three passages above is the root joined with the prefix SUN to describe the believer’s participation in Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and session. As such, SUNEGEIRO carries an eloquent meaning to describe the union of the believer with Christ. So it speaks of the believer being position-ally resurrected.
Christ’s post-resurrection state was new, powerful, and unique. So too believers, in whom Christ dwells, have a new, powerful, and unique life and position. This new life, power, and position demand that we have a new set of values, as Paul stated in his companion letter to the Colossian, Col 3:1-2, as noted above.
The “us” comes from the 3rd Person Singular of the verb and continues to include both Jews and Gentiles in the plan of salvation and “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.”
As noted, not only are we “raised up” with Christ but we are also “seated with” Christ, as tied together with another coordinating conjunction KAI, followed by the Aorist, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person Singular of SUGKATHIZO, συγκαθίζω that means, “sit down with, to make to sit together with.” This is the third “spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.” The unique feature of SUGKATHIZO is the intensive transitive meaning given to the term: “to cause someone to sit down with, to make persons sit together.” So we could say, “made us sit down with (Christ) in heaven”
This is only used here and in Luke 22:55 regarding Peter “sitting down at a fire” while our Lord was enduring his trails. In that event, Peter was joined with those who rejected Christ, while here, those who accept Christ are joined with Him.
It is interesting to note that God first raises us up and then sits us down, reflecting the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross that gives all who believe in Him rest. All of our spiritual blessings happen because of Christ’s prior work and exaltation and because God unites believers to Him. So this speaks of the believer’s spiritual position in heaven, where Christ is. We are no longer mere earthlings; our citizenship is in heaven, Phil 3:20.
This also tells us that we are not raised from the dead and left in the graveyard. On the contrary, because we are united to Christ, we have been exalted with Him and we are sharing His throne in the heavenlies. Our physical position may be on earth, but our spiritual position is “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Just like Lazarus, we have been called from the grave to sit with Christ and enjoy His fellowship, John 12:1-2.
Both “raising” and “seating” are part of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. He is the agent of the Active Voice. The Divine power that can make an unbeliever have life, be raised, and exalted with Christ, is the same power that presently operates in believers. The Aorist is a Culminative Aorist viewing the entirety of the Action of our being raised and seated from the standpoint of its existing results. The Indicative Mood is for the reality of current Positional Truth identifying us with Christ seated at the right hand of the Father. The implications of this Indicative Mood are found in Heb 1:13-14.
Heb 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET”? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
Next we have two Dative phrases. The first is in the Dative of Place or Sphere and the second is in the Dative of Association.
The Dative of Place/Sphere tells us of the realm in which these blessings occur, “in the heavenlies” EN HO EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος in the plural for “heavenlies.”
As we noted in Chapter one there are five uses of “Heavenlies” in Ephesians that includes:
- The sphere and source of Divine blessing, including super-grace blessings, because it is the place of strategical victory in the angelic conflict. Christ seated at the right hand of the Father is the strategical victory, Eph 1:3.
- The sphere of Christ’s power, which comes from Christ’s victory in the Angelic Conflict and therefore is the key to the Church’s position, Eph 1:20.
- The sphere of the Christian life, which is the believer’s current position in Christ, making it possible for super-grace blessing to be a part of the tactical victory in our lives, Eph 2:6.
- The sphere of angelic activity, Eph 3:10. This is why elect angels are rejoicing and are observing very closely our activities.
- The sphere of spiritual conflict; the angelic conflict in the Church Age, Eph 6:12.
Next we have the Dative of Association that tells us of the fact of our being “united with Christ,” EN CHRISTOS IESOUS. The absence of the definite article HO in this phrase calls attention to the quality of the proper noun. Jesus Christ is unique; He is the only celebrity for the Church Age. It speaks of our union with Jesus Christ and the reason for all the “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies” that we receive.
So the sphere is the place of victory in the Angelic Conflict and in effect it is our identification with the strategical victory of the Cross. At the Cross Christ bore our sins. Three days later He was resurrected. Then He ascended and was seated at the right hand of the Father; this is the strategical victory of the Angelic Conflict. The strategical victory has its continuation at the Second Advent. In the meantime, during the Church Age, we have tactical victories when a believer reaches super-grace. We have a part in glorifying God in the Church Age in tactical victory. There can be no tactical victory without some strategical victory first. The strategic victory is the fact that God the Holy Spirit unites each one of us into union with Christ at the point of salvation. Strategic victory leads to tactical victory.
All of this is the reality that God the Holy Spirit enters each one of us into union with Christ at the point of salvation, which is part of His ministry of Baptism, 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:4-7; Col 2:12-14, that has nothing to do with water baptism, and has provided for us equal privilege and equal opportunity to be victorious in the spiritual life.
1 Cor 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
Eph 4:4-7, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Gal 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our retroactive Positional Truth, Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:12, meaning we are not only identified with Christ, but we are identified with Him in His death, the principle being that Jesus Christ rejected human good when He was bearing our sins and therefore we are identified with Christ because that is our position. Our position in Christ is that of rejection of human good.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is also the basis for current positional truth, Eph 1:3-6; Col 2:10, which is our current position in Christ, our eternal union with Him; being spiritually alive in Him, raised in Him and seated at the right hand of the Father in Him.
Eph 2:7, “In order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
This verse tells us why God has transformed us from spiritual death to spiritual life with all of its associated spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. It begins with the purpose clause HINA meaning, “in order that,” to indicate the goal or aim of the action. It is a strong statement of purpose.
Next we see when God’s purpose will be ultimately revealed, “in the ages to come,” EN HO AION HO EPERCHOMAI, speaking of the eternal state; when we receive our resurrection bodies and beyond.
Then we have, “He might show” in the Aorist, Middle, Subjunctive of ENDEIKNUMI, ἐνδείκνυμι that means, “show, demonstrate, manifest, or point out.” In the Middle Voice, it carries the sense of “to give proof or exhibit” and is translated “He might show for Himself,” i.e. His own glory. The Subjunctive Mood is not for potential but for the purpose clause.
His purpose is to show His gracious lovingkindness.
The thing that God desires to demonstrate through us is, “the surpassing riches of His grace,” HO HUPEBALLON PLUTOS HO CHARIS AUTOS.
This super-abounding grace applied “toward us” EPI HEMEIS, is from God’s love, as noted in vs. 4, as exemplified here as His “kindness,” CHRESTOTES, χρηστότης that means, “goodness, uprightness, kindness, mercy, or even generosity.” It is God’s love expressed in tender action, cf. Rom 5:8.
Rom 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The “kindness” of God, i.e., the “riches of his grace or goodness,” is demonstrated in Christ. God’s act of kindness is solely an act of grace. The marvelous feature of this kindness is that it was done when we were in rebellion to God, Titus 3:3-7.
Titus 3:3-7, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
And finally, God’s love, as demonstrated through His grace towards us, is based our position/union “in Christ Jesus,” EN CHRISTOS IESOUS.
- This verse deals with Phase Three, our eternal state and that state is one of grace – surpassing grace.
- God’s purpose in our redemption is not simply to rescue us from hell, as great a work as that is. His ultimate purpose in our salvation is that for all eternity the Church might glorify God’s grace, Eph 1:6, 12, 14.
- Throughout all eternity the Church will be a demonstration to all creation of God’s grace. Believers will truly be “trophies” of God’s grace forever.
- This eschatological dimension implies that it will be for the benefit of angels, as well as, men.
- For all of eternity believers of the Church Age will be glorifying God.
- God will be able to point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us.
- Therefore, the Church, being His memorial will be for His praise and glory throughout all of eternity.
Next in Ephesians 2, Part 3, we will study:
Verses 8 – 9
Axioms of Grace
Doctrine of Faith – For Salvation
Erroneous Views of Salvation by Works