THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
2:4-10 - The Study
"But God ... Made Us Alive Together With Christ"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


 

TEXT TOPIC
(2:4)
But God,
    being rich
in mercy,
    because
of His great love with which He loved us,
THE FATHER

THE FATHER'S MERCY

THE FATHER'S LOVE

(2:5)
   
even when we were dead (i.e., separated)
       
in (Lit., "by reason of") our transgressions,
        made us alive
together with Christ (Some ancient mss. read, "in Christ")
        (
by grace you have been saved),
EVEN WHEN

WE WERE DEAD IN SINS

THE FATHER MADE US ALIVE

BY GRACE

(2:6)
   
and
        raised us
up
          
with Him and
        seated us
          
with Him
            
in the heavenly places,
            
in Christ Jesus.
THE FATHER RAISED CHRIST UP

THE FATHER RAISED US UP

THE FATHER SEATED CHRIST

THE FATHER SEATED US

IN CHRIST

(2:7)
in order that
    He might show the surpassing riches
   
of His grace
      
in kindness toward us
       
in Christ Jesus
IN ORDER THAT

THE FATHER MIGHT SHOW HIS GRACE

(2:8)
for
   
by grace
        you have been saved (
Lit., "you are having been saved," seswsmenoi, (Perf. Pass. Ptc. Nom. Pl. Masc.), "You are in the position of having been saved, with long term results extending into the future."),
   
through Faith,
       
and that (i.e., that salvation) not of yourselves,
        it is the gift
of God;
IT IS THE FATHER'S GRACE BY WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED

THROUGH FAITH

IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD

(2:9)
    not
as a result of works,
       
that no one should boast.
YOUR WORKS ARE NOT INVOLVED
(2:10)
for
    we are His workmanship,
        created
in Christ Jesus
          
for good works,
            
which God prepared
                
beforehand,
                
that we should walk in them.
WE ARE THE FATHER'S WORKMANSHIP - IN CHRIST

MADE TO DO THE FATHERS GOOD WORKS

COMMENTARY - "But God ... Made Us Alive Together With Christ," 2:4-10

(2:4)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Paul brings us to a big contrast here. 2:3 ended with strong words that we all were "Children of Wrath" before faith in Christ. "BUT GOD" Paul cries out, "But God," being rich in mercy! What a great God He is. He is so alien to what one would expect of an "Almighty god." In our world absolute power corrupts absolutely. In our world power for one means servitude for all the rest. In our world despotism results in starvation, cruelty, pain, suffering, and death.

"But God," rich in mercy, because of His great love. He is merciful, He is loving, so different from the experience of our world system. And if that were not enough to make you fall down on your knees and worship Him, "because of His great love with which He loved us." Can you imagine, does it not deeply affect you - God loves those who would believe with His "Great Love." A love that led the Trinity of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to agree together in a plan that would save men and women from the wrath to come through simple faith in the Son of God who would willingly pay the price for the sins of mankind. He would do that by suffering and dying upon the wooden cross of Calvary, and He would do it because of His love for each individual man or women who would find faith in Him.

(2:5)
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

This plan was set in place knowing our wicked position of being dead in our transgressions. Through the death of Christ, planned in the eternal past, effective during our sinful lives, we who believe were made ALIVE together with Christ. All due to the grace of God - He did it for you.

(2:6)
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,

But look! Not only did God the Father save us through His Son, not only did our sins die with His Son's death, but He raised us up with Christ - not just to newness of life, but he raised us up to the heavenly places and seated us beside the Father, Almighty God, all In-Christ. All in the plan, all through the work of Jesus Christ, and all in believing in faith upon Him.

(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.

Why? That forever The Father might continue to bless us with His unfathomable grace, because of His kind nature, and all completed in His Son, Jesus Christ.

(2:8)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
(2:9) not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

You can't work for this salvation. You don't qualify for it through any self worth or value. It is a gift to those who would by faith believe. We have a saying in our family (and you may too), "It's not about you!" That saying could not be more true about God's plan for the salvation of men and women. It's not about you. It's not about how you qualify, either by your accomplishments or your breeding, or your sacrifice. It's not about you at all. It is about Jesus Christ and what He did. It's about God the Father and what He did. It is about the Holy Spirit of God and what He did. But - it's not about you.

Having done what He did - He offers the completed benefit of salvation to you - AS A GIFT that you can refuse, or your can receive. And He did it all because of His mercy, His grace, and His love for you.

(2:10)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Paul quickly swings his thought around to our responsibilities as those who have believed. Now, as a result of knowing what God has done for you, how will you respond. You were created in Christ Jesus for good works. Your life before Jesus was anything but good works. But Now - what will you do with your life In Christ. Paul says that you were created for good works that were prepared beforehand - before the foundation of the world - God prepared good works for you to do before the foundation of the world. Think of that! The question arises - are you doing them? Is the quality of your life such that others can see the good work being done in you. Paul uses the phrase "that we should walk in them." Dr. Douglas MacCorkle translates this verse: "For we are His and no other's masterpiece, having been created by Christ Jesus to do the really good works that God prepared earlier, purposing that we should be occupied with them." Yes, occupied with them. We are not called to do a good deed every day! We are called to be occupied with good, to walk in good, literally to "walk around in good works." This should be the manner of your life.

VISUALIZED TEXT - "But God ... Made Us Alive Together With Christ," 2:4-10

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(2:4)

But God,
    being rich
in mercy,
    because
of His great love with which He loved us,
(2:5)
   
even when we were dead (i.e., separated)
       
in (Lit., "by reason of") our transgressions,
        made us alive
together with Christ (Some ancient mss. read, "in Christ")
        (
by grace you have been saved),
(2:6)
   
and
        raised us
up
          
with Him and
        seated us
          
with Him
            
in the heavenly places,
            
in Christ Jesus.
(2:7)
in order that
    He might show the surpassing riches
   
of His grace
      
in kindness toward us
       
in Christ Jesus
(2:8)
for
   
by grace
        you have been saved (
Lit., "you are having been saved," seswsmenoi, (Perf. Pass. Ptc. Nom. Pl. Masc.), "You are in the position of having been saved, with long term results extending into the future."),
   
through Faith,
       
and that (i.e., that salvation) not of yourselves,
        it is the gift
of God;
(2:9)
    not
as a result of works,
       
that no one should boast.
(2:10)
for
    we are His workmanship,
        created
in Christ Jesus
          
for good works,
            
which God prepared
                
beforehand,
                
that we should walk in them.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "But God ... Made Us Alive Together With Christ," 2:4-10

(2:4)
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,"
1.     What is God's motivation for changing all this?
        His great love

2.     According to this verse, what is an important characteristic or attribute of God?
        His great love


(2:5)
"even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),"
1.     What, according to the Bible, is the definition of "alive?"
        Not seperated from God (a proclaimed position).
2.     What does "alive with Christ" mean?
        As alive as Him, as "not seperate" from the Father as He is.
3.     What are the ramifications of God making us "alive" while "dead" in our transgressions?
4.     What is God's Grace?
        "Grace is what God may be free to do, and indeed what He does, accordingly, for the lost after christ has died on behalf of them." (L. S. Chafer)
5.     In what manner are you saved, if it is by grace?
        Un-forfeitable and unmerited


(2:6)
"and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,"
1.     In what manner are we "raised?"
        Proclaimed - with Him.
2.     To what office, that Jesus holds, are we "raised up" and "seated" with Him? (compare with 1:20)
        "His Right Hand."
3.     Where does this take place, and what are the ramifications of that?
        In the Heavenlies.
4.     Describe what it means to be "In Christ."

A. Redemption (1:7)
B. Forgiveness of Trespasses (1:7)
C. The making know of His Will (1:9)
D. Our inheritance In Him (1:11)
E. The outworking of the purposes of His will through His Predestination of believers (1:11)
F. His making believers the "Praise of His glory" (1:12)
G. The sealing of The Holy Spirit (1:13)
H. The redemption of God's own possession (1:14)
I. Doing these things while the believer was "yet in their sins?"


 (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."
1.    What are the ages to come?
        First of all there are ages. If you don't see the scriptures in a dispensational manner, you should. All of time is marked up into understandable slices that have beginnings and endings based upon earthly events. Studying the scriptures, understanding this construct sheds light on God's planning of the events of time. The past, the present and the future are all included in God's plan and the flow of time is divided into times, epochs, administrations, and events. There have been ages in the past such as "before the fall of Adam and Eve." Who would argue that life before the fall was the same as life after the fall? Or there is the Flood, the same before as after - I don't think so. How when the Assyrians ruled the known world, was that different than when they were conquered and the Babylonians took world domination. In our own time are things the same since the end of the "Cold War?" Or even with the change of a president - things change, and we track time by these changes.
        Second the ages to come are the times and epochs that came after the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. Paul's point is not so much what epoch as it is that God's grace and kindness will continue to be toward is In Christ Jesus.

2.     Why was all this done in kindness?
        That is the revealed nature and character of Almighty God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - a character of Kindness.


(2:8)
"for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;"
1.    What does the word "for" indicate here?
        Results or Purpose: Paul now states the reason that we should see the character of God as Kind.
2.    Describe or define Grace.
        Unmerited favor.
3.    What is important about the tense of the word Saved?
        You have been saved. Not just a simple past here. Paul could have said, "You were saved," but instead he chose complex clause combining a present active indicative, "you are being" and a perfect passive participle, "having been saved." The importance here is that your are, right now, in the process of "having been saved," in the past. Paul wants it made clear that the process of salvation began in the eternal past and that you have become a part of this eternal plan now in the present, and that the process continues on into the future.
4.    Describe or define Faith.
        Putting your trust in something or someone.
5.    Explain Grace through Faith.
        What God has done is to put salvation on the table for you to receive or reject. If you choose to participate in the Salvation offered by Jesus Christ, then you are putting your faith In Him. So you become a beneficiary of God's grace through the act of having faith in Him.
6.    Why is it important to know that this process is not about you?
        God's glory is at stake. Acting or believing that you are the saving force in your own salvation makes you an idolater. According to God's word there is nothing about you that merits any attention to you from God with the exception that you should have already been cast from His presence into eternal suffering. Instead it is God who initiates salvation, it is God who performs salvation, It is God who offers it up freely in exchange for your love and adoration freely given to Him.


(2:9)
"not as a result of works, that no one should boast."
1.    What are the results of works?
        "I did it!" "I deserve it because I did it!"
2.    What is there to boast about in the process of salvation?
        Nothing. He did it!


(2:10)
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
1.    What does the word "for" indicate here?
        Results or purpose: further defines 2:9 in that this salvation is in no way a work which we have performed to merit it.
2.    Who is the "we" here?
        Specifically Paul and the readers of his letter who are believers in Christ Jesus. In a much larger sense: All those who believe!
3.    Who is the "His" here?
        God the Father - We are His workmanship.
4.    Describe workmanship.
        Work done by the Father in the creation of the people and the plan of salvation.
5.    How are believers created in Christ Jesus?
        All of creation was performed by the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ.
6.    What does Paul mean "For good works?"
        A good work would be one that is God in the definition of God's mind.
7.    When did God prepare these good works?
        Beforehand - before the foundation of the world.
8.    What would be our roll in these good works?
        The lives of believers would be based upon a daily walk that is IN GOOD WORKS, it should be our habit, our constitution, our way of life (walking in works that God has created and called good).

BIBLE REFERENCE - "But God ... Made Us Alive Together With Christ," 2:4-10

(2:4)
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,"
     Ephesians 1:7 - Redemption and Forgiveness
     John 3:16 - "For God Loved the world in such a way that He gave..."


(2:5)
"even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),"
     Ephesians 2:1 - "Dead in your trespasses and sins"
     Acts 15:11 - "Through the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved"
     Ephesians 2:8 - "For by grace you have been saved"


(2:6)
"and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,"
     Colossians 2:12 -"Ye are risen in Him"
     Ephesians 1:20 - "He raised Him from the dead"
     Ephesians 1:3 - "Blessed with every spiritual blessing"
     Ephesians 2:10 - "We are His workmanship"
     Ephesians 2:13 - "But now... you have been brought near..."


(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."
     Romans 2:4 - "The riches of His goodness"
     Ephesians 1:7 - Redemption and Forgiveness
     Titus 3:4 - "The kindness and the love of God"


(2:8)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;"
     Ephesians 2:5 - "by grace ye are saved"
     Acts 15:11 - "grace... we shall be saved"
     1 Peter 1:5 - "Kept by the power of God"
     John 4:10 - "if thou knewest the gift of God"
     Hebrews 6:4 - "having once tasted the heavenly gift"

(2:9)
"not as a result of works, that no one should boast."
     2 Timothy 1:9 - "not according to our works"
     Titus 3:5 - "not by works of righteousness"
     Romans 3:28 - "a man is justified by faith"
     1 Corinthians 1:29 - "that no flesh should glory"

(2:10)
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
     Ephesians 4:24 - "created in righteousness"
     Colossians 3:10 - "and have put on the new man"
     Titus 2:14 - "a peculiar people, zealous of good works"
     Ephesians 1:4 - "that we should be holy and without blame"
     Ephesians 4:1 - "walk worthy of the vocation of which you were called"


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


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2014-11-21