Skip to main content

Ephesians 2:11-12: You Were Separated


Ephesians 2:11–12
[11] Therefore 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—[12] remember 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. (ESV)

We do not like to be excluded.  Whether it is an elite club, a group of popular people, or even people who have certain skills that we lack.  We do not like to be left out.  Paul reminds the Ephesian readers that for hundreds of years they were the outcasts.  They were Gentiles.  In our modern society, we don't make much of the use of the word Gentiles.  But, that distinction was a very big deal. Paul goes into detail about just how big of a deal it was to be a Gentile versus being a Jew.

Paul lists five distinct ways that the Gentiles were outcasts.  They were:

  1. Separated From Christ.  They had no Messiah.  They had no deliverer from their sin.
  2. Separated From the Commonwealth of Israel. The Jews had God as their Lord and King.  He was their provider and grantor of all blessings.
  3. Separated From Covenants. All throughout the history of the Old Testament God made covenants with his people, the Jews.  They were told that they would have a priesthood, a kingdom, a nation, and an eternal future in heaven for those who believed.  The Gentiles had no such Covenant.
  4. Separated From Hope. Because they had no Savior they were lost in their sin.  They were without hope.
  5. Separated From God. The Gentiles had thousands of gods.  But in reality they had none.  As the Jews knew from God himself, there is only one God.  And this God of Creation was the God of the Jews.  The Gentiles were separated from the only God and left to follow false imitations.
The fact of these ways that the Gentiles were separated serves as a great reminder as to just how wonderful Jesus is.  As a result of what he did on the cross, all of those barriers were removed.  Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes Christ's work on our behalf to the Galatians:


Galatians 3:28–29
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (ESV)

Think for a moment of how you were separated from God before you placed your faith in Jesus Christ. Give him praise for how he has broken down barriers and made you one with God's people.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…