Bible Study The Book Of Ephesians Verse By Verse

Lesson 14 Chapter Two Verses 10 - 13

Vs. 10 "For We Are His Workmanship, Created In Christ Jesus Unto Good Works, Which God Hath Before Ordained That We Should Walk In Them."

In The Two Preceding Verses (8 & 9) Paul Emphatically States That Salvation Is By Grace As Opposed To Works.

In Vs. 8 He Says, "Not Of Yourselves," And In Vs. 9, Paul Says, "...Not Of Works."

To Strengthen The Argument For Grace, He Adds In Vs. 10 "We Are His Workmanship..."

The Word "Workmanship" Provides Us With A Glimpse Back To The Original Creation, Wherein God Created All Of Mankind In Adam, Yet This Is Not The Principal Truth Paul Is laboring To Establish. The Truth Paul Is Endeavoring To Make Unmistakably Clear Is, That The Believer Is God's New "Workmanship, Created In Christ Jesus." II Cor. 5:17 "Therefore If Any Man Be In Christ, He Is A New Creature: Old-Things Are Passed Away; Behold; All Things Are Become New."

Therefore, Salvation Cannot Be Of Works, For Adam Did Not Create Himself, Neither Did We Create Ourselves In Adam. It Is Ludicrous To Talk Of Something, Creating Itself, And We Do It Only To Show The Utter Foolishness Of The Scheme Which Attributes Salvation In Whole Or Part To The Creature.

"We Are His Workmanship, Created In Christ Jesus unto Good Works..." Many Scholars Have, In Considering the Sum Of God's Creation, Organic and Inorganic, Said, "Adam Was The Crown of All God's Creation." None Will Argue Against the Fact That Adam Was "Wonderfully Made", And That He Was the Highest In Rank Or Authority Of All God's Creatures, Subordinate To, And Answerable To God Only. But He Was Not In the Infinite Counsels the "Crown of Creation," Or The Masterpiece Of Creation. God's Workmanship In Christ Jesus, Is Infinitely Superior To The Creation Of Adam, And That Inherent In Him.

What Paul Has In Mind, Is Not Our Adamic Origin, But Our New Creation In Christ Jesus, Which Was Wrought In And By Christ, Independent Of Anything Outside Of Himself. The Believer Is Godís New Creationship Effected By Christ Bringing Us Into Union With His Holy And Perfect Nature.

"Created In Christ Jesus Unto Good Works "We Were Created in Christ Unto Holiness, This Is The End Whereunto We Were Saved. Let Us Never Lose Sight Of The Distinction Between Good Works As A Means Of Salvation, And Good Works As The Evidence Of Salvation. We Are Not Saved By Our Good Works But We Are Saved To Perform Good Works, And In So Doing We Manifest To The World That We Are Saved By The Good Works Of Christ.

"Which God Hath Before Ordained That We Should Walk In Them."

God Has In Creating Us Anew. Designed And Prepared Us For, And Enabled Us To Do Good Works. In God's Decree of Election We Were Appointed Unto Good Works, And That We Should Be Fruitful In Our Labors, "Walk In Them," Or Persevere In Them.

"God Hath Before Ordained That We Should Walk In Them," Thus, It Is We Are Prepared By the Holy Spirit He Imparts To Us the Knowledge

Of God's Will, Implants In Us the Desire to Please God, And Produces In Us The Ability To Walk In The Good Works Before Ordained Of God.

Vs. 11 "Wherefore, Remember, That Ye Being In Time Past Gentiles In The Flesh, Who Are Called Uncircumcision By That Which Is Called The Circumcision In The Flesh Made By Hands."

"Wherefore Remember..." Someone Has Aptly Stated, "When You Come Across A "Wherefore" In The Scriptures, Find Out What It Is There For." With The Word "Wherefore" Paul Goes Back Over His Immediate Statements, (Vs. 1 - 10), And Asks The Ephesians Saints To Remembers The Two Extremes Which Has Been Their Experience.

1. Their First State Is Described In Verses 1 - 4), Wherein Their Awful Depravity Is Described.

2. Their Second State or Experience Is Spelled Out In Verses 5 - 10, Wherein Their Glorious Position In Christ Is Described. Paul Asks Them To Remember These Two Facts, And The Recollection Would Serve To Facilitate Their Appreciation Of God, And His Wonderful Grace Bestowed On Them. The Proper Consideration Of These Two Facts Is A Positive Anti-Dote For Pride And Is Conducive To Humbleness And Self Effacement, And Gratefulness Toward God.

"Who Are Called Uncircumcision By That Which Is Called The Circumcision In The Flesh Made By Hands." Paul Says To The Gentile Believers, "Ye Were In The Eyes Of The Jews, Contemptible And Unsaveable." While The Jews Were Correct In Their Estimate Whereby They Concluded That The Gentiles Were Contemptible In God's Sight As They Were In Nature, They Were Wrong In Concluding That The Covenant Of Election Excluded All Gentiles. Christ Said, "Other Sheep I Have Which Are Not Of This Fold" (John 10:16).

Vs. 12 "That At That Time Ye Were Without Christ, Being Aliens From The Common Wealth Of Israel, And Strangers From The Covenants Of Promise, Having No Hope, And Without God In The World."

"That at That Time..." Is A Reference To Their Pre-Regeberate State Alluded To In Verses 1 - 4. At That Time, They Were Without Christ, Totally Void Of Any Relationship To Christ, Yea, Were Pagan Idolaters. Aliens From The Commonwealth Of Israel, This Is A Reference To Israel As The Nation Through Whom God Manifested Himself, And To Whom The Messiah Would Come. They Were Strangers From The Covenants Of Promise, This Is A Reference To The Covenants And Promises Made With The Patriarchs Of Israel, The Word "Strangers" Used Here To Describe The Gentiles As Relates To The(Covenants And Promises, Means They Were Foreigners, And Being Not Of Israelites Birth Had No Part In The Covenants Or Promises.

"Having No Hope," Paul Does Not Mean That They Had No Hope, 'What He Means Is, They Had No Hope In Christ. "And Without God in the World," They Had Gods Aplenty, But Were Without The True God. They Had No Knowledge of the True God, And Consequently Nothing To Restrain Their Evil Propensity, Or Natural Inclination toward Evil.

Vs. 13 "But Now In Christ Jesus Ye Who Sometimes Were Far Off Are Made Nigh By The Blood Of Christ."

"But Now..." But Now, Things Are Different, Paul Contrasts the "Now" With the Past, and Shows That It Is Christ That Makes the Difference. It Is Not Merely "Now", It Is "Now In Christ Jesus."

Prior To Being Saved The Ephesians Were "Far Off". And The "Far Off" State Was One Of Total Depravity, As Minutely Detailed By Paul In Verses 1 - 41 12. But Now, In Christ Jesus...Are Made Nigh By the Blood of Christ." Their Nighness To God Is Due To Their Union With Christ.

"In Christ Jesus," They Are No Longer Aliens, But Fellow Citizens With The Household Of Faith With Believing Jews.

"In Christ Jesus," They Are Not Strangers To The Promises And Covenants Of God, But Are Heirs Of God, And Joint Heirs With Christ. "In Christ Jesus." They Are No Longer Without Hope, But Have Christ Living In Them, And He Is Their "Hope Of Glory." "In Christ Jesus," They Are No Longer In the World without God, But Are Indwelt By the Holy Spirit, And Through The Spirit Have A Perpetual Access To The Throne Of God.

And All These Blessed Benefits Are Freely Given To Them On The Basis And Merits Of Christ's Shed Blood. Not By Circumcision In The Flesh, But By That Circumcision Made Without Hands (Col. 2:10.) Not By the Blood of Bulls and Goats but By the Blood of Christ.

So It Is, The "Nigh" Relationship Between God And The Believer Is Effected By The Atoning Blood Of Christ, And Nothing Can Change The Status Of The Believers Sonship. Yet, We Need To Be Ever Mindful Of This Great Truth, That We Are "Created In Christ Jesus Unto Good Works", And That The richness Of Our Fellowship With God Depends On Faithfulness In Discharging Our Responsibilities As Sons.

Col. 2:15 "That Ye May Be Blameless And Harmless, The Sons Of God, Without Rebuke, In The Midst Of A Crooked And Perverse Nation, Among Whom Ye Shine As Lights In The World."