EPHESIANS CHAPTER TWO

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Ephesians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

****** EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1 *****

.............OR MOVE TO FIRST VERSE OF CHAPTER TWO

(Eph 1:19-23) Paul Prays For Believers In Their Temporal / Mortal Lives To Receive A Spirit Of Wisdom And Of Revelation In The Knowledge Of God In Conjunction With What Verses 3-14 Have Promised To Bless Them With In Eternity - That Their Understanding May Be Enlightened So That They May Know - That They May Experience In Their Temporal / Mortal Lives As Follows:

(a)Knowing What Is The Sure Hope Of God's Calling, I.E, That Which Is In Accordance With The Calling Of God - His Choosing Believers To Be In Him Before The Foundation Of The World To Be Holy And Blameless In His Sight Having Predestined Them To Adoption As Sons Of God By Jesus Christ To Himself, And

(b) Knowing What Are The Riches Of The Glory Of His Inheritance In The Saints With Understanding / Enlightenment So That They May Be Blessed In Their Temporal / Mortal Lives As Well And Be Looking Forward To Eternity With God, And

(c) Knowing What Is The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power Toward Us Who Believe, [These - The Following - Are] According To The Working Of His Mighty Power Which He Brought About In Christ:

(i) When He Raised Him From The Dead And Seated Him At His Right Hand In The Heavenly Places, Far Above All Rule And Authority And Power And Dominion, And Every Name That Is Named, Not Only In This Age But Also In The One To Come

(ii) That He Put All Things Under His [Christ's] Feet, And Gave Him To Be Head Over All Things To The Church, Which Is His Body, The Fullness Of Him Who Fills All In All

(Eph 1:17 NASB) "[I pray, (v. 16)] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Eph 1:18 NKJV) [I, Paul, pray that, (v. 17)] the eyes of your [heart =] understanding [having been] enlightened; that you may know what is the [sure] hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Eph 1:19 NKJV).and [may know, (v. 18b)] what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, [these are] according to the working of His mighty power (Eph 1:20 NASB)which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (Eph 1:21 NASB) far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come; (Eph 1:22 NKJV) and [when, (20b]) He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, (Eph 1:23 YLT) which is His body, the fullness of Him Who is filling ... all [things] in all [ways]." =

In verses 17 and 18, Paul prayed that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give to believers a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. Paul prayed that the eyes of believers' understanding may be enlightened so that they may know what is the sure hope of God's calling, (referring to God's choosing them in Him to be holy and blameless in His sight, etc., vv. 3-14); that they may know what are the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in them - the saints, (vv. 3-14) - that they may experience in their temporal / mortal lives the following:

(a) knowing what is the sure hope of God's calling, i.e., that which is in accordance with the calling of God - His choosing believers to be in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight having predestined them to adoption as sons of God by Jesus Christ to Himself, etc., (3-14); and

(b) knowing what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints with understanding / enlightenment so that they may be blessed in their temporal / mortal lives as well and be looking forward to eternity with God, (cf. vv. 3-14).

It is the believers themselves who will be part of the riches of the glory of God. They are His inheritance, His eternal possession, chosen to be in Him before the foundation of the world.

Then in verses 19-23, Paul continues his prayer which began in vv. 17-18 with his petition to God that believers may know what is the sure hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints:

(vv. 19-23): "[that they may know, (v. 18b)] what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward [those] who believe, [to know that] according to the working of His mighty power, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come; and He put all things under His [Christ's] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him Who is filling ... all [things] in all [ways]."

Verse 19 and the first phrase of verse 20 are the key to Paul's prayer to God that believers in Christ would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God:

[He prayed that they may know] "what is the exceeding greatness of His [God's] power toward us who believe [these - the following - are] according to the working of His mighty power which He brought about in Christ as follows below in points (a) and (b) - the rest of verses 20-23:

Believers are to have a mentality that is largely focused on eternity not on things in their temporal / mortal lives that will not positively effect them in their eternal state. And the key focus for them is to be upon studying what Paul and the other writers of Scripture have written in order to become knowledgeable of the exceeding greatness of God's power which was exercised in their favor specifically in accordance with what He did for them through His Son, Jesus Christ:

(a) "when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come;"

And

(b) "[when,] He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him Who is filling ... all [things] in all [ways]."

[Compare Eph 1:23 Greek Interlinear]:

hEtis .estin to ..sOma autou, to ...plErOma ta ..panta ......en pasin plEroumenou

which is .....the body ..his, .....the fullness ....the all things in .all .....filling [one] [mid voice]

Christ is the fullness of the church and is filling [participle] all things - the universe, the church, etc. So believers in this age will comprise the body of Christ, and have the fullness of Christ in them. For Christ is the Head over all things including the church, Who is filling all things in all ways - including the church. This is not saying that Christ is made complete by the church's filling up of Him, as some contend, for Jesus Christ is God Who by nature is complete, and needs no filling.

Believers will participate with Jesus Christ in His headship over all things depending upon the believer's focus on his temporal / mortal life for less or on eternity for greater value. All of this has been determined before the foundation of the world, and includes the believer's volition.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1 *****

I) [Eph 2:1-7]:

(Eph 2:1 YLT) "[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and the sins, (Eph 2:2 YLT) in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, [to the ruler] of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:3 NASB) Among [whom] we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [doing] the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest; (Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," =

Verses 1-10 are one long sentence, of which Eph 2:1-7 is a part. Verses 1-3 depict the condition of unbelievers before God transformed them. Verses 4-7 stipulate that God made those who believed in Christ Jesus alive together with Christ, and seated them with Him in the heavenlies.

A) (Eph 2:1-3) And You Gentiles Being Dead In Trespasses And Sins, In Which Once You Did Walk According To The Age Of This World, According To The Ruler Of The Authority Of The Air - Satan, the Devil, Who Is The Ruler Of The Spirit / Ruler Of The Attitude That Is Now Working In The Sons Of Disobedience; Among Whom We Too - Paul And Fellow Jews - Formerly Lived In The Sinful Lusts Of Our Flesh, Doing The Sinful Desires Of The Flesh And Of The Mind, And Were By Nature Children Of The Wrath Of God, Even As The Rest Of Mankind

(Eph 2:1 YLT) "[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and ... sins, (Eph 2:2 YLT) in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, [to the ruler] of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:3 NASB) Among [whom] we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [doing] the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest;" =

1) (Eph 2:1) [Manuscript evidence for Eph 2:1]:

(Eph 2:1 YLT) "[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and the sins," =

WH, Sinaiticus(1), B, D, P, bo., Lach, Treg, Alf, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, and various modern text editions have "humOn" rendered "your" in the phrase rendered "And you - being dead in your trespasses and sins," as it appears in the NASB, HOLMAN, ASV, NIV.

TR omits it, as reflected in the YLT, NKJV, KJV.

The addition does not alter the meaning for "your." It is implied in the verse without its appearance. Furthermore, "your" is corroborated in the next verse.

The first phrase of Eph 2:1 rendered "And you" resumes the second person plural of 1:13, 15-18 which refers to Gentiles who have become believers in Christ Jesus. Furthermore, Eph 2:1 is followed by 2:11 which directly stipulates, "Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles ...."

2) (Eph 2:1-3) [Commentary On Eph 2:1-2]:

So Eph 2:1 establishes that before those Gentiles to whom this letter is addressed became believers in Christ Jesus, they were dead in their trespasses and sins - dead in the sense of spiritually dead to God - having no communication with God, being separated from God in the spiritual and temporal life. They were obviously not physically dead, but their trespasses and sins had the effect upon them of being separated from God in the sense of not being spiritually or temporally connected to God - the state of all who have not yet become believers in Christ Jesus - Jews included.

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The word "paraptOmasin" rendered "trespasses" - literally, "false steps" or "lapses" in the context of Eph 2:1 denotes obstinate and intentional sin that has no excuse. As such it is an intended violation of that which is righteous. Whereas the word "harmartiais" rendered "sins" - literally, "acts of missing the mark" or "shortcomings" in the context of Eph 2:1 is an umbrella term for sin since it is one of the least precise available words in this matter. Any action deserving punishment or which must be atoned for is called hamartia. As such, it carries moral overtones.

Both words, "paraptOmasin" and "hamartia," are basically synonymous - yet convey slightly different aspects of the same deliberate acts against God and His righteousness. The fact that both words are plural signifies repetitious acts and a state of being outside of the righteousness of God.

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Eph 2:2 continues the context with: "in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, who is thus ruler of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience," which continues to describe the lives of Gentile believers before they became believers: they formerly were dead in trespasses and sins in which once they did walk in the sense of conducting their lives "according to the age of this world" - in accordance with how people in the world acted during the age / the time in human history when men continuously act sinfully. This age began when Adam and Eve first sinned and were excluded from the garden of Eden. And it continues now and it will continue until sin no longer prevails in the conduct of men ). Verse 2 further indicates that Gentile believers formerly did walk according to the ruler of the authority of the air in the sense of an ungodly ruler who has been ruling over for that age beginning when men acted sinfully. This ruler is evidently the instigator of sinful conduct. Note that the word rendered "air" refers to the atmosphere around the earth implying all living beings within that atmosphere - especially all mankind.

a) [Compare Eph 6:12]:

(Eph 6:12 NASB) "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world.forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

The conduct of the sons of disobedience, i.e., of unsaved mankind is characterized as being governed by the ruler of the air. It is he who is the one who is the ruler "of the spirit "that is now working in the sons of disobedience" - working not in the spiritual sense, but in the sense of ruling over of the dispositions - the attitudes - of unsaved mankind and out of fellowship believers that is now working in them through their inherent sin natures. The phrase rendered "sons of disobedience" characterizes individuals whose conduct is so distinctly sinful that it is clearly the result of the rule of their father whom they evidently constantly act like - who is the epitome of disobedience against God - namely Satan, the Devil, .{short description of image}.

Whereupon in Eph 2:3, author and apostle Paul included himself and fellow Jewish believers in Christ Jesus with the Gentile believers in Christ with respect to all of their former lives. Paul wrote, "Among whom" - the Gentile believers - "we" - Jewish believers "whom we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh" - in the sense of walking / living according to their sin natures, "doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest [of unsaved mankind]." Note that the second half of verse 3 provides the definition of "flesh" in the context of Ephesians chapter 2 as that kind of behavior that deserves the "wrath" of God, behavior produced by the sin nature which includes that which comes from within the mind.

B) (Eph 2:4-7) But God, Being Rich In Mercy, Because Of His Great Love With Which He Loved Us, Even While We Were Dead In Our Trespasses, Did He Make Us Alive Together With Christ. By Grace You Are Having Been Saved, And He Raised Us Up With Him, And Seated Us With Him In The Heavenly Places In Christ Jesus, That He Might Show, In The Ages That Are Coming, The Exceeding Riches Of His Grace In Kindness Toward Us In Christ - In The Sense Of By Means Of Christ Jesus

(Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," =

1) (Eph 2:4a) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:4a]:

(Eph 2:4 NASB) "but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us." =

p46, D-org, F, G have "autou" rendered "His" modifying "agapen" rendered "love," referring to God's love for believers.

TR, sinaiticus, B, C, D-corr2, Psi, byz do not have "autou."

Most versions include "autou." The context implies "His love," the addition makes it clearer but unnecessary.

2) (Eph 2:4b) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:4b]:

(Eph 2:4 NASB) "but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us." =

Most Greek manuscripts have "He loved us"

p46, it(b,d), Ambrosiaster and perhaps other manuscripts not available read "He had mercy on us"

This variation did not occur in p46 alone because this reading is reflected in it(b,d) and Ambrosiaster. Probably the change was influenced by the wording at the beginning of the verse, which says that God is "rich in mercy."

3) (Eph 2:5a) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:5a]:

(Eph 2:5 YLT) "even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved)." =

TR, WH, NU, sinaiticus, A, D(2), 0278, 33, 1739, Maj, cop, Clement have "dead in the [=our] trespasses"

Var 1 - p46 has "dead in the [=our] bodies"

Var 2 - D*, (F, G) have "dead in the [=our] sins"

Var 3 - Psi has "dead in the [=our] trespasses and the sins"

Var 4 - B has "dead in the [=our] trespasses and the [=our] lusts"

Variants 2 & 3 are influenced by "trespasses and sins" in 2:1; where var #4 in manuscript B has "lusts" instead of "sins."

Variant 4 is influenced by "lusts" in 2:3

But the first variant cannot be tied to any verse in Ephesians. Perhaps the scribe of P46 was influenced by Ro 8:10, the only verse which speaks of the body being dead because of sin. Or perhaps this scribe simply made a transcriptional error, mistaking paraptOmasin (trespasses) for sOmasin (bodies) - both of which have the same last six letters.

4) (Eph 2:5b) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:5b]:

(Eph 2:5 YLT) "even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved)." =

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, D, F, G, Psi, 1739 have "he made us alive together with Christ"

p46, B, 33, cop have "he made us alive together in Christ"

Metzger (TCGNT) suggests the variant reading was the result of accidental dittography (the first two words in "En" in the Greek, or deliberate assimilation to Eph 2:6's "En ChristO Insou" ("in Christ Jesus"). But the variant has good documentation and therefore cannot be easily dismissed. Indeed, homoeoteleuton could account for the omission of "En" after "sunEzOopoiEsen." Furthermore, there is a difference in meaning between the two readings. The TR, WH, NU texts indicate that the believers were made alive when Christ was vivified; the variant indicates that the Jewish and Gentile believers were made alive together by virtue of their union with Christ. The latter is a more fitting prelude to Paul's following assertions about Christ's work to unify Jewish and Gentile believers (2:11-22).

5) (Eph 2:7) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:7]:

(Eph 2:7 YLT) "that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." =

TR, D(corr), K, L, P, byz have "the riches"

WH, Sinaiticus(corr), A, B, D(org), 33, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, var mod text editions have "the excelling riches."

The better manuscript evidence have "the excelling riches."

6) (Eph 2:4-7) [Commentary On Eph 2:4-7]:

(Eph 2:4 NASB) "but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," =

So after describing in verses 1-3 the position of believers being dead to God in trespasses and sins before they believed in Christ Jesus, (along with the rest of mankind), the apostle Paul began to picture their present position in Christ - Gentiles and Jews who have believed in Christ Jesus, (vv. 1-3, 13-14). The first words of Eph 2:4 rendered, "But God" is an emphatic, context-changing phrase which emphasizes that despite all mankind being dead in trespasses and sins, (v. 1), and all mankind being by nature children of wrath - under the condemnation of God, (v. 3); God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us - those who have believed in Christ Jesus - "even being dead in trespasses, [God] did make us alive together with Christ, (by grace you are having been saved)."

This subject of the riches of God's grace was previously addressed in chapter one relative to the redemption of those who believed in Christ Jesus:

a) [Compare Eph 1:1-7]:

(Eph 1:1 NASB) "Paul, ... apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at ... [Ephesus, Laodicea, Colossae, etc] [even, i.e., that is to say, to the believing ones] in Christ Jesus. (Eph 1:2 NASB) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 1:3 NASB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Eph 1:4 HCSB) for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love], (Eph 1:5 NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Eph 1:6 NASB) to the praise of the glory of His grace, [of] which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [One]. (Eph 1:7 NASB) In [Whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace"

And Paul continues to write about the subject of the riches of God's grace in chapter two beginning at verses Eph 2:4-7 which have in view the salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus of those who have believed in Christ Jesus, wherein God is once more viewed as being "rich in mercy" and as having "great love" toward those Gentiles and Jews who have believed in Christ Jesus, (Eph 1:1-3, 13-14). The Greek words "pollen agapen" rendered "great love" refer to God's unmerited, self-sacrificial, agapE love of believers who have nothing to merit / deserve God's love to be expressed toward them. Despite their being dead in trespasses, God did make them alive together with Christ when they believed - in the sense of making them spiritually alive together with Christ as part of Him, His body. And then Paul immediately writes, "By grace" - God's unmerited favor / undeserved kindness - "you are having been saved," present tense + perfect participle which conveys the sense of a completed action in the past with ongoing present results forever of being saved unto eternal life. When Paul wrote in Eph 2:6a, "and [God] raised us up with Him [Christ Jesus]," it was written in the past tense indicating that this was a guaranteed occurrence with absolute assurance that believers will in the future be resurrected from the dead as Christ Jesus had been resurrected, because it is God Almighty Who has enacted their resurrections. This will surely come to pass because God promised it. Whereupon, Paul wrote in Eph 2:6b, "And [He, God] seated us in the heavenly .places [lit., in the heavenlies] in Christ Jesus," - another absolutely guaranteed and assured positional statement from Almighty God of believers being present with Him in heaven for all eternity.

b) [Compare Eph 1:3]:

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,"

So Gentile and Jewish believers have the absolutely guaranteed position, the eternal destiny of being forever in heaven, seated with Christ in the sense of participating with Him in His eternal rule of the world. It is so stated as a present and forever certainty albeit yet future of a positionally guaranteed resurrection and forever presence in heaven, coruling with Christ.

c) [Compare Eph 1:19-23: Paul Prays For Believers In Their Temporal / Mortal Lives To Receive A Spirit Of Wisdom And Of Revelation In The Knowledge Of God In Conjunction With What Eph 1:3-14 Have Promised To Bless Them With In Eternity ]

B cont.) (Eph 2:4-7 cont.) but God, being rich in mercy, because Of His Great Love With Which He Loved Us, Even While We Were Dead In Our Trespasses, Did He Make Us Alive Together With Christ. By Grace You Are Having Been Saved, And He Raised Us Up With Him, And Seated Us With Him In The Heavenly Places In Christ Jesus, That He Might Show, In The Ages That Are Coming, The Exceeding Riches Of His Grace In Kindness Toward Us In Christ - In The Sense Of By Means Of Christ Jesus, (cont.)

(Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," (cont.) =

Eph 2:7 indicates that all of what God has decreed for those that believed in Christ Jesus will come to pass for all believers in Christ Jesus so "that He [God] might show in the ages that are coming" - in the future Millennial Kingdom, and in the Eternal Kingdom of God that follows - the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us [who are believers] in Christ Jesus - by means of His propitiation for the sins of mankind. And this will be for the whole universe to see in order to give God the credit and glory He so richly deserves. For the rest of eternity, the believers being so eternally blessed will be God's trophies, demonstrating Who He is and that what He has decreed has come to pass in every detail.

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II) [Eph 2:8-10)]:

(Eph 2:4 NASB) "but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," (Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast (Eph 2:10 NKJV) for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.

A) (Eph 2:8-9) In Eph 2:8-9, Paul Further Declared The Reason For The Riches Of God's Grace Being Bestowed Upon Those Who Have Believed In Christ Jesus For Redemption / Salvation Unto Forgiveness Of Trespasses And Unto Eternal Life In Heaven

1) (Eph 2:8) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:8]:

(Eph 2:8 NASB) "for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God,"

TR, D(corr), K, L, byz have no article with the word rendered "faith."

WH, Sinaiticus, B, D(org), P, 33, Lach, Treg, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, various modern text editions have "tes," singular, feminine rendered "the" with the word rendered "faith,"

The better evidence calls for the article, but its presence in the English rendering conveys a specific faith or kind of faith which is not in view in the context. Hence its omission provides the best understanding of what is being conveyed.

2) (Eph 2:8) [Commentary On Eph 2:8]:

(Eph 2:8 NASB)."For by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast." =

In Eph 1:1-7, Paul wrote of the riches of God's grace toward those who believed in Christ Jesus:

a) [Compare Eph 1:1-7]:

(Eph 1:1 NASB) "Paul, ... apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at ... [Ephesus, Laodicea, Colossae, etc] [even, i.e., that is to say, to the believing ones] in Christ Jesus.

(Eph 1:2 NASB) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

(Eph 1:4 HCSB) for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love],

(Eph 1:5 NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

(Eph 1:6 NASB) to the praise of the glory of His grace, [of] which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [One].

(Eph 1:7 NASB) "In [Whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."

And Paul wrote in Eph 1:13-14 that those who are faithful in Christ Jesus, (v. 1:1), had heard the word of the truth - the good news of their salvation - in Whom [Christ, vv. 1:12-13)] also having believed, [they] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life]:

b) [Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "In Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

And he wrote in Eph 1:18 of his prayer for believers that they would realize in their temporal lives what will be the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in them:

c) [Compare Eph 1:18]:

(Eph 1:18 NKJV) "[I, Paul, pray that, (v. 17)] the eyes of your [heart =] understanding [having been] enlightened; that you may know what is the [sure] hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."

And in Eph 2:4-7 Paul wrote again of God's mercy and great love which He will show in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us - toward those who have believed in Christ Jesus - by means of what Christ Jesus did for them:

d) [Compare Eph 2:4-7]:

(Eph 2:4 NASB) "but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved) (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

And the reason - the cause for all of that is in view in Ephesians chapters one and two - is stipulated in Eph 2:5c, (see underlined italics above); and it is further explained in Eph 2:8-9, beginning with the key word "gar" rendered "for" which means 'because of this' which follows:

B) (Eph 2:8-9) For It Is Only By The Grace, The Unmerited Favor / The Undeserved Kindness Of God That One Is Saved Unto Eternal Life In The Heavenly Places

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

The Greek phrase "te gar chariti" rendered "for by grace," the first phrase of Eph 2:8, further explains the message of Eph 1:1-2:7 about the display of the riches of God's grace upon those who have believed in Christ Jesus for redemption / salvation unto forgiveness of trespasses and unto eternal life in heaven. The phrase emphasizes that it is only by the grace, the unmerited favor / the undeserved kindness of God that anyone is saved unto eternal life in the heavenly places, (v. 6). The unmerited / undeserved characteristic of God's saving grace is corroborated by the rest of verses 8 and 9, which indicates that God's saving grace is not due to anything that comes from the one being saved; it is a gift, it is not of works of any kind, so that no one is in a position to boast about receiving salvation for anything that one contributed. Even the faith that is expressed by an individual to receive salvation unto eternal life is by definition and context of no meritable value to that individual relative to making eternal life other than a free gift.

C) (Eph 2:8-9) The Greek Words "Este SesOmenoi" Rendered "You Are Having Been Saved" Convey As They Do In Verse 5, The Sense Of A Completed Action In The Past With Ongoing Present Results Forever In Those Who Have Believed In Christ Jesus Being Saved Unto Eternal Life In Heaven

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

The Greek words "te gar chariti" rendered "For by grace" are followed by the Greek words "este sesOsmenoi" rendered "you are having been saved." The Greek verb "este" is present tense, rendered "you are." And the Greek verb "sesOsmenoi" is a perfect participle, rendered "having been saved." The combination of these verbs conveys, as they do in verse 5, the sense of a completed action in the past when an individual first began to express his faith with ongoing present results forever in those who have believed in Christ Jesus being saved unto eternal life in heaven from the moment when one expressed faith in Him - whether continuous or not:

1) [Compare Eph 1:1; 2:6]:

(Eph 1:1 NASB) "Paul, ... apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at ... [Ephesus, Laodicea, Colossae, etc] [even, i.e., that is to say, to the believing ones] in Christ Jesus.

(Eph 2:6 NASB) and [God] raised us up with Him [Christ Jesus], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus,"

Notice that Paul wrote to those who are the believing ones in Christ Jesus, (1:1); and in Eph 2:6a he wrote, "and [God] raised us up with Him [Christ Jesus]" - an assured present position and guranteed future promise that believers will be resurrected from the dead as Christ Jesus had been resurrected. This will surely come to pass because Almighty God promised it. Whereupon, Paul wrote in Eph 2:6b, "And [He, God] seated us with Him in the heavenly .places [lit., in the heavenlies] in [by means of] Christ Jesus" - another assured present position and guaranteed future promise from Almighty God of believers being forever in heaven, seated with Christ in the sense of participating with Him in His eternal rule of the world because of His redemption of their sins in which they believed.

2) [Compare Eph 1:3, 7, 13-14]:

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

(Eph 1:7 NASB) In [Whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,

(Eph 1:13 YLT) In Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

So those who are the believing ones in Christ Jesus - those who have expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (1:1); are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (1:3); in Whom we have redemption unto eternal life through His blood - the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of God's grace, (1:7); and are sealed with the Holy Spirit, the promise of experiencing their eternal redemption, (1:13); - the guarantee of our eternal inheritance as the purchased possession of God to the praise of His glory, (1:14).

D) (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Does Not Require Continuous Faith In Christ Jesus In Order For The Individual To Remain Saved

(Eph 2:8 NASB)."for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Although according to Eph 2:8, salvation unto eternal life is received "through faith," such salvation does not require continuous action such as continuous believing or faithfulness in order for the individual to keep having eternal life. For once received at the first moment of faith, eternal life is eternal! The phrase rendered "For by grace you are having been saved" conveys a completed action begun in the past at the point when the faith in Christ Jesus began with ongoing present results forever of the possession of eternal life because eternal life in and of itself is eternal by definition. Once possession is begun at the moment the individual began believing, that possession is forever!

E) (Eph 2:8-9) The Greek Words "Dia Tes PisteOs" Rendered "Through Faith" Stipulate What An Individual Must Do In Order To Be Saved Unto Eternal Life In Heaven: Namely To Express A Moment Of Faith Alone In Christ Jesus Alone - In His Redemption For Ones Sins

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Paul wrote in Eph 2:8, "dia tes pisteOs," rendered "through faith" which phrase stipulates what an individual must do in order to be saved unto eternal life in heaven: namely to express a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone - in His redemption for ones sins as has been made clear in chapters one and two of Ephesians.

1) [Compare Eph 1:1, 3, 7, 13-14; 2:5-6]:

(Eph 1:1 NASB) "Paul, ... apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at ... [Ephesus, Laodicea, Colossae, etc] [even, i.e., that is to say, to the believing ones] in Christ Jesus.

(Eph 1:3 NASB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

(Eph 1:7 NASB) In [Whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

(Eph 1:13 YLT) in Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory.

(Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved),

(Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus."

******

F) (Eph 2:8-9) The Moment Of Faith That A Man Exercises To Be Saved Unto Eternal Life Is Passive. It By Definition Cannot Be Contributory Toward That Salvation

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Since salvation unto eternal life in heaven is stipulated in Eph 2:8-9 as being 'by grace', i.e., unmerited favor, 'not of yourselves,' 'not of works,' and such 'that no one may boast' = 4 expressions which convey a non-contributory condition indicating that an individual contributes nothing to receive salvation; then the faith itself that an individual exercises to be saved unto eternal life must be non-contributory toward salvation. And this is corroborated by the definition of faith relative to the context of Eph 2:8-9:

1) English Dictionary Definition Of Faith

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:

ftp://ftp.uga.edu/pub/misc/webster/

faith \Faith\, n.

(1) Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony. (2) The assent of the mind to the statement or proposition of another, on the ground of the manifest truth of what he utters; firm and earnest belief, on probable evidence of any kind, especially in regard to important moral truth. Faith, that is, fidelity, -- the fealty of the finite will and understanding to the reason.

believe \Be*lieve

v. t. [imp. & p. p. Believed; p. pr. & vb. n. Believing]

To exercise belief in; to credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of, upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by circumstances other than personal knowledge; to regard or accept as true; to place confidence in; to think; to consider; as, to believe a person, a statement, or a doctrine. "

trust \Trust\, v. t.

(1) To place confidence in; to rely on, to confide, or repose faith, in; as, we can not trust those who have deceived us. I will never trust his word after. --Shak. He that trusts every one without reserve will at last be deceived. --Johnson. (2) To give credence to; to believe; to credit. Trust me, you look well. --Shak. (3) To hope confidently; to believe; -- usually with a phrase or infinitive clause as the object. I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face. --2 John 12. We trust we have a good conscience. --Heb. xiii. 18. (4) to show confidence in a person by intrusting (him) with something.

Syn: Confidence; belief; faith; hope; expectation"

b) New Testament Greek Dictionary Definition Of Faith

The New Analytical Greek Lexicon which is a dictionary of the koine Greek language of the Bible, (Wesley J. Perschbacher, Editor, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Ma; 1992, p. 329), states as the meaning of the word pisteuo which is translated believe in the English Bible translations as follows:

"(4100)... [pisteuo] 1 pers. sg. pres. act. indic., fut... [pisteuso] ...to believe, give credit to, Mark 1:15; 16:13; Luke 24:25; intrns. to believe, have a mental persuasion, Matt. 8:13; 9:28; James 2:19; to believe, be of opinion, Rom. 14:2; in N.T. [pisteuein en, eis] to believe in or on, Matt. 18:6; 27:42; John 3:15, 16, 18; absol. to believe, be a believer in the religion of Christ, Acts 2:44; 4:4, 32; 13:48; trans. to intrust, commit to the charge or power of, Luke 16:11; John 2:24; pass. to be intrusted with, Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:17"

Note that the Greek word "pisteOs" in Ephesians 2:8-9 rendered "faith" is defined according to the Greek dictionary to mean a trust in the information presented, i.e., a mental assent - devoid of additional actions on the part of an individual other than the mental agreement. Furthermore, the forms of the verb 'to believe' in Greek which are used in gospel passages all depict a moment of faith. Verb forms and contexts which depict an ongoing faith or faithfulness do not appear in gospel passages, hence the latter are excluded in what it takes to be justified unto eternal life .

So the faith unto eternal life is therefore passive and not active in the sense that it simply causes an individual to receive the results of what God has already done. In view is an acceptance of a free gift of all that God has already done for one relative to the matter of salvation unto eternal life. So one trusts in God doing it all for him in order to be saved: he contributes nothing and trusts in God to do it all. As a matter of linguistic fact, "faith," is defined as believing or trusting in something in the sense of expressing a mental assent that something is true. The expression of faith that something is true is not the same thing, as some contend, as following through on that faith by deeds of some kind .

G) The Greek Phrase "dia tEs pisteOs" In Eph 2:8-9, Rendered "through faith" Does Not Convey "through faithfulness," or "through faithworks," etc., As Some Contend. There Are No Qualifying Words There To Include Any Human Doing Such As Godly Works That Are Based On Faithfulness

(Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

The Greek noun "pisteOs" has a wide range of usage in the New Testament which does include faithfulness, implying godly deeds. On the other hand the meaning of "dia tEs PisteOs"in Eph 2:8-9 is limited to mental persuasion, i.e., "through faith." It cannot refer to faithfulness as some contend because there are no qualifying words there to include any human doing such as godly works that are based on faithfulness:

1) [Compare Titus 3:5]:

(Titus 3:5 NASB) "He saved us, not     deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

Notice that God does not save us on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, if that were possible - and it is not, (1 Jn 1:8, 10) - thus ruling out works coming out of faithfulness to God even if partially sufficient to merit salvation unto eternal life if that were possible - and it is not, (Titus 3:5; 1 Jn 1:8, 10 ).

The interpretation by some that Eph 2:8-9 does include faithfulness in order to receive eternal life, ignores the four accompanying / defining phrases that characterize salvation unto eternal life as rendered "by grace," "not of yourselves," "[it is] the gift of God," and "not of works that no one can boast," as follows:

Since salvation is stipulated as "by grace," it is therefore by unrecompensed, unmerited favor - no contribution permitted . Since salvation is "not of yourselves," then any contribution from the individual is excluded . Since salvation is a "gift," it is free - devoid of human doing . And since it is "not of works, that no one can boast," then there is no possibility to boast because man, being flawed / sinful can contribute nothing, (1 Jn 1:8, 10) .

Furthermore, the moment of faith one expresses in letting God do it all to provide ones salvation unto eternal life through His Son, Christ Jesus is not a contribution either, but a passive acceptance of ones salvation unto eternal life - a trust in God to do it all for one.

H) (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Does Not  Depend Upon The Quality Or Continuance Of Faith In Christ Jesus As Some Contend

(Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Since one has become saved unto eternal life instantly beginning at that first moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone and continuing forever;

and since eternal life once begun in an individual is forever by definition, having a life of its own within the individual;

then the continuance of that faith in Christ Jesus for eternal life is not required in order to continue the possession of eternal life - albeit it is commanded of the believer for reasons of blessings in the temporal life and eternal rewards in heaven .

I) (Eph 2:8-9) The Greek Words "Kai Touto Ouk Ex HumOn" Rendered "And This Not Of Yourselves" Refers To The Neuter Subject Of Having Been Saved As Opposed To Faith Or Grace Which Are Feminine. The Words Declare That Our Salvation Is Not Of Anything You Do

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

The Greek words "kai touto ouk ex humOn" rendered "and this not of yourselves" refers to the neuter subject of having been saved as opposed to faith or grace which are feminine in the Greek text. The words declare that your salvation is not of anything you do. The neuter word rendered "this," a demonstrative pronoun, neither refers to the word rendered "grace," nor to the word rendered "faith," as some contend. For both words are feminine. Furthermore, to refer back to grace would be unnecessarily redundant. And to refer back to faith would be in error because faith cannot be described as not of oneself. By definition exercising a moment of faith is something volitional that an individual must himself choose to express. The word rendered "faith" means to accept as true. It cannot be contributory because its definition precludes it. Although it is given to the individual to express in Christ, (ref. Phil 1:29), the individual nevertheless must express it himself of his own volition toward God. Someone else, even God - as some contend - cannot express faith for that individual and have that result in that individual being saved by grace unto eternal life. Without the individual's consent to being saved and then his expressing himself, of his own volition, a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in order to be saved unto eternal life, he cannot be saved in accordance with what God has said in His Word. He cannot be saved at all unless he chooses of his own volition to believe in Christ Jesus himself!

The neuter "touto," often refers to the preceding phrase or clause, as it does in Eph 2:8, (ref. Eph. 1:15 and 3:1). In Eph 2:8, it refers back to the concept of salvation (2:4-8a), whose basis is grace, means is faith, gender is neuter, which is not of oneself but it is a gift of God, not of works, and a salvation about which no one can boast having achieved on his own merits. The neuter gender of the Greek word "touto" rendered "this" and all of the conditions under which eternal life is granted by God neither refer to ones faith, nor does "touto" refer to God's grace; for both "chariti" rendered "grace" and "pisteOs" rendered "faith" are feminine.

J) (Eph 2:8-9) Objectors To Free Grace Salvation Falsely Maintain That The Phrase Rendered "And This Not Of Yourselves" Means That One Did Not Originate His Salvation, It Comes From God. Thus It Does Not Exclude Contributory Works; Rather They Maintain That It Requires Them

(Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Objectors to free grace salvation falsely maintain that the phrase rendered "not of yourselves" means that since an individual does not originate his own salvation, and since it comes from God, then they falsely conclude that contributions from yourself are not excluded, but are actually required in order to be saved. But the fact that salvation comes from God does not lead to the demand that an individual must respond with faithfulness - godly deeds in order to receive his salvation. For if an individual endeavors to contribute something toward being saved or to maintain his salvation, it could not be concluded that his salvation was 'not of himself.' It would still be dependent upon contributions from himself. If Scripture is to be interpreted to say that a contribution from oneself was in view in Eph 2:8-9 to be required for salvation, then there would have to be a specific qualification stipulated in the passage referring to this instead of the unqualified "not of yourselves" which means not anything contributory coming from yourself at all.

The false interpretation that contributions are required in order to receive eternal life ignores the three phrases in Eph 2:8-9 rendered "saved by grace," "[it is] the gift of God," "not of works that no one can boast." Since salvation is "by grace," it is by unrecompensed, unmerited favor - no contribution permitted. Since salvation is a "gift," it is free - devoid of human doing. And since it is "not of works, that no one can boast" then there is no possibility to boast because man, being flawed  / sinful can contribute nothing. All of these are parallel concepts to 'not of yourselves' - all of which stipulate that one does not / cannot contribute anything at all toward ones salvation.

Furthermore, the moment of faith one expresses in letting God do it all to provide ones salvation unto eternal life through His Son, Christ Jesus is not a contribution either, but a passive acceptance of ones salvation unto eternal life - a trust in God to do it all for one.

Finally, the false interpretation that the phrase rendered "and this not of yourselves" means that although salvation originates from God, man must still participate in obtaining his salvation violates the context of chapter one which indicates that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit provided everything an individual needs to receive salvation unto eternal life, and that believing in the Son seals the individual unto his eternal destiny.

K) (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Is Declared To Be A Gift From God

(Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Author Paul wrote the Greek phrase "theou to dOron" rendered "[it is] the gift of God," in order to drive home the point that salvation is solely of God, solely by His grace, wherein the words "it is" are not present in the original Greek, but required to correctly render the phrase in English.

1) [Compare Ro 6:23]:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

2) [Compare Ro 3:24]:

"and [all men through faith in Jesus Christ, (v. 22)] are justified freely [i.e., as a free gift] by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

A gift by definition is not given in exchange for any payment or promised actions in order to receive it or deserve it. Nor is a gift given in exchange for a promise to behave better or to make Jesus the Lord of ones life or to be water baptized or to go to church, or to take the Lord's Supper, or to do some sort of penance / repentance, etc., etc.

3) [Compare Titus 3:5]:

(Titus 3:5 NASB) "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."

Notice that salvation is not even on the basis of righteous deeds, but completely according to the mercy of God, solely by His grace by the washing of regeneration - the washing away of sins and renewing by the Holy Spirit; not by anything an individual does.

Some contend that since certain gifts are wrapped in a material package and require being physically opened, assembled, batteries inserted, physically operated successfully, etc; then human doing is required to activate all gifts, and it must continue in order for the gift to continue to be effective. Otherwise they maintain that they cease to be gifts. But salvation unto eternal life does not fit this analogy, nor does any gift. Otherwise, unless freely given, a gift is not a gift at all. In the matter of eternal life, God has indeed done it all, (cf. Eph chapter one ). Eternal life becomes eternally effective at the moment when one begins to believe in God's Son to receive it - an individual having to do nothing - his faith by definition non-contributory #J-M. Nor is a physical gift that is received which is, for example, wrapped in a box with wrapping paper not a gift until it is opened. Nor is a free gift not a gift until it has been assembled, batteries inserted, physically operated successfully and continually in order to continue to make it effective as a gift. In the same way, eternal life does not have to be constantly activated by being faithful to God by one who has already believed in Christ Jesus to receive / activate it forever. It can never be deactivated by unfaithfulness, or by any means. Otherwise, God's promises could be broken by man:

4) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "In Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

Furthermore, none of the proposed analogies about gifts are compatible with the context of this passage or any passage in the Bible. Neither are any of the proposed analogies logical, true, or scriptural. God's gift of eternal life is stipulated as immediately and automatically bestowed upon and activated within the individual by God Himself at the moment that that individual exercises of his own volition a moment of faith alone in Christ alone - forever, (Jn 1:12; 3:16; Ro 3:21-24; Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9). So the free gift of salvation once received does not need to be further opened in some manner; or exercised in the temporal life in order for it to be effective as a gift - to be effective in providing eternal life to the individual. It is solely based upon the promise, the guarantee of God - His work alone instantly beginning and eternally effective at the moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone, (Eph 1:13-14). So works are neither required in order to be saved nor to stay saved unto eternal life.

Finally, mortal men, even the best of them, cannot maintain good behavior to God's standard. So a promise to be godly is not doable for mortal man anyway. This cancels out the idea that an individual must repent: turn from sin in order to be saved, (cf. 1 Jn 1:8, 10). On the other hand, an individual must repent / change his mind from not believing to a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for forgiveness of sins, (Acts 2:38 ). If any works at all were required, then the gift of eternal life could not be a gift. It would have to be called something else that implies a condition being met by the individual, a contract. But that is not how Scripture defines salvation: it is God's grace-gift operation.

L) (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Is Not As A Result Of Any Works, Godly Or Otherwise

(Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Salvation is received by an individual not as a result of any works whether meritorious or not, whether godly or not.

1) The Greek phrase "ouk ex ergOn" rendered "not of works" does not refer to "not of works of the Law," as some contend. There are no qualifying words to restrict what the phrase "not of works" means in this manner, or any manner. The phrase simply refers to the exclusion of any human doing which excludes godly works that are based on faithfulness. Hence faithfulness and the so called concept of "faithworks" are excluded in order to receive eternal life

a) [Compare Titus 3:5]:

(Titus 3:5 NASB) "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,"

Notice that salvation is not even on the basis of righteous deeds, but completely according to the mercy of God, solely by His grace by the washing of regeneration - the washing away of sins and renewing by the Holy Spirit; not by anything an individual does.

Contrary to objectors to free grace / free gift salvation who maintain that "not of works" is limited to "not of works of the Law" thus opening the door for some other kind of work they term "works of faith," or faithfulness, or "faithworks," the stipulation that salvation is not by works of the Law is not present in Ephesians 1:1-2:9. Only until we get to v. 2:13 is there any reference to the Law. But there in 2:13 the context refers to an entirely different matter which cannot be imposed on the phrase "not of works" in the previous verse 2:8. Verse 13 refers to bringing Jews and Gentiles together.

b) [Compare Eph 2:11-16]:

(Eph 2:11 NASB) "Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called 'Uncircumcision' by the so-called 'Circumcision,'which is performed in the flesh by human hands -

(Eph 2:12 NASB) remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded [lit. alienated] from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

(Eph 2:13 YLT) And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ,

(Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us,

(Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace,

(Eph 2:16 NASB) and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

Notice that Gentiles are no longer separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now they are reconciled as a result of Christ abolishing the Law with its commandments and regulations. This context cannot be moved backwards and twisted into the different context of 1:3-2:10 which the latter is about God's plan of salvation and how it is to be executed. So 2:11-22 cannot be forced backward into 2:9 such that "not of works" means not of works of the Law, forcing 2:9 to open the door to works of faith, or works.

Furthermore, although the Greek word "PisteOs" can mean "faith" or "faithfulness," this word in the phrase in Eph 2:8 rendered "saved through faith" cannot refer to faithfulness, or to some concept that objectors call 'faith works' in order to insert human doing based on faithfulness into what it takes to be saved. Such a concept does not fit the context of Eph 2:8-9, nor does the term "faithworks" appear in Scripture. As a matter of fact James chapter 2 distinguishes faith and works as two separate concepts. Consider that if faith were a kind of work, then in James 2:17, the phrase "Faith without works is dead," where the word dead means inactive, not non-existent, deteriorates into nonsense. How can faith if it were a work be without works????

2) Works which believers - individuals who are already saved unto eternal life forever - may perform are defined as that which God prepared in advance for the one who is already saved to do, thus ruling out works in order to be saved. On the other hand, there are no guarantees stipulated in this passage or any place in Scripture as to the degree if any that a saved individual will choose to be faithful

a) [Compare Eph 2:10]:

(Eph 2:10 NKJV) "for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them."

Notice that what God has prepared for the believer to do once he is saved is called "works" which are ruled out in becoming a believer but ruled in once one has been saved unto eternal life - but not for the purpose of receiving eternal life or retaining it. For the Greek verb "peripatEsOmen" rendered "we should walk" is in the subjunctive mood signifying objective possibility, not certainty, (indicative mood). So there are no guarantees stipulated in this passage or any place in Scripture as to the degree if any that a saved individual must choose to be faithful.

So any "good works" which the already saved individual may choose to perform such as the ritual of water baptism or taking the Lord's Supper or any misguided effort resulting from a vain commitment to behave better or not sin any more or not commit the unpardonable sin  so as to gain God's acceptance as payment toward ones salvation cannot be permitted as part of one's salvation whether meritorious or not.

3) Any work which an unsaved individual contributes toward his salvation cancels God's grace-gift of salvation and that individual remains under condemnation

Notice that grace and any kind of works are mutually exclusive - one cancels out the other especially relative to the reception of eternal life:

a) [Compare Ro 11:6]:

(Ro 11:6 NASB) "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

M) (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Is Not Something That One Can Boast About Achieving Based On Something He Has Ever Done To Get It Or Keep It

(Eph 2:8 NASB) "For by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast" =

Since no person can bring about his own salvation by his own efforts, even if, as some contend, it involves a joint effort with and originated by God. For any contribution by an individual toward his own salvation contaminates God's Righteousness, (Isa 64:6), and cancels God's grace, (Ro 11:6). So no individual can even be in a position to boast about earning his own salvation.

1) [Compare Ro 3:27-28]:

(Ro 3:27 NASB) "Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

(Ro 3:28 NASB) For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of ... law."

2) [Compare 1 Cor 1:29-31]:

(1 Cor 1:29 NASB) "So that no man may boast before God.

(1 Cor 1:30 NASB) But by His [God's] doing you are in Christ Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

(1 Cor 1:31 NASB) so that, just as it is written, [in Jer 9:23f]: 'Let Him who boasts, boast in the Lord.' "

So if there is to be any boasting, it can only be in the Lord.

In Eph 2:10, the Greek words "hina mE tis kauchEsEtai" rendered, "that no one can boast," (KJV, NKJV have "lest any man should boast") nails shut the door on man's contribution to his own salvation because it clearly says that an individual must be in a position relative to his salvation such that he cannot boast about it even if he was not likely to even consider boasting. If any works of any kind whether God directed or not were permitted of an individual in order to be saved, the individual would be in a position to boast, whether falsely or not. But with the phrase "[salvation is] ... not of works so that no one can boast," that situation is not permitted and any kind of works are thus ruled out no matter how godly or Who performs them on the individual's behalf.

N) (Eph 2:8-9) Objectors To Salvation By A Moment Of Faith Alone Force The Passage To Convey Continual Works + Continual Faith Expressed By God Himself Through The Individual

(Eph 2:8 NASB - accurate rendering:) "For by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast"

Now if it were the case that continual faith and good works were required to be saved unto eternal life - and it is not - then the original text of Eph 2:8-9 must be altered and reinterpreted in violation of the normative rules of language, context and logic in order to convey continual faith + continual works salvation and thus convey the horrific uncertainty of not knowing if one will be saved or if one will experience eternal punishment until after one physically dies:

1) [Eph 2:8-9 - Inaccurate Rendering: Modified From Original Text To Falsely  Convey Continual Faith + Continual Works And The Uncertainty Of Being Saved Or Not Until After One Physically Dies]:

'For by grace you might be saved if you are continually faithful, but this [salvation] will not be of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works [of your own, but it is God working through you] so that no one may boast if one is eventually saved.'

Notice that if faith and godly works were required for eternal life - and they are not;

then if faith and godly works were not continually present in ones life, (and this is neither scriptural nor possible with mortal man);

then those that contend that continual faith and godly works are required for salvation determine that one was never saved in the first place or one had lost ones salvation, (neither of which is scriptural).

Finally, even if works were required and if they were to be originated by God and if they were to be performed by God through the individual in order to receive eternal life, (and none of this is true); then an individual would be required to participate in receiving his salvation, thereby putting the individual in the position to boast about it. But this contradicts the message of Eph 2:8-9 and the rest of Scripture that no one can be in a position to boast about his salvation. And this would cancel out of God's salvation solely by His grace, (cf Ro 11:6).

And if those who contend that continual faith and godly works are required for salvation are correct, then no one can be sure one will be saved by the time ones mortal life is ended. For no one can guarantee that faith and godly works will continue throughout ones life. This is an horrific way to live out ones mortal life.

But the original, unaltered text of Eph 2:8-9, accurately rendered, conveys absolute assurance of ones salvation via the phrase rendered "you are having been saved" which is a perfect participle with a present tense verb indicating a completed action of being saved unto eternal life at a moment in the past when one first expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone with ever present results forever of being saved unto eternal life. This is corroborated in many verses, not the least of which is Eph 1:13-14:

a) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "In Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of redemption unto eternal life],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

Nevertheless, there are some who contend that Eph 2:8-9 must be forced to convey a future, conditional scenario whereby there is an uncertain outcome because of a conditional requirement of exercising continual faith and faithfulness / godly works during ones mortal life in order to be sure to be saved unto eternal life. So the outcome of receiving eternal life or eternal condemnation is uncertain until after one dies. Salvation, it is maintained, is nevertheless not of works because the continual faithful works that one is required to perform must continually come from God not from oneself, albeit the godly works are to be expressed by God through the individual??? - nonsensical reasoning that contradicts God's grace, (Ro 11:6) and portends to make robots out of humans - taking away their volition.

But this alternative view cannot be true because salvation unto eternal life is actually stipulated in Eph 2:8-9 as being 'by grace', i.e., unmerited favor, 'not of yourselves,' 'not of works,' such 'that no one may boast' without specific qualifications or exclusions: four expressions which convey an unqualified, non-contributory condition indicating that an individual contributes nothing to receive salvation - whether it be through God or through ones own volition / effort or both. Furthermore, according to the original text and the normative rules of language, context and language; the expression of faith unto eternal life is passive and not active, i.e., non-contributory . It simply causes an individual to receive the results of what God has already done for him - forever! In view is an acceptance of a free gift of all that God has already done for one relative to the matter of salvation unto eternal life. As a matter of linguistic fact, "faith" is defined within the context of Eph 2:8-9 which includes all that has come before in the epistle, as a moment of believing in God in the sense of expressing a mental assent that what He has said about His Son's redemption through His blood for the forgiveness of our trespasses is true. On the matter of godly works, note that the expression of faith that something is true is not the same thing, nor is it a requirement stipulated in Eph 2:8-9, as some contend, to follow through on that faith by faithful deeds of some kind 'F' and 'G'. The next verse provides an answer relative to the faithfulness of those who have been saved by grace through faith; and it is not a certainty that every individual that is saved unto eternal life will always be faithful, but they will all certainly be saved unto eternal life, regardless of how they have conducted their mortal lives:

O) (Eph 2:10) For We Who Have Been Saved Are God's Workmanship Having Been Created In Christ Jesus For Good Works Which God Prepared Beforehand So That We Should Walk In Them

(Eph 2:8 NASB).for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast (Eph 2:10 NKJV) for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them." =

Up to this point in the Epistle to the Ephesians, it has been firmly established that individuals are forever saved unto eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone; this salvation not being of themselves, it being the gift of God, not by works so that no one may boast. Whereupon Eph 2:10 begins with the word rendered "for" meaning "because" by way of explaining that those individuals who have become saved are God's workmanship having become created by God evidently into new creations in His Son, Christ Jesus in order for them to do good / godly works - to walk in them - works which He prepared beforehand, evidently before the foundation of the world.

1) [Compare Eph 2:4-7]:

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

(Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved),

(Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus,

(Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

God did this in order that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us [who have been saved] in Christ Jesus in order to demonstrate the grace of God in providing for and giving them salvation through the redemption that came through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of their trespasses according to the riches of His grace and the praise of His glory .

So according to Eph 2:8-10, these works are ruled out in order to become a believer but ruled in once one has been saved unto eternal life. These works are not for the purpose of receiving eternal life or retaining it. For the Greek verb "peripatEsOmen" rendered "we should walk" is in the subjunctive mood signifying objective possibility, not certainty, (which is indicated by the indicative mood). So there are no guarantees stipulated in this passage or any place in Scripture as to the degree if any that a saved individual must choose to be faithful at least in their temporal lives. On the other hand, in the eternal kingdom of God, believers indeed will only walk in the good works which God prepared beforehand for them.

This establishes that such individuals have been saved eternally by God with an eternal purpose. They have become God's workmanship - His possession in Christ Jesus - God's creation - a new creature:

2) [Compare 2 Cor 5:17 ]:

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Therefore, believers have become God's workmanship in order to do good works which God prepared beforehand that they should = subjunctive mood conveying objective possibility but not a certainty that they will - walk in them. Notice that God prepared works in advance for His creation of saved individuals in Christ Jesus so that they should walk in them in the sense of a life pattern of godliness. These works are not just a simple list of tasks to perform but a lifestyle which is to give God the glory and praise for His grace gift of eternal life given to them through the sacrifice of His Son for them.

III) [Eph 2:11-13]:

(Eph 2:11 NASB) Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands -

(Eph 2:12 YLT) [remember, (v. 11)] that [you (Gentiles)] were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world;

(Eph 2:13 YLT) and now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of the Christ,"

A) (Eph 2:11) Therefore Remember That Formerly You  Gentile Believers In Christ Jesus As Previously Detailed In Eph 1:1-2:10 - Gentiles In The Sense Of Physical Descendancy, Who Are Contemptuously Called "Uncircumcision" By The So-Called "Circumcision" - Referring To Jews In The Sense Limited To Their Physical Circumcision Not Necessarily A Spiritual Circumcision]:

(Eph 2:1 YLT) '''[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and the sins, (Eph 2:2 YLT) in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, [to the ruler] of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:3 NASB) Among [whom] we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [doing] the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest, (Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved), (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast; (Eph 2:10 NKJV) for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:11 NASB) Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands -''' =

The first word in verse 11, "Dio" rendered "therefore" is a conjunction which refers back to the previous context, especially that which consists of 10 verses from Eph 2:1-10. These ten verses are part of one long sentence which convey a message to Gentiles who became believers in Christ Jesus. The message begins with who the Gentile believers were before they trusted in Christ Jesus. They were dead in trespasses and sins in which they once did walk according to the ruler of the authority of the air the ruler of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom "we" too [Paul and fellow Jewish believers] all formerly lived in the lusts of "our flesh" [referring to all believers prior to their salvation], doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest [of humanity]; but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us [Paul and those Jews and Gentiles who believed in Christ Jesus], even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us alive together with ... Christ, (by grace you are having been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God - Jew and Gentile believers together in Christ Jesus; that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, for by grace you [Gentiles] [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one may boast; for we [all those who have become believers] are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.

So the word rendered "therefore" which begins verse 11 has 2:1-10 especially in view: the past when each Gentile and each Jew who became a believer in Christ Jesus was dead in his trespasses and sins, whereupon God made each one who believed in Christ Jesus alive with Christ and secured them in the future to be in heaven forever so that God might in the future ages, show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward each one of them in Christ Jesus. Whereupon in Eph 2:10, Paul emphasized God's grace in providing His salvation - a salvation permanently secured through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, which salvation is not of oneself, it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one may boast - so to become a new God-created workmanship so that they might choose to walk in good works which God prepared beforehand.

So in verse 2:11, beginning with the word rendered "therefore" - having in mind the previous context, author Paul reminds his readers, Gentile believers, that they formerly were [and still are] Gentiles "in the flesh" referring to their physical descendancy, and further described them as those who are called "uncircumcision" [by Jews, not in a nice way, but in a contemptuous manner] by the so-called " 'Circumcision,' [referring to Jews] which [circumcision] is performed in the flesh by human hands" [referring to the physical act of circumcision, not necessarily one with a spiritual connection with God - His Righteousness and His salvation]. So two different groups of people are in view, Jews and Gentiles: differentiated by those that removed the flesh, the foreskin of the male organ "by human hands" emphasizing human doing as opposed to anything godly - the Jews; and those who did not get circumcized - referring to the Gentiles.

Paul's remarks in verse 11 imply that neither Gentile nor Jew have anything to boast about before God based on who is physically circumcised or who is not. For an external man-made mark, in and of itself, holds no spiritual significance unless it is a sign of God's Righteousness through faith in His plan of salvation and of obedience to their covenant with God - the Law of Moses - which the Jews by and large failed to believe in and be faithful to. So circumcision was to be a sign of faith and obedience by a Jewish family, chiefly the father and his sons, in and to the Mosaic Covenant - the Law of Moses: God's covenant with His people. Its function in representing God's Righteousness in those of His people who have expressed a moment of faith in His plan of eternal salvation and faithfulness to the precepts of the Mosaic Law unto temporal salvation ceased to be available when God's plan of redemption was completed through His Son, Jesus Christ.

[Excerpt from Romans chapters 2 & 3 on circumcision below - or skip to Eph 2:12 ]

****** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTERS 2 & 3 ON CIRCUMCISION REPRESENTING GOD'S COVENANTS WITH ABRAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS ******

[Ro 2:25]:

(Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised."

THE CIRCUMCISION IN VIEW IN THIS PASSAGE HISTORICALLY BEGAN AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD'S PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(Ro 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

God Promises That Abram Will Be Father Of A Great Nation Leading To Blessings To Abram And All People Through Abram And His Seed, Who Is Christ

[Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

(Gen 12:1) '''The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave you country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'

(Gen 12:2) 'I [God] will make you [Abram] into a great nation and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

[God's promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his uncountable offspring and actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the eternal kingdom of God - a great example of God's salvation by grace through a moment of faith in His provision of eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son for sins]:

(Gen 12:3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'

(Gen 12:4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

(Gen 12:5) He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

(Gen 12:6) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(Gen 12:7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your seed I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.'''

The Seed Is Christ

"To your Seed I will give this land." =

Paul further defines the meaning of the word "Seed" in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself:

[Compare Gal 3:16]:

"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."

God Promises Eternal Life To Abram

[Compare Gen 12:3]:

"and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abram's procreation - which he has not had one child born to him yet - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the kingdom of God through his seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ):

[Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]:"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abram could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide for the sins of the world, so when Abram followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this was tantamount to expressing his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior. Therefore, Abram's believing in God's promises of the future would include his personal salvation. Abram would be justified, i.e., become a born again man upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his line which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At that time Abram would trust in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of salvation through a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom.

God Repeats His Promise To Abram

[Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(Gen 13:14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(Gen 14:15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."

Abram Believes In God's Promise And God Credits It To Abram As Righteousness Unto Eternal Life

(Ro 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' "

Notice that being declared by God as having a righteousness from Him is unto salvation unto eternal life. The righteousness which Abram received when he believed in God's plan for him confirmed God's promise of eternal life.

[Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

(Gen 15:1) "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward.'

(Gen 15:2) But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(Gen 15:3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(Gen 15:4) Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

(Gen 15:5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abram was granted entry into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life when he died]:

(Gen 15:6) Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a picture to Abraham to affirm His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This picture was 'painted' by God across the star studded night time heavens. An uncountable number of stars were visible to Abraham. God promised that just as the night time sky upon which Abraham gazed contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an uncountable number of descendants evidently over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. When Abraham believed in God's promise of eternal life, God acounted to Abraham His righteousness. That is to say that Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham of eternal life which evidently is required in order to have eternal life. This is the definition of justification unto eternal life: to be declared righteous by God. And note that it was received by a moment of faith alone. This cannot be misconstrued to mean that Abraham did or was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

So Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into the Lake of Fire. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., of having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time.

Since a moment of faith in the gospel results in the reception of a righteousness from God and eternal life, (Ro 1:16-17), then Abram's moment of faith in what God promised to him, which resulted in God declaring Abram to have a righteousness from God, provides eternal life for him.

So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled.

AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED IN GOD'S COVENANT FOR ABRAHAM AND HIS SEED OF ETERNAL LIFE AND TEMPORAL BLESSINGS, GOD COMMANDED CIRCUMCISION OF ABRAHAM AND ALL IN HIS HOUSEHOLD TO AFFIRM THIS EVERLASTING COVENANT WHICH SYMBOLLICALLY REPRESENTS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AND ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL AS ABRAHAM DID

(Ro 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Mass, U.S.A., 1980, p. 200 provides an applicable definition for the word 'circumcision']:

"Circumcision... 1 ... a Jewish rite performed on male infants as a sign of inclusion in the Jewish religious community"

[Compare Gen 17:1-14]:

(Gen 17:1) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.

(Gen 17:2) I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'

(Gen 17:3) Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

(Gen 17:4) 'As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

(Gen 17:5) No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

(Gen 17:6) I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

(Gen 17:7) I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

(Gen 17:8) The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.'

(Gen 17:9) Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

(Gen 17:10) This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

(Gen 17:11) You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

(Gen 17:12) For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring.

(Gen 17:13) Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.

(Gen 17:14) Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Circumcision is first mentioned in the Bible as a confirmation of God's everlasting covenant with Abram to be his God and the God of his descendants; greatly increase Abram's numbers so that he would be a "father of many nations" wherein kings will come from his descendants, i.e., implying an uncountable number; and providing the whole land of Canaan for him and his descendants as an everlasting possession - all of this implying the reception of eternal life for Abram, now named Abraham by God which means 'father of many nations.' As a sign of the covenant, Abraham and every male in his household including his slaves were commanded by God to be circumcised as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. Those who were not circumcised were to be 'cut off' from Abraham and his people and thus be exempt from temporal blessings God might provide for Abraham and his household.

[Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is a symbolic representation of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel of Abraham, the gospel of all mankind.

ABRAHAM'S CIRCUMCISION WAS INCORPORATED INTO THE MOSAIC LAW AS A RULE OF LIFE FOR JEWS TO RECEIVE TEMPORAL BLESSINGS - ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO EXERCISED THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM; AND IT WAS A DEMONSTRATION TO THE WORLD OF AN ISRAELITE WHO WAS TO REPRESENT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, THE GOSPEL, UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(Ro 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Abraham's circumcision is incorporated into the Mosaic Law as a rule of life for Jews to receive temporal blessings - especially for those who exercised the faith of Abraham in the gospel; and it was a demonstration to the world of the righteousness of God through faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel unto eternal life.

[Compare Lev 12:2-3]:

(Lev 12:1) '''The LORD said to Moses,

(Lev 12:2) "Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

(Lev 12:3) On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.' " '''

Circumcision became a requirement of the Law of Moses. Male circumcision of the Jew during the Mosaic Law period was performed in order to enter the same Abrahamic covenant blessing - both temporal and eternal based on the same faith of Abraham. So, circumcision enabled the Jewish man, a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to come under all the blessings promised to Abraham and his descendants. For when Abraham believed in God's plan of salvation through Abraham's seed, the gospel, (Gen 15:6; Ro 1:16-17), God declared Abraham righteous and later made a covenant with Him with reference to eternal life and temporal blessings for himself and his seed - his progeny.

Even non-Israelite men who wanted to be part of the Israelite people were to be circumcised (Gen 34:21-24).

The rite of circumcision was commanded to be given to a male Jew eight days after physical birth. It is a physical manifestation symbolic of a Jew having a righteousness from God which is actually received if and when, at accountability, he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel which provided Abraham justification unto eternal life when he believed. It is also a male's identification with Israel affording the opportunity to receive blessings under the Covenant of Abraham and the Law of Moses as the individual obeys the Law. Note that many of the temporal blessings under the Law are only available to those who have trusted in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel, for these blessings predicate themselves upon having been declared righteous by God.

[Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is symbolic of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Furthermore, it denoted the putting aside of human works in order to qualify for entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Finally, circumcision has a certain temporal value:

While one observes the Law which embodies God's righteousness, circumcision is a testimony to the world that it represents one being an Israelite, one of God's chosen people, a descendant of Abraham, Issac and Jacob who is to represent to the world, God's righteousness.

On the other hand, while a Jew is breaking the Law, he is not representing the righteousness of God which circumcision symbollically and the Law actually stand for. Breaking the Law also puts the Jew outside of receiving temporal blessings of the Law. During that time it is as if one had not been circumcised relative to ones testimony as an Israelite of God's righteousness to the world. Notice that the phrase "you have become as though you had not been circumcised," in the context of its passage in Romans 2:25, does not cancel the reality of the physical circumcision nor the reality of having received a righteousness from God if the Jew had expressed a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Breaking the Law causes the circumcised Israelite to not reflect the temporal message of his physical circumcision to the world of his representation of Israel, God's chosen people who are to represent God's righteousness to the world. It is "as though [he] had not been circumcised"

CIRCUMCISION IS CONNECTED WITH OBSERVING THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES AND REPRESENTS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(Ro 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous... (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you   had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision is symbolically connected with observing the requirements of the Law. The Law is an embodiment of God's righteousness, (Ro 2:13). The reception of God's righteousness via human doing, which requires an absolute persistence in doing good, (Ro 2:6-11), has already been implied as impossible via human doing except via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the gospel, (Ro 1:2-4, 16-17).

On the other hand, during the times when a Jew observes the Law, he actively participates in the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Law, and represents the righteousness of God in the Law by his actions, all of which are symbolically represented by the Jew's physical circumcisions.

CIRCUMCISION HAS CERTAIN TEMPORAL VALUE AS A TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD OF WHAT IT SYMBOLICALLY REPRESENTS WHILE A JEW OBSERVES THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHILE A JEW IS NOT OBEYING THE LAW HE IS UNRIGHTEOUS AND DURING THAT TIME IT IS AS IF HE HAD NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous.... (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision has certain temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while a Jew observes the Law, which the Law embodies God's righteousness. Notice that "It is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous" by God, therefore the requirements of the Law must be righteous, (Ro 2:13). On the other hand, while a Jew is not obeying the Law he is unrighteous and during that time it is "as though you had not been circumcised" because circumcision is supposed to be a symbol of one of God's chosen people representing God and His righteousness to the world, "for God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you:"

(Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'

peritomE ......men ....gar Ophelei ean ........nomon prassEs .......ean de

Circumcision indeed for .profits ..if ...[the] Law ....you practice if ....but [= but if] [you are a]

..................................................................................V_PAS2S

parabatEs ....nomou .........Es ..........hE peritomE ......sou ..akrobustia ........gegonen

transgressor of [the] Law you are ..the circumcision your .uncircumcision .has become

........................................V_PAS2S ..your circumcision has become uncircumcision,

........................................................."it has become as though you have not been circumcised.

Although the definite article does not appear before "nomon" = law, the particular law in view considering that circumcision and Jews are in view is the Mosaic Law. The two verbs "prassEs" and "Es" are in the subjunctive mood following the conjunction "ean" = "if", signifying a third class "if-then" statement wherein the action is objectively possible, i.e., 'maybe you will break the Law, maybe you won't.' In view then is a temporal condition wherein one who is circumcised may not be observing the Law in a particular segment of time whereupon the conclusion during that time is that "your circumcision has become your uncircumcision", i.e., you have become as though you have not been circumcised.

Since circumcision represents the righteousness of God, then when a Jew who is circumcised is not faithful to the Law for the moment, his lifestyle is not demonstrating the righteousness of God and it is as if he had not been circumcised. The physical circumcision does not disappear with an infraction of the Law, nor does any infraction of the Law negate the righteous standing an individual has before God received when he believed in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. When a Jew acts for the moment in accordance with the righteousness he has been declared as his possession by keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, he is representative of what that circumcision represents: the righteousness from God.

[Ro 2:26-27]:

(Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

(Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker."

DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW, THEY ARE A LAW FOR THEMSELVES AND ARE REGARDED AS BEING CIRCUMCISED IN THE SENSE THAT THEY REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS EMBODIED IN THE LAW

(Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (Ro 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, "they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the Law" in the sense of demonstrating behavior that represents the righteousness of God. They are thus regarded as being circumcised in the sense that they represent God and His righteousness which is embodied in the Law. Just as for the Jew, circumcision has temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while the Jew observes the Law which the Law represents God's righteousness; so while "Those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements" exemplifying for the moment the righteousness of God, "will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised" in the sense of being representative to the world of God's righteousness?

DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW THEY WILL CONDEMN BEFORE GOD THE JEW WHILE HE IS A LAWBREAKER WHO CLAIMS SUPERIORITY HAVING THE WRITTEN CODE AND PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION BUT ACTING AS IF HE HAS NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (Ro 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker." =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law they will condemn before God the Jew while he is a lawbreaker who claims superiority, having the written code and physical circumcision but acting as if he has not been circumcised.

[Ro 2:28-29]:

(Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.

(Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

AN OUTWARD, (PHYSICAL), JEW MUST BE A JEW IN ANOTHER SENSE: AN INWARD ONE VIA CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART BY THE SPIRIT - BY FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, NOT BY THE LAW, IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED A JEW IN GOD'S SIGHT. GENTILES AND CHRISTIANS ARE NOT IN VIEW IN THIS VERSE

(Ro 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God. (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

In view in verse 2:28 is an outward Jew, i.e., a man who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is not viewed by God as a Jew inwardly. Verse 2:29 then stipulates that an outward, (physical), Jew must be a Jew in another sense: an inward one via circumcision of the heart by the Spirit - by the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior, Abraham's Seed, (Jesus Christ), not by the Law, in order to be declared a Jew in God's sight.

Being a Jew inwardly, (Ro 2:29), is defined as having a "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code", i.e., not by keeping the commandments of the Mosaic Law or any human doing. Note that Gentiles and Christians are NOT in view in this verse. Although all individuals of all ages, Jew and Gentile alike, are given the opportunity to express a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to receive circumcision of the heart, (a declaration of having God's righteousness unto eternal life), this does not make them Jewish unless they are also physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (MIND) BY THE SPIRIT IS A SPIRITUAL OPERATION, A REMOVAL OF ONES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SINS AT THE POINT OF A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL - UNTO THE IMPUTATION OF A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD

(Ro 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Ro 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (Ro 1:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord... (Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (Ro 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" (cont.) =

Circumcision of the heart is stipulated as a circumcision by the Spirit evidently in the spiritual realm. The word "heart" refers in Scripture to the center of thinking, the mind . Since circumcision is a removal of something by definition; and the phrase "by the Spirit" refers to a spiritual condition that is removed by the Spirit of God; and since author Paul has previously referred to a righteousness from God being imputed to the individual, (Ro 1:17; 2:13), then that which is removed is accountability of sins unto a righteousness from God. This righteousness from God is imputed by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (Ro 1:2-4, 16-17). Notice that this inward, spiritual circumcision- removal of accountability for ones sins by the Spirit unto an imputation of a righteousness from God is NOT accomplished by the written code through obedience to it, i.e., by any human doing.

SUCH A MAN'S PRAISE OF ANOTHER FOR BEING A GODLY JEW, WHICH IMPLIES HAVING AN IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD, COMES NOT AS A RESULT OF HUMAN DOING BUT AS A RESULT OF THE WORK OF GOD

(Ro 2:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Ro 2:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (Ro 2:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'

(Ro 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

Such a man's praise of another for being a godly Jew, which implies having an imputed righteousness from God, comes not as a result of human doing, but as a result of the work of God. Human doing via keeping the "written code" did not accomplish becoming a Jew inwardly wherein a righteousness from God is evident as having been imputed to him; rather it came by the "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit." Hence such praise is from, i.e., sourced in God alone.

[Ro 3:1]:

(Ro 3:1) "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?"

AFTER EXPOUNDING UPON THE JEWS' UNIQUE POSITION BEFORE GOD HAVING A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; BEEN GIVEN THE LAW, CIRCUMCISION, ETC; AND IN VIEW OF THEIR PERSISTENT FAILURE TO LIVE UP TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE GOD; PAUL ASKS TO WHAT ADVANTAGE IS THERE BEING A JEW OR WHAT VALUE IS THERE IN CIRCUMCISION?

(Ro 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (Ro 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (Ro 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?" =

After what has been said about Jews being in the first position for God's bestowal of trouble and distress or glory, honor and peace, (vv. 2:9-10); being given the Law, having a unique relationship with God, knowing thereby God's will and being instructed in the Law, (Ro 2:17-18); having circumcision representing the righteousness of God as one observes the Law and which righteousness is imputed to one upon believing in the gospel, (Ro  2:25; 1:16-17); and considering the previous context of the Jews' persistent failure to respond properly to these things that God has provided for them throughout history, (Ro 2:17-24), author Paul asks two questions:

1) "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew?"

2) "or, what value is there in circumcision?"

This either/or question is an affirmation that the word "circumcision" refers to those who are Jews. Paul is investigating the advantage and value of being a Jew or of circumcision respectively. Circumcision was implied to be a physical sign of being a Jew, (Ro 2:25-29).

[Ro 3:2]:

(Ro 3:2) "Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God."

MUCH IN EVERY WAY IS THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING A JEW - THE VALUE OF CIRCUMCISION. FIRST OF ALL THEY HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE VERY WORDS OF GOD AS CONVEYED TO THEM DIRECTLY AND THROUGH OTHERS AS RECORDED IN SCRIPTURE GIVING THEM THE RESPONSIBILTY TO OBEY, REPRESENT GOD AND CONVEY THOSE WORDS TO THE WORLD

(Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (Ro 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (Ro 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God." =

Paul provides a "first of all" answer to his question of "What advantage is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision" with "Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God," (Ro  3:2).

Notice that both questions, "What advantage is there in being a Jew?", "Or what value is there in circumcision?" are anwered by the one answer in verse 3:2, hence both questions are intimately related and have Jews in view. The phrase "First of all" in verse 3:2 which begins the verse which answers the questions posed in Ro 3:1, implies that there is more than one answer to the questions. The entire passage, however, only provides this one answer. Other answers can be found elsewhere in Scripture.

Ro 3:2 stipulates that there is much advantage in being a Jew and much value in being circumcised in every way! The phrase "The very words of God" refers to the actual words of God spoken directly to the Israelites and relayed to them through others in times past, especially to and through Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, the prophets and the Law, and most especially those actual words of God recorded in Scripture. The concept of being entrusted with the very words of God conveys the responsibility of faith and obedience to them and preservation and communication of those words to the world. This responsibility was implied in Ro  2:17-25, wherein the Jew, the one who is circumcised, is directed to obey the Law as an Israelite and as the mandate of his circumcision in order to represent the righteousness of God to the world giving value to his circumcision.

THE FIRST ADVANTAGE FOR BEING A JEW, THE FIRST VALUE OF CIRCUMCISION IS BEING ENTRUSTED WITH THE VERY WORDS OF GOD WHICH ARE THUS IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AVOID ETERNAL AND TEMPORAL CONDEMNATION THROUGH FAITH AND OBEDIENCE RESPECTIVELY, AND RECEIVE TEMPORAL BLESSINGS THROUGH THAT SAME OBEDIENCE

(Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (Ro 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (Ro 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (Ro 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (Ro 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (Ro 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God." =

The first advantage for being a Jew, the first value of circumcision, is being entrusted with the very words of God. This means that the very words of God are immediately available to the Jews, those of the circumcision, giving them the advantage and value of representing God and His righteousness to all the world. Since God expects ALL men to be righteous or else receive condemnation, (Ro 1:18), it is an advantage and of great value to be entrusted with the very words of God which embody and instruct one in the righteousness of God to avoid His eternal and temporal condemnation through faith and obedience respectively and instead receive the imputation of God's righteousness through faith in the gospel which is inherent in the very words of God as well as temporal blessings through obedience to God's very words.

[Ro 3:3]:

(Ro 3:3) "What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?"

THE QUESTION IS ASKED IN VIEW OF THE JEWS' UNFAITHFULNESS - WOULD THIS NULLIFY GOD'S FAITHFULNESS TO HIS PROMISES IN HIS VERY WORDS WHICH WERE ENTRUSTED TO THE JEWS?

(Ro 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (Ro 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (Ro 3:3) What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?" =

First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God spoken to them and relayed to them through others in times past, especially to and through Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, the prophets and the Law; and most especially those actual words of God recorded in Scripture. The concept of being entrusted with the very words of God conveys the responsibility of faith and obedience to them and preservation and communication of those words to the world. Paul then asks, "What if some did not have faith?" i.e., what if some were not true to this entrusting and did not represent God's righteousness by observing the Law and did not properly convey the very words of God to the world as God's representatives? Paul then follows this with another related question, "Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?" The fact that Paul poses this question implies that (1) the Jews do have a responsibility to be faithful to the very words of God, and (2) God has conveyed promises to the world through His very words which were entrusted to the Jews. In view of the lack of faith of the Jews to live up to their responsibility to the very words of God, Paul asks whether or not this unfaithfulness nullifies God's faithfulness to His promises in His very words.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTERS 1 & 2 ON CIRCUMCISION REPRESENTING GOD'S COVENANTS WITH ABRAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS ******

B) (Eph 2:11-12) Gentile Believers Are To Remember That They Were, Before They Became Believers, As Individuals And As Part Of A Group Of People, Separate, Apart From Christ, Strangers To The Covenants Of The Promise, Having No Hope And Without God In The World

(Eph 2:1 YLT) '''[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and the sins, (Eph 2:2 YLT) in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, [to the ruler] of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:3 NASB) Among [whom] we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [doing] the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest, (Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved), (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast; (Eph 2:10 NKJV) for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:11 NASB) Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands - (Eph 2:12 YLT) [remember, (v. 11)] that [you (Gentiles)] were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world;''' =

In Eph 2:11-12, Paul reminded his audience of Gentile believers in Christ Jesus to remember that "formerly," i.e., before they became believers in Christ Jesus, they were Gentiles in the flesh in the physical sense [and still are, albeit now Gentile believers in Christ Jesus]. For previously in verse 11, the Gentiles were contemptuously called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," [Jews] - which circumcision was a sign of the covenants that God had with Israel, largely excluding the Gentiles. Note that there was a limited inclusion of Gentile converts, proselytes who joined with Israel. In the Mosaic Law, it forbade Jews to marry with Gentiles, (Dt 7:3-4; Ex 34:15-16; Josh 23:12; Ezra 9:2). And there were other restrictions on Gentile converts, such as not being allowed to worship with Jews.

Since Adam and Eve, God evidently had an initial plan which included all of humanity . He did not work with any particular people group throughout the first approximately 2,000 years of history - up until Abram (Abraham) . But beginning with Abraham in Gen 12, God unilaterally made a covenant with Abram and his descendants . God's covenant with Abram and subsequent covenants with his descendants did include a blessing for all the peoples of the earth, (ref. Gen 12:3b); but much of the covenant and subsequent covenants were exclusively for Abram and his descendants .

For centuries, since God began working with Abram, the Gentiles were excluded from much of what God was doing with Abraham and his descendants. For the Jews fell short of their responsibility to be a testimony to the peoples of the world about God and His salvation to them and the peoples of the world. The Gentiles were on the outside looking in. But all that was changed by the appearance of Jesus Christ in the first century of this current age.

Israel's "covenants" included the Abrahamic (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:1-8), the Palestinian (Deut. 28-30), the Davidic (2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:1-4), the New (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:24-30), and the Law of Moses, (Ex 19-24). These covenants all pointed to "the promise" of the Messiah and of eternal life and temporal blessings through Him. They assured Israel of a national existence, a land, a King, and spiritual blessings and eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God for all Israelites who believed as Abraham believed for eternal life and for those Israelites who were faithful to the Mosaic Law - temporal blessings . Note that Gentiles were also included in the covenants, but with significant differences

******

Paul goes on to write in Eph 2:12 that the Gentile believers whom Paul is addressing in his letter were formerly apart from Christ in a personal sense, before they became believers. And likewise as part of the group of Gentiles, before they became believers, they as a group of people formerly had no revelation of a national hope of a Messiah to bless them in a temporal sense or save them in an eternal sense as Israel had available to her through the covenants, as symbolized by circumcision. Furthermore, the Gentiles were formerly alienated from the commonwealth - the state and people of Israel in the sense of being alienated / excluded from community / fellowship / citizenship with God's chosen people Israel and all that that entails especially relevant to God's covenants with His chosen people, which included blessings for all the peoples of the earth. Thus the Gentiles were strangers to the covenants of the promise to the world through Israel of a Savior - Jesus Christ - to come through the seed of Abraham. And thus formerly the Gentiles had no hope of temporal blessing or eternal salvation through any other means but through God's chosen people Israel which to them was no hope at all - especially in light of the ungodly contempt that the Jews held for all non-Jews, (unless they became proselytes - which few did in the light of the segregated circumstances). Note that in Old Testament times, even Gentile believers, (as Abraham believed), were largely ostracized and excluded from fellowship in the Temple of God in Jerusalem and in local synagogues, by Jews - even those Jews who were of the faith of Abraham, despite the Gentiles' faith. So the Gentiles were deprived of direct participation in God's covenants and thus had no message of hope, nor of God's revelation to them of future eternal glory, nor of temporal blessings as Israel had through the covenants. Unlike Israel they were given no special revelation to them by God of an expectation of a personal Messiah Savior and Deliverer through Whom a moment of faith resulted, even for them, in eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom - the Messianic Age. Finally, Paul writes at the end of Eph 2:12 that the Gentiles formerly were without God in the sense of not being given the revelation that the Israelites were given. And they, by and large, were wilfully ignorant of Him. They were alienated from the revelation that God gave Israel, so that they were strangers to the covenants. Hence they did not believe in the one true God. They were without God in the world - until the age when Paul became an Apostle, an age about which Paul wrote to Gentiles and defined by the phrase "the mystery of Christ." This subject will be dealt with in greater detail in chapter 3:

1) [Compare Eph 3:1-7]:

(Eph 3:1 NASB) For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -

(Eph 3:2 NASB) if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

(Eph 3:3 NASB) that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

(Eph 3:4 NASB) By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

(Eph 3:5 NASB) which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

(Eph 3:6 NASB) to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body [of Christ], and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

(Eph 3:7 NASB) of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power."

C) (Eph 2:13) [And Now, You - Gentile Believers - In Christ Jesus, You Being Once Afar Off - Estranged From God - Became Near - To God - By The Blood Of The Christ]:

(Eph 2:1 YLT) '''[And] you - being dead in ... trespasses and the sins, (Eph 2:2 YLT) in which once [you] did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, [to the ruler] of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:3 NASB) Among [whom] we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [doing] the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest, (Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved), (Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:8 NASB) for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast; (Eph 2:10 NKJV) for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:11 NASB) Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands - (Eph 2:12 YLT) [remember, (v. 11)] that [you (Gentiles)] were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world; (Eph 2:13 YLT) and now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of the Christ," =

And now, referring to the Gentile believer's present standing with God at the time of Paul's ministry: they are in Christ Jesus in the sense of being part of Christ's body - a spiritual position of functioning within the capacity that Christ Jesus has provided for them .

The phrase in Eph 2:13, rendered "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ," the words rendered "far away," and "near" are used in the Hebrew language to describe the position of Gentiles and Jews, not only in a geographic sense, but in a spiritual sense - of being near or far off from God. The original reference had to do with Jews and Gentiles and how they were geographically located relative to their distance from Jersualem as well as their relative spiritual distances from God:

1) [Compare Isa 57:1-2, 19-21]:

(Isa 57:1 NKJV) '''The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.

(Isa 57:2 NKJV) He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.

(Isa 57:19 NASB) "Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near," Says the LORD, "and I will heal him."

(Isa 57:20 NASB) But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.

(Isa 57:21 NASB) "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." '''

The phrase rendered "peace to him" in Isa 57:19 refers to "the righteous man" (ref. vv. 1-2) - the righteous man who is near and the one who is far off, those who will receive eternal peace because they have been declared by God as righteous. Other passages indicate that this declaration is as a result of a moment of faith alone in God's provision of eternal life through His Son alone, (cf. Eph 1:13-14).

So Gentile and Jewish believers are in Christ Jesus as stipulated in the previous passage in Ephesians chapter one:

2) [Compare Eph 1:22-23]:

(Eph 1:22 NASB) "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

(Eph 1:23 YLT) which is His body, the fullness of Him Who is filling ... all [things] in all [ways]."

God put all things under Christ's feet, and gave Him to be head over all things - the universe including the church. Furthermore, God gave Christ to the church - both Jew and Gentile believer - over which He is Head, and which is His body, and the fullness of Him Who [Christ] is filling [Greek participle] all things - the universe, the church, in all ways with His power. So believers in this age will be part of the body of Christ, and have the fullness of Christ in them, being constantly filled by Him - by His power. This is not saying that Christ is made complete by the church's being filled up with Him, as some contend. Rather it is the church who has become the fullness of Him in the sense that their entire substance and subsistence is from Christ alone, as some contend, for Christ is God, Who by nature is complete, and needs no filling.

So in Eph 2:13, the phrase rendered "by the blood of Christ," indicates that it was by a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for eternal life - the shedding of His blood for sins that the Gentiles and Jews who believed in Him were brought from afar off in the sense of a spiritual distance apart from God to being near to Him in the sense of becoming children of God, born of God in the family of God, saved unto eternal life with Him in heaven.

So believers - both Jew and Gentile - will participate with Jesus Christ in His headship over all things. Each member's participation will depend upon each one's focus in his mortal life upon temporal things which will be of little value or on eternal things for eternal value. All of this has been determined before the foundation of the world; yet it includes the believer's volition .

3) [Compare Eph 2:10]:

(Eph 2:10 NKJV) "for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them."

Eph 2:10 begins with the word rendered "for" meaning "because" by way of explaining that those individuals who have become saved are God's workmanship having become created by God evidently into new creations in His Son, Christ Jesus in order for them to do good / godly works - to walk in them - works which He prepared beforehand, evidently before the foundation of the world.

IV) [Eph 2:14-18]

(Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us,

(Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace,

(Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself],

(Eph 2:17 NASB) And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;

A) (Eph 2:14-16) For Christ Himself Is Our Peace - Jewish And Gentile Believers - Having Created Both Groups Into One - Neither Jew Nor Gentile In Character; Having Abolished The Dividing Wall -  The Barrier Of Enmity Between Both Groups In His Flesh; Having Thus Annulled The Law Of Moses So That The Two Groups He Might Create In Himself Into One New Man, Neither Jew Nor Gentile, Creating Peace With One Another - An Eternal Peace With Temporal Potential, And That He Might Reconcile Both Groups, i.e., All Of Mankind Who Choose To Believe In Him For Such Reconciliation Into One Body To God Through The Cross, Having Slain The Enmity In The Sense Of Having Abolished It In Himself

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us, (Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," =

1) (Eph 2:14-15) [Greek Interlinear]:

[Greek (v. 14)] .."Autos ...gar estin ...he .eirene hemOn ho .poiesas ..............ta ..amphotera hEn kai to ...mesotoichon

[English (v. 14)] "Himself for [He] is the peace .our ......the having made .....the both ...........one and the middle wall

[Notes]....................................................................................aorist participle

[Greek] ..tou ....phragmou lusas

[English] of the partition ...having annulled

[Notes]...................................aorist participle

[Greek (v. 15)] ..ten echthran En te .sarki autou ton nomon ton .....entolOn ............en dogmasin katargesas

[English (v. 15)] the enmity ....in the flesh His ...the .Law ....of the commandments in .decrees ...having annulled

[Notes]...................................................................................................................................................aorist participle

[Greek] ..hina tous duo ktise .....................en heautO .eis ..hena kainon anthrOpon poiOn ..........eirenen."

[English] that the ..two He might create ...in Himself .into one ..new .....man, .........making .........peace."

[Notes]...........................aorist subjunctive.....................................................................present part.

2) (Eph 2:15) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:15]:

(Eph 2:15 YLT) "[having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace,"

Sinaiticus, A, B, C, D, Maj and all texts and translations have the reading rendered "one new man."

K has the reading rendered "one and only man"

p46, F, G have "one common / shared man," which expression aptly describes the new humanity Christ created, because it speaks of the believers' solidarity and fellowship with each other as a result of their common union in Christ. In Christ, as a part of a new creation, Jewish and Gentile believers are one "common" humanity. Of course, they are also a "new" (kainon) humanity because of their participation in a new creation. So, it is hard to say which word was mistaken for the other - there is only a one-letter difference ("a" in lieu of "o"). It is possible that "koinon" (common) originally stood in the text but was changed under the influence of Col 3:9-10, a parallel passage that conterasts the "old nature" and the "new nature." But in Ephesians 2, the empasis is not on a new versus old per se, but on the unification of divergent groups by virtue of their union in Christ. It is also possible that some scribe (perhaps the scribe of p46 was the first) simply mistook "kainon" (new) for "koinon" (common) - and the mistake, which makes good sense, was perpetuated in later manuscripts such as F and G.

3) (Eph 2:15) [Further Manuscript Evidence for Eph 2:15]:

(Eph 2:15 YLT) "[having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace," =

NU, WH, p46, Sinaiticus(org), A, B, P, 33, Lach, Treg, Alf, Tisc, Weis, Sod, modern text editions have "hina tous duo ktisE en autO" rendered "that He might create the two in Him," without a breathing mark.

TR, Sinaiticus(corr), D, K, G, L, byz, Psi, Maj, have "hina tous duo ktisE en heautO" rendered "that He might create the two in Himself" where the final pronoun is reflexive by use of a rough breathing mark, (heautO).

The context calls for the reflexive usage, for Christ created the one new man in Himself - via His death and resurrection. Nevertheless, either reading is possible and well supported - the reflexive rendering more emphatic, but the context implies the emphatic without having to have the variant "eautO" present. All translations have the reflexive usage.

4) (Eph 2:14-15) [Commentary On Eph 2:14-15]:

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us, (Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace," =

Eph 2:14 declares that it is Jesus Christ Himself Who is "our" peace in the sense that Jewish and Gentile believers -

those who are in Christ Jesus as a result of their moment of faith in Him for eternal life

- have been placed by God into an eternally secure position which is characterized by peace with one another and with God, (cf. Ro 5:1). The enmity between the two groups having been abolished "in His [Christ Jesus'] flesh." Although eternal and temporal peace has been created / established between Jewish and Gentile believers by Christ Jesus, the temporal peace is potential and depends upon the moment to moment faithfulness and confession of each individual believer by the grace of God .

Eph 2:14-15 goes on to declare that Christ has made, in the sense of created, both groups - Jewish believers and Gentile believers - into one group which is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new creation in Christ Jesus, (cf. Gal 3:28; 2 Cor 5:17) - Christ having abolished in His flesh, (Eph 2:15), the dividing wall - literally, the middle wall of the partition in the sense of the dividing wall that is the barrier, the "enmity" between the two groups, (Eph 2:15) - resulting in no godly reason for there to be enmity between one another in this temporal life and abolished in eternity. Neither Jew nor Gentile believer in Christ Jesus can claim superiority over the other. Both must rely on the grace of God for the temporal and eternal life.

This is not to say, as some contend, that Gentiles when they become believers in Christ Jesus have become   because they expressed the same faith that Abraham did in a Messiah Savior Descendant - the same Christ Jesus. Hence they maintain that these born of God Gentiles are now under the rule of a godly form of the Mosaic Law, uncontaminated by human input, with Jews who have expressed the faith of Abraham in what they state to be their Jewish Messiah Yeshua / Jesus Christ. Thus some contend that the Mosaic Law is not annulled at all!

Although Gentile believers have become Abraham's spiritual descendants unto eternal life; there were no Israelites in Abraham's time, nor would there be a Law of Moses for another 430 years. Furthermore, God's covenant with Abraham included all of humanity, long before the Law of Moses came along.

a) [Compare Gen 12:2-3]:

(Gen 2:2 NASB) "And I will make you [Abram / Abraham] a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

(Gen 2:3 NASB) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."

So all the peoples of the earth throughout history may choose to become spiritual descendants of the seed of Abraham by trusting in the Seed of Abraham that is in the Savior to come / Who has already come, namely, Jesus Christ, (ref. Gal 3:16).

With the coming of Moses and growth of the nation Israel, the Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone. It included more than 600 detailed laws including rituals which Israel was required as a nation to observe. The purpose of the Law was to reveal sin (Ro 5:20; 7:7; Gal 3:19) and to demonstrate man's need of Christ (Gal 3:24). Once Christ came, the purpose of the Law was fulfilled in His flesh and it was annulled in its entirety, (Eph 2:14-15)!

b) [Compare Gal 3:16-22]:

(Gal 3:16 NASB) "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to one, 'And to your seed,' that is, Christ.

(Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

(Gal 3:18 NASB) For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

(Gal 3:19 NASB) Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

(Gal 3:20 NASB) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

(Gal 3:21 NASB) Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

(Gal 3:22 NASB) But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."

Any individual who believes in Christ Jesus has become a new creation in Christ Jesus ...

c) [Compare 2 Cor 5:17 ]:

(2 Cor 5:17 NASB) "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

... neither Jew nor Gentile, whole or in part; but wholly a part of the body of Christ unto eternal life without having to become a spiritual Israelite or to obey the Mosaic Law, uncontaminated or otherwise, for any reason.

So Jewish believers in Christ Jesus are not today, nor were Jewish believers in Christ Jesus of the first century any longer, under the Law of Moses which was annulled in its entirety by what Christ Jesus did by His blood, (Eph 2:13), in His flesh, (Eph 2:15). The Mosaic Law in its entirety including its rule of life for Jews during the dispensation / age of the Law was nullified and replaced with the new doctrines and commands of the dispensation of grace - the church age as taught especially in the New Testament epistles with many commands and doctrines carried over from the previous economy of Israel alone under the rule of the Mosaic Law but under the framework of Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus together as one new man under the auspices of the grace of God, (Eph 2:15) . So all Gentiles and all Jews who have trusted in Christ Jesus have been made an integral part of the body of Christ, the church:

d) [Compare Col 1:24]:

(Col 1:24 NASB) "Now I [Paul] rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

****** EXCERPTS FROM ROMANS 4 AND GALATIANS 3 ON THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW ******

OR SKIP TO THE REST OF COMMENTARY ON EPH 2:14-15

ABRAHAM IS THE FATHER - THE PRIMARY EXAMPLE - TO THE CIRCUMCISED (JEWS) AND UNCIRCUMCISED (GENTILES - THE REST OF HUMANITY) SO THAT THEY MIGHT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN WHAT HE BELIEVED - THE GOSPEL - SO THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS MIGHT BE RECKONED TO THEM UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(Ro 4:9 NAS) "Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, 'Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.' (Ro 4:10 NAS) How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; (Ro 4:11 NAS) and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised that righteousness might be reckoned to them, (Ro 4:12 NAS) and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised." =

It is discovered that when Abraham believed in God's plan of salvation, his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness unto eternal life while he was still uncircumcised - like Gentiles. After being declared righteous before God unto eternal life, Abraham did have himself circumcised, which circumcision is stipulated as the sign of the seal of the righteousness of the faith unto eternal life which he had been reckoned with while he was still uncircumcised. Circumcision after the example of father Abraham is stipulated in Scripture as a sign of the seal, i.e., the absolute certainty of God's promise of eternal life to the one who expressed the faith of Abraham in the gospel, with Jews especially in view.

[Details of when Abraham was declared righteous and the significance of circumcision ]

The circumcision of Abraham was received that he might be the father, i.e., the primary example to the circumcised, (Jews), as a seal of the righteousness of a moment of faith in God's promise of eternal life through the seed of Abraham. Abraham is also declared to be the father of the uncircumcised, (Gentiles), as an example to those Gentiles who believe in God's promise of eternal life through the seed of Abraham, which Abraham had done while he was still uncircumcised. So both Jew and Gentile are declared to have righteousness unto eternal life not through law, i.e., human doing, but through the righteousness of faith in which Abraham first believed.

[Gal  3:17-18]:

(Gal 3:17) '''What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant [with Abraham] previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.

(Gal 3:18) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.'''

[Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, USA, 1988, Walvoord and Zuck, Editors]:

"Finally, Paul applied the principle of the permanence of faith by affirming that a covenant made so long before could not possibly be altered by a later giving of the Law. The Law was given 430 years after the promise...

During that long interval God blessed the patriarchs on the basis of faith alone, and the coming of the Law could not change this in any way. Additionally the Law could not alter God's dealing with Abraham on the basis of a promise because the two are fundamentally different in nature. They do not commingle; they cannot be combined. Instead, the inheritance (i.e., justification by faith) was given by God as an unconditional gift to those who believe. Contrary to the claim of the Judaizers, obedience to the Law was not necessary to gain [an eternal] inheritance. God's way of salvation has always been by grace through faith."

[Gal 3:19]:

(Gal 3:19 NASB) "Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made."

THE LAW, I.E., THE MOSAIC LAW DEFINED:

THE LAW IS THE STANDARD OF PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH MAN MUST HAVE IN ORDER TO BE WITH GOD FOREVER. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MAN TO ATTAIN. THE GRACE GIFT TO ALL BELIEVERS OF PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS THEREFORE COMES THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY FAITH

The Law is a picture of the absolute righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only He among all men could and did keep the Law perfectly and in conjunction with His sacrificial death provide the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God. The Law is a picture of what Scripture foretold was the Savior to come - of the standard of absolute perfection which a man must never fail to live by, which our Lord in fact demonstrated in His life. Now that Christ has come, it is His life and death on the cross that has superseded, i.e., has taken the place of the Law. He Himself has fulfilled it on our behalf because no individual except the Lord Jesus Christ could perfectly keep the Law and then take upon Himself the penalty for the world's sins, (I Jn 2:2)

THE DISPENSATION OF THE MOSAIC LAW PERIOD

During the period of time in history that God designated as being under the Mosaic Law, the Law also provided for moment to moment temporal blessings and discipline for an individual living under the Law who obeyed or disobeyed particular statutes. So the Law also served as a rule of life to an individual under that Law during that period of time from Moses to Pentecost as well as an absolute mirror which reflects God's perfect righteousness which is required for salvation.

[Lewis Sperry Chafer, "Chafer Systematic Theology - Abridged", vol 2, pp. 312-317]:

THE MOSAIC ECONOMY = DISPENSATION

With the coming of Moses and growth of the nation Israel, the Mosaic Law was given. It included more than 600 detailed laws including rituals which Israel was required as a nation to observe. The purpose of the Law was to reveal sin (Rom. 5:20; 7:7; Gal 3:19) and to demonstrate man's need of Christ (Gal 3:24). The Law of Moses included God's instruction for Israel's civil, religious and moral life. Two truths should be emphasized in relation to the Mosaic Law:

(1) it was never addressed to Gentiles except those who became Israelites as proselytes, and (2) it was not a way of salvation.

Salvation is not given in response to obeying commands. It is given to those in every age who place their trust in God for forgiveness of sin. The Mosaic sacrificial system was given as a means of restoring fellowship with God for believers who fell into sin. The sacrifices were to be offered by Israelites who had placed their faith in Yahweh.

[Yahweh = The Lord Jesus Christ - the Messiah]

Apart from this faith, the sacrifices were meaningless rituals. The sacrifices anticipated the future sacrifice of Christ which was not understood by Old Testament saints. A standard for confession and forgiveness, without animal sacrifices, was established for Christians in need of cleansing from daily sin (1 John 1:9).

The nation Israel descended physically from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a nation and race, they received special promises from God both for their present and the future and were given privileges that do not extend to the Gentile world.

Israelites were promised blessing in return for obedience to the Law, and were told that God would discipline them if they failed to keep the Law. This is illustrated in Deuteronomy 28. The first 14 verses promised blessing to those who keep His commandments, and verses 15-68 are a declaration of curses and judgments that would fall on the nation if she disobeyed. Subsequently both the blessings and the cursings were fulfilled.

It is clear in Old Testament predictions that Israel as a nation would depart from God (4:26-28). The spiritual life of Israel was not on an even plane. In one period they were disobedient and God disciplined them, and in another they were generally obedient and enjoyed God's blessings. The Old Testament did not anticipate the present day of grace but did look forward to the future kingdom when Israel would possess her land on earth. Many Scriptures speak of this period (cf. Ezek 20:33-44; Mal 3:1-6; Matt. 24:27-25:30). In the kingdom both reward and judgment will be experienced by Israel (Dan 12:2; Matt 7:13-14; Luke 10:25-28; 18:18-21).

Even the Old Testament made it clear that righteousness could be received only by faith and not by works (Gen 15:6; cf. Hab 2:4)."

[Gal 3:21-22]:

(Gal 3:21) '''Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.

(Gal 3:22) But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.'''

[BKC, op. cit., p. 599]:

"Another question was raised: Is there conflict between the Law and the promises of God? 'Perish the thought' (me genoito), declared the apostle. God gave both the Law and promises, but for different purposes. And it was not the purpose of the Law to give life. Theoretically salvation could have come by the Law if people had been capable of keeping it perfectly, but they could not (Ro 8:3-4). The life promised to those who sought to obey the Law refers to temporal blessing on earth (Deut 8:1).

But if the Law is not opposed to the promises, if there is no conflict between them, how can their harmony be demonstrated? By recognizing that while the Law could not justify or give life, it did prepare the way for the gospel. What part then did Law play in this respect? It declared the whole world... a prisoner of sin, [Gal 3:22a]. Referring perhaps to Psalm 143:1-2 or Deuteronomy 27:26, Paul declared that the whole world is trapped and under the dominion of sin (cf. Rom 3:9, 23). When people recognized this and give up attempts to please God by their own works, the way is prepared for them to receive the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."

[Gal 3:28]:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

THERE IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, SLAVE NOR FREE, MALE NOR FEMALE DISTINCTIONS MADE RELATIVE TO THE BELIEVER'S SPIRITUALITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

[Compare Col 3:11]:

"Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."

[BKC, cont.]:

"... believers are all one in Christ Jesus. Since all believers became one with each other, human distinctions lose their significance. None is spiritually superior over another, that is, a believing Jew is not more privileged before God than a believing Gentile (Greek, in contrast to Jew, suggests all Gentiles; cf Col 3:11); a believing slave does not rank higher than a believing free person; a believing man is not superior to a believing woman. Some Jewish men prayed, 'I thank God that Thou hast not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.' Paul cut across these distinctions and stated that they do not exist in the body of Christ so far as spiritual privilege and position are concerned. Elsewhere, while affirming the coequality of man and woman in Christ, Paul did nonetheless make it clear that there is a headship of the man over the woman (cf. 1 Cor 11:3) and that there are distinctions in the area of spiritual service (cf. 1 Tim 2:12)."

****** END OF EXCERPTS FROM ROMANS 4 AND GALATIANS  3 ON THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW ******

******

4 cont.) (Eph 2:14-15) [Commentary On Eph 2:14-15, (cont.)]:

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us, (Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace," (cont.) =

Furthermore, in Eph 2:14, the Greek phrase "to mesotoichon tou phragmou," which literally means "the middle [in the sense of the dividing] wall of the partition (barrier)" [of enmity, (v. 15)] refers to that which has been in the middle of, i.e., in between the Jews and the Gentiles - a wall in the sense that it is a kind of barrier that has divided them, Jews from Gentiles. It is a barrier which is characterized by "enmity," (v. 15). Since Christ Jesus "in His flesh" abolished the enmity between Jewish and Gentile believers, (v. 14), then there should potentially be no hostility toward one another in their temporal lives - certainly in their eternal lives. Albeit, given that the sin nature of all believers remains intact during their mortal lives , there can and will be periods of ungodly enmity in their temporal lives to be remedied by each individual through persistent efforts to maintain fellowship with God and fellow believers via the grace of God . The Greek text in Eph 2:14-15 rendered, "[having abolished] the [dividing wall, literally the middle wall] of the partition / barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us" pictures a wall representing the Mosaic Law - the standard of God's Righteousness of which all men have fallen short, even the Jews, severing themselves from access to God, remaining constantly at enmity with Him and with one another - evidently through unforgiven sin - which is a violation of the Law. And relative to temporal matters the Law separated the Gentiles from the Jews by virtue of a number of statutes which forbade their fellowshipping or worshipping together. Although there was a limited inclusion of Gentile converts, proselytes who joined with Israel; nevertheless, the Mosaic Law forbade Jews to marry with Gentiles, (Dt 7:3-4; Ex 34:15-16; Josh 23:12; Ezra 9:2). And there were other restrictions on Gentile converts, such as not being allowed to worship or fellowship or have meals with Jews, (cf. Jn 18:28). The worship area in the Jerusalem Temple was divided by an actual wall not to be by-passed by Gentiles upon pain of execution.

God authored the Mosaic Law and throughout its precepts He established separation between Jews and Gentiles to set apart His people in order to represent His Holiness and Righteousness as the standard by which eternal life is measured. But this separation was not to be to a point of enmity. The key was that Israel did not largely believe in God's salvation. Nor did they follow the precepts of the Law, violating and misconstruing it to the point of blaspheming the name of God, creating unnecessary and ungodly enmity between themselves and Gentiles. Instead of being an example of godliness and grace to the world, they did the opposite.

Note that this wall of division between Jew and Gentile cannot refer specifically to the physical wall in the Jerusalem Temple that separated Gentile and Jewish worshippers, as some contend. For that wall remained in the Temple until it was destroyed in AD 70, years after Christ had abolished the wall between Jewish and Gentile believers.

Whereupon, Eph 2:15 further continues the message of verse 14 of Christ Jesus having abolished the enmity between both groups of people in His flesh, i.e., in the sacrifice of His physical body for sins; thus having annulled the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances in its entirety - rendering it powerless by fulfilling the purpose of the Mosaic Law in its entirety for all of humanity, (cref. Ro 5:20; 7:7; Gal 3:19, 24) - by His sacrifice in His flesh for the sins of all mankind, making provision for the reception of the Righteousness of God in Christ for all who believe in Him for it, Jew and Gentile alike .

So Christ Jesus broke down the partition - the barrier of the dividing wall of enmity between Jew and Gentile, "by annulling the Law of commandments contained in ordinances." The word rendered "Law" here is singular with the definite article - not a law or laws, but the Law of Moses. It must of necessity refer to the whole Mosaic Law covenant as authored by God, because the word rendered "commandments" which follows in v. 15 must refer to the general principles of that Law; and the word rendered "ordinances" must refer to that Law's individual "decrees" - all of them. Only God has decreed ordinances which comprise the commandments of the Mosaic Law which were to rule over the commonwealth of Israel - over the Jews; and from which commonwealth the Gentiles were alienated, (ref. Eph 2:12). Only the annullment of the entire Mosaic Law fits the context of Eph chapter two.

Furthermore, the wording in Eph 2:14-15 does not permit the annullment of only a contaminated part or any part of the Mosaic Law such as false human impositions upon the Law, as some contend, leaving the rest of the Law as God authored it intact - now to be enforced upon the body of Christ - both Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus. But this interpretation contradicts what the passage stipulates: that Christ annulled "the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances in His flesh," i.e., the Law in its entirety without distinction as to which command / ordinance is a false imposition and which is a true representation of that Law.

Although the Pharisees did impose their own self-serving, arrogant point of view upon the Law in the first century which reflected their own ungodly, self-serving rules and their own personal enmity toward Gentiles; whereby they influenced how the Jews interpreted and followed the Law and mistreated the Gentiles; nevertheless the word "dogmasin" rendered "ordinances," or "decrees" cannot be forced to mean those pharisaical human laws and / or decrees authored by humans to be imposed upon the Law of Moses. The meaning of "dogmasin" depends upon the context. In Acts 16:4, (dogmata); 17:7, (dogmatOn); and Col 2:20-23 (dogmatizesthe); the Greek word in its various forms refers to human decrees; but in Eph 2:14, (dogmasin), the same word refers to the all the decrees of the Mosaic Law. There is no reference or stipulation as to decrees that humans misinterpreted into the Law that were to be abolished / annulled.

Furthermore, the Law of Moses was not intended by God to cause enmity between Jews and Gentiles, which the human misinterpretations were largely responsible for. God instituted the Law of Moses for Israel alone in order to bring the Light of His eternal and temporal salvation to humanity, and the Light of the His Grace and Righteousness through the example Israel's faith in His grace provision of eternal life through faith and through the grace assisted faithful following of the Law for temporal blessing by God's chosen people. Although there was a limited inclusion of Gentile converts, proselytes who joined with Israel, the Mosaic Law did forbid Jews to marry with Gentiles, (Dt 7:3-4; Ex 34:15-16; Josh 23:12; Ezra 9:2). And there were other restrictions on Gentile converts, such as not being allowed to worship with Jews. These were not to cause enmity between Jew and Gentile, but to keep God's chosen people set apart to God to represent His Holiness to the world. But Israel did not largely believe in God's salvation by grace through the faith of Abraham, their father. Nor did they follow the precepts of the Law in their temporal lives. They constantly violated and misconstrued the Law to the point of blaspheming the name of God, and creating unnecessary and ungodly enmity between themselves and Gentiles. Note that in Old Testament times, even Gentile believers, (as Abraham believed), were largely ostracized and excluded from fellowship in the Temple of God in Jerusalem and in local synagogues, by Jews - even those Jews who were of the faith of Abraham, despite the Gentiles' faith. Instead of being a holy example of godliness to the world, they were just the opposite.

****** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS 2 ON THE LAW OF MOSES AND ISRAEL ******

OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

JEWS ARE IN VIEW WHO HAVE AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSTRUCTED IN THE LAW, A SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT HIM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH THE PRECEPTS OF THE LAW AS GOD'S STANDARD OF CONDUCT

(Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law... (Ro 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law" =

Notice that the passage now focuses intently on Jews who have the Law and are supposed to be instructed in the Law - a superior instruction (in righteousness) to what is available to Gentiles is implied, (Ro 2:14); and they have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent Him and His righteousness to the world through the precepts of the Law as God's standard of conduct. Notice that Ro 2:14 states that if Gentiles do by nature things required by the Law, they are declared as a law unto themselves, implying that the Law is the standard of righteousness for all to go by. It is implied that the Jews brag about having the Law, (Ro 2:17). Evidently the Israelites are a people chosen specially by God to represent Him and His righteousness through obedience to the Law which was uniquely given to them to obey as part of this mission.

THE LAW IS THE EMBODIMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS THE SOURCE UPON WHICH KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IS MADE CONCRETE AND PERCEPTIBLE. HENCE THE LAW IS ALSO THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(Ro 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" =

Notice that it is stipulated in Ro 2:20, "You have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!"

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's righteousness.

THE LAW WAS GIVEN FOR THE JEW TO BE PART OF HIS SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; TO PROVIDE THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL; TO BE A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE; TO OBEY IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS; TO BE A GUIDE FOR THE BLIND AND A LIGHT FOR THOSE IN THE DARK; TO BE AN INSTRUCTOR OF THE FOOLISH AND A TEACHER OF INFANTS

(Ro 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (Ro 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (Ro 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' "

The Law evidently was provided for the Jew to rely on as part of his special relationship with God, (Ro 2:17). Notice that Ro 2:14 indicates that the Gentiles do not have the Law. The Law gave the Jew the knowledge of God's will and what is superior, among other things, relative to a way of life, (Ro 2:18). While one obeys the Law it results in being declared righteous, (Ro  2:13). The Law evidently provides information which enables a Jew to be a guide for the [spiritually] blind and a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish and a teacher of [spiritual] infants, (Ro 2:19-20).

THE JEWS WERE GIVEN THE LAW BY GOD IN ORDER TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD. THEY FALSELY CLAIMED TO RELY ON IT, WILFULLY MISCONSTRUED IT AND CONSTANTLY VIOLATED IT CAUSING GOD'S NAME TO BE BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES

(Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro  1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (Ro 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (Ro 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (Ro 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Ro 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (Ro 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (Ro 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (Ro 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (Ro 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law. (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' " (cont.) =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 116 provides an applicable definition for blasphemy]:

"blasphemy...1 a the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."

Notice that the Jews so wilfully misconstrued and violated the Mosaic Law that God's name was blasphemed among the Gentiles who viewed the behavior of the Jews and their wilful misperception and violation of the Law as evil and hypocritical.

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. They misconstrued it, falsely claimed to rely on it and constantly violated it causing God's name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people. But their bragging about being given the Law by God as His chosen people and their relationship with God, (Ro 2:17); knowing God's will and approving of what is superior because of being instructed by the Law, (Ro 2:18); and being convinced that they are a guide and instructor of others, (Ro 2:19-20); their wilful misconstruing and violations of the Law, (Ro 2:21-23) in the face of their utter failure to do any of this misrepresents God to the point of blasphemy.

GOD'S NAME IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE THE JEWS DISHONOR GOD BY CONSTANTLY BREAKING THE LAW YET HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS SUPERIOR TO THE GENTILES. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, THEIR UNIQUE POSSESSION. THEY CLAIM THEY RELY ON IT FAITHFULLY

(Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (Ro 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (Ro 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (Ro 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Ro 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (Ro 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (Ro 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (Ro 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Ro 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (Ro 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (Ro 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because the Jews dishonor God by constantly breaking the Law yet hold themselves up as superior to the Gentiles. They have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent God and His righteousness to the world through obedience to the law, their unique possession. They claim they rely on it faithfully.

Ro 2:17 begins in the negative: "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew" which implies a Jew who may have fallen short of some standard. The next phrase corroborates this: "If you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God," which implies a certain self-righteousness and false sense of security with God and a false sense of superiority over non-Jews. Then Ro 2:18-20 provides the possibility ("If..."), of a Jew knowing the will of God and approving of what is superior all of which is attributed to learning from the Law.

Ro 2:19-20 continues the context of: 'If you are convinced because of being instructed by the Law and relying on it' and 'If you are convinced that "you are a guide to the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth." ' which suggests that what they are convinced of is not true.

Ro 2:21b-23 then deals the blow of reality: that the Jew by and large has not permitted himself to actually be taught to rely on the Law; he holds a self-righteous opinion which causes him to "brag about his relationship to God" and falsely think he is a "guide to the blind" and "a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of infants." This corroborates that obeying the Law was not a way for man to achieve eternal life, but to make one conscious of sin because it embodies the perfect righteousness from God which is beyond man's capacity, (Ro 2:13). The passage goes further to ask questions that implicate Jews for a number of specific things "do you steal?", "do you commit adultery?", "do you rob temples?", "do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?" which each of these questions are answered in the affirmative by Ro 2:24: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

JEWS HAVE A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEM AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE WHICH THEY HAVE LARGELY FAILED TO LIVE UP TO

(Ro 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (Ro 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (Ro 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (Ro 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth (Ro 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (Ro 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Ro 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (Ro 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

Verses 2:17 through 24 imply that Jews have a special responsibility to represent God and His righteousness to the world, especially through obedience to the Law which was given to them as God's chosen people which they have largely failed to live up to.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS 2 ON THE LAW OF MOSES AND ISRAEL ******

4 cont.) (Eph 2:14-15) [Commentary On Eph 2:14-15, cont.]

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us, (Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace," =

So God made the two groups into one, so that they might be created into Christ Jesus into one new man, characterized by eternal peace with God and one another, and able to make temporal peace which is dependant upon the individual believer's reponse toward maintaining fellowship with God and other believers . Not in view is some kind of Gentile inclusion into Judaism with Jewish traditions and the Law of Moses intact, as some contend, wherein all individuals are declared to be spiritual Israelites. The one new man is neither Jew nor Gentile, (Gal 3:28). The one new man was not created by renewing individual men, but by forming them together into one new Body - the church - of which Christ is the head of the Body of Christ, (Eph 2:16; Ro 7:4; 12:5). Every individual of each group of believers, Jewish and Gentile, now has eternal peace together as one body, one individual in that body with one another and with God, having been created through Christ - in His flesh - through His sacrifice for sins on the cross into His body, the church. The peace between Jewish and Gentile believers came when God forgave all believers of their sins. He canceled the written code - the entire Law of Moses, (Col 2:14; Ro 10:4). Before God's written Law, His "written code," people stood condemned (cf. Ro 3:19), so it worked against them and opposed them because there was none capable of perfect righteousness - the standard of the Law of Moses. But in Christ, in His flesh - in His sacrifice for sins, so that all who believe in Him will have eternal forgiveness unto eternal life, the purpose of the Mosaic Law was completely fulfilled and done away with,

e) [Compare Ro 10:4]:

"For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

... so that righteousness should come by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (Phil 3:9; Ro 4:5).

f) [Compare Ro 8:2-3]:

(Ro 8:2 NASB) "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death [the Law of Moses].

(Ro 8:3 NASB) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh."

So the Mosaic Law was annulled "so that in Himself He," [Christ Jesus], "might make the two," (Jew and Gentile), "into one new man," thus having established peace one with the other - Jewish with Gentile believers, and with God. The new man is the church:

g) [Compare Eph 1:22-23]:

(Eph 1:22 NASB) "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

(Eph 1:23 YLT) which is His body, the fullness of Him Who is filling ... all [things] in all [ways]."

Note that this peace is a positional one and an eternal one. The enmity / hostility is enabled by God to be over with in eternity and potentially in the temporal life preceding eternity. Now it is up to the believing Jew and Gentile to make sure that each one is "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" in their temporal lives:

h) [Compare Eph 4:1-3]:

(Eph 4:1 NASB) "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

(Eph 4:2 NASB) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

(Eph 4:3 NASB) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

And for temporal peace to be preserved amongst members of the body of Christ, they must maintain fellowship with God and with one another through God's gracious means of confession of known sins on a moment to moment basis, (cf. 1 Jn 1:9 ), expressing agape love toward one another, etc. .

5) (Eph 2:16) [Commentary On Eph 2:16]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," =

Eph 2:15 continued the message of verse 14 of Christ Jesus having abolished the enmity between both groups of people - Jewish and Gentile believers - in His flesh, i.e., in the sacrifice of His physical body for the sins of all mankind which resulted in a number of things, not the least of which was in His having annulled the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances - the Law of Moses in its entirety, rendering it powerless, having fulfilled its purpose, (Ro 10:4). Whereupon, Eph 2:16 stipulated another result of Christ's sacrifice for the sins of all mankind: that of having reconciled both groups into one body to God: Jewish and Gentile believers into one new man through the cross, having slain the enmity between these two groups of believers in Himself to God. So not only were Jews and Gentiles reconciled to each other one at a time, (Eph 2:15), at the moment that each one expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone unto eternal life, but both of them together have been reconciled to God, one at a time as they believed.

Although Christ's sacrifice for the sins of all mankind did indeed reconcile all mankind to God - potentially, it did so with one proviso: that those who trusted alone in Him alone for eternal life would be reconciled to God unto eternal life in their experience unto an eternal position of peace with God, i.e., eternal life. They would in fact receive the position of eternal reconciliation in their experience the moment that they believed in Christ Jesus for it. For that is precisely what so many verses stipulate via the context, especially the verb tenses, (ref. Jn 3:16 et al . Note that Jewish and Gentile believers' temporal reconciliation unto peace with God and with one another is potential - dependant upon each individual believer's moment to moment fellowship with God and one another based on the grace of God :

****** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS 5 ON RECONCILIATION ******

PRIOR TO BEING JUSTIFIED WE WERE GOD'S ENEMIES, THEN WHEN WE BECAME JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WE WERE RECONCILED, I.E., DECLARED TO HAVE A POSITION OF ETERNAL PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD WHICH IS STIPULATED AS THROUGH THE DEATH OF GOD'S SON

(Ro 5:1 NAS) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ro 2 NIV) through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we [had begun and] now stand [forever]. And we rejoice [boast] in the [sure] hope of the glory of God. (Ro 5:6 KJV) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for [the] ungodly [= all mankind]. (Ro 5:7 NAS) For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (Ro 5:8 ASV) But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro 5:9 NKJV) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Ro 5:10 NIV) For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!" =

"ei gar echthroi ontes katEllagEmen .............tO theO .dia

"If for, enemies being we were reconciled to God ........through

tou thanatou tou ....huiou autou .pollO mallon .katallagentes

the death .....of the Son ...His, ...much .more, ..having been reconciled

sOthEsometha .....en tE zOE autou"

we shall be saved by the life .His"

Since prior to being justified we were God's enemies, then when we became justified by faith we were reconciled, i.e., declared to have a position of eternal peace and friendship with God which is stipulated as through the death of God's Son. Ro 5:10 is a restatement of 5:1 which 5:1 states "having been justified, then by faith [in the death of God's Son, (Ro 5:10)] we have [eternal] peace toward God." In other words, our relationship with God has been eternally reconciled, (Ro 5:10).

The word "gar" rendered "for" = because, in verse 10 provides further information to explain verse 9. The verse describes 'We who have been justified, (Ro 5:1),' prior to that justification as God's enemies who were reconciled when we became justified by faith. Notice that the word "ei" rendered "if" is followed by the verb "katEllagEmen" rendered "we were reconciled" which is in the indicative mood indicating a first class "if" condition, i.e., "if" and it is true. Hence it means since while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son as a result of having been justified by faith, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!

The word reconciliation comes from the word to reconcile which is defined by Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Ma, 1980, p. 958: 1 a: To restore to friendship or harmony ...b: settle, resolve 2: to make consistent or congruous."

[BKC, op. cit., p. 457]:

"Reconciliation is the removal of enmity that stands between people and God (cf. "enemies" in 5:10...). Reconciliation is the basis of restored fellowship between people and God..."

The specific kind of reconciliation in view is a change of position from being enemies of God to an eternal position of friendship, peace and harmony with God through justification by faith in the death of His Son. So being justified results in having a position of eternal peace with God, i.e., reconciliation. It is achieved through a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (Ro 5:1-2, 10). Since reconciliation with God is stipulated to be through the death of God's Son; then a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto justification is more specifically a moment of faith alone in the value to one of Christ's death alone, namely that His death paid the penalty for the sins of the ungodly [= all mankind], (Ro 5:6), which thereby provides reconciliation with God, (Ro 5:6-10) for all who choose to believe.

Verses 5:1-2 stipulate, (Ro 5:1 NAS) "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ro 5:2) through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now [have begun to and continue forever to] stand." The passage goes on to list positions and opportunities as a result of that justification. Verse 5:10 continues this context stipulating that we who have been justified have been declared eternally reconciled to God through faith in the value of the death of His Son for our sins. So we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, (Ro 5:1), through the death of God's Son, (Ro 5:9), resulting in a standing of eternal peace and friendship with God, (Ro 5:1), which means that we are reconciled to a position of eternal friendship with God through His Son's death. Since being justified by a moment of faith results in an eternal standing of grace with God which includes an eternal position of being at peace with God, (Ro 5:1-2), then the reconciliation in view in Ro 5:10-11 is also an eternal position / standing with God. So this kind of reconciliation does not have in view our relationship with God on a day to day basis which may vary in accordance with our day to day behavior .

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN (1) BEING RECONCILED WHEREIN THE ACCOUNT OF MAN'S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS HAS BEEN RECONCILED WITH GOD AND HENCE PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE AS A RESULT OF CHRIST'S REDEMPTION FOR THE UNGODLY, I.E., FOR ALL MANKIND AND (2) BEING RECONCILED WHEREIN ONE HAS ACCEPTED AS TRUE, (BELIEVED IN), THAT PROVISION AND IS IN AN ETERNAL POSITION OF BEING NO LONGER AT ENMITY WITH GOD

(Ro 5:6 KJV) "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for [the] ungodly [= all mankind]. (Ro 5:7 NAS) For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (Ro 5:8 ASV) But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro 5:9 NKJV) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Ro 5:10 NIV) For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!" =

There is a difference between (1) being reconciled wherein the account of man's unrighteousness has been reconciled with God and hence provision has been made as a result of Christ's redemption for the ungodly, i.e., for all mankind and (2) being reconciled wherein one has accepted as true, (believed in), that provision and is in an eternal position of being no longer at enmity with God.

Note that Ro 5:10 is paralleled in context to verse 5:6 wherein we who have been justified are described in the latter as "without strength" as a condition that required Christ's death. Notice that verse 5:10 similarly describes a condition of "we who have been justified," (5:1), of being "God's enemies" and "ungodly" which evidently required the "death of His [God's] Son." Hence the phrase "being without strength in verse 5:6 describes a condition which is ungodly, i.e., sinful and therefore at enmity with God.

Since Jesus Christ died for the ungodly [all mankind], (Ro 5:6), then He has paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind; and since the word "redeem" is defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Ma, 1980, p. 960, as follows: "to buy back, repurchase, ...free from lien by payment, ...to atone for" then it can be said that Jesus Christ has redeemed, i.e., freed from lien by payment, atoned for, the ungodly, (all mankind), in the sense of paying the penalty for all of mankind's sins. So Christ's redemption has reconciled all men in the sense that every individual's account of sins before God has been paid for, (reconciled). But this is not to say that all men are reconciled in the sense that they have an eternal position of peace and fellowship with God. That reconciliation comes only upon those who have expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ's redemption alone unto justification and eternal life.

In the same way that a dispute between two parties over money for example can have their dispute reconciled in position via a free contribution by a third party but which is not reconciled in the actual experience of the two until they accept this free gift;

so the enmity dispute of ungodliness between God and man has been reconciled in position by Jesus Christ via His free gift of righteousness through His act of atonement, but which is not reconciled in the actual experience of each ungodly individual until that individual accepts this free gift by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone.

[Compare Ro 5:1 NAS]:

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"

BEING ETERNALLY RECONCILED TO GOD RESULTS IN BEING SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY GOD'S SON'S RESURRECTION LIFE

(v. 5:10 NIV) "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!" =

Since the reconciliation of us who have been justified is stipulated as through the death of His Son, followed by the emphatic phrase, "How much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life," then a chronological sequence is established on the basis of the necessity of the Son's death first in time in order to provide the source for mankind's reconciliation, namely, a death to pay for mankind's sins so that all who believe in that payment for them will be justified and at eternal peace with God, (Ro 4:23-5:1), i.e., reconciled to God through His Son's death, (Ro 5:10).

Notice that redemption is defined as the payment for sins via the death of God's Son, Jesus Christ, to provide justification for all who choose to believe in Jesus Christ. To be justified is to possess a righteousness from God which leads to salvation unto eternal life.

[Compare Ro 4:23-25]:

(Ro 4:23 NAS) "Now not for his sake only was it written that it was reckoned to him,

(Ro 4:24 NAS) but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

(Ro 4:25 NAS) He Who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification."

Notice that Ro 4:25 stipulates that our Lord was delivered, i.e., put to death, for our offenses - to pay for our sins, (and for all mankind's, cf. Ro 5:6); and then in time this was followed by being "raised again for our justification" which leads to our reconciliation and salvation unto eternal life. So the chronological sequence is established: the death then the life of God's Son through which comes reconciliation and salvation unto eternal life. We can therefore conclude that the life being referred to in 5:10b is His life after His resurrection which preserves our eternal life and the final stage of our salvation. The human life of our Lord before His death had no power to provide reconciliation and salvation until His death to pay for our sins. Then the position of being justified by faith and reconciled results in being saved unto eternal life by His [the Son's] life. i.e., by the life of God's Son after His resurrection.

[The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Zondervan Publishing, Vol 10; Grand Rapids, Michigan, Frank E. Gaebelein, Editor, Commentary on Romans, Everett F. Harrison, 1976, p. 60]:

"This is a clear reference to his postresurrection life rather than to His life in the days of His flesh. Here Paul conjoins justification and salvation as he did in the theme (1:16-17)."

[More From BKC, op. cit., p. 457]:

"Since reconciliation was accomplished by Jesus' death, certainly His life [i.e., His life after His death - His resurrected life] is able to insure the complete and final salvation of believers. 'His life' is His present life (not His life on earth) in which He intercedes for believers. He died for His enemies; surely He will save those, His former enemies, who are not fellowshiping in Him. Because Christians, God's reconciled ones, share in Christ's life, they will be saved."

WE WHO HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED ARE IN A POSITION OF NEW OPPORTUNTY TO REJOICE IN GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE IT IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WE HAVE RECEIVED RECONCILIATION = AN ETERNAL POSITION OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD

(Ro 4:23 NAS) "Now not for his sake only was it written that it was reckoned to him, (Ro 4:24 NAS) but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, (Ro 5:1 NAS) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ro 5:2 NIV) through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we [had begun and] now stand. And we rejoice [boast] in the [sure] hope of the glory of God. (Ro 5:10 NIV) For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! (Ro 5:11 NAS) And not only this, but we also exult [rejoice] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

We who have been justified are in a position of new opportunty to rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ because it is through Him we have received reconciliation = an eternal position of peace and friendship with God. Once this position of eternal peace and friendship is begun by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, it becomes a part of the everlasting position of grace in which we who have been justified had begun when we believed and now we stand forever, (Ro 4:23-5:2, perfect tense).

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS 5 ON RECONCILIATION ******

B) (Eph 2:17-18) And Having Come, Christ Jesus Preached Peace To Those Who Were Far Away, i.e., Gentiles; And Peace To Jews Who Were Near; Because Through Him We Have The Access - We Both Jew And Gentile Believers - By One Spirit Have Access To The Father

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." =

1) [Manuscipt evidence for Eph 2:17]:

CBL Interlinear (TR) has "euEngelisato" rendered "He preached the good news"

YLT, Holman have [did proclaim / proclaimed, i.e., preached] the good news - peace to you..." etc.

NASB, NKJV, ASV, KJV, NIV omit the words rendered "the good news"

The Greek word "euEngelisato" may be rendered simply "preached" without "the good news;" but more specifically in the Bible it so often refers to "preaching the good news / the gospel," that there is no point in leaving "the good news" out in a translation of this verse.

WH, NU p46, Sinaiticus(1), A, B, D, F, G, P, 33, 1739, it, cop, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, var modern text editions have "peace to the ones near"

TR, psi, Maj, syr(h), Marcion have "to the ones near"

In context, the entire expression reads, "(Ephesians 2:17 YLT) and having come, He did proclaim good news - peace to you- the far-off and the [ones] near." The textual question pertains to whether "eirEnEn" rendered "peace" is repeated in the second phrase. The documentary evidence in support of the repetition of "peace" which is WH, NU p46, Sinaiticus(1), A, B, D, F, G, P, 33, 1739, it, cop, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, var modern text editions is far superior to that for the variant which is TR, psi, Maj, syr(h), Marcion, later manuscripts which omits the repetition. The omission was perpetuated in most later manuscripts, TR and KJV. Hence the original text most likely has the word rendered "peace" repeated. Furthermore, it is likely that Paul reproduced the twofold reference to peace from the underlying OT text (Isa 57:19 LXX) but gave it a different sequence (Lincoln 1990, 124).

In any case the repetition of the word rendered "peace" does not add new meaning to the verse, it merely emphasizes it. Without the repetition, its presence in the second phrase is implied anyway.

2) (Eph 2:17) [Commentary On Eph 2:17]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." =

And Christ Jesus - having come to earth in His Humanity to reconcile mankind to God in His flesh, His body, by His blood, through His sacrifice for sins - preached a message to all mankind of peace: eternal peace with God and with one another for those who would choose to believe in Him for that reconciliation unto eternal life - Jew and Gentile alike.

Whereupon, in Eph 2:13-14, it stipulates that Christ Jesus is "our peace" - the word "our" referring to (1) Gentiles who became believers in Christ Jesus - those who "were once afar off;" and (2) author Paul and Jews who became believers in Christ Jesus - "those who were near," (v. 17): i.e., all believers "by the blood of Christ;" that He Himself is their peace, Who made both groups into one, breaking down the barrier of the dividing wall of enmity, (v. 15), between them.

Eph 2:15 further establishes that the "barrier of the dividing wall of enmity," between Jew and Gentile, the Law of Moses was annulled in its entirety - Christ Jesus having slain that enmity, making the two groups of believers into one new man, thus establishing peace between them. Whereupon Eph 2:16 explains that this accomplished the reconciliation of both groups of believers, Jew and Gentile believers into one body to God in Christ Jesus through the cross, having slain that enmity on the cross in Himself - the sins of all mankind, having fulfilled the purpose of the Law which was to reveal sin (Ro 5:20; 7:7; Gal 3:19) and to demonstrate man's need of Christ (Gal 3:24). Once Christ came, the purpose of the Law was fulfilled in His flesh and it was annulled in its entirety, (Eph 2:14-15)!

So now, Eph 2:17, stipulates that Christ Jesus, having come, preached peace - to Gentiles ("far away), and to Jews ("near"). Although, Christ preached predominately to Jews during His earthly ministry, accounts of His preaching to Gentiles are recorded in  Scripture, (refs., Mt 15:21-28; 28:18-20; Mk  5:1-20; 7:24-30; Lk 7:1-10; Jn 4:4-42; Isa 42:6-7).

Furthermore, Jesus did promise to give peace to His disciples (John 14:27) which relates to all men who have trusted in Him for eternal life, as Eph 2:17 and Ro 5:1 stipulate. And He did begin the Sermon on the Mount by saying, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Jesus' preaching implied receiving peace between God and mankind;  and mankind - one with another, through faith in His death on the cross for the sins of mankind.

Note that in Eph 2:12-13, rendered "[remember, (v. 11)] that [you (Gentiles)] were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world; and now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of the Christ," verse 12 indicates that those who were "afar off," (v. 13), i.e., the Gentiles were alienated from Israel and God's covenants with her, having no hope and without God in the world . And in verse 13 it states that now that they have become believers in Christ Jesus, they "being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ." The words rendered "far away," or "afar off" and "near" in Eph 2:12-13 and 17 are thereby used in the Greek language and in the Hebrew in Isa 57:19 to describe the position of Gentiles and Jews, not only in a geographic sense, but in a spiritual sense - of being near (Jews) or far off (Gentiles) from God and from one another - those of both groups becoming near to God when they became believers in Christ Jesus. The original reference in Isaiah had to do with Jews and Gentiles and how they were geographically located relative to their distance from Jersualem as well as their relative spiritual distances from God:

a) [Compare Isa 57:1-2, 19-21]:

(Isa 57:1 NKJV) '''The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.

(Isa 57:2 NKJV) He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.

(Isa 57:19 NASB) "Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near," Says the LORD, "and I will heal him."

(Isa 57:20 NASB) But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.

(Isa 57:21 NASB) "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." '''

The phrase rendered "peace to him" in Isa 57:19 refers to "the righteous man" (ref. Isa 57:1-2) - the righteous man who is near and the one who is far off, those who will receive eternal peace because they have been declared by God as righteous. Other passages indicate that this declaration is as a result of a moment of faith alone in God's provision of eternal life through His Son alone, (cf. Eph 1:13-14).

3) (Eph 2:18) [Commentary On Eph 2:18]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." =

So Christ Jesus, having come to earth in His Perfect Humanity to reconcile sinful humanity to God in His flesh - through His sacrifice for the sins of all mankind - preached a message to all mankind of peace, eternal peace with God and with one another for those who choose to believe in Him for that reconciliation unto eternal life: both Jew and Gentile.

And Eph 2:18 explains that Christ Jesus did all of this for both Jew and Gentile - for all of humanity so that those who are "in Christ Jesus," (v. 13), in the sense of those Jews and Gentiles who have chosen to believe in Him for eternal life would through Christ Jesus have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Throughout this section of chapter two, vv. 11-18, author Paul has emphasized that Gentile and Jewish believers are of one group, one new humanity, one body; and through Christ Jesus both have access to the Father by one Spirit - and there is only one Spirit of God. The emphasis on "one" makes emphatic that there is no longer to be any separation between Jew and Gentile for those who choose to become believers in Christ Jesus. Hence the point of oneness is all the more emphasized in the phrase rendered "one Spirit," not one Spirit for the Jewish believers and no Spirit or a lesser Spirit of God for the Gentiles - the prevalent point of view of Jews about Gentiles.

In chapter one, Paul wrote of the believer being blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ which included being adopted into the family of God, as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself - sons of God giving them access to God:

a) [Eph 1:3-5]:

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

(Eph 1:4 HCSB) for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love],

(Eph 1:5 NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."

In Eph 1:2, it is stipulated that God is the Father of all the saints - the ones believing in Christ Jesus. In Eph 1:3, God is declared to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the word "hemon" rendered "our" twice implying that the saints, the ones believing in Christ Jesus belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and since the saints are thus declared to have a familial connection with Jesus Christ - having been adopted as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself - adopted as sons of God, (Eph 1:5), then they have a familial connection with God as their Father as He is declared to be "God our Father" in Eph 1:2. The emphasis of the saints being in the family of God as children of God belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ is evidently an eternal relationship and a blessed one, wholly by God's grace as a result of their moment of  faith in His Son, in accordance with the spiritual blessings bestowed by God in the heavenly places in Christ upon the saints. The aorist, nominative participle "eulogEsas" rendered "who did bless" in the next phrase in Eph 1:3, "[God] Who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly .places in Christ," which literally means, 'having blessed,' points to God's having blessed all believers in a one time completed action in the past - eternity past. And all saints, those who have believed in Christ Jesus including the apostle Paul are thereby blessed by God their Father with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms - every spiritual enrichment needed for the spiritual life in the temporal life and for all eternity with God. Since these benefits have already been bestowed on believers, they should not ask for them but rather appropriate them in their temporal lives by continuing in the faith, evidently through a study and obedience to God's Word and constant acknowledgment of their shortcomings before God . The sphere of God's spiritual enrichment is through being placed into Christ. As a result of being in Christ, of having believed in Him for eternal life, these spiritual blessings have been made available to the saint - the one believing in Christ Jesus. So the place of these 'blessings' is in the heavenly realms. Thus these blessings are spiritual, not limited to the material; heavenly, not limited to the earthly; eternal, not limited to the temporal life.

Furthermore, access to the Father for believers in Christ includes their entrance into the heavenlies as Paul wrote about earlier in chapter two:

b) [Eph 2:6]:

(Eph 2:6 NASB) "and raised us up with Him [Christ], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus,"

c) [Compare Eph 3:12]:

(Eph 3:12 YLT) "In Whom [Christ Jesus our Lord, (v. 12)] we have the freedom and the access in confidence through the faith [in] Him."

V) [Eph 2:19-22]:

(Eph 2:19 NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

(Eph 2:20 NASB) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone,

(Eph 2:21 NASB) in Whom the whole building, being [joined] together, is growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord,

(Eph 2:22 NKJV) in Whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

A) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:19]:

(Eph 2:19 NASB) "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,"

WH, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, D (org), 33, Lach, Treg, Alf, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, Var. Mod Text editions have the "este" rendered "you are."

TR omits the second "you are."

There is better evidence for the repetition. Nevertheless the omission does not change the meaning.

B) (Eph 2:19) [Commentary On Eph 2:19]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:19 NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household," =

Since Gentiles before they became believers in Christ Jesus were separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world, (2:12); and since now Gentile, (and Jewish), believers in Christ Jesus are in Him, who were once afar off and became near by the blood of Christ, (2:13); Who He Himself is now their peace - temporal and eternal, Who made both groups - Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall between them, (2:14); by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances - the Mosaic Law in its entirety, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (2:15); that He might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself, (2:16); And having come He preached peace to those who were far away, and peace to those who were near, (2:18);

then in Eph 2:19, author Paul repeats that they - Gentile believers - are no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow citizens with the saints - the set apart ones to God through Christ as believers in Christ Jesus - Jew and Gentile together as one body, one new man. And they are together part of God's household. The phrase rendered, "fellow citizens," refers to believers in Christ Jesus, who are thereby members of the family of God, citizens in and of the heavenly places, (cf. Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20). Furthermore, verse 19 states that all believers - Gentiles especially in view - are of God's household - no longer on the outside looking as unbelievers, but part of the family of God - part of His household.

Note that in Old Testament times, even Gentile believers, (as Abraham believed), were largely ostracized and excluded from fellowship in the Temple of God in Jerusalem and in local synagogues, by Jews - even those Jews who were of the faith of Abraham, despite the Gentiles' faith.

A physical building structure is not in view re: "God's household." For Eph 2:20 stipulates that God's household was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets; Christ Jesus Himself is the Corner Stone; and individual believers in Christ Jesus, both Jewish and Gentiles, are fellow citizens, i.e., residents of God's household.

Although Old Testament saints are also citizens of heaven - the household of God; and are present in heaven after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, they are not in view, i.e., in the context of this passage in Ephesians :

1) [Compare Heb 3:1-5]:

(Heb 3:1 NASB) "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;

(Heb 3:2 NASB) He was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.

(Heb 3:3 NASB) For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.

(Heb 3:4 NASB) For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

(Heb 3:5 NASB) Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later."

Although Jewish believers of the Old Testament period are fellow citizens of the household of God with the saints of the Church Age in accordance with God's plan for the ages, Old Testament saints are not being addressed in this passage, as some contend.

C) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:20a]:

(Eph 2:20 NASB) "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone,"

Most manuscripts have the Greek word "akrogOniaiou," which literally means "a corner foundation stone" or "an extreme corner" is rendered "Corner Stone" in the NASB, YLT, NKJV, KJV with the word "stone" in italics, most other versions include the word without italics, signifying part of the original text properly rendered - which it is.

D*, F, G added the word "lithou" meaning stone in an effort to help readers understand that "akrogOniaiou" which means "Corner Stone" and literally means "at the extreme corner"

It is not required, and does not change the meaning.

D) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:20b]:

(Eph 2:20 NASB) "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone,"

TR, p46, Sinaiticus(corr), D(corr), Psi, byz, bo have "Jesus Christ"

Sinaiticus(org), D(org), F, G, mod text editions have "Christ Jesus"

Versions are divided on this. There is little difference between the two variants relative to the meaning of the verse.

E) (Eph 2:20) [Commentary On Eph 2:20]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:19 NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, (Eph 2:20 NASB) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone," =

In Eph 2:19, author Paul, by way of summarizing this section, (the end of chapter 2), repeats that they - Gentile believers - are no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow citizens with the saints - the set apart ones to God through Christ as believers in Christ Jesus - Jew and Gentile together as one body, one new man. And they are together part of God's household. The phrase rendered, "fellow citizens," refers to believers in Christ Jesus, who are thereby members of the family of God, citizens in and of the heavenly places, (cf. Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20). Furthermore, verse 19 states that all believers - Gentiles especially in view - are of God's household - no longer on the outside looking as unbelievers, but part of the family of God.

Whereupon those Gentile believers in Christ Jesus, being of God's household, are stipulated in Gen 2:20 as "having been built" (as part of God's household, (v. 19)) - the aorist present participle in passive voice signifying a completed action performed by God Himself, (since it is His household), - God the Holy Spirit, (v. 22), a household built in part of Gentiles who had become believers in Christ Jesus in the 1st century, at the time of Paul's writing of this epistle, (hence the completed action aorist tense verb). Nevertheless, this is also applicable to all Gentiles and all Jews as they too choose to become believers in Christ Jesus to become a part of God's household. Which household, Paul goes on in Eph 2:20 to write, has been built and continues to be built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, (Eph 2:21-22).

The Greek phrase rendered "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets" could mean (a) that the foundation was built by them, or (b) that the foundation came from them, or (c) that they own a foundation or (d) that they are the foundation. The words are best understood by (d): the foundation which consists of the apostles and prophets. This makes the best sense when one sees in Eph 4:11 that the apostles and prophets were spiritually gifted men given to the church as its "foundation." Furthermore, this fits well in the present context, which states that Christ Jesus Himself is the Cornerstone, that is, He Himself is the key part of the foundation - of the whole building.

The foundation of the apostles and prophets has evidently been built by God which includes what they personally did - their evangelizing and instructing of individuals through the work of God the Holy Spirit within each one of them to become and grow as believers and apostles and prophets in Christ Jesus.

So the Corner Stone of the foundation of that building - the household of God - is Christ Jesus Himself. The Greek word "akrogOniaiou" rendered Corner Stone of that foundation refers to the capstone or binding stone that holds the whole structure together. It is the stone which is placed at the extreme corner, so it could bind together the other stones in the structure. It was the most important stone in a building because the stability of all the others depended upon it. It also provided the standard to follow for straight lines both horizontal and vertical. In the eastern part of the world it was considered to be even more important than the foundation.

1) [Compare Ps 118:22-23]:

(Ps 118:22 NASB) "The stone which the builders rejected has become the Corner Stone.

(Ps 118:23 NASB) This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."

2) [Compare Mk 12:10-11]:

(Mk 12:10 NASB) "[Jesus said], Have you not even read this Scripture: 'The Stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief Corner Stone;

(Mk 12:11 NASB) This came about from the LORD, and it is marvelous in our eyes.'?"

In ancient building practices "the chief cornerstone" was carefully placed. It was crucial because the entire building was lined up with it. The church's foundation, that is, the apostles and prophets, needed to be correctly aligned with Christ - the Corner Stone. All other believers are built on that foundation, measuring their lives with Christ.

Note that the prophets in view are those prophets of the New Testament era, which included the apostles who were also prophets of the current era, and not the Old Testament prophets that did not specifically receive the new revelation of the present Church Age - especially the mystery of the church in that age, which had been hidden in the days past.

3) [Compare Eph 3:1-5]:

(Eph 3:1 NASB) "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -

(Eph 3:2 NASB) if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

(Eph 3:3 NASB) that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote in brief.

(Eph 3:4 NASB) By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

(Eph 3:5 NASB) which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;"

4) [Compare Eph 4:11-12]:

(Eph 4:11 NASB) "And He [Christ] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

(Eph 4:12 NASB) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;"

F) [Manuscript Evidence For Eph 2:21]:

(Eph 2:21 NASB) "in Whom the whole building, being [joined] together, is growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord,"

WH, NU Sinaiticus(org), B, D, K, L, F, G, psi, 33, 1739*, byz, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weis, sod, modern text editions, Maj have "in Whom every building" which is without the definite article.

TR, Sinaiticus(corr), A, C, P, 1739(c), sa, bo, Steph have the reading "in Whom the whole building" which includes the definite article rendered "the."

The anarthrous expression, (i.e., one without the article), "pasa oikdomE" could mean "every building" and thereby suggest that Paul had a multitude of individual local churches in mind. As such, it could be that Paul meant that each local church was a building for God's habitation fit together with all the other buildings to comprise one dwelling place for God. But since this does not readily fit with the general character of Ephesians, which emphasizes the unity of the universal church (the local churches not in view in this context), scribes added the article - thereby making it "the whole building." However, this addition was not necessary because "pasa oikodomE" is a Hebraism which has affected Koine usage and should be understood to mean "all the building" or "the whole building." All English versions include the definite article.

G) (Eph 2:21) [Commentary On Eph 2:21]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:19 NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, (Eph 2:20 NASB) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone, (Eph 2:21 NASB) in Whom the whole building, being [joined] together, is growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord," =

In Eph 2:19, author Paul, by way of summarizing in order to close this section, (the end of chapter 2), repeats that the Gentile believers are no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow citizens with the saints - the set apart ones to God through Christ as believers in Christ Jesus - Jew and Gentile together as one body, one new man. And they are together part of God's household. The phrase rendered, "fellow citizens," refers to believers in Christ Jesus, who are thereby members of the family of God, citizens in and of the heavenly places, (cf. Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20). Furthermore, verse 19 states that all believers - Gentiles especially in view - are of God's household - no longer on the outside looking as unbelievers, but part of the family of God - part of His household.

And in Eph 2:20, Paul continues to summarize, stipulating that the Gentile believers, (and all believers), have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone.

So it is in Christ Jesus Himself, the Corner Stone of the whole building with Whom the whole group of believers is being joined together - growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord, in His Presence.

1) [Compare Eph 4:15-16]:

(Eph 4:15 NASB) "but speaking the truth in love, we [believers in Christ, the Son of God, (v. 13)] are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ.

(Eph 4:16 NASB) From Whom the whole body [the body of Christ, (v. 13)], being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

The anarthrous expression, (i.e., one without the article), "pasa oikdomE" in Eph 2:21 which could mean "every building" instead of as rendered "the whole building" which the former suggests a multitude of individual local churches to suggest the idea that each local church was a building for God's habitation fit together with all the other buildings to comprise one dwelling place for God. But this does not readily fit the context of the passages which emphasizes the unity of the Body of Christ, one may conclude that scribes added the article - thereby making it best rendered "the whole building." However, the addition of the article was not necessary to render it as such because "pasa olkodomE" is derived from a Hebraism which has affected Koine usage and should be understood to mean "all the building" or "the whole building" comprised of all believers, Jew and Gentile, without the article having to be present. Hence all English versions include the definite article.

The Greek word "auxei" in Eph 2:21 rendered "is growing" with its present tense, and the Greek present participle "sunarmologoumEne" rendered "being joined together," in the sense of being  skillfully fitted to each other, as opposed to haphazardly being thrown together, corroborate ongoing progress and progressive growth of a living organism, (cf. "one new man" [Eph 2:15]; and "one body" [Eph 2:16] composed of Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus. The word used for temple is not the Greek word "hieron" which includes the entire structure, but "naon," the sanctuary where God is reported to have resided in other passages in the Old Testament. Hence in view is all believers in Christ Jesus with God's Presence within them being joined together and growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord - held together by Christ Jesus Himself, the Corner Stone.

2) [Compare 1 Pet 2:4-5]:

(1 Pet 2:4 NASB) "And [you, newborn babies, (v. 2),  i.e., believers in Jesus Christ, (v. 1:3)] coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.

(1 Pet 2:5 NASB) you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

H) (Eph 2:22) [Commentary On Eph 2:22]:

(Eph 2:13 YLT) "And now, in Christ Jesus, [you] being once afar off became [near] [by] the blood of Christ, (Eph 2:14 NASB) For He Himself is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Eph 2:15 NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (Eph 2:16 YLT) and [that He] might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in [Himself]," (Eph 2:17 NASB)  And [having come] He preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (Eph 2:18 NKJV) for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:19 NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, (Eph 2:20 NASB) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone, (Eph 2:21 NASB) in Whom the whole building, being [joined] together, is growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord, (Eph 2:22 NKJV) in Whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." =

It is in Christ Jesus Himself that the Gentile believers in Christ Jesus also are being built together [with the Jewish believers] for a dwelling place - the holy sanctuary - of God in the Spirit, i.e., the work of the Holy Spirit in them, emphasizing the unity of the Body of Christ, not the separatism that Jewish believers were prone to insist upon, especially in the early days of the church, and even today. The Greek word "sunoikodomeisthe," is in the present tense. It is rendered "are being built together" which is in the middle voice indicating an ongoing work of God the Holy Spirit and the believers together - as more believers are added and as each chooses to maintain fellowship with God and one another and thereby grow in the faith by the grace of God - of which there is no guarantee that each will persevere in the faith .

Note the continued emphasis on the inclusion of the Gentile believers in Christ Jesus on an equal standing with the Jewish believers - individuals from both groups being components of that living building, together as one new man, built together into a holy sanctuary in the Lord, a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

On the other hand Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus do not always act in accordance with their eternal standing before God. They do not always demonstrate in their temporal lives their eternal peace with God and one another, they do not always pursue a godly path in building up the body of Christ - there are no guarantees. Hence all the passages in Scripture that exhort believers to be faithful, not the least of which is Ephesians chapter 4 which follows.