Eph 2 v 12&13
Preached in Markethill Free Presbyterian Church by Rev James Porter
In the verses before us, Paul is calling upon the Ephesians Christians to remember their past life prior to their conversion.
And with this exhortation to remembrance, he was following a scriptural pattern.
For throughout the Bible Gods people are continually called upon to remember certain things.
In Deut 15v15, "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
The child of god is never to forget that he was once a bondman in sin.
He is never to forget what god has done for him in salvation.
In fact this is one of the best uses to which the faculty of his mind can be put.
And this is what Paul was wanting the Ephesian believers to do.
Hence the reason for his words in v11-13 when he says, Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Now the reason for this call to remembrance was that this people be humble before God and thankful to the lord.
Also he called them to remember what god had done for them so that they would be compassionate toward others and consecrated to the service of God.
And such reasons, are why it is good for every child of god to remember what God has done for them.
Now as we would look at V12 &13 I want us to look at 3 things in particular which Paul asked the Ephesians to remember.
1. The Ephesians were to remember their past condition as sinners.
V12 says, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Such words describe these people in Ephesus prior to them being saved. Such words show how they lived as sinners before God.
In this verse we are told 5 things about this people in their unsaved condition.
They were "Without Christ.".- their life was a Christless life.. their life was void and empty of any saving knowledge and saving interest in Jesus Christ.
They were without a country " note the words, "aliens from the common wealth of Israel." . this shows that they did not belong to Gods family. They were not citizens of heaven.
They were without the promises of God." - the verse says, "they were strangers from the covenant of promise." , in other words they no portion in Gods grace.
They were without hope." Note the words, "having No hope."
They had no hope of heaven beyond this life.
They were on their way to a lost eternity in hell.
Then it says " they were without God in this life." - they were estranged and separated from god in this life.
And the reason for such an awful plight was due to the fact that they were born into this world sinners by nature and practise.
They were born in sin and sharpen in iniquity and they lived for sin.
Notice how Paul describes their life as sinners in v1-3 of this chapter.
Rv 1-3, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Yes we can say that condition of the Ephesians before their conversion was awful and dark.
Brethren 7 sisters in Christ such words depict your condition and my condition prior to our salvation.
This is how we were without gods salvation this is how we lived as sinners before God.
And unsaved friend this is still your condition before a thrice-holy god tonight.
You are without Christ, an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, a stranger from the covenant of promise. You have no hope and are without god in this world.
And this is all because of your sin by nature and practise.
For the bible says, Rom 3v10.
Yes the Ehpesian came into this world as sinners.
But you and I have entered into this world as sinners as well.
Missionary in Scotland -photo, Bible Rom 3 v23.
Unsaved friend in seeing the past condition of the Ephesians believers- see a picture of yourself before God. .
2.The condition of the EphesiansAnd I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Rv 13, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
While v12 has been called one of the darkest verses of the Bible.
So v13 has rightly been called one of the brightest verses in all the Bible.
In there unsaved state these people in Ephesus were far from God, but now as Christians we are told that they nigh or near to God.
This is the portion of all who have experienced Gods salvation within their heart.
Every Christian, every child of god is one who is near to God.
This thought of nearness to God is brought out in Dent 4 v7 when Moses address Gods people.
He says, "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
Again this thought of nearness to God in highlighted in Ps 46 v1 when the psalmist says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The great blessing of being a Christian is that of being near to God.
It is the great of all relationships.
It means to enter in to all the blessing of Gods saving grace and mercy.
In the case of there ephesian Christians we are told that they were made nigh to God in Justification.
Eph 1 v7, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Notice how they had the forgiveness of their sins.
Their sin had been pardoned.
Also the Ephesians Christians were made nigh to God in justification.
Eph 1 v5, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
This people had now been brought into Gods family.
And being brought into Gods family , they could enjoy Gods presence, his care, and his provision.
Then we can say that the Epesian Christians were made nigh to god in sanctification.
Eph 1 v4 says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Through the power of the Holy Spirit and Gods enabling grace this people in Ephesus were now enabled to live for Gods glory.
Then we can say that the Ephesisan Christians were made nigh to God in glorification.
Eph 1 v3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
They had the certainty of a home in heaven. preserved unto eternal life.
The blessings that these Ephesians Christian enjoy were great.
And child of god such blessings are you portion as well.
As a Christian you to can rejoice in the forgiveness of all you sin, and the blessing of being a member of gods family.
The Bible says, "The lord also hath put away thy sin."
Also it say "and if children, then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ."
Then You can joy in the fact that God gives you power to live for himself and also that you have a certain home in heaven.
The word of God says, "he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Then we have also those wonderful words of Christ in John 10v28. These are words that apply to every Christian.
There Christ says, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Michael Faraday was a Christian scientist and one day another scientist asked him 2 what his occupation in the next world shall be."
He replied by saying, " eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things that God have prepared for them that love him."
And then he said, "I shall be with Christ that is enough."
In essence he was looking forward to heaven and to glory. And child of God you too can look forward to heaven and glory.
And dear unsaved friend in our meeting in becoming a Christian . and parting of god so great salvation.
Such blessing will be afforded to you as well.
God will forgive all your sin, he will bring you into his family, he will give you power to live for God.
And one day he will bring you safely into heaven. and save you from the wrath to come
Oh these are the blessing that God freely offers to you through his great plan of salvation.
3.The reason for the change in the life of these people in Ephesus.
Note in v13 the words, "In Christ Jesus." & "the blood of Christ."
The reason for the change in the life of this people in Ephesus was Jesus Christ and his precious blood."
In realising their need as lost sinners before God and the need of his salvation.
This people trusted in Christ as saviour.
There life was marked by repentance from sin toward god and by faith in Christ.
Back in Acts 19 V18 we read of the people in Ephesus and it says, "And many believed."
Because of the atoning death of Christ upon the cross of Calvary for sin and by virtue of their union to Christ by believing faith.
They were to enter in to all the blessings of Gods so great salvation.
In v12 we read that 2 they were without Christ"
But in v13 we read that they were now in Christ."
It was Christ who made the difference in their lives.
Through the blood of Christ, their sins were pardoned and they were justified. . they we adopted in to Gods family, they were sanctified, and set upon the road to glory.
And child of God it ids all because of Christ and his precious blood shed at Calvary that your sins are pardoned, that you are adopted, sanctified and sure of heaven.
And because of such blessings we who are saved can says assuredly with the hymn writer, "All hail the power of Jesus name."
Unsaved friend what Christ has dome for others he can do for you. for he has not changed," he is the same, yesterday, today and forever..
Through Christ you can be justified from all your sins. Rom 5 v1,
Through Christ you can be adopted into Gods family- John 1 v12.
Through Christ you can be sanctified. 2 cor 5 v17.
Through Christ you can be glorified. Rom 3 v23.
If you are to partake of such blessing then you must come to Christ by faith, repenting of your sins. John 6 v37.
This nigh may you come to Christ and he will save you for time and for all eternity. Amen.