Ephesians 2: From Death to Life

As long as we are breathing, what is the evidence that we lack life?

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Ephesians 2:1–2 In your unrighteousness and wrongdoing, you were without life when you followed the way of the world, led by the evil spirit of this age, opposing God and enticing people to be disobedient.
King James
Ephesians 2:1–2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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:

Why do our fleshly desires make us subject to God’s wrath?

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Ephesians 2:3 In the past, we followed our fleshly desires for pleasure. Our sinful nature made us subject to God’s wrath, just like everybody else.
King James
Ephesians 2:3 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.

Why does God love us so much?

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Ephesians 2:4–5 But our merciful God loved us so much, even though we were facing certain death for our sins, by his unmerited favor we were raised to live with Jesus Christ.
King James
Ephesians 2:4–5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

How would you describe life in heavenly realms?

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Ephesians 2:6 In the resurrection, all of us will join him in heavenly realms.
King James
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

In what ways might our perception of “abundant riches” differ from what God has in mind?

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Ephesians 2:7 Through Jesus Christ, we will experience the abundant richness of God’s kindness and unmerited favor.
King James
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

What works are necessary to be saved? What works are necessary because we are saved?

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Ephesians 2:8–9 We are saved from death, not as a result of any personal achievement but because we have chosen to believe and accept God’s unmerited gift. Since eternal life is God’s gift, we cannot boast that we have done something to deserve his favor.
King James
Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

How important is doing the work God has called us to do?

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Matthew 5:13 “You are like the salt of the earth,” Jesus said. “But if salt no longer tastes like salt, where is its seasoning value? It’s worthless, so it’s thrown out and people walk on it.”
Mark 11:26 “If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more.”
Ephesians 2:10 We are God’s creative masterpiece, brought to life in Jesus Christ so we can do the great work he designed for us in the beginning.
King James
Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

After being told to forget our past, what reason do we have to remember?

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Luke 9:62 “After a man puts his hand to the plow,” Jesus said, “he is not fit for the Kingdom of God if he keeps looking back.”
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember where you used to be, foreigners who were called “uncircumcised pagans” by Jews who were proud of their circumcision, which was only a distinction in their flesh, not their hearts.
Philippians 3:13–14 Friends, I haven’t figured everything out yet, but I know one thing: the past needs to be forgotten so I can focus on doing better in the future. I focus entirely on the heavenly reward that comes in following Jesus Christ.
King James
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Philippians 3:13–14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of having a Jewish heritage when becoming a follower of Jesus?

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Ephesians 2:12 Unaware of what was happening in Israel, you knew nothing about Christ or God’s promises to his people. You were living without hope for the Messiah and what God was doing on Earth.
King James
Ephesians 2:12 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:

Under what conditions would the non-Jews be like the Jews, separated from God?

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Ephesians 2:13 Once far away, separated from God, you are now brought near, made part of his family through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
King James
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

How would you describe the wall that separates us from God?

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Ephesians 2:14–15 He brought peace between us and God by removing the wall that separated us, abolishing the rules and regulations of Law and making us one in spirit, a new creation.
King James
Ephesians 2:14–15 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

What is the relationship between the wall that can separate us from God and the wall that can separate us from one another?

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Ephesians 2:16 Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the hostilities have been put to death, reconciling us with God and one another.
King James
Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Who are some of the non-Jews who benefited from Jesus’ ministry?

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Matthew 8:5–13 At Capernaum, a Roman officer sent a message to Jesus, pleading for help. “Sir, my young servant lies at home, paralyzed with intense pain.”
“I will go and heal the servant,” Jesus said.
But the officer felt unworthy for Jesus to come. “I am not important enough for you to enter my house. Just give the order, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority. At my command under Caesar, my soldiers come and go and do exactly what I say.”
Jesus marveled at the message. To those following him, he said, “In all of Israel, I have never seen such faith. I tell you, outsiders will come from everywhere to dine with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, but many Israelites will be on the outside in the darkness, where there will be bitterness and weeping.” He turned to the messengers. “You can go home now. As you have believed, so it will be.”
At that moment, the servant was healed.
Mark 7:24–30 After leaving Gennesaret, Jesus went to a region near Tyre and Sidon. He did not want anyone to know the house where he was staying, but the news could not be kept secret. A woman who lived in the area had a young daughter who was possessed by an evil spirit. When she heard about Jesus, she knelt at his feet and begged him to cast out the evil spirit.
Since she was Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia, he said to her, “The children of Israel should be fed first. It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
“That is true, sir. But the little dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
“You have answered well. You may go now. The evil spirit has left your daughter.”
When the woman arrived home, she found her daughter lying on her bed, and the evil spirit had gone.
John 4:4–29 To get to Galilee, he insisted on taking the road through Samaria. Near the village of Sychar, not far from the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph, he and his disciples came to Jacob’s well. It was midday when Jesus, weary from the journey, sat down with John. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink?”
The other disciples had gone to the village to buy food.
The question surprised her because Jews normally have nothing to do with Samaritans. “You are a Jew,” she said, “and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
“If you understood God’s generosity and who is asking for a drink, you would ask me for a drink. I would give you living water.”
“Sir, where are you going to get this living water? You have no vessel to draw with, and the well is deep. How can you offer better water than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it, as did his children and his livestock?”
“Everyone,” Jesus said, “who drinks this water will thirst again. But those who drink the water I give will never become thirsty. My water is a fresh artesian spring, bubbling with everlasting life.”
“Sir, give me this water so I will not get thirsty and have to come to this well anymore.”
“Go and bring your husband here.”
“I have no husband.”
Jesus said, “That’s right. You have had five husbands, and the man you now live with is not your husband. You have certainly spoken truly.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. Tell me, why do you Jews say we must worship in Jerusalem while Samaritans say we should go to Mount Gerizim, the place where our ancestors worshiped?”
“Believe me, woman, soon you will not worship the Father either here or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans do not know what you worship. We know, because salvation comes through the Jews. The time is coming—in fact, it is here now—when the Father looks for true worship that is an expression from your spirit. God is spirit, so those people who truly worship must do so in spirit.”
“I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Anointed. When he comes, he will explain everything.”
Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah.”
The disciples returned from town and were surprised to see Jesus talking with a woman. No one had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or, “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar, went to the village, and told everyone she saw, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could he be the Messiah?”
John 12:20–22 Some Greeks were among those who had come to worship during Passover. They went to Philip with their request. “Sir, we want to meet with Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and the two of them asked Jesus if he would meet with the Greeks.
Ephesians 2:17 While on Earth, Jesus preached his message of peace both to the Jews living in Israel and to foreigners from distant lands.
King James
Matthew 8:5–13 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Mark 7:24–30 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
John 4:4–29 And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
John 12:20–22 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
Ephesians 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Did the Jews have access to God different from the non-Jews? Why or why not?

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Ephesians 2:18 Because of Jesus Christ, people everywhere have access by the Holy Spirit to our Father God.
King James
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Did the Jews have a relationship with God that was different from the non-Jews? Why or why not?

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Ephesians 2:19 Therefore, you should not consider yourself a foreigner, a stranger among God’s people, for we are all fellow believers, part of the family of God.
King James
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

What was the foundation of faith laid by God’s prophets and special messengers?

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Ephesians 2:20 We are like stones built upon the foundation laid by God’s prophets and special messengers, Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.
King James
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

How would you rate the quality of God’s plans and construction methods?

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Ephesians 2:21–22 The Master Builder is perfectly framing us together, a holy temple of the Lord, in which you as well as others form a dwelling place for the Spirit of God.
King James
Ephesians 2:21–22 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.