The Epistle to the Ephesians

E W Rogers, Oxford

Part 4 of 8 of the series The Epistle to the Ephesians

This section commences with the words "Wherefore re­member", and at its close are the words "Now therefore ye are no more", v. 19. The whole paragraph, therefore, has to do with the extraordinary change which has occurred in the ways of God with men, so that the position once occupied by them has been abandoned for a new position which believers now

An Illustration. In order that we may be able to under­stand the matter, we will use an illustration. Imagine a double-storied house, in which there are occupants in both the upper

Let us use this illustration in examining the section of the Ephesian Epistle now before us. We will first consider

The Position of the Jew and the Gentile prior to the effective operation of God's grace towards them. The position of each is defined as "in the flesh", v. n, and "in the world", v. 12, the "flesh" being their standing as connected with the first Adam who fell, and "the world" being that system of which Satan is the "prince", John 14. 30. Those who occupied the upper storey are the Jews, for they had many privileges over the Gentiles. They had the physical right of circumcision which was the external seal of the promise given to then-fathers. Religiously they were "near" to God, in that He had given them a ritualistic and typical system which gave them a right of approach to Him which the Gentiles lacked.

Those who occupied the lower storey were the Gentiles, the uncircumcision. They were "without Christ" for "salva­tion is of the Jews", and the Messiah was not to come through Gentile stock. Therefore, they were "without hope", this hope being that which was entertained by Israel: "we hoped that it was he which should redeem Israel", Luke 24.21 r. v. They were "alienated from the commonwealth of Israel", 2. 12 r.v. j they had no rights in their national privileges. They were "strangers r.v. -that is, all the detailed covenants made later by God amplifying the one great

The barrier which was erected was "the middle wall of partition", 2. 14. It was "the law of commandments contained in ordinances", or as Paul calls it in Colossians, "the hand­writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us", Col. 2. 14. To it Israel had, as it were, put their signature before witnesses. They had agreed to comply with its terms, not knowing that, because of their fallen nature, it was contrary to their leanings and against their best interests. It brought death, not life. Indeed, it provoked even greater enmity than already existed between them and God, and between them and the Gentiles. Israel's legal code which contained enactments both civil and ritualistic only aggravated

That the moral requirements of the Mosaic law are evidenced in those who walk after the Spirit is approved by all (see Romans 8. 4). They are not a means of approach to God nor a ground of righteous standing before Him, but the essential

The Offer which was made "to the Jew" first and then to the Gentile later. It was made to all, both those who were in the upper and lower storeys. As verse 17 shows, the offer of "peace" between the two parties, and between both God and r.v. The word "preached" is that for

The Position in the case of those who have accepted the offer. They have an altogether new position. He "made both

They are, as it were, now resident in a new bungalow which has no upper and lower storeys, for all are on the same level. None has privileges above the other. There is no middle wall

Paul's use of the metaphor of a "body" is peculiar to him. No other New Testament writer employs it. It did not exist in Old Testament times nor in the days when the Lord Jesus was here on earth. Its birthday was the Pentecostal day of Acts 2.

In this section Paul clusters them all together - "one new r.v. marg. "One new man" stresses

There is no doubt that there is here an intended allusion not only to the Ephesian temple but to that of Solomon, which latter had its sundry chambers. So, too, this Universal Church

The Foundation of this new place. It is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself

This "holy sanctuary" is well founded. The Lord Jesus is the chief corner stone, binding both Jew and Gentile securely What unity and harmony God has wrought! Yet what havoc, discord and worse have been wrought by those who should have learned better. They certainly had not "so learned Christ".

Shaphat of Abel-Meholah and Elisha

There are 7 articles in
ISSUE (1972, Volume 23 Issue 2)

The Epistle to the Ephesians

The Epistle to the Galatians - Chapter 4

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

Outline Studies in the Penteteuch

Shaphat of Abel Meholah and Elisha

The Thoughts of God

A Witnessing Church - Part 3

There are 8 articles in this series

The Purpose of God

Paul’s Prayer

What a Change!

The Epistle to the Ephesians

The Mystery

Ministry in the Church

Gathered Threads

Some Practical Lessons

There are 82 articles by this author

To Spread the Gospel - the Believer’s Responsibility

Smyrna

Pergamos

Thyatira

Sardis

Philadelphia

Laodicea

The Purpose of God

Paul’s Prayer

What a Change!

The Epistle to the Ephesians

The Mystery

Ministry in the Church

Gathered Threads

Some Practical Lessons

Paul’s Pastoral Epistles - Introduction

1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 3

1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 5

1 Timothy 6

2 Timothy 1: ‘Be Courageous’

2 Timothy 2: ‘Be Careful’

2 Timothy 3: ‘Be Constant’

2 Timothy 4: ‘Be Considerate’

Titus 1: God is Faithful

Titus 2: Christian Behaviour and its Effects

Titus 3: The Christian and the State

The Believer’s Responsibility in Regard to the Spread of the Gospel

The Infallible Christ

Will the Church go through the Great Tribulation?

The Man of God out of Judah

Having been Gathered Out

‘For Me to Live is Christ’

Short Papers on Some Fundamental Truths

After all This

The Scriptures of Truth (Part 1)

The Scriptures of Truth (Part 2)

Evidences of New Birth

The Inspiration of Scripture

On the being of God - The Holy Trinity

The Attributes of Divine Persons

Eternal Punishment

Gospel Preaching: the Message, Motive and Method

The Believer’s Responsibility in regard to the Spread of the Gospel. 2 KINGS 7 : 9.

Question: What is the meaning of “being crafty, I caught you with guile”? (2 Cor. 12: 16)

Question: Ought Christians to testify to all whom they meet?

Question: Is it wise to submit to being called “Plymouth Brethren”?

Question: Assembly Ceasing to Exist

Question: Delivering unto Satan

Question: Does the pre-eminence of Christ Guarantee that the Saved will Outnumber the Unsaved?

Question: The Activities of The Holy Spirit in the Eternal State

Question: Is the Devil PERSONALLY able to operate in more than one place at a time?

Question: Are the instructions in James 5. 14 applicable to-day?

Question: What was wrong with the desire of the sons of Eli for roast flesh Instead of boiled flesh?

Question: Does John 14. 6 imply that the unevangelised heathen will be lost?

Question: Conviction of Sin?

Question: Attitude of Young Believers in Assembly

Question: Why did blind Bartimeus address the Lord Jesus as “Jesus, thou Son of David”?

Question: Were the “miracles” of Peter and Paul examples of faith comparable with... Heb. 11?

Question: Ministry before the Breaking of Bread?

Question: Necessary to be Baptised to Break Bread?

Question: Concerning “He that believeth on Me the works that I do shall he do also.”

Question: In what sense have believers been crucified with Christ?

Question: The Publishing of Able Brethren's Addresses to Conventions, etc.?

Question: Why are the Proverbs Neglected as a Basis for Practical Ministry?

Prayer to the Lord Jesus

Sanctification

The Ministry Of Reconciliation 2 Cor. 5. 19-21

Question: Does 1 Cor. 14. 34 apply to all meetings when brethren are present?

Question: How far are we justified in speaking of God as Father when preaching the gospel?

Question: What are we to understand by the “spiritual body” referred to in 1 Cor. 15?

Question: To what does the phrase, “that which is perfect,” refer in 1 Cor. 13?

Question: How is it that many of the laws in the O.T. appear to be quite cruel?

Question: If believers go to be with Christ immediately at death how can they be raised?

Question: What happens to the believer when he dies before the Lord returns?

Question: Sins of the believer at the Judgement Seat of Christ?

Question: Satan disputing with Michael?

Victory And Defeat

Paul’s thorn in the flesh

Evidences of New Birth