I. LOOKING BACK AT CHAPTER ONE
A. We know from Ephesians One, that our position “in Christ” is the most prominent theme in that chapter. We would expect this to impact chapter two, and it does.
B. Chapter one can be outlined as follows:
1. God’s purpose in blessing us in Christ (3-6)
2. The particulars of that blessing (7-14)
3. The prayer for those in Christ (15-19)
a. A spirit of wisdom and revelation (17)
b. Understanding the hope of His calling and rich inheritance (18)
c. To know His power towards believers (19)
4. The power that works in Christ (20-23)
a. Absolute authority
b. Over the church
C. Our spiritual blessings in Christ are immeasurable.
II. NOW, CHAPTER TWO
A. It may be that you will have to read this chapter a number of times before you begin to see its main focus and theme. It is not an easy chapter to outline.
B. The second chapter of Ephesians continues the teachings from chapter one. The first word, “and,” is a hint that there is a continuation of thought from chapter one.
C. You may find it easier to look for groups of verses first, or to look for repeated words first, or you may go back and forth.
III. WORDS AND PHRASES THAT APPEAR OFTEN
A. There is a repetition of the phrase, “time past” and the word “were” (see v2, 3, 11, and 12).
1. This is an important part of understanding this chapter. It deals with past and present.
2. The differences in our past (dead in trespasses and sins) and our present situation are described in this chapter.
B. As in chapter one, “in Christ” and “in whom” occur often (see v5, 6, 9, 13, 15, and 21).
C. The present time is often mentioned using words like, “hath” (a present tense verb), “are” (v8, 10, 13, 19, 20, 22), and “now” (v13, and 19).
D. Other words and thoughts that are repeated are:
1. “Together” (v5, 6, 21, 22) - this is “church,” and is further described in chapter 3.
2. “Without”, “aliens”, “strangers”, “foreigners”, and “afar off” in v12, 13, 17, and 19.
a. These are all things that we were in time past.
b. Now, we are no longer any of these, and never can be again.
3. “Peace” and “enmity” (being an enemy) are seen in verse 14, 15, 16, and 17.
a. Verses 14 to 18 are a group of verses with a single thought.
b. The words, “peace,” and “enmity,” occur only in these verses.
c. HE IS OUR PEACE (verse 14). We were God’s enemy, but NEVER AGAIN.
IV. GROUPS OF VERSES
A. Again, we can simply consider the sentences in this chapter and easily find the groups of verses, if we choose to use this method. There are seven sentences in chapter two, including a sentence which is only one verse - verse 18. The sentences are, Verses 1 to 3, Verses 4 to 7, Verses 8 to 10, Verses 11 to 13, Verses 14 to 17 (and I include the single verse sentence in verse 18), and Verses 19 to 22.
B. We will find it easer to understand the chapter after we have understood each of these groups of verses (sentences). Let’s try to summarize each sentence in a few words.
1. Verses 1 to 3: Our prior condition (what we were) is the subject of these verses.
a. We were dead in sin (v1).
b. We walked in harmony (according to) with the devil (2).
c. We had our conversation (walk) in lust and desire (3).
2. Verses 4 to 7: Our purposeful change (transformation) - God made us alive, and placed us in Christ.
3. Verses 8 to 10: Our present condition - we are saved, and that by grace and not works.
4. Verses 11 to 13: Our perfect citizenship - no longer aliens; now near to God by the blood of Christ.
5. Verses 14 to 18: Our peaceful conciliation - WE ARE AT PEACE WITH GOD NOW!
6. Verses 19 to 23: Our pious (godly) construction - we are built together (this is church) for inhabitation by God.
C. Alliteration is the use of the same sound or letter in a list. It helps us to remember things. It is not necessary, but can be a fun way to do an outline which gives it more meaning. If you choose to do this, don’t let it change the meaning of the passage.
V. THE OUTLINE OF THE CHAPTER
A. Our prior condition (1-3)We were dead, devilish, desirous sinners
B. Our purposeful change (4-7)God CHANGED all that for HIS glory
C. Our precious creation (8-10)Now we are saved through faith by Him
D. Our perfect citizenship (11-13)And, we are now near to God in Christ
E. Our peaceful conciliation (14-18)And, we are no longer God’s enemy - now at peace.
1. Notice that the law is what made us enemies (15)
F. Our pious construction (19-23)We are built together to be inhabited by God
VI. ANSWER SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
A. What the chapter is about: What we were and what we are now in Christ
B. Promises in the chapter: We ARE saved, and we ARE AT PEACE WITH GOD! Amen!
C. Obvious teaching: Gentiles are now fellow citizens with the Old Testament saints.
D. Command: Again, none are obvious. (There will be plenty of these in chapters 4 to 6.)
E. Teaching about Christ: He is God’s expression of kindness towards us (7), and He is our peace with God (14).
VII. WORDS THAT WE MUST UNDERSTAND
A. The word “quickened” means, “to cause to be alive” or “to give life.”
B. In verse 3, the word “conversation” means, “our manner of living” and is related to the word “walked” in verse 2.
C. In verse 11, the words “un-circumcision” and “circumcision” refer to being Gentile or Jew.
D. The word, “enmity” means to be an enemy of something or someone.
VIII. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
A. The entire chapter describes the results of our salvation - what we were and what we are now that we are saved. This is the theme of the chapter.
B. The word, “church” does not appear in the chapter, but the building described at the end of the chapter is the assembly of the saved Gentiles who are “together.” This is a description of church. The church is the habitation of God (verse 22).
C. This chapter leads up to chapter 3, where Paul describes the mystery, that Jew and Gentile are now ONE in Christ. Chapters 1 and 2 are the foundation for chapter 3.