Copyright ©2018 Keith Holder, Rays of Light Bible Lessons. All Rights Reserved.

Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Eph 2:11-13 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; 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: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

All, at one time or another, have had a day to remember. It is likely that you remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, whom you were with, and possibly what you were wearing when a very momentous event occurred. Either someone you know, or maybe even yourselves, remember similar details on D-Day during World War II, or the day Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon, or the day President Kennedy was shot, or the day the twin towers became the targets of terrorists. Surely you remember your 18th birthday, the day you graduated from high school or collage, the day of your marriage, and the day your first child was born. By association with these and similar events, we have the ability to remember specific details about these special days.

Before coming to Christ and embracing Christianity, where were you? Do you remember? Just how far were you from God, your Creator, before you believed His word and accepted His Son Jesus as your Savior? Do you remember where you were on that glorious day when you were baptized into His body, the church of Christ? In his letter to the Christians at Ephesus, Paul was telling them to remember ...time past, before they obeyed God's invitation to salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In order for them, as His children, to appreciate their nearness to God at this time, Paul tells them to remember how far they were from Him in their past. It should be very humbling for them to remember that only a very short time ago, they were Gentiles in the flesh. Not only were their lives totally controlled by fleshly desires and pleasures of the world, but also they were "Gentiles," a people that were looked upon with disdain by God's chosen people, the Jewish nation. Referring to Gentiles as the "Uncircumcision", the Jews reveled in the outward profession of their religion through circumcision and looked reproachfully on all people that failed to practice this rite.

Before their obedience, Paul also told the Ephesians that at that time ye were without Christ. To be without Christ could have two meanings. Prior to becoming Christians, the Ephesians could have been an idol-worshiping, heathen people, having no knowledge of God or His Son Jesus Christ. It could also mean that, even if these Ephesians had knowledge of Christ, they had not accepted Him as their Savior. In either case, it could be said of them that they were without Christ - outside His body, the church, with no hope of eternal salvation. In order to have knowledge of, and accept Jesus Christ as their savior, the Ephesians could not be aliens ...of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. God's plan of salvation included the Jewish nation, chosen by God for the special purpose of providing the heritage through which Jesus was to descend to earth in human form. God's plan also included the covenant first promised through Abraham that through His Seed, that is through Jesus Christ, shall all families (nations) of the earth be blessed (Gen. 12:3b).

Prior to their conversion, God's plan of salvation in Christ, descending through the Jewish nation, was foreign to them - they knew it not and were without Christ, condemned in their sin. In this state, as aliens and strangers, they had no hope of salvation, and they were without God in the world. It is true that some people hope for a future life of happiness, but if their hope is based on forms of religion that exclude God, or is based on morality or the doctrine of universal salvation, then their hope is in vain. Why is this true? Because all exclude the acceptance of Jesus Christ in the manner God intended, according to his holy word. Paul tells the Ephesians that they were once in this condition - they were far off. However, they were now in Christ Jesus, and were made nigh by the blood of Christ. Apart from God there is no hope of salvation. Only through belief and faith that results in baptism into His body, can one be made nigh to God. Through these acts one can have all sins forgiven through the soul cleansing power of the blood of Christ. Eternal salvation is as near to you as you are to God. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you (Jas. 4:8).