We have come across another verse that many like to skip. Hard verses. Ones we need to wrestle to full grasp what Paul is talking about in this chapter. When we do leapfrog over verses like these, we pray without fever, we sing without passion, we do not rejoice in our salvation, and our hearts do not break for the lost.
Paul says we must remember we were once too, hopeless.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13 ESV)
It is of great spiritual benefit to remember our hopelessness before Christ. Only then then can we celebrate being brought near!
Vs. 11-12 - At one time we were separated from Christ, not part of the covenant of God, with no hope, without God. Paul starts this new sentence with a very similar reminder as in verses 1-2:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— (Ephesians 2:1-2 ESV)
See the similarities there? Paul wants to remind us we once were hopeless, but as we read on verse 13, we now have hope in Jesus.
Vs. 13 - But, we have been brought near because of the blood of Christ. We don't like to talk about blood, do we? It's pretty gross, and freaks most of us out. But, remembering the blood of Christ, reminds us it wasn't a piece of cake dying for our sins, but God heaped all of humanity past, present and future wrath onto Jesus. Then he died. Then in all victory, defeated death and brought about new life. But we must remember the blood the purchased our redemption.
Meditation / Journaling
- Spend some time recalling your life before Jesus, and comparing it to your life now. What has changed?
- Do you know anyone that seems hopeless? Have you experienced hopelessness? What is that like?
- What does remembering the blood of Christ, and what it purchased, do for our mission?
- How does this change the way we pray? Worship?
- If we know the basest of the bad, and have experienced the good, why wouldn't want to share the good news?