|Ephesians 2:8-22 |
8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not by yourselves. It [faith] is the gift of God.4 [Faith is not belief in Jesus based on the historical accuracy of the Bible; faith is hearing the word of God from within your heart, for faith is the gift of God and is authored by revelation from Jesus Christ.]
9 Not by works, lest any man should boast.5 [Paul is speaking of dead works, (from your own will), of the law: circumcision, washings, sacrifices, special foods, sabbath restrictions, days, feasts, tithing, etc.; but he is not excluding observing the moral laws written on every man's heart, nor works of loving obedience to the commands you hear spoken from God in your heart, which are energized by faith and are essential. Paul said: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10. Paul said: To those who by perseverance in good works, seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7.]
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has ordained before that we should walk in [doing good works].6 [When you have been delivered (freed) from the sins and evil in your heart, God will guide your thoughts, words, and works. God makes us a fit instrument for His hand to show the world the love of God, to shake the nations, and to hold out the word of life. Walking under the Spirit's total control, we walk as Jesus walked, and we do works of righteousness as Jesus worked righteousness; then are we righteous; then we bring honor and glory to God.]
11 Therefore, remember that you were in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision [Jews] in the flesh made by hands.
12 At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope; you were in the world without God.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off, are made near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who has made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man, so making peace; [The new man is your purified soul, joining with the Spirit of Christ, to form an entirely new creature whose thoughts, words, and deeds are controlled by the Spirit of Christ; created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness.
The law only ends when a man's selfish spirit has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, and Christ Jesus is resurrected in him to totally control his thoughts, words, and deeds with the Law of the Spirit of Life. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." See the footnote 5 below for more understanding on why the moral laws must still be observed and are your schoolmaster until you have produced the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, Gal 5:22-23, for you are then walking in love, fulfilling the law.]
16 And that he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity by it. [The inward cross of self-denial, which is to silently listen, hear, and obey Christ's commands, slays a man's selfish spirit and carnal mind, which is enmity to God.]
17 He came and preached peace to you who were distant from God, and to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and belong to the household of God.
20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;
21 In whom the whole building is joined together, and it grows to a holy temple in the Lord.
22 In whom you also are built together for a dwelling place for God7 through the Spirit.
7 In whom you also are built together for a dwelling place for God through the Spirit. That is God's desire, to dwell in his people, to dwell in the Body of Christ.
You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Pet 2:5.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16.
God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people. 2 Cor 6:16
The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. Rev 21:3.
And what kind of person do you think God is going to dwell in his fullness? Do you think he wishes to dwell with people who still lie, get angry, lust for things, lust for people, are envious, greedy, hate, etc.; or do you think he will only dwell in a purified heart, a purified soul, a person of peace, holy in their conduct? Christ is holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. Heb 7:26. Do you think he will defile himself by joining in a marriage to defiled people?