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Notes: 03/19/2023

Ephesians: Breaking Down Barriers

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When Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians there was great tension between _______ and ____________.

Quick History of Differences between Jews and Gentiles:


Jews: Jews, Israelites, Hebrews. Name comes from Tribe of Judah

Gentiles: Gentiles. Gentiles means nation or nations


Jews: Descendants of Abraham. Genesis 12:1-13

Gentiles: Descendance is non-Abrahamic. Only thing in common is they’re not Jews


Jews: Circumcised. Genesis 17:10-14

Gentiles: Uncircumcised


Jews: Monotheistic, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Followed the Laws of Moses

Gentiles: Monotheistic and polytheistic. Because no commonality, believed anything and everything.


Jews: Many Religious Festivals, Holy Days, ceremonies, sacrifices help them experience God.

Gentiles: Because no commonality, they did not possess the same means of connecting to God


Jews: O.T. is history of how God lovingly interacted with the Jews

Gentiles: O.T. is history of how Gentiles were often enemies of Jews


Jews: Theocracy, governed by God and Scripture through leaders selected by God

Gentiles: Governed by self-appointed human authority


Jews: Strict rules governing dress, diet (clean and unclean), and lifestyles

Gentiles: Because no commonality, many different rules, to no rules

1. Before Jesus, the Gentiles were living __________________ from God.

Ephesians 2:11–12 (NLT) 11Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12In those days you were living apart from Christ . . ..

A. The Gentiles were ___________________ from Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 (NLT) 12In those days you were living apart from Christ.

• The Gentiles were __________ included at one time in all the blessings of the Israelites. 

Romans 9:4–5 (GW) 4They are Israelites, God’s adopted children. They have the Lord’s glory, the pledges, Moses’ Teachings, the true worship, and the promises. 5The Messiah is descended from their ancestors according to his human nature. The Messiah is God over everything, forever blessed. Amen. 

B. The Gentiles were excluded from _____________________.

Ephesians 2:12 (NLT) 12 . . . You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel . . ..

• The person who was not born into the nation did not experience the blessings of citizenship.

o In the same way people today who are not citizens of this nation aren’t able to experience the privileges of citizenship . . . . so the Gentiles did not have the privileges that the Israelites had as citizens.  

C. The Gentiles were excluded from the ________________ __________________.

Ephesians 2:12 (NLT) 12 . . . you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them [Jews] . . ..

D. The Gentiles were without _____________ and without God.

Ephesians 2:12 (NLT) 12 . . . You lived in this world without God and without hope.

2. Through Jesus the Gentiles were brought ____________ to God.

Ephesians 2:13 (NLT) 13But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you [Gentiles] have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

A. Christ brought __________________ peace with God to both Jew and Gentile.

Ephesians 2:14a (NLT) 14For Christ himself has brought peace to us.

• Reconciled meant to bring together again.

B. Christ brought _________ peace between the Jews and Gentiles making them into one new people.

Ephesians 2:14–16 (NLT) 14. . . He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

• The wall of hostility is an allusion to the soreg, a ________________ wall in the Temple that kept distance between the Gentiles and the Holy Place.  

o Inscription: “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”

C. Christ clarified and __________________ the way to the Father for everyone. 

Ephesians 2:18 (NLT) 18Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

• Now, Jews and Gentiles connect to the Father ___________ _____________, and no other way!

John 14:6 (NLT) 6Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

3. Through Jesus, Jews and Gentiles have become ________________.

A. The Jews and Gentiles are now one _________________.

Ephesians 2:19 (NLT) 19So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people .

Matthew 21:43 (NLT) 43I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.

B. The Jews and Gentiles are now one _________________.  

Ephesians 2:19 (NLT) 19So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners . . . You are members of God’s family.

C. The Gentiles are now part of one _________________ with all its benefits. 

Ephesians 2:20–22 (NLT) 20Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.