Week4. Monday: Separated
PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.
READ: Ephesians 2:11-12
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words
Gentiles: a title that describes all people that are not of Jewish descent.
There was a strong division between Jews and Gentiles.
The Jews struggled to believe that God loved and saved Gentiles.
Early Jewish Christians tried to force Gentiles to follow Jewish rituals (Acts 15).
Uncircumcised: the literal meaning is quite obvious
Circumcision was a physical sign of being a Jew instituted in the Old Testament. Paul is pointing out that circumcision is merely a human ritual. This is why he points out that it is “done in the body by human hands”.
The Jews believed that this ritual somehow made them holy and acceptable to God. Paul’s point is that human rituals don’t have that kind of power.
Separate (Greek: chōris): apart from, having no part in
Excluded (Greek: apallotrioō): alienated, estranged, broken relationship
Covenants (Greek: diathēkē): arrangement, promised agreement
God’s relationship with mankind is often described as a covenant.
There is an Old Covenant (Testament) and a New Covenant (Testament).
After the cross, we are now under the New Covenant.
Without Hope (Greek: echō mē elpis): without anything to believe in
Without God (Greek: atheos): without relationship to your Creator (John 15:5)
APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?
You may be wondering how in the world this passage could apply to your everyday life. The point of this passage is unity between Jewish believers and Gentile believers. Paul is telling the Ephesian believers that they are no longer separated from God. They are no longer without hope or without God in the world. They are no longer required to observe religious traditions and rituals. Traditions and rituals cannot save anyone.
In what ways have you trusted in religion for your salvation? What was the result?
What was your life like before Christ saved you?
In what ways were you without hope before you believed in Christ?
PRAY: Ask God to help you trust in Him rather than religion.