Have you ever imagined what life would be like without the light of the gospel? Without the hope of heaven? Without the peace and purpose of having a personal relationship with a loving God? Well, that was the case of Paul’s first century readers before they trusted in the precious blood of Jesus Christ for their salvation. And that is the heartbreaking condition of so many lost souls that we encounter every day. All around us, in our neighborhoods, in the stores where we shop, on the ballfields, courts, and rinks where we play, there are people who “have no hope” and are “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). And such were we before we met the Lord.
The world, our sin nature, and the devil do their best to entice unbelievers with one passing pleasure after another, always distracting them from their lost and wandering condition. If you were saved recently, you might remember what that lost feeling was like – continually looking forward to the next thing, never being fulfilled by what you’re doing now, always feeling empty and like there must be more to life. Then you found Christ, or rather He found you, and you were no longer alone in this world! Today’s text pushes us to remember that trying to live our lives without Christ at the center is truly a meaningless and lonely existence. The passage also touches our hearts with compassion for those around us who are still spiritual aliens and strangers. May we pray for opportunities to help the wanderers in our paths to find the saving relationship with Christ that we so often take for granted.
The Text (Ephesians 2:11-13)
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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Questions to Think About
- When you think about your life before accepting Christ, did you ever feel lost and alone? Did you ever feel like your life was without purpose and meaning? Explain.
- Have you ever had a non-Christian friend, relative, or teammate talk about feeling lost or alone in this world? How could you use today’s passage as a way to share Christ with some of the unbelievers in your life?
- Have you thanked God recently for rescuing you from a life of wandering without purpose? How are you seeking for His will and purposes to be done in your life right now?
- The references to “the Uncircumcision” and “the Circumcision” in verse 11 point forward to verses 14-22, where Paul will explain how Jesus Christ brings both Gentiles and Jews together in one new body called the church. Most of Paul’s audience seem to have been Gentiles, but he does not want them to feel like that makes them lesser Christians than the Messianic Jews. They are not inferior because outward religious rites like circumcision do not save people; it is the inner circumcision or changing of the heart that matters to God.
- We should not overlook the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, a favorite topic of the New Testament authors. Remember in Ephesians 1:7 (a GREAT memory verse!), that in Christ we have both “redemption” and “the forgiveness of sins.” Now, in Ephesians 2:13, we see that Jesus’ blood is what brings sinful people like us from being “far off” to becoming “near” to God. His blood allows Christians to approach a holy God without the fear of being condemned, so that we can now “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Let the blood of Christ encourage us all throughout our day and especially whenever we come before the Lord in prayer.