2:1 And 1 you [hath he quickened], who were a dead in 2 trespasses and sins;
(1) He declares again the greatness of God's
good will by comparing that miserable state in which we are born, with that
dignity unto which we are advanced by God the Father in Christ. So he
describes that condition in such a way that he says, that with regard to
spiritual motions we are not only born half dead, but wholly and altogether
(a) See (Romans
6:2). So then he calls those dead who are not regenerated: for as the
immortality of those who are damned is not life, so this knitting together of
body and soul is properly not life, but death in those who are not ruled by
the Spirit of God. (2) He shows the cause of
death, that is, sins.
Wherein in time past ye walked 4
according to the course of this world, b
according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now 5
worketh in the c children of
(3) He proves by the effects that all were
spiritually dead. (4) He proves this evil to be
universal, insomuch that all are slaves of Satan.
(b) At the pleasure of the prince. (5)
Men are therefore slaves to Satan, because they are willingly rebellious
(c) They are called the children of disobedience,
who are given to disobedience.
2:3 6 Among
whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our d
flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and 7
were by nature the e children of wrath,
even as f others.
(6) After he has separately condemned the
Gentiles, he confesses that the Jews (among whom he numbers himself) are not
the least bit better.
(d) By the name of flesh in the first place, he
means the whole man, which he divides into two parts: into the flesh, which is
the part that the philosophers consider to be without reason, and into the
thought, which they call reasonable. And so he leaves nothing in man half
dead, but concludes that the whole man is by nature the son of wrath. (7)
The conclusion: all men are born subject to the wrath and curse of God.
(e) Men are said to be the children of wrath
passively, that is to say, guilty of everlasting death by the judgment of God,
who is angry with them.
(f) Profane people who did not know God.
2:4 8 But
God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
(8) Now from this follows another member of the
comparison declaring our excellency, that is, that by the power of Christ we
are delivered from that death, and made partakers of eternal life, to the end
that at length we may reign with him. And by various and different means he
emphasises this, that the efficient cause of this benefit is the free mercy of
God: and Christ himself is the material cause: and faith is the instrument,
which also is the free gift of God: and the end is God's glory.
2:6 And hath raised [us] up g
together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
(g) That is, as he adds afterwards, in Christ,
for as yet this is not fulfilled in us, but only in our head by whose Spirit
we have begun to die to sin, and live to God, until that work is fully brought
to an end. And yet the hope is certain, for we are as sure of that which we
look for, as we are of that which we have already received.
2:8 For by h
grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift
(h) So then, grace, that is to say, the gift of
God, and faith, stand with one another, to which two it is contrary to be
saved by ourselves, or by our works. Therefore, what do those mean who would
join together things of such contrary natures?
2:9 9 Not of
works, lest any man should boast.
(9) He specifically and completely takes away
from our works the praise of justification, seeing that the good works
themselves are the effects of grace in us.
2:10 For we are i
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them.
(i) He speaks here of grace, and not of nature:
therefore if the works are ever so good, see what they are, and know that they
are that way because of grace.
Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are k
called Uncircumcision by that which is l
called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
(10) Applying the former doctrine to the
Gentiles, he shows that they were not only as the Jews by nature, but also
after a special manner, strangers and without God. Therefore they ought so
much the more remember that same so great a benefit of God.
(k) You were called in no other state than as
Gentiles, so that all the world might witness your uncleanness.
(l) Of the Jews who were known by you by the mark
of circumcision, the mark of the covenant.
2:12 That at that time ye were m
without Christ, being n aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no
hope, and without God in the world:
(m) He begins first with Christ, who was the end
of all the promises.
(n) You had no right or title to the commonwealth
2:13 11 But
now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of
(11) Christ is the only bond of the Jews and
Gentiles, by whom they are reconciled to God.
2:14 12 For
he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of
partition [between us];
(12) As by the ceremonies and worship appointed
by the Law, the Jews were divided from the Gentiles, so now Christ, having
broken down the partition wall, joins them both together, both in himself, and
between themselves, and to God. From which it follows, that whoever
permanently establishes the ceremonies of the Law, makes the grace of Christ
void and of no effect.
2:16 And that he might
reconcile both unto God in o one body by
the cross, having p slain the enmity
(o) He alludes to the sacrifices of the Law,
which represented that true and only sacrifice.
(p) For he destroyed death by death, and fastened
it as it were to the cross.
2:17 13 And
came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
(13) The preaching of the Gospel is an effectual
instrument of this grace, common to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles.
2:18 For q
through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
(q) Christ is the gate as it were, by whom we
come to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is as it were, our guiding man who
2:19 14 Now
therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the
saints, and of the household of God;
(14) The conclusion: the Gentiles are taken into
the fellowship of salvation, and he describes the excellency of the Church,
calling it the city and house of God.
2:20 15 And
are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself
being the r chief corner [stone];
(15) The Lord committed the doctrine of
salvation, first to the prophets, and then to the apostles, the end of which,
and matter as it were and substance, is Christ. Therefore that is indeed the
true and universal Church which is built upon Christ by the prophets and
apostles, as a spiritual temple consecrated to God.
(r) That is the corner stone of the building, for
the foundations are as it were corner stone of the building.
2:21 In whom all the building s
fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
(s) So that God is the workman not only of the
foundation, but also of the whole building.