"ministering to men and women of a single heart"
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Raleigh Christian Community Church, 7000 Destiny Drive, Raleigh, NC
Pastor David W. Brown, B.A., Th.B.
Current Bible Study
'All In The
Taught by Bonnie Tarleton, Dwayne Ladner and Pastor David W. Brown, B.A., Th.B.


I        In these verses the apostle proceeds in his account of the miserable condition
of these Ephesians by nature. Wherefore remember, etc., v. 11. As if he had said,
"You should remember what you have been, and compare it with what you now are,
with thankfulness to God.’’
1.        We ought frequently to reflect upon the sinfulness and misery of the state we
were in by nature. Gentiles in the flesh, that is, living in the corruption of their
natures, and being destitute of circumcision, the covenant of grace.
2.        Who are called uncircumcision by that, etc., that is, "You were reproached and
upbraided for it by the formal Jews, who made an external profession, and who
looked no further than the outward ordinance.’’ Note, Hypocritical professors are
wont to value themselves chiefly on their external privileges, and to reproach and
despise others who are destitute of them.

II        The apostle describes the misery of their case in several particulars, v. 12. "At
that time, while you were         Gentiles, and in an unconverted state, you were,’’
1.        "In a Christless condition, without the knowledge of Christ, and without any
saving interest in him or relation to him.’’ It is a sad and deplorable thing for a soul to
be without a Christ.
2.        Without Christ, they did not belong to His family, and had no relationship with
Him.  It is no small privilege to be placed in the church of Christ – the family of God –
and to share the advantages peculiar to it. They were strangers from the covenants
of promise.
3.        They had no hope, that is, beyond this life—no well-grounded hope in God, no
hope of spiritual and eternal blessings. Those who are without Christ, and strangers
from the covenant, can have no good hope; for Christ and the covenant are the
ground and foundation of all the Christian’s hopes.
4.        They were in a state of distance and estrangement from God: living without any
due regard to him, any acknowledged dependence on him, and any special interest
in him. The words are, atheists in the world; for, though they worshipped many gods,
yet they were without the true God.

III        The apostle proceeds (v. 13) further to illustrate the happy change that was
made in their state: But now,         in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off,
etc. They were far off from Christ, from his church, from         the promises, from the
Christian hope, and from God himself;
1.        And therefore from all good, like the prodigal son in the far country: this had
been represented in the preceding verses. "But now in Christ Jesus, etc., upon your
conversion, by virtue of union with Christ, and interest in him by faith, you are made
2.        They were brought home to God, received into His family, taken into the
covenant, and granted all other privileges associated with that position in Christ.  

IV        We have now come to the last part of the chapter, which contains an account
of the great and mighty         privileges that converted Jews and Gentiles both
receive from Christ as privileges of family membership.  
1.        The apostle here shows that         those who were in a state of enmity are
reconciled. Between the Jews and the Gentiles there had been a great enmity; so
there is between God and every unregenerate man. Now Jesus Christ is our peace,
v. 14. He made peace by the sacrifice of himself; and came to reconcile,
2.        Jews and Gentiles to each other. He made both one, by reconciling these two
divisions of men, who were wont to malign, to hate, and to reproach each other
3.        He broke down the middle wall of partition, the ceremonial law, that made the
great feud, and was the badge of the Jews’ peculiarity, called the partition-wall by
way of allusion to the partition in the temple, which separated the court of the
Gentiles from that into which the Jews only had liberty to enter. Thus he abolished in
his flesh the enmity, v. 15.
4.        By his sufferings in the flesh, to took away the binding power of the
ceremonial law (so removing that cause of enmity and distance between them),
which is here called the law of commandments contained in ordinances, because it
enjoined a multitude of external rites and ceremonies.
5.        By taking these out of the way, he formed one church of believers – one family,
whether they had been Jews or Gentiles. Thus he made in himself of twain one new
6.        He framed both these parties into one new society, or body of God’s people,
uniting them to himself as their common head, so making peace between these two

V        There is an enmity between God and sinners, whether Jews and Gentiles; and
Christ came to slay that         enmity, and to reconcile them both to God, v. 16. Sin
breeds a quarrel between God and men. Christ came         to take up the quarrel, and
to bring it to an end, by reconciling both Jew and Gentile, now collected and         
gathered into one body, to a provoked and an offended God:
1.        And this by the cross, or by the sacrifice of himself upon the cross, having
slain the enmity thereby. He, being slain or sacrificed, slew the enmity that there was
between God and poor sinners.
2.        The apostle proceeds to illustrate the great advantages which both parties
gain by the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ, v. 17.
3.        Christ, who purchased peace on the cross, came, partly in his own person, as
to the Jews, who are here said to have been nigh, and partly in his apostles, whom
he commissioned to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, who are said to have been
afar off, in the sense that has been given before.
4.        And preached peace, or published the terms of reconciliation with God and of
eternal life. Note here, When the messengers of Christ deliver his truths, it is in
effect the same as if he did it immediately himself.
5.        Now the effect of His peace is the free access which both Jews and Gentiles
have unto God (v. 18): For through him, in his name and by virtue of his mediation,
we both have access or admission into the family of God, who has become the
common reconciled Father of both.
6.        The Ephesians, upon their conversion, having such an access to God, as well
as the Jews, and by the same Spirit, the apostle tells them, Now therefore you are no
more strangers and foreigners, v. 19.
7.        This he mentions by way of opposition to what he had observed of them in
their heathenism: they were now no longer aliens from the family of God, but fellow-
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, that is, members of the family
of God, and having a right to all the privileges of it.

V        Observe here, The church is compared to a city, and every converted sinner is
free of it. It is also         compared to a house, and every converted sinner is one of
the domestics, one of the family, a servant         and a child in God’s house.
1.        In v. 20 the church is compared to a building. The apostles and prophets are
the foundation of that building. They may be so called in a secondary sense, Christ
himself being the primary foundation;
2.        But we are rather to understand it of the doctrine delivered by the prophets of
the Old Testament and the apostles of the New. It follows, Jesus Christ himself being
the chief corner-stone.
3.        In him both Jews and Gentiles meet, and constitute one church – one family;
and Christ supports the building by his strength: In whom all the building, fitly framed
together, etc., v. 21.
4.        Thus the building, for the nature of it, is a temple, a holy temple; for the church
is the place which God hath chosen to put his name there, and it becomes such a
temple by grace and strength derived from himself—in the Lord. United in Christ as
the corner-stone, comes at length to be glorified in him as the top-stone: In whom
you also are built together, etc., v. 22.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2011



A)        We belong to something bigger than ourselves.

-As a single person it’s easy to do my own thing, make my own decisions, and go
where I want when I want. But when you are part of a family (a spouse and children or
parents) you cannot do what you want but what is in the best interest of your spouse
and children. You have responsibilities. Your decisions affect other people around
you. You are not an island. In the same way you are a part of the family of God and
your decisions have an effect on the body of Christ. You need the other parts of the

Eph 4:1-3, 1 Cor. 12:14-26, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Mt 25:18

Discussion: What part do you have in the body of Christ? What more could you be

B)        A family protects its members.

My parents would never expose my weaknesses are faults to the world. They would
protect my reputation. (Don’t put your laundry out for everyone to see)
In the same way we should stop gossiping about our brothers and sisters in Christ.

1Pet 4:8, James 5:20, 1 Cor. 6:1-6, Gal 6:1

Would you go tell someone your family member is sinning? Why not, because it would
bring shame and embarrassment to you? So in the same way we should not bring
reproach upon the body of Christ. So then, why do we go around exposing the sins
of our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Discussion: Where do you fall short in protecting the reputation of your brothers and
sisters in Christ? What changes do you need to make?

C)        A Family is loyal to one another.
Family members depend on one another not strangers.
Ex: borrow money, car trouble; help paying bills, family will keep their word quicker
than a stranger. Family looks out for one another. You can only count on friends and
acquaintances up to a certain point. Family however, will go the extra mile. (Blood is
thicker than water)

Gal. 6:10, James 2:14-17, 1 Tim 5:8

Discussion: What more could you be doing to help your family members and those in
the body of Christ?

D)        We are accountable to family.
We are more accountable to our family than we are to most friends and strangers. We
can or cannot get away with things with our family quicker than we can with someone
who is not a family member. Ex: bad habits, anger, temper tantrums, who you marry,
your career etc. These things directly affect your family.

2 Cor 6:14, 1 Cor 6:19,20, James 5:16

Discussion: What secret sins are you hiding? No one can judge you for we all
struggle with temptation, and fall short of God’s glory in our lives.

If you say you love your brothers and sisters in Christ-

1)        Do you pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ (prayer can be the most
selfless thing you can do for others). It’s Spiritual warfare. It takes effort and time.

Rom 15:30
Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in
my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to
you by the Holy Spirit.

2) Do you put others before yourself?

Phil 2:3, 4
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any  comfort    from
his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then
make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit
and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your
own interests, but also to the interests of others.

3) Do you tolerate brothers and sisters in Christ and accept them in spite of their
imperfections? Do you shun them? Do you return people’s phone calls? It’s the little
things that God will hold us accountable for. No favoritism.

James 2:1-7
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.
2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a
poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man
wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man,
“You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among
yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not
God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to
inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6But you have insulted the
poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are
dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name
of him to whom you belong?

4) No bitterness or unforgiveness. This is one of the hardest temptations’ that a
Christian will face.

Heb 12:14, 15
Pursue peace with all men, and the (holiness) sanctification without which no one will
see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of
bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

Heb 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you
may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness
Ex: Difficult circumstances come in waves throughout life.

1 Jn 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does
not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Eph 4:25-32

5) Saying “I love you Brother or Sister with the love of the Lord is such a cliché. It
means nothing, if you cannot walk in love. People are dying every day and going to
Hell. The Souls of men should be our number one priority (Jude 1:23)
Eph 4:1-3, Rom 12:10, Jn 13:35, Col. 3:12-17, James 2:14-26

One ex of Love: Hospitality
1 Pet 4:9, Heb 13:2, Rom 12:13, Lk 14:12-14        

Love will always cost you something-your time and your money.