432: Ephesians 2:10-19 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 36


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 36

EPHESIANS 2:10-19 – PART 2

Now as we begin the last lesson in Book 36 let me just say what a joy it is to be able to share the Word of God with each of you. When I was first approached about teaching on television, the first thing that struck my mind was a program on public television that I used to watch many years ago. This Algebra teacher had a program with a classroom setting, with students, tables, and a black board, much the same way we have here. I used to just love that program, and I thought when I was approached about a Bible study, well if it works for Algebra, maybe it will work teaching the Word of God.

So that was the approach I took when I came up here to channel 47 in Tulsa to begin this ministry. They were agreeable with that approach, and it has all just sort of evolved from there. It doesn’t seem possible, but that was 8 years ago when we started in the Book of Genesis. So we just give the Lord the praise and glory that He has blessed us so richly. Now back to Ephesians chapter 2, and we’ve just left off with verse 16. The Lord has made this new Body of Christ the Church comprised of Jew and Gentile.

Ephesians 2:16a

“And that he might reconcile both unto God,…”

Now I suppose the average Church or Bible people probably wonder, “well what’s the enmity that Paul is talking about when he says “that He might reconcile both unto God?” Well you have to realize that from day one, as soon as God separated the Jew from the Gentile there was enmity between the races. Now let me take you all the way back to the Book of Exodus, chapter 11. And here the nation of Israel is getting ready to move out of Egypt, out of their slavery, and here again this is really the beginning of miracles so far as Israel was concerned. Just look at what it says.

Exodus 11:7

“But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: (anything that belongs to the nation of Israel) that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

You see a lot of people don’t understand this difference. Did that difference ever stop? No! It carried all the way through. Now come on up to chapter 19, and now the children of Israel are gathered around Mount Sinai. Moses is up on the mount and is conversing with God, and he’s going to be coming down with Ten Commandments before long. But look at the conversation between God and Moses. Let’s begin with verse 3.

Exodus 19:3-4

“And Moses went up (that is up into Mount Sinai) unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

Now right there anybody who knows anything at all about the Old Testament, what happened to the Egyptians at the Red sea? They were drowned. What happened to Israel? They came through unscathed on the other side. What did God do? He put a difference between them. I mean He separated them but good.

Exodus 19:5

“Now therefore, (because God has already shown how He can put a difference between Israel and the rest of the world) if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye(as a nation) shall be a peculiar treasure (something of tremendous value) unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”

Now, where does that put Israel? Just like it says. “above all people.” What was that? Separating them. And of course Israel was very human, and when they begin to realize that they were in an exalted position above all the other people of the earth, then they became bigoted. They got to the place that they just despised those uncircumcised Gentiles. Now I’m not saying that God expected them to, but they did it because they were human. You know people still do that today. As soon as someone can get the upper hand over somebody, what do they usually do? They show how despicable they are. So the Jew came to that place where all through their history they are understanding that they were exalted in God’s eyes, and these uncircumcised Gentiles meant nothing to them. So all of this had an effect on their whole outlook toward the non-Jewish world. Now reading on, and remember the whole idea of the Abrahamic Covenant, and being enlarged upon to Moses was what?

Exodus 19:6a

“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation,…”

Now when we were teaching this back years ago when we were in Exodus, I always asked the question, “What even today is the role of a priest?” Well he’s a go between. In the future every Jew was someday to be a go between for Gentiles and Israel’s God. Now that was the whole idea, but Israel lost sight of that, and so Israel almost begin to look within themselves, and had no time for the Gentile world. All right but now come back to verse 6.

Exodus 19:6a

“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation….”

Now the word holy does not mean sinless, does not mean like God is Holy, but rather it means “Set apart.” And that’s what the nation of Israel understood. They were a set apart nation of people, and this is what God told Moses to say to the people. They were to be a set apart people, but on the other hand stop with me in the Book of Isaiah as we go back to Ephesians and I’ll show you what I’m talking about. These are some verses we haven’t looked at in a long time. But in chapter 42 we’ll see this is what the Jews lost sight of.

As you know I get the Jerusalem Post, and I clipped an article a year or so back written by a Rabbi where he was speaking of the coming of their Messiah. The Messiah would be a God King who would not only just bring goodness and prosperity and peace to Israel, but to the whole world. The Rabbi had the right idea, because that is the purpose of Christ’s return. He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yes, first and foremost over the nation of Israel, but to the whole world, not just Israel. Now here’s where prophecy alluded to that here in Isaiah.

Isaiah 42:1

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (upon the servant) he (the servant) shall bring forth judgment (or rule, government) to the Gentiles.”

Well who’s the servant? The Messiah, the Christ! But you see Israel lost sight of that. But nevertheless in the divine purposes, God was going to use Israel as a nation of priests to bring all these Gentile nations to a knowledge of Himself, so that He wouldn’t be just the King of Israel, but that He could rule and reign over the whole world. Now the next verses I like to use to go along with this are over in chapter 59 of this same Book. Now this is prophecy. This is all going to be out in the future from Isaiah’s time, and it’s still in the future from our time, but we feel we’re getting awfully close. I just don’t see an awful lot of time left.

Isaiah 59:20-21a

“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, (Jerusalem) and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD;…” Then the Lord repeats the new covenant that Jeremiah 31:31 expresses, but now to complete the thought about Israel being a light to the Gentiles let’s drop on down to Isaiah 60:1

Isaiah 60:1-2

“Arise shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (Now here we’ve got to watch our pronouns. Who is the thy to whom the LORD’s glory is coming? Well the nation of Israel. And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you, Israel, the nation.) 2. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, (a spiritual darkness) and gross darkness the people: (Israel. And did it? Sure it did.) but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Remember this is all future, but again, we’re getting close.

Isaiah 60:3

“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,…”

And who was Israel’s light? The Messiah, The Christ! Now this of course is still future when Christ sets up His Kingdom. For you and I living in this day of Grace have entered into this simply because of the Gospel, and not because of the covenant promises made to Israel. Now coming back to the Book of Ephesians, verse 16 again.

Ephesians 2:16-17a

“And that he might reconcile both (Jew & Gentile) unto God in one body (the Church) by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17. And came and preached peace to you which were far off,…”

Who was far off? Gentiles. Do you see that? It was those people who were out there without a Messiah. They, our forefathers didn’t have the Word of God, they didn’t have a knowledge of the one true God. They knew gods, but they didn’t know the God of Israel. But now as we saw in an earlier verse because of the finished work of the cross, God can do all of this on behalf of the whole Gentile world. Always remember when God sent the Gospel, as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4, to the Gentiles predominantly through the apostle Paul, where did that put every Gentiles with relationship to God? He had access to God just like Israel did in the past.

Remember from Abraham all the way up to Paul’s conversion, a period of 2000 years, it was only Israel who had access to God with just a few Gentile exceptions. Then Israel dropped the ball, and God turned to the Gentiles through the apostle Paul. And now for the past 2000 years on this side of the cross it’s been Gentiles that have access with God with a few Jewish exceptions.

Do you see how God always evens things out? Do you remember in Romans chapter 11, you have the analogy of the rootness and fatness of the olive tree which was setting on the promises and covenant made with Abraham? But Paul tells us, “because of Israel’s unbelief, God broke off their branches, and put the Gentiles in their place.” When I was teaching that I told you that for 2000 years the nation of Israel was literally living in that place of privileges, on the promises God made to Abraham. I mean every Jew had access to God. But did that make every Jew a believer? Oh heavens no! Now I suppose the Jewish people would argue with me on that point, but nevertheless only a small few were true believers.

All right now come on this side of the cross. The Jew has been broken off of that root & fatness of Abraham, and who’s been grafted in? The Gentile world. Don’t just look at Romans chapter 11 as for believers. I feel it’s the whole Gentile world that has been put in that place of privilege. And my what a privilege. They can have a knowledge of salvation if they want it. But does that make every Gentile a believer? Of course not. It’s still has to be a choice by faith. Do you see that?

One of the beauties is now that the Body of Christ is being formed even though they’re resting on the root and fatness of Abraham, it’s now a combination of Jewish and Gentile believers. Oh the Jew must come the same way as the Gentiles now and that’s faith in the finish work of the cross for salvation. But now, in this age of Grace there is Jew and Gentile coming together into the Body of Christ and there is no enmity.

Iris and I know a Jewish couple who are believers that live in St. Paul, MN. When we have a seminar up there we usually spend that Friday night in their home. My, when we’re with them we have such sweet fellowship. They believe like we do, and we’re one in the Body of Christ. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with her the first time we went up there for a seminar. She came up to me and said, “Now Les, I’m a Jewish believer, does that mean I won’t go in the Rapture when you go because I’m Jewish? I said “Heavens no! I mean if you’re in the Body of Christ then we’ll all go together whether you’re Jew or Gentile.” There is that immediate affinity between Jew and Gentiles when we’re in the Body of Christ, it’s just that simple. Now coming back to the text here in Ephesians, and this is what Paul is hammering home. Once we enter into this salvation experience, we enter in under the blood of Christ. We enter in into that resurrection power, we can be united with all races of people from every country in the world, it doesn’t matter because we’re one in Christ.Now verse 17.

Ephesians 2:17a

“And came and preached peace to you which were afar off,…”

Who was far off? The Gentiles. Oh they were so far off they couldn’t even comprehend God. But all of a sudden they’re brought to a place where they have access and an opportunity at salvation. Now they have the same opportunity as the Jew had at salvation in the Old Testament economy. So let’s read the verse again.

Ephesians 2:17

“And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, (that’s Gentiles) and to them that were nigh.” (the Jews)

You see He doesn’t ignore the Jew during this age of Grace. The only thing the Jew now must come to salvation the same as the Gentile, and that’s by believing Paul’s Gospel. Now verse 18.

Ephesians 2:18

“For through him we both have access by one (Holy) Spirit unto the Father.”

Now I’ve got to go back to one of my favorite verses, and you’ll find that in Acts chapter 16. Almost every morning I ask the Lord, “Give me hundreds if not thousands of Lydia’s today.” Now I think it’s possible for him to do that. And here’s what I’m talking about in verse 14. Remember Paul had been up there in Northern Greece in Troas, Samothracia & Neapolis, and he’s establishing little Gentile congregations. Now he has come down to Philippi, and evidently there wasn’t a synagogue there, because he comes up on a few Jewish women meeting at a river side. They evidently are having their devotion. Anyway Paul had the opportunity to address them, and look what he says in verse 14.

Acts 16:14a

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (so that makes me think they were Jewish) heard us:…”

Now I have to think every time that the apostle Paul had an opportunity, he stopped and put forth the Gospel. It didn’t matter whether it was group like these that he was sharing with, or pagan Gentiles coming out of their temple, Paul was at them with this Gospel of Grace. So in the first part of verse 14 the Scriptures tells us that these women heard us. But oh now is the part that I love to teach, I revel in, and I pray for.

Acts 16:14b

“…whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

Now we want to remember that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead just as well as God the Son, and God the Father. So I have to feel that the Lord in this case is the Holy Spirit that opened the heart. So the Holy Spirit opened the heart, and understanding of this Jewish lady of Thyatira. And as soon as that happened she believed the message that Paul was proclaiming.

You know it’s no different today. You can have the greatest evangelist just preach his heart out, is he going to get any fruit without the Spirit? No way! I can teach until I’m blue in the face, but won’t get any response until the Holy Spirit opens understandings. Now back to Ephesians chapter 2. Let’s look at verse 18 again.

Ephesians 2:18-19

“For through him (what Christ has done on our behalf) we both (Jew and Gentiles) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”

Now just look at that verse we just read for a moment, and compare it again with verse 12. Because you have to compare Scripture with Scripture. Read verse 12 again if you will.

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

Now look at verse 19 where we just left off. and oh what a difference. You can see we’re not like our forefathers up there in verse 12 any more Now we have a chance.

Ephesians 2:19

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”

Now what a position, and we don’t work for it. We don’t strive, we don’t brow beat ourselves, we don’t grovel in the dirt, we don’t somehow cause physical misery. My we just step in by faith, and God does it all! Always try to remember that it’s not what you and I do, but rather it’s the fact that “GOD DOES IT ALL.”

431: Ephesians 2:10-19

431: Ephesians 2:10-19 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 36


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 36

EPHESIANS 2:10-19

Now, let’s look again at Ephesians chapter 2. We looked at verse 12 quite in depth in the last lesson, that the lot of the Gentiles before the age of Grace, was they were without God in this world. They could not be partakers of the covenant promises of Israel, but now it’s a whole new ballgame. God has now fulfilled the last part of the Abrahamic Covenant through Abraham, through the nation of Israel, through the Messiah, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, by now the letters of Paul in particular. The Gospel has gone out to the whole world, and it’s free for nothing. Every thing that needs to be done has already been done. So that’s what the next verse talks about then when it says were without God in this world.

Ephesians 2:13

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

In our closing remarks in our last lesson I took you back to the night of the Passover in Exodus. The nation of Israel was instructed to apply the blood of the Passover lamb on the two side posts and the lentil of the door, and I think my closing statement was, as those Jews stood in their little huts around their kitchen tables, did they shake in their boots with fear? No. Because they knew they were safe with the blood on the door. But, what was the heart attitude behind the door with the blood applied that God based Him saving them? Their faith! See it’s always been by faith. Hebrews chapter 11, beginning with Abel – let’s see what it says.

Hebrews 11:4a

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,..”

All the way up through history it’s always been by faith. But you just can’t say, “Oh I have faith.” That doesn’t amount to anything. But where is your faith placed? Now for that answer come back to Romans chapter 3. And remembering what Paul said here, in Ephesians 2:13b “That we’ve been made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Also remember in our last lesson I used one of the absolutes in Scriptures, and what was it?

Hebrews 9:22b

“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Denominations can throw the blood out of their doctrine, and they’ve got nothing. They can take the blood out of their hymn books and again they have nothing to sing about. Because it is still an absolute that without the shed blood of Christ, there is no remission. Now let’s turn to Romans chapter 3, and start at verse 23.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Everybody is in that boat, Jew and Gentile, black and white, Oriental or western, it makes no difference. The whole human race has fallen short of the glory of God. Now verse 24.

Romans 3:24-25a

“Being justified freely (without any demands) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (our everything)through faith in his blood,…”

Now His blood couldn’t be shed until He died for the sins of the world. His shed blood and His death are synonymous, they mean the same thing. So we have to place our faith in the fact that the blood of Christ literally became our Passover. We are now free from the fear of death and eternal doom, because now we’re under the blood. But it isn’t just the blood by itself, it’s coupled with our faith in it. And that’s why we have to know what the Bible says in order to have faith. “What has God said? God has said in so many words “When I see the blood I’ll past over!” And death can’t touch us, and it hasn’t changed. The whole Old Testament format just comes marching along and comes to fruition then when we get to Paul’s Gospel based on His death, burial, and His resurrection.

Romans 3:25b

“…through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”

All the way up through the New Testament Scriptures we have that constant reference to the blood. Now I’m going to take you all the way over to even Peter’s little epistle.

I Peter 1:18-19

“Forasmuch as ye know (it’s not “I hope so”, it’s not “I think so”, but rather it’s a “I know so”.) that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conservation (or manner of living) received by tradition from your fathers; (and my how many people are soaked with tradition today, and I guarantee you it’s going to fail them) 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

What was the whole process leading up to the killing of the Passover lamb? They had to take it out of the flock, and isolate it for three days. And in that three day period they were to look at the lamb real good to see if there was any kind of a flaw or blemish. And if the lamb wasn’t perfect they couldn’t use it for the sacrifice. Well the analogy again is, How long was Christ on public view? Three years. And there was no sin found in Him, so what could He fulfill? The Passover lamb. And as His blood was shed and applied to the door of our hearts the death angel passes over us. We don’t have to shake in our boots when death faces us. We don’t have to wonder, “Am I going to make it?”

My goodness I’ve heard some of the most horrible stories about that. One gentlemen told me that his father-in-law was an evangelist for a particular denomination for twenty-five years, and yet as he faced his own death, he paced the floor worrying out loud, “Am I going to go to heaven when I die?” Now isn’t that sad? Oh that’s so sad, and then I have to think about the people that he preached to. They must have been left with that same dilemma. But oh listen, that’s not what the Scripture teaches. The Scripture says, “that we know” John writes in his little epistle, “we know we have passed from death unto life, when we love the brethren.” There’s that change in attitude. Now let’s come back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:13

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

The blood of Christ makes all the difference in the world, and it’s our faith in that shed blood, as well as we saw in our last lesson, The power of His Resurrection, which brings about new life, and from that new life God is looking for fruit. Now verse 14.

Ephesians 2:14a

“For he (Christ) is our peace,…” Oh you see the world is so hungry for peace tonight, personally, as well as between nations. That’s the whole scope of all the politicians, the United Nations, the efforts in the middle East is peace. Hey on the world front there will be no peace in this world until the Prince of Peace Himself returns.

But to bring it down to the individual’s quest for peace, the same thing applies. There can be no peace until we have peace with God, and that can only come by believing the Gospel found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. After all that is where the controversy lies, Man has been alienated by his sin, and this whole Book has been written to bring us back into favor with God, to be reconciled to God. When we’re talking about peace, you have to go back to Romans. Romans is the foundation of our Christian doctrine, and that’s why I’m sure the Holy Spirit placed the Book of Romans exactly where it’s at.

While you’re turning to Romans let me also remind you again as we’re studying the prison epistles of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians you won’t find a single quote from the Old Testament, or a direct reference to the nation of Israel or the Jew. All that is now behind and we’re in whole new territory of basic doctrine concerning God and salvation. It’s not just Israel, it’s not just Gentiles, but rather the whole human race. As we believers are united in Christ and become members of the Body of Christ, as a result of that finished work of the cross. Now that was all free for nothing. So let’s turn to chapter 5 verse 1 of the Book of Romans and look at “peace” the reason we’ve come to Romans.

Romans 5:1

“Therefore (because of what he had written in the previous chapter) being justified by faith, (that’s all Paul knows. Faith + Nothing, and as soon as we’re justified by faith) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

That’s what the world is looking for. “Peace with God.” When you have peace with God then you have peace with everyone else. Now verse 2.

Romans 5:2

“By whom (the Lord Jesus and His finished work of the cross) also we have access by faith (taking God at His word) into this grace (or this condition of unmerited favor) wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Now that’s our future. Now coming back to Ephesians once again. We’re making a little headway this afternoon. So here in verse 14,

Ephesians 2:14

“For he is our peace, (by faith having entered into that relationship of being redeemed, and justified, and declared righteous, and all those things that accompanied our faith) who hath made both one, (now who are the both? Jew and Gentile do you see that?) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;”

The Jews and Gentiles, during this Church Age have lost their separateness, they have lost their individual identify as Jews or Gentiles. Paul never again refers to that, but here they have come together and Jews and Gentiles are now one. In fact let’s turn to I Corinthians chapter 12 for a moment. It says almost the same thing, only a little more basic language, and that’s why, again, all these early letters were ahead of Ephesians because Ephesians is simply building on these original foundations of Romans, Corinthians and Galatians. Now starting with verse 12.

I Corinthians 12:12

“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (or the Body of Christ, The One True Church.)

Now verse 13, and I always make the emphasis here. This is the only Holy Spirit baptism that we as believers enjoy today. In fact Paul says in Ephesians 4:4-5 that there is only one baptism. This is the only one and here it is.

I Corinthians 12:13

“For by one Spirit are we all (not just some of the elite, but all are) baptized into one body, (the Body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all (whether he’s at the bottom or the top of the social totem pole, we’ve all been) made to drink into one Spirit.”

So each of us who are the Body of Christ have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into that Body. There is no water involved in this process, but placed only by the Holy Spirit into the Body. We’ve been placed into a unique position that God reserved for us from eternity past. Knowing that we’d be saved, He had this place ready for us. That’s why when we get a little further in Ephesians we’re going to see that we are a building that has been fitted, and fitly put together. Now coming back to Ephesians, looking at verse 14 again.

Ephesians 2:14b

“…and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Jews and Gentiles)

Now we know that in the temple in Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70 AD there was a dividing wall that would keep the Gentile proselyte from worshipping in the same area as the Jews. I always say a proselyte is best described in the word of the Lord Jesus Himself when He told the Jews this is Matthew 23 and verse 15.

Matthew 23:15

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” But nevertheless they embraced the religion of Judaism, but they were separated from having any contact with the Jew by that dividing wall. Now look what Paul says happened to that wall. “That dividing wall has been totally dismantled. It’s destroyed, it’s broken down – now verse 15.

Ephesians 2:15a

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity,…”

Now we know Romans chapter 8 speaks of enmity with God, but I don’t think Paul is speaking of that here. I think here he’s talking about enmity between Jew and Gentile. I think it was a couple of programs ago, but I’m not sure everyone caught what I was talking about, when Paul was addressing the Jews in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 22, and rehearsing his conversion experience.

Acts 22:21-22

“And he (the Lord Jesus) said unto me, Depart for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles, 2. And they gave him audience until this word, (Gentiles) and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.”

I mean these Jews wouldn’t even say the word Gentile. But now when a Jew becomes a believer he is as much in fellowship with a Gentile as a Gentile with a Gentile, or a Jew with a Jew. It’s all been broken down, because you see it’s because of the work of the cross. Now looking at verse 15 again.

Ephesians 2:15

“Having abolished in his flesh (the death of the cross) the enmity, (that was between Jews and Gentiles) even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”

Paul speaks of the new man often as a believer. When we become a believer we are a new person in Christ. But that’s not what he’s talking about here. Here Paul is talking about the new person, the Body of Christ, a whole new concept made of Jews and Gentiles. So that He could make by virtue of the work of the cross, twain one new man, and consequently making peace. Alright turn to Colossians chapter 2. I like the way this says it. And remember the Colossians were what kind of people? Gentiles. So the language is the same as it was to the Ephesians as he writes to these Gentile believers.

Colossians 2:14

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, (what did He do with it?) and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross:”

Can you imagine what it would be like for a Gentile to live under the rules and regulations of Judaism? There was no way they could cope with that. Because you see that was one of the problems that Paul had with his new believers. They were used to the immoral activity of the pagan idolatrous community. They had no compunction about the dietary laws of Israel and so forth. And so for a Gentile to come under that, man that was something they couldn’t even think about. So what does Paul say? “All of that was nailed to His cross.” And like I said in the last lesson, “What did the cross do? It killed. So His cross killed all of these demands of the law. It was put to death, it was ended there.”

We always have to be careful saying that, because since we are now under Grace that doesn’t give us a license. Come back to Romans chapter 13 for a moment. Just because we step into the Grace of God does not mean that I’m free to do as I please, for after all God will wink at my sin. And after all I’m under the blood, and I’m forgiven. No. No. You see that kind of thinking goes contrary to the Word. And if I understand the Greek here, it doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow money to buy a home, or car, but rather it means to defraud no one. Don’t take advantage of someone and cheat him.

Romans 13:8-9

“Owe (or defraud) no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (that is the Ten Commandments! And Paul goes on to list them.) 9. For this, (since love is now the key) Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shall not kill, Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Who in the world can do that but a believer? The unsaved world can’t. They can try, but they will fall flat on their face before too long, but the believer is empowered to do that. We are empowered to love our neighbor. We have the capability now to love the neighbor because that is the fulfillment of the Ten Commandments.

Always remember the law as Israel practiced it was always under the terrific threat of punishment if they broke them. We don’t have to worry about death if we break the law for stealing. Does that mean we go ahead and steal? No way. We are still under these moral laws that the Holy Spirit empowers us to keep, but the basis for it is love. After all what put Christ on the cross? His love for the human race! He loved us so much that He died for us, and that love is supposed to be promulgated through you and I as believers in the everyday world. So as we enter into this complete freedom of Grace, that doesn’t mean that we can be lawless, but it’s that the Ten Commandments are not hanging over us like a noose or like a yoke, which the Scriptures says was too heavy to bear.

Once You Were Separated From God

430: Once You Were Separated From God – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 36


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 36

ONCE YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM GOD – PART 2

Now as we begin I just want to say that we’re just an informal Bible Study, we try not to preach at anybody. We don’t twist any arms to make you come over to our way, but rather we just want to show you in context what the Scriptures says. We just try to get people into the Word of God and let them see what the Book really says. Our favorite type of letter we receive, and that is 90% of them, people tell us, “For the first time in my life I am studying my Bible, and I’m enjoying it.” Now that’s the main reason we teach We do not adhere to anyone particular denominational line, and that way we can reach people regardless of where they’re coming from. I know there are a lot of differences out there, but I always maintain you don’t have to agree with me on everything, however I think when it comes to the plan of salvation, that plan is set in concrete, and you simply can’t fool with that.

I teach what Paul the apostle to the Gentiles teaches that for salvation – “You must believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, that He was buried, and rose again the third day.” He teaches that in several places, but the three I like to share with people is I Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:9-10, and I Thessalonians 4:14.

So now let’s just pick up where we left off in the last lesson, and that will be in Ephesians chapter 2. We’re going to take a couple of moments to review what we covered in the last lesson in verse 12, how that Paul points out of graphically that our Gentile forefathers, before Paul was sent to the Gentiles as we saw in our closing statement in the last program, were without hope, they were without God in this world, they were strangers to the covenant of promise. They were alien to the commonwealth of Israel. And so consequently God had no dealing with the Gentiles unless it was one of those exceptions we mentioned.

I think I should have even – I think I’ll do it now. Let’s take you back to Matthew chapter 10, because this is a verse that has shocked a lot of people, and when folks have heard me teach it on television, and then they take it into their Sunday School class, and normally the Sunday School class will come right back with, “Where in the world do you get this stuff?” When that happens all one has to say, “That’s what the Bible says!” It’s as plain as day, and the Lord Jesus Himself said it. Jesus of Nazareth has just begin His earthly ministry, and in the opening verses of chapter 10 He’s calling the Twelve to be His disciples. Then they’re named in verses 2, 3, and 4, but now look at verse 5. Now for most of you who have heard me teach over the years, this is all old hat, but you want to remember we’ve got a lot of new listeners everyday, and most of them have never seen this. But look what it says.

Matthew 10:5-6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Do you see how plain that is? It’s just as plain as daylight from dark. “Don’t you go to Gentiles, don’t you bother with the Samaritans, but rather you go only to the lost sheep of Israel. But you see Christ’s earthly ministry was confined to the nation of Israel. I always have to remind people, can you find one instance in Scripture when He took His ministry down into Egypt? No! Did He ever go up into Syria? Of course not. So where did He spend all of His 3 years? Right in that narrow neck of geography between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and no farther, and neither did the twelve.

They knew they couldn’t because the commandment was, “Go only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Why? Because of that covenant promise that we read in our last lesson in Genesis chapter 12. Remember only the nation of Israel was under that covenant promise, and He couldn’t abrogate that. He couldn’t break that covenant that He had made with the nation of Israel, so that is why He gave that command. Then the next one I use always so well in the same regard, is found in Matthew chapter 15. Here He’s confronted by a Gentile lady out of the coast of Tyre and Sidon , and let’s just drop down to verse 21.

Matthew 15:21-22

“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22. And, behold, a woman of Canaan (a Gentile, a non Jew) came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Oh what a perfect opportunity for Jesus to show His power. Wasn’t it? Yeah it was. But did He? No, not at first. So what was the answer Jesus gave her?

Matthew 15:23a

“But he answered her not a word….”

He ignores her. Now we find that hard to believe, but you had better believe the Word for that’s what it says. And the reason He ignores her again, is because He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. You all know the verse in John’s gospel, we don’t even have to look at it. “He came unto His own, (which was Israel) but His own received Him not.” And then of course that opens the door for the Gentiles. But in His earthly ministry He ministered only to His covenant people. Only those who were citizens of the commonwealth of Israel. Only those who knew what it was to have a Messiah, as we saw in Ephesians chapter 2. Now reading on about this lady who was crying after them.

Matthew 15:23b

“… And his disciples (the same twelve that He commanded not to go to the Gentiles) came and besought him, saying. Send her away, for she crieth after us.”

Send her away because you’ve commanded us not to minister to the Gentiles. See, that’s what all this boils down to. Send her away she’s a nuisance, she’s a pest, everywhere we go here she is crying after us.

Matthew 15:24

“But he answered and said, (unto her) I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Now isn’t that plain? And most people don’t know why He said that. He said that because He came to fulfill those Old Testament covenants, and He couldn’t break those covenants. But being the God of creation, the One who wouldn’t bend to pressure like most people would, He could tell it like it was. “I am not sent but unto (My covenant people) the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Of course this lady wouldn’t take no for an answer, and I guess we can take a lesson from this. Then let’s look in verse 25.

Matthew 15:25

“Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” And He answered again in so many words, “I can’t do anything for you.” Looking at the Scriptures, what does He say?

Matthew 15:26

“But he answered and said, It is not meet (right, and proper) to take the children’s (Israel’s) bread, and to cast it to dogs.” (Gentiles)

Now in Jewish sight the uncircumcised Gentiles were the same as dogs. So the Lord, says, “I can’t take that which belongs to my covenant people, (the children of Israel) and give it to you Gentiles.” He just couldn’t do it, because it would run contrary to the very mind of God when He made the covenant with Abraham. So He couldn’t, His hands were tied. But on the flip side, like he did when He sent Jonah to Nineveh, and He brought Rahab off the wall of Jericho, He could, being Sovereign, make an exception. But He couldn’t make it a blanket act and include all Gentiles. If He had it would have just simply destroyed the Scriptures, but He could make an exception. And so He finally gives in when she comes back in verse 27.

Matthew 15:27

“And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Now several lessons back we commented on this verse, and I made the allusion to Psalm chapter 23. And what is in Psalm chapter 23 in regard to a table.

Psalms 23:5a

“Thou preparest a table before me…”

Well what was the table? Well it was God’s table from which Israel feasted. It was a spiritual allegory, but nevertheless only Israel could feast at God’s table. And it’s the same analogy here. She says, “I know I can’t eat from Israel’s table, but can’t I have some of the crumbs that fall off the edge?” And that of course got to the Lord, and let’s look at what He said.

Matthew 15:28

“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt, And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

Now that was one of the exceptions that the Lord made concerning ministering to Gentiles. There was only one other throughout His whole three years of ministry, and that was the Roman Centurion. He also gave into that one, but other than those two, you can’t find one instance in this Book that Jesus ministered to Gentiles. In fact, while we’re on that subject, come on over to John’s gospel chapter 12, and we have much the same kind of situation. The crowds of Jews are gathering from all over the then known world for the feast of Passover. The very same Passover at which He’s going to be crucified, and these are the days leading up to it.

John 12:20-21

“And there were certain Greeks (still another word for Gentiles) among them that came up to worship at the feast: 21. The same (these Greeks) came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, (one of the twelve) and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.”

“Now just stop and mull these things over. People are no different today than they were then. It was common knowledge of all these miracles that this Jesus of Nazareth was performing. I always remind my classes here in Oklahoma that all the miracles that are recorded in Scripture are just the sampling. Goodness sake don’t think for a moment that that was all of His miracles. Because as John ends his gospel what does he say?

John 21:25

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. A-men.”

But here these Gentiles had no doubt been hearing about this man Jesus, and all of His miracles, and so they were curious. So they wanted to see this One who could do these things.Philip remembered what the commandment had been concerning Gentiles, and had second thoughts. But on the other hand nobody likes to take full responsibility for something like this so Philip sort of passes the buck over to Andrew. Let’s look at the next verse.

John 12:22

“Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: (and can’t you just read between the lines their conversation, because they both knew the commandment that Jesus Himself had given in Matthew 10:5 So they say to each other well let’s at least ask Him) and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.”

Well what do they tell Him? There are Gentiles out there and they want to talk to you. Now does Jesus say, “Bring them in? No way! What does He do? He gives them the reason why they can’t. It’s just that simple as you’ll see in the next verse.

John 12:23-24

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, (remember there’s only a day or two before the crucifixion) that the Son of man should be glorified. 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, (and here comes the whole format of salvation for Gentiles.) Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

What was He talking about? His own death, His burial, like planting the seed, and when the seed is in the ground, what does it do? It dies! And as a result of the death of that seed, new life comes forth. It’s the whole format of salvation. That when Christ died and was buried, and rose from the dead, that’s when new life erupts. In fact now let me take you to Romans chapter 6. I didn’t intend to do any of this, but one thing leads to another, so we’d better just follow. And this ties so beautifully with what Jesus just said in John chapter 12, at least it does in my mind. Remember what it said in John?

John 12:24

“Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a corn (kernel) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Now look at the language Paul use concerning our salvation.

Romans 6:5a

“For if we have been planted…”

What’s that planting a reference to? Burial. When we plant seed we bury it. Oh not six feet, but nevertheless we bury it, and as a result of that seed being buried, and the moisture, and warmth of the sun, what happens? New life! But if you’ve got a seed that can’t die by germination, it’s not going to reproduce. All right so Paul is using the same analogy that Jesus used in John chapter 12. Now let’s look at what he says in the last part of that verse.

Romans 6:5

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, (if we’ve identified with His death, and His burial, then it’s an assured fact that we can identify with His resurrection) we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”

Do you see how beautiful all of this is. At His resurrection, of course that’s when He experienced the glorification. There wasn’t anything glorious in that cross. It was anything but. It was awful! But when He rose from the dead in power and glory, then that’s where we are. Oh to die to self, there’s noting glorious about that, but to rise to newness of life, and all that goes with it – Oh listen the last few weeks we’ve had more phone calls when the folks say, “our whole life has changed.” We had a call from a person in Pennsylvania last week, and he said, “You’ve changed my life” I said, “I can’t do that.” He said, “No but the Lord used you. He opened up the Scriptures to me, and now I just can’t get enough of it.”

Well within an hour a lady in Georgia called, and it almost gave me goose bumps because you would have sworn that they were reading from the same script. This lady said the same thing. “You have just changed my life.” Now I won’t tell you what group they came out of, but it was a group that is just about as hard as nuts to crack, and if you’ve ever dealt with them you know what group I’m talking about. But the Lord opened their heart so that they might believe the Gospel, and be gloriously saved. And that’s what you have to experience. You have to die to self, and experience resurrection power and it is a glorious power. I’ve never had anyone call and say, “Well Les, I wish I had never listened to you.” Never! But it’s always, “How God has just changed my life completely.”

There was another couple, they were in a horrible situation, and they wrote, and it was so bad that I didn’t even know how to answer their letter. In fact I just let the letter lay there for two or three weeks, and I started feeling guilty for not answering it, and I finally wrote to them and told them how to come out of their sin and horrible situation, and we met them a year or so ago and it was the same. “The Lord had totally changed their life, He had cleaned up the mess they were in, and they just can’t get enough of this.” Well that’s what the new life does, and that’s what makes us the glory of the power of His resurrection. Now while we’re in Romans chapter 6, we might as well take the next verse, because this just builds on it. If we’ve been planted, and have experienced the likeness of His resurrection, let’s see what it says.

Romans 6:6

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, (well what does crucifixion do? It kills, it puts to death) that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (that old sin nature)

Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 2. And again remember what he said, “that as Gentiles our forefathers were without hope, and without God in the world.” Now we’ll just be able to start verse 13, and we’ll pick it up in the next lesson. And look what the first word is in verse 13.

Ephesians 2:13a

“But …”

Everybody from coast tells me now that’s the flip side. The flip side got started I think with the juke box. For a nickel you could play one side of the record and flip it over to hear the other side. It’s just another whole new song. Now the flip side. Yes our forefathers were without hope, they were without God, but there’s a flip side, and what is it?

Ephesians 2:13

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off (How far off were our forefathers? So far off that they were without God. They had no knowledge of Him, and they had no access to Him because they were Gentiles, they weren’t Jews. But God didn’t leave it that way, but now) are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Not by some decree, but by what? The blood of Christ. The blood of Christ is what makes us nigh to God. Let’s go back for a moment to the Book of Hebrews chapter 9. Those of you who have been with me since Genesis remember we’ve used this verse so often as one of the two basic absolutes of Scripture. In our present society they try to tell us that there are none. Oh yes there are. The Scriptures are absolute, and this is one of the primary ones.

Hebrews 9:22b

“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

You can’t get around that, you can’t build a bridge over, there’s just nothing you can do with that verse, but face it head on. What does all this mean? Well I can’t really explain the whole thing myself. Come back to Exodus chapter 12, and if we don’t finish the thought there we’ll pick it up in the next lesson. And what is in Exodus chapter 12? Well the night of the Passover. Verse 13.

Exodus 12:13

“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

There was only one thing a Jewish family could do to avoid the death angel and that was what? Put the blood on the door! And when God saw the blood the death angel passed over. Now there wasn’t a whole bunch of rules and regulations, but rather just one simple requirement. “Place the blood of that Passover lamb on the door post and lentil and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Now I always like to ask my classes, when those Jews were behind that blood touched door, did they stand there in fear, and trepidation? No! Because by faith they were eternally secured.

429: Once You Were Separated From God

429: Once You Were Separated From God – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 36


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 36

ONCE YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM GOD

Now to get right back into the Book where we left off in our last lesson and that was in Ephesians chapter 2 and we’ll begin with verse 11. Now again Paul is going to use that word which is almost one of his favorites, and it is “wherefore”.

Ephesians 2:11a

“Wherefore…”

And the thing I always point out is that when Paul uses that word wherefore it’s a flash back of what he has just covered. Paul repeats himself, not as much as I do, but almost as much, so what he’s referring to is what he’s just covered in these earlier verses of chapter 2. And he is dealing primarily with the whole concept that we become new persons in concept, we become a new creation, not by virtue of anything we have done, but rather it’s all by faith + nothing. Now I know that rankles a lot of people because they are still under the impression that you’ve got to do something in the energy of the flesh to merit salvation. But if you would just study Paul’s emphasis of how we enter into that salvation, it’s not by what we do, but by believing what Christ has already done. So looking back for a second at these previous verses and see what he says.

Ephesians 2:8

“For by grace are ye saved through faith: (see, there is nothing else listed in there. It’s just by our faith, and made possible by the Grace of God) and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God:”

Then Paul goes on to say, “we are then as believers to serve.” Because after all God didn’t just save us as a fire escape, as I’ve put it so often, but He saved us to serve Him while we’re here on earth during this earthly pilgrimage. Now then coming into verse 11, and I imagine these are a couple of verses that are almost unknown to most Church people and yet these are two verses that have made such an impact, at least on me. Remember I was just like everyone else. At one time I just saw this whole Book thrown into a blender and mixed up, and spooned out like it is done in most congregations today.

Then I started teaching, and begin to realize that God was dealing with the nation of Israel on covenant ground all the way from Genesis chapter 12 until we get to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. in Acts chapter 9. And then when Israel rejected the Messiah, He chose Saul of Tarsus to go to the Gentiles. That’s when these verses became so important to me, and I’ve used them a lot in past programs, and I’m sure a lot of people will recognize them. They are so important because they point out that for over 2000 years from Abraham to Paul, that Gentiles had little or no opportunity for salvation. Although these 2 verses are oh so important, there are still many people who can’t believe what they say.

Ephesians 2:11a

“Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,…”

Now immediately that reminds us then to whom is the apostle writing? To primarily Gentile believers. Now when I teach this facts of Gentiles, the non-Jews, being so completely different than anything that had happened before, you want to remember that at the time that God called Abraham every last human being on the face of the earth was pagan, idolater, Gentiles. At that time there had never been any Jews, and these pagan, idolater, Gentiles knew nothing of the one true God. It was at that time God decided to do something different and appeared to Abraham, and pulled out the Jewish race, and the nation of Israel. So Scripturally, we now lump everyone who is not of the twelve tribes, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a Gentile. So that includes most of us. Then the Scriptures also refers to us Gentiles as we see here in verse 11, as the uncircumcision. Now let’s read it.

Ephesians 2:11

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (Gentiles) by that which is called the Circumcision (Jews) in the flesh made by hands;”

Now the only reason I’m going to take the time to do this, is believe it or not, I’ve had people tell me, “Well I mentioned some of this that you teach to my pastor or Sunday School teacher, and they’ll just say, “Well circumcision doesn’t mean anything so far as identifying one group of people, but rather it was just a matter of the surgical process of the flesh. So that doesn’t mean anything.” Well I beg to differ with anyone who has that mindset. When teachers and preachers do that then they’re putting everything back into that blender again and mixing it up real good to spoon out, and God never intended it to be that way. Now come back with me to Acts chapter 10, and I’m doing this just to show that when the Bible refers to the uncircumcised it’s Gentiles, and when the Bible refers to the circumcision, then it’s Israel, the Jew. Right here in a few verses I think I can prove that point. As I tell my classes here in Oklahoma all the time, “The main reason I teach is not just for you to learn, but for you to teach others.” We’re finding that’s coming to fruition in so many areas of the country. People are actually taking what they’ve learned and using the Scriptures, and going out to teach others. This is the way it has to work.

Now before we look at the verses in Acts chapter 10 let me give you a little back drop. This is where Peter went up to the house of Cornelius. It was the first time that Gentiles had been approached at all, and we’ll see in another lesson how even the Lord Himself went only to the lost sheep of Israel. But here Peter has miraculously been led by an act of God up to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea coast to go to house of Gentiles. Remember Peter had a lot of trepidation about this. I’ve always put it this way, that trip for Peter was like “Heel prints in the sand!” All the way from Joppa to Caesarea Peter did not want to go to this Gentile household any more than Jonah wanted to go to the city of Nineveh. It was the same kind of a mindset. “Surely God you don’t have anything to do with Gentiles”, but God says, “Peter get going.” All right when Peter got there, here’s where you see that the circumcision is Jewish, and the uncircumcision are Gentiles. Now verse 44 of Acts chapter 10. And remember all I’m trying to show here is the definition of these two words.

Acts 10:44-45a

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45. And they of the circumcision…”

Now to find out who was in the house that were of the circumcision other than Peter, you jump across the page at least in my Bible to chapter 11, and look at verse 12.

Acts 11:12

“And the spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting, Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:”

Well who were the six brethren? They were Jews that came up from Joppa with Peter to Cornelius’ house. I mean Peter was in no mood to go to a house of a pagan Gentile by himself. So I guess for spiritual protection or what ever he took these six Jewish believers with him. Now coming back to chapter 10 and completing verse 45.

Acts 10:45

“And they of the circumcision (Peter and these six other Jews. The Scripture calls them circumcision. Do you see that?) who believed were astonished, as that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Now come all the way down chapter 11, and verse 1. Now this was after the fact and Peter was heading back home.

Acts 11:1-3

“And the apostles, and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision (the Jewish believers) contended with him. (why? Next verse) 3. Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.”

What were they called up in chapter 10, verse 45? Gentiles! Do you see that? Now that’s all I’m trying to show you. The Jew over and over in Scripture is referred to as the circumcision. The Gentile on the other hand is referred to as the uncircumcision. We refer to them as Jew and Gentile. Now if you come back to Ephesians chapter 2, I hope I’ve made my point. It’s just a matter of definition, that when we speak of the circumcision, it’s the Jew, it’s Israel. When we speak of uncircumcision, it’s the non Jew, and that’s all the Bible puts on it. A non Jew is anyone not born out of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve tribes of Israel. Now verse 12, and we find Paul writes to these Gentiles, and to you and I where we came from, and what the situation was concerning our Gentile forefathers. Now of course now we’re about 2000 years removed from when Paul wrote, but nevertheless as we look back through human history it’s still the same.

Ephesians 2:12a

“That at that time…”

Well at what time? When God was only dealing with the covenant people of Israel from Abraham to begin the nation of Israel, until the fork in the road when Paul was called to go to the Gentiles. I guess we’d better stop and put it on the board. I probably should have put my timeline up already, but I didn’t know I was going to do this. You want to remember from the time of the call of Abraham, and we’ve had this on the board over and over through the years. That was 2000 years before Christ was born, when God pulled off of this main stream of humanity, He pulled off what we now call the nation of Israel, by virtue of the Abrahamic Covenant.

We’ll be looking at that probably in the next lesson. We always refer to this time as Jew only, but of course there were exceptions. I have already referred to Jonah going to the city of Nineveh although he didn’t want to because they were Gentile dogs. And Rahab on the wall of Jericho, and Ruth out of Moab. But by in large all the way from Genesis chapter 12, which was 2000 BC, it’s all God dealing with Israel, and not a Gentile except these few exceptions. Now as we finally came to Christ’s earthly ministry, it was really pointed out by Christ Himself that God was only dealing with the nation of Israel in Matthew 10:5. Now if he was only dealing with the nation of Israel, then where does that leave the Gentiles? Well read on here in chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time (from 2000 BC until Paul is sent to the Gentiles) ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, (now we don’t have the word Christ in the old Testament, but what is it? Messiah! But remember the Gentiles were never promised a Messiah, so these Gentiles) being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel…”

Now if you’re an alien what are you? You’re a non citizen, and you don’t have any rights. You take even today, even with the laxness that we’re showing toward immigrants, basically according to our laws and constitution, how many rights does an alien have? None! So by right of law he has no reason to expect governmental help, he can’t vote, and all because he’s a non citizen. Now this was the lot of the Gentile all during this 2000 year period of time, with these exceptions. I don’t want anybody to come at me and say, “Well what about Nineveh?”

Now that was an exception, but the rest of the Gentile world was out there in their pagan darkness. They were worshipping all of their gods of silver, gold, and wood, and what have you. All of that was tied to that same concept of gods and goddesses that begin at the tower of Babel. That was the lot of the Gentile world. “Only Israel had a knowledge and a contact with, and a belief in the One True God from Abraham to Paul.” And this is what we have to understand before the Scriptures open up and begin to make sense. You simply can’t lump them all together” Now read on in this verse 12. So not only were we (our Gentile forefathers) without a Messiah, the Christ. Not only were we aliens of the commonwealth of Israel, but what were we?

Ephesians 2:12b

“…and strangers from the covenants of promise,…” As soon as God begin to deal with Abraham He made all these promises. In fact let’s go look at it for a moment, and you’ll see why Paul uses the word “promises.” Remember the Gentiles were outside the covenants of promise. Genesis chapter 12, verse 2. Now just look at the promises, and since God is speaking these are promises.

Genesis 12:2

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing:” These were all future tense. There was no way Abraham could see how all of this would happen, but it was a promise from God. And then the greatest promise of all was in verse 3.

Genesis 12:3

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: (Why? Because through this man that all the promises were given would come the redeemer for the whole human race. Read on) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Not just for Israel, although that will come first, but it’s going to end up being the plan of salvation for the whole human race, but it began with Abraham. See that’s why I’m always reminding folks, you take our Bible from cover to cover, who wrote it? Sons of Abraham. That’s what we call Jews, “The sons of Abraham wrote this Book to the last man.” I’m seeing more and more proof everyday from various articles and writers that even the one that a lot of people try to say is a Gentile, and he was no Gentile at all, and that was Luke. Luke the physician was not a Gentile, but rather he was a Jew that had taken on a Gentile name, but so did Saul of Tarsus when he was given the name, “Paul” so that wasn’t so unusual. When Paul was out in the Gentile ministry he was given a Roman name. And it was the same way with Luke. So I still stand on the premise that this whole Book came through the sons of Abraham. Now come back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 2. So the Gentiles during this 2000 years before Christ, when God was dealing only with His covenant people the non Jewish world were what?

Ephesians 2:12b

“…strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

Now I know that sounds awful. It sounds like God was cruel, and unforgiving, but that’s not the case at all. Because you see for the first 2000 years from the creation, all the way past the flood, and Tower of Babel, and up until the call of Abraham the whole human race had opportunity for salvation. The whole human race had access to God, it wasn’t just one group of people. And what did the whole human race do with it? Well they rejected it. And if you don’t believe me, you’ll certainly all believe the account of the flood, and I personally think there were 4 or 5 billion people on the earth even at that time, and how many were true believers? Eight! Now we think we’re getting pretty small in percentage today, but we’re not that few yet. It may get to that, but I sure hope not. But nevertheless that’s what happened those first 2000 years of human history, for the most part they just walked it under foot like they’re doing today. They just didn’t care. Most people have absolutely no interest in the things of the spirit. Why? Because it’s always been that way. So looking at the end of that verse again and let’s see what it says.

Ephesians 2:12b

“…no hope, and without God in the world:”

Our Gentile forefathers up until Paul had no knowledge of the One True Creator God. They had no concept of Him. All they had was their gods, and their goddesses, and their temples, and what have you. But so far as the True God of Creation there wasn’t a Gentile that knew anything of Him whatsoever. So this was the lot then of the whole non Jewish world until we get to Acts chapter 11. A lot of times people have a hard time believing me when I say that Christ in His earthly ministry had nothing to do with Gentiles with two exceptions. The Canaanite woman and the Roman centurion were the only Gentiles in Scripture that Jesus had anything to do with, and that’s all we can go by.

I know a lot of people try to say that Galilee was Gentile, and since He performed so many miracles, He must have done it on behalf of the Gentiles, but the Book never says that, and you can’t read that into the Book. Always let the Book stand on what it says. In fact Matthew 10:5 says that He came only to the nation of Israel. So this Book says that they were only Jews that He dealt with! Now here in Acts this is a recap of everything that took place when they were stoning Stephen, which I maintain was about 7 years after Pentecost. And look what it says in Acts 11:19.

Acts 11:19

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word (Old Testament)to none but unto the Jews only.”

Remember only the Jews had the Old Testament at that time. Do you see how plain that they preached only to the Jew? How can anybody miss that, but I know they do. I had a friend of mine try to show one of his friends something recently, the guy read it, look him in the eye and said, “I don’t believe that.” So my friend said, “In other words you’re calling God a liar?” Now isn’t that sad, but you see there are multitudes of men with many degrees behind their names that would just literally say, “But I don’t believe that.” They say that Jesus ministered to Gentiles, and Peter ministered to Gentiles, but our Bible says that all the way up to the stoning of Stephen they ministered to none but to Jew only. Now how did it come about that all that changed and finally God sent someone directly to the Gentiles? Just back up to Saul’s conversion in chapter 9, and drop all the way down to verse 15.

Acts 9:15

“But the Lord said unto him, (Ananias) Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…”

Now if you want to see what the Jews thought of Gentiles turn quickly to Acts chapter 22. In this chapter Paul has already been out in the Gentile world establishing little congregations, and he’s back in Jerusalem, and he’s trying to explain to his Jewish listeners what God had been doing though him with the Gentile people. In verse 17 we find Paul in a trance while praying in the temple in Jerusalem, and now let’s look at verse 18.

Acts 22:18-22

“And saw him saying unto me Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; for they (the Jews) will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19. And I said, Lord, they (the Jews) know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them (the Jewish believers) that believed on thee: 20. And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 21. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. 22. And they gave him audience unto this word. (what word? Gentiles at the end of verse 21.) and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.” Can it get any plainer how the Jews felt about the Gentiles?

428: Ephesians 2:1 -10 - Part 2

428: Ephesians 2:1 -10 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 36


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 36

EPHESIANS 2:1-10 – PART 2

Now we trust you will just get your Bible and study along with us. I guess one of my favorite expressions is, “now that’s what the Book says.” After all His Word is all we can go by. It doesn’t matter what I think, or what somebody else thinks, or what some denomination thinks, but what does God’s Word say about it. We know a lot of people try to twist some of these things and make an argument out of it, but usually the Word is so plain, and we can just take it for what it says. As we saw in our last lesson, what God is looking for more than anything else is “Faith!” Just believe what He has said with all your heart.

I guess we had better take a minute and explain “believing.” I’ve had 2 or 3 questions come up in the past week where people will ask, “Les what do you mean when you say believe?” I suppose everyone thinks about that sometime. I said, “Well it’s not just a mental accent to an historical fact.” That’s not believing. Just because somebody says, “Oh yeah I believe that Christ was crucified, yeah, I believe that He probably arose from the dead.” Hey that’s not what the Bible calls believing. Believing is when with our whole being, this whole mind, will, and emotion, recognizes that it’s hell bound, it’s hopelessly lost, it’s without God. And then it can say, “Yes I believe with all my being, “That Christ didn’t just die a historical death, but rather He died for me, and He arose from the dead for me,” and that’s why we call salvation personal.

We have to come to the place and understand and believe with all our heart that He died for me. Not in a wholesale number, but for me, and for you. This may be hard for some people to believe that He knows everybody individually, but I compare everything again to the stars in space. Out there God has trillions of them, and God has never lost track of a single star. Not only that but God also knows everyone of them by name, so if He can keep track of all those stars. then He can keep track of a few million believers. So when I maintain that it’s by believing, and believing alone, it’s not just a mental accent to something, it is literally saying, “God I am casting my whole eternity on what you have done for me.” That’s what I mean by believing, and that’s faith, because God has said in His Word what He has done.

Now let’s go back to Ephesians chapter 2 again, and it looks like we’ll be a long time in this chapter, because it’s so loaded. I compare it, like I said in an early lesson, to Romans chapter 8. I would like to start with verse 3. This is the lifestyle of a person who has never entered into salvation. They are under control of the old Adamic sin nature. Satan is the god of this world to them whether they know it or not, and so this is what happens:

Ephesians 2:3

“Among whom also we all had our conservation (manner of living) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Now let’s go back to Romans, and again let Paul give us a graphic description of the lost person’s frame of mind. Remember at one time that’s where you and I were. Naturally when we believed we were saved out of it. But for the person who has never been saved, he’s still in it and whether they practice it or not is beside the point. God sees they have the potential for it, the old sin nature has the potential for it. Have you ever wondered, how can people do the things they do? We read of the horrible murders, or we hear of the horrible carnage that soldiers will bring upon countries that they’re over running, and we wonder, how can they do that. Well because that’s just exactly what the old sin nature revels in. The only reason there’s not more of it is because society has inhibited it, and kept it under control to a certain degree or we wouldn’t have a society. But you turn society loose without government restraints in what we call anarchy, and this is what you’ll have. Now I hope you’ve found Romans chapter 3, and let’s just start with verse 12. Now this is the manner of living that Paul is referring to in Ephesians chapter 2, out of which everyone of us have come.

Romans 3:12-16

“They are all gone out of the way, they are together (Jew and Gentile) become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips: 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16. Destruction and misery are in their ways:”

Now stop a minute, go all the way to World War II, what is usually the result of war? Destruction, and misery. My, I was reading yet the other day of how Germany, as a result of the allied bombing, was totally demolished. Those beautiful cities just reduced to rubble. But that was only the half of it, and I had never read it before. When the Russians came in from the east they literally raped the German women by the thousands. Now that’s war and destruction, and misery. It’s the very makeup of this very individual we read about in the preceding verses. If you give that person the license to do, he’ll do it. Now reading on with verse 17.

Romans 3:17

“And the way of peace have they not known:”

A lot of time young people will say, “Why does God sanction war?” God doesn’t bring it on, it’s the work of the curse. It’s the work of mankind in his satanicly inspired sin nature. Now read verse 18..

Romans 3:18

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

It’s a wonder the world has lasted as long as it has isn’t it? Now let’s go on over to the Book of Galatians chapter 5, and this again describes the life style of the lost person under this sin nature personality given no inhabitation. Now granted, in a society like we’ve enjoyed up until the last few years we have inhibited this kind of behavior just by simply influencing kids, and teaching them how to behave and so forth.

But whenever a kid jumps the traces, and goes against what maybe his good parents have taught him, what does he do? Here it is in this chapter. This is the life style of a person who has shown restraint to the wind. Let’s start with verse 19, and it’s not a pretty picture. Every now and then my pastor will begin his sermon on Sunday morning by saying, “Now folks I’m going to warn you before I ever start, I’ve got a negative sermon this morning, and you’re not going to like it, but hopefully I can turn it around and something positive will come of it.” But there is a lot of negatives in Scripture, and here’s a bunch of them, it’s not pretty, but it’s true.

Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; (looks like our every day newspaper doesn’t it?) Adultery, fornication, (gross immorality) uncleanness, (moral uncleanness) lasciviousness, (making light of these things) 20. Idolatry, (something to worship other than the Creator God) witchcraft, hatred, variance, (constant arguing) emulations, wrath, (have you ever wondered why the world just constantly erupts in demonstrations of one sort or another? And they get so angry, well here it is) strife, seditions, heresies. 21. Envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Why? Because these are the results of living for the flesh. Now you can’t make it any plainer than that. That’s what the Book says! I didn’t make it up, that’s what God’s Word says. This is the life style of the natural man, and unless he’s inhibited, these things are going to run rampant, and of course we see it everyday. Our newscasts, our newspapers are full of it, because restraint is being taken away, and consequently we’re seeing the results. Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 2, and we’re going to turn from the negative to the positive. And again it’s going to hinge on my favorite little three letter word, and what is it? “But.” Now let’s finish the last part of verse 3 so that but really comes out.

Ephesians 2:3b-4

“…and were by nature the children of wrath, (headed for eternal doom, and the second death, and separation from God forever) even as others. 4. But (not I, not you, not some denomination, not some church, but who?) God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” When did He show His love? At the cross. Love put Him on the cross, not the Romans. So let’s see what the last part of that verse says.

Ephesians 2:4b

“…rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.”

Oh goodness, in the next verse, here comes the repetition I warned you about in the first lesson this afternoon. He’s going to say the same thing he said in verse 1. Well what happened? Well the Holy Spirit didn’t lose His mind. The Holy Spirit is emphasizing. Do you see that?

Ephesians 2:5

“Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened (or made us alive) us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

It’s by Grace. We didn’t deserve it, we didn’t work for it, we didn’t do anything for it. Now let me take you back to Exodus chapter 32 and 33 for a moment. I hadn’t intended to use this verse, but it comes to mind, so we’ve got to use it. You know back in chapter 32, the children of Israel worshipped the golden calf, and there was a lot more there than met the eye. There was wickedness there, it was awful. God and Moses were up there at an altitude where they could have looked right down on them and still they did it. Here in chapter 32 Moses and the Lord are now conversing over these horrible things that the Israelites are doing around that golden calf.

Exodus 32:10-13

“Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: (and in so many words God is saying, “Moses I’ll start over with you.”) and I will make of thee a great nation. 11. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12. Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.”

Moses said, “Lord you remember saying all that, don’t you? Now don’t destroy them.” But you see it wasn’t the words of Moses that changed God’s mind. Now go to chapter 33, verses 18 and 19.

Exodus 33:18-19a

“And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee;…

Now here comes the mind of God, and that’s why I brought you back here. This is exactly what Paul is proclaiming in Ephesians, when he said in verse 4, “But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” How could God do it? Well here it is, and don’t you forget it.

Exodus 33:19b

“…and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will show mercy.”

What is God declaring? His Sovereignty. He is absolute, and if He wants to spare the nation of Israel in spite of all their sins, He can because He’s Sovereign. It wasn’t just because Moses pleaded with Him to spare the nation He could show mercy and spare the nation because of His Sovereignty. Remember there at the cross as those Romans were driving those spikes into Him, what could God have done? He could have zapped the whole lot of them. He could have said, “Enough, I’m going to start over.” But what withheld that kind of action? His mercy. What nailed Him to cross? His love, and His mercy, all because He is Sovereign. If He was not Sovereign He could not do this, but it’s His universe, it’s His world full of people, it’s His cattle on a thousand hills. He can show mercy if He wants to show mercy.

But what’s His other prerogative of being Sovereign? He can pour out His wrath, and one day He’s going to. One day He’s going to say, “I’ve had enough!” And I think we’re getting close to that day. One day He will say, “I’ve poured out My mercy, but now I’m going to end it.” At that time God will pour out His wrath, and it’s coming. The world is getting ready for it. My goodness, one of the big things took place this past Monday that I think very few people realize is just exactly what this Book was telling us was coming, and what was that?The introduction of the new currency in Europe, the Euro. Oh it’s bringing this Book right up into the spotlight.

I told Iris when I read about the Euro, “I told them so.” A couple of years ago I was telling people, to watch western Europe, they are coming to the fore. Their population is already beyond Americas. Their gross nation product is catching up real fast, and one of these days it will surpass ours, and what I’m about to say, I say with all the love for our country, that a person can have. But I can see the day coming when this new European currency is going to make the dollar blush with shame. Why? Because that’s where prophecy has to be fulfilled. It’s going to be out of the western European or the old Roman empire revived. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:4

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.”

Now there again I don’t think we’re going to comprehend the love of God until we get to glory. We’re human, and everything is so limited for us. But oh when we enter into the realms of glory, then we’re going to have a full understanding of all these things. We’ll be able to understand at that time what love He really had when He poured out His mercy.

Ephesians 2:5

“Even when we were dead in sins, (and were living in that sinful lifestyle, God reached in and, what did He do? He) hath quickened us…”

But first what had to happen? Now come back with me to Romans chapter 6. This is really a review of some of the things we’ve taught in months gone by. After we look at that portion of Scripture, then we’ll get back to our three circles on the board. Some people told me at break, “that they had to leave after this lesson, but please finish that third circle. dealing with the invisible make up of mankind.” So I’m going to try to do that. But for now Romans chapter 6, and verse 5.

Romans 6:5

“For if we have been planted (buried) together in the likeness of his death, (we identified with it) we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”

Now to put that in plain English, what is it? “If we die with Christ, we’re going to be raised at the trumpet sound with Him in the Rapture.” Now verse 6, and this comes by faith, because the Word declares it.

Romans 6:6

“Knowing this, that our old man (old Adam sin nature) is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Now let me get back to the third circle if I may. Now to begin with we have this old sin nature dwelling within the body of flesh with no Spirit, but now when we have taken this old Adam, this old sin nature, and by faith we have let him be crucified by an act of God which is precipitated by our faith. The moment we believe the Gospel that Jesus died for sins, was buried, and rose again, and that all of that was done on my behalf, then God reckons old Adam, that old sin nature as crucified. That old sin nature is striped of his power, and control over the acts of the body, and as soon as he is reckoned as crucified, God moves in and supernaturally gives us a new nature, a Divine nature. This new nature now has eternal life, and it’s not going to go to Hell.

When the believer dies, the moment the soul separates from this body, it goes up to paradise into the presence of the Lord. But until we die we are functioning in this 3d circle. We’re still in the body of flesh with all of it’s passions and desires, but the new nature combats that, and we keep the old nature under control, by virtue of the regenerated Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit now has fellowship with our sprit, and so this new regenerated Spirit, working with the new nature is going to control this old nature. So this third circle completed now represents a saved person walking on the earth today. Now for just a moment let’s go to Galatians chapter 5. A lot of people don’t realize that when we become a believer, we are left here on the earth with two natures. A new Divine nature that wants to please God, but God still leaves the old nature and He expects us to deal with him. And here it is in Scripture in verse 17.

Galatians 5:17

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these (these two nature) are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (and the reason is, you’re in a mode of spiritual warfare, and we have to keep that uppermost in our thinking.)