For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.
1 You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. 3 We also all once lived among them in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua; 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2
God created a new order of mankind in Christ Jesus. Paul revealed the community of saints who have put on the new man and walk in that character as God’s new order of mankind in created in Christ Jesus, identifying them as the household of God. Christ Jesus being the cornerstone, “in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.”
11 Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision” (in the flesh, made by hands), 12 that you were at that time separate from Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Messiah. 14 For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in his flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility through it.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones [saints] and of the household of God, 20 being built on the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Messiah Yeshua himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2
Paul wrote that to Gentiles as most of us are. The Jews in that time regarded Gentiles with scorn as uncircumcised heathen – goyim.
So, Ephesians 2 was a mystery, especially to the Jews. The New Testament was not yet written, so they had never read the gospel of the kingdom (Luke 24:44-48) and only a few knew the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Acts 2; 1 Cor 15).
In Romans, Paul revealed the mystery this way. “What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory, 24 us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles” (Romans 9:22-24)?
In Ephesians 3, Paul reveals the mystery.
“the mystery of Messiah, 5which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy emissaries and prophets in the Spirit, 6that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Messiah” (Ephesians 3 WMB). Thus, we are God’s “workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”
1For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…
2Surely you have heard about the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.
7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace, given me through the working of His power. 8Though I am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was hidden in God, who created all things. 10His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians
14… for this reason I bow my knees before the Father,a15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3 Berean Study Bible
With that, Paul urges us to walk worthy of the calling we have received and tells us how to do it.
1Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting, one another in love, 3diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. 4There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope, at your calling — 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.Ephesians 4:1-6 HCSB.
Sorry for the poor format. WordPress is working on its software. Bill