Week of May 5 - Day 1

Scripture to Memorize: Ephesians 2:12-13

remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  

Day 1 Read: Ephesians 2:12-13

remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Reflect: What are the main issues that keep various groups separated in today’s churches? What is the change that results because of the “But now” statement in 2:13? What does this statement mean to you?

Consider: The Gentiles’ lack of the external sign of circumcision also meant that they lacked five privileges that God had given the nation Israel. First, they were separate from (lit., “without”) Christ not only personally (true also of many Jews) but also in that they had no national hope of the Messiah. Second, they were excluded from citizenship in Israel. They did not belong to the theocratic state of Israel The word “excluded” is apēllotriōme noi, “alienated” or “estranged.” It is used only two other times (Eph. 4:18; Col. 1:21). Though some Gentiles were admitted into Judaism as proselytes, Gentiles as a whole were excluded; they were thus alienated. Third, they were foreigners to the covenants of the promise (cf. Eph. 3:6). They were deprived of direct participation in God’s covenants and thus had no hope of future glory and blessing as Israel did. Israel’s “covenants” include the Abrahamic (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:18–21; 17:1–8), the Palestinian (Deut. 28–30), the Davidic (2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:1–4), and the New (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:24–30). These covenants—all pointing to “the promise” of the Messiah and of blessings through Him—assured Israel of a national existence, a land, a King, and spiritual blessings. Fourth, the Gentiles were without hope. Unlike Israel they had no expectation of a personal Messiah-Deliverer and the Messianic Age. Fifth, they were without God (atheoi, “apart from God”) in the world. The Gentiles were in a desperate situation. They had no meaning, hope, purpose, or direction in life.[1]

Respond: What are some of the unique challenges we face as we practice biblical community? How can we respond to these challenges? What will you do this week to relate to other believers in ways that express your unity in Christ?


[1] Harold W. Hoehner, “Ephesians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 625.