Ephesians 2:11-22
The Death of Hostility

Introduction: Acts 21 tells us that Paul visited the temple. The story is in He had his Ephesian Gentile friend Trophimus with him. A rumor started that Paul ignored the warning and brought his Gentile friend through the barrier and into Israel’s court. The penalty for a Gentile entering the Jewish courts was death. A riot started and a mob dragged them out and Paul almost died that day. Roman soldiers arrested him and saved his life.

Hostilities between Jew and Gentile would be fresh on Paul’s mind when he wrote this letter the Ephesians (and to his friend Trophimus there).

Ephesians 2:11-12 (NASB), “Therefore remember that previously you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the people of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”

  1. Hostility without Christ (Ephesians 2:11-12)
  1. Remember the hostilities: Jew vs. Gentile (11)

  2. Remember what God says about us: Separated (12) Excluded Strangers Promise-less Hopeless Godless

Ephesians 2:13 (NASB), “But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the hostility, which is the Law composed of commandments expressed in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two one new person, in this way establishing peace; 16 and that He might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the hostility. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.”

But now… announces the end to previous hostilities!

  1. Reconciliation through Christ (Eph. 2:13-18)

Jesus is our peace. (14) Jesus removes the barriers to peace. (14b) Jesus establishes peace by a new creation. (15) Jesus preaches peace to groups “far” and “near.” (17)

”… for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” (18)

Ephesians 2:19 (NASB), “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

  1. United as one in Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Fellow citizens with the saints (19) God’s household Built on the foundation of the apostles/prophets (20) Jesus Himself being the cornerstone Fitted together (21) Growing into a holy temple A dwelling of God in the Spirit (22)

The cross of Christ brings about the death of hostility between:

Gentile/Jew Uncircumcision/Circumcision Race Class Gender Inequality Oppressor/Oppressed

• CRITICAL THEORY divides the world into oppressor/oppressed. It encourages division and a cycle of hostility that never ends.

• Scripture divides the world differently: sinners or saints, lost or found, in the kingsom of light or darkness, the righteous or wicked.

Psalm 11:5 (NASB) The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence (ḥā-mās) His soul hates.


Ephesians 2:16, “...that He might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the hostility.”