Then and Now (Eph 2:11-13)
In Ephesians 2:11-13, the Apostle Paul reminded his readers who they were in relation to God before they were saved, and who they were after they were born again. If we do not take time to appreciate our salvation, pride and arrogance will creep in. It is not an option to remember but a command.
Ephesians 2:11 : We were once not God’s people. We were Gentiles in relation to God. The word “Gentiles” is used in the Old Testament as a contrast to “Israel” which refers to God’s people. In the New Testament, the word “Gentiles” means unbelieving people. In this passage, Paul made the distinction between Christians and Gentiles. When we remember that we were once not God’s people (i.e. before conversion), we will be thankful that we can be God’s children now. It should impact us tremendously. Now that we are God’s people, others must see Christ in us.
Ephesians 2:12 : When we were not God’s people we were far from God. (This does not refer to physical distance.) God knows us from the beginning of our existence. But we did not know Him before He opened our spiritual eyes. We were not part of the citizenship of heaven, we had no hope. Life without God is a worthless and lonely life. We had no one to turn to for help. Our life would be completely different if we had not become God’s people. We must realize this.
Ephesians 2:13 : In Christ Jesus, we have a new life. We must cherish it and thank God for it. We must live like people of God. We must seek to live a life of holiness. People must be able to see Christ in us through our witness here on earth.
The purpose of remembering who we were then and who we are now is to help us to appreciate that we have a new life in Christ, and therefore we must live a holy life for Him. The Lord’s Supper is one of the means by which God helps us to remember because we are forgetful people. We must never treat the Lord’s Supper as a routine, but reflect on our lives and repent of our sins whenever we partake of it.