THE LIVING DEAD: Certainly the people we encounter on a daily basis are alive - both Christians and non-believers. But at the same time the non-believers are dead in their sin (v1). Just like a dead person can not ask for help, people who are dead in their sins can not even reach up to God in repentance on their own: that's why the main theme of this passage is all about God reaching down to us in grace (v5, 8).
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast (v8-9).
PRIMARY TEXT: Like some of the chapters we read in Romans (esp. chapters 5, 8 & 9), Ephesians 2:1-10 is a key passage to understanding what Christianity is all about. Knowing these passages well will help you interpret all of the other passages in God's Word!
SPIRITUAL DOES NOT ALWAYS = CHRISTIAN: We often say that the Spirit is active in us as Christians, but Paul here makes it clear that non-believers are just as spiritually active, since the 'spirit' of the ruler of the kingdom of the air is at work in them (v2). This spirit causes a person to look inward at their own wants and needs rather than looking outside of themselves to God. All non-believers care about is satisfying their own cravings and lust (v3), because they are relying on their corrupted thinking to lead them (v3).
AGAIN WITH THE JEWS & GENTILES?? It seems like we can't go more than a couple of days in reading our chapters without having to deal with the strange saga of the conflicts between the Jewish Christians & the Gentiles (v11-22). Remember that the Jewish Christians thought that they needed to continue Jewish religious customs and cultures, and the Gentiles were often made to feel inferior because they came from pagan backgrounds prior to being Christians. Once again, Paul emphasizes that in Christ all are made one. There is no barrier between Christians because all of us are members of one church (v14-15).
CHRISTIANITY IS A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT: A few Sunday evenings ago, we looked at this passage and noticed that being a Christian means that we are an ongoing construction project. We are each being built into the dwelling place of God (v22). The thing to remember is that all Christians are in different phases of this project, so we must work to build those up who are in earlier stages of development, and be will to be built up ourselves by those who are further along in their sanctification.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God has wrath for those who remain dead in their sin (v3), yet He is rich in mercy (v4)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (v10).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: