2:1 And 1 you [hath he quickened], who were a dead in 2
trespasses and sins;
(1) He declares again the greatness of God's good will by
comparing that miserable state in which we are born, with
that dignity unto which we are advanced by God the Father
in Christ. So he describes that condition in such a way
that he says, that with regard to spiritual motions we are
not only born half dead, but wholly and altogether dead.
(a) See (Ro 6:2). So then he calls those dead who are
not regenerated: for as the immortality of those who
are damned is not life, so this knitting together of
body and soul is properly not life, but death in those
who are not ruled by the Spirit of God.
(2) He shows the cause of death, that is, sins.
2:23 Wherein in time past ye walked 4 according to the
course of this world, b according to the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit that now 5 worketh in the c
children of disobedience:
(3) He proves by the effects that all were spiritually dead.
(4) He proves this evil to be universal, insomuch that all are
slaves of Satan.
(b) At the pleasure of the prince.
(5) Men are therefore slaves to Satan, because they are
willingly rebellious against God.
(c) They are called the children of disobedience, who are
given to disobedience.
2:36 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times
past in the lusts of our d flesh, fulfilling the desires
of the flesh and of the mind; and 7 were by nature the e
children of wrath, even as f others.
(6) After he has separately condemned the Gentiles, he
confesses that the Jews (among whom he numbers himself)
are not the least bit better.
(d) By the name of flesh in the first place, he means the
whole man, which he divides into two parts: into the
flesh, which is the part that the philosophers consider
to be without reason, and into the thought, which they
call reasonable. And so he leaves nothing in man half
dead, but concludes that the whole man is by nature the
son of wrath.
(7) The conclusion: all men are born subject to the wrath and
curse of God.
(e) Men are said to be the children of wrath passively,
that is to say, guilty of everlasting death by the
judgment of God, who is angry with them.
(f) Profane people who did not know God.
2:48 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love
wherewith he loved us,
(8) Now from this follows another member of the comparison
declaring our excellency, that is, that by the power of
Christ we are delivered from that death, and made partakers
of eternal life, to the end that at length we may reign
with him. And by various and different means he emphasises
this, that the efficient cause of this benefit is the free
mercy of God: and Christ himself is the material cause: and
faith is the instrument, which also is the free gift of
God: and the end is God's glory.
2:6 And hath raised [us] up g together, and made [us] sit
together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
(g) That is, as he adds afterwards, in Christ, for as yet
this is not fulfilled in us, but only in our head by
whose Spirit we have begun to die to sin, and live to
God, until that work is fully brought to an end. And
yet the hope is certain, for we are as sure of that
which we look for, as we are of that which we have
2:8 For by h grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
(h) So then, grace, that is to say, the gift of God, and
faith, stand with one another, to which two it is
contrary to be saved by ourselves, or by our works.
Therefore, what do those mean who would join together
things of such contrary natures?
2:99 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(9) He specifically and completely takes away from our works
the praise of justification, seeing that the good works
themselves are the effects of grace in us.
2:10 For we are i his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we
should walk in them.
(i) He speaks here of grace, and not of nature: therefore
if the works are ever so good, see what they are, and
know that they are that way because of grace.
2:1110 Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past
Gentiles in the flesh, who are k called Uncircumcision by
that which is l called the Circumcision in the flesh made
(10) Applying the former doctrine to the Gentiles, he shows
that they were not only as the Jews by nature, but also
after a special manner, strangers and without God.
Therefore they ought so much the more remember that same
so great a benefit of God.
(k) You were called in no other state than as Gentiles, so
that all the world might witness your uncleanness.
(l) Of the Jews who were known by you by the mark of
circumcision, the mark of the covenant.
2:12 That at that time ye were m without Christ, being n
aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from
the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God
in the world:
(m) He begins first with Christ, who was the end of all the
(n) You had no right or title to the commonwealth of Israel.
2:1311 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off
are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
(11) Christ is the only bond of the Jews and Gentiles, by whom
they are reconciled to God.
2:1412 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath
broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
(12) As by the ceremonies and worship appointed by the Law, the
Jews were divided from the Gentiles, so now Christ, having
broken down the partition wall, joins them both together,
both in himself, and between themselves, and to God. From
which it follows, that whoever permanently establishes the
ceremonies of the Law, makes the grace of Christ void and
of no effect.
2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in o one body
by the cross, having p slain the enmity thereby:
(o) He alludes to the sacrifices of the Law, which
represented that true and only sacrifice.
(p) For he destroyed death by death, and fastened it as it
were to the cross.
2:1713 And came and preached peace to you which were afar
off, and to them that were nigh.
(13) The preaching of the Gospel is an effectual instrument of
this grace, common to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles.
2:18 For q through him we both have access by one Spirit unto
(q) Christ is the gate as it were, by whom we come to the
Father, and the Holy Spirit is as it were, our guiding
man who leads us.
2:1914 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners,
but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of
(14) The conclusion: the Gentiles are taken into the fellowship
of salvation, and he describes the excellency of the
Church, calling it the city and house of God.
2:2015 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the r chief corner
(15) The Lord committed the doctrine of salvation, first to the
prophets, and then to the apostles, the end of which, and
matter as it were and substance, is Christ. Therefore
that is indeed the true and universal Church which is
built upon Christ by the prophets and apostles, as a
spiritual temple consecrated to God.
(r) That is the corner stone of the building, for the
foundations are as it were corner stone of the
2:21 In whom all the building s fitly framed together groweth
unto an holy temple in the Lord:
(s) So that God is the workman not only of the foundation,
but also of the whole building.