Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Even when we were dead in sins.—These words should be connected, not with “loved us,” but with “hath quickened,” or rather, quickened. He brought life out of spiritual death.
(5, 6) The thought in these verses follows exactly the same course as in Ephesians 1:19-20. There the type and earnest of the working of God’s mighty power are placed in the resurrection, the ascension, the glorification of Christ Himself in His human nature. Here what is there implied is worked out—(1) All Christians are declared to be quickened (or, risen again) to spiritual life with Christ, according to His promise, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). (See the exact parallel in Colossians 2:13.) But there is a promise even beyond this: “I am the life: whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die” (John 11:25; comp. also John 5:24; John 17:2). Hence, even more emphatically, and in full accordance with this latter promise, we have in Colossians 3:4, “Christ who is our life;” as in 2Corinthians 4:10-11, “The life of Jesus is made manifest in us.” What this “life eternal” is He Himself declares (John 17:3)—“to know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.” (2) Next, this partaking of the life of Christ is brought out in two striking forms—as a partaking, not only of His resurrection (as in Romans 6:5; 1Corinthians 15:20-22; Philippians 3:11), but also (in a phase of thought peculiar to these Epistles) of His ascension “to the heavenly places.” This is “in Christ Jesus,” in virtue of a personal and individual union with Christ. It implies blessings, both present and future, or rather one blessing, of which we have the earnest now and the fulness hereafter—for the resurrection and ascension of Christ are even now the perfection and glorification of humanity in Him. (3) So far as we are really and vitally His members, such perfection and glorification are ours now, by His intercession (that is, His continued mediation for us in heaven) and by His indwelling in us by the Spirit on earth. The proof of partaking His resurrection is “newness of life,” “death unto sin, and new birth unto righteousness” (Romans 6:5-11), which is in Colossians 3:12 expressly connected with the entrance upon unity with Christ in baptism. The proof of having “our life hid in Christ at the right hand of God,” is “the setting our affection on things above” (Colossians 3:1), by which “in heart and mind we thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.” (4) These proofs are seen only in measure here. Through the change which we call death, we pass at once to a still higher stage of life, by fuller union with Christ (2Corinthians 5:6-8), and at the great day we shall have both in perfection—perfect newness of life in “likeness to Him” (1John 3:2), and perfect glorification in Him in that communion with God which is heaven (John 17:5; John 17:10; John 17:24). The one thing which St. Paul does not attribute to us is that which is His alone—the place “at the right hand of the Father.”Ephesians 2:1; compare Romans 5:8. The construction here is, "God, who is rich in mercy, on account of the great love which he bare unto us, even being dead in sin, hath quickened us," etc. It does not mean that he quickened us when we were dead in sin, but that he loved us then, and made provision for our salvation. It was love to the children of wrath; love to those who had no love to return to him; love to the alienated and the lost. That is true love - the sincerest and the purest benevolence - love, not like that of people, but such only as God bestows. Man loves his friend, his benefactor, his kindred - God loves his foes, and seeks to do them good.
Hath quickened us - Hath made us alive see Ephesians 2:1.
Together with Christ - In connection with him; or in virtue of his being raised up from the grave. The meaning is, that there was such a connection between Christ and those whom the Father hath given to him, that his resurrection from the grave involved their resurrection to spiritual life. It was like raising up the head and the members - the whole body together; compare the notes at Romans 6:5. Everywhere in the New Testament, the close connection of the believer with Christ is affirmed. We are crucified with him. We die with him. We rise with him. We live with him. We reign with him. We are joint heirs with him. We share his sufferings on earth 1 Peter 4:13, and we share his glory with him on his throne; Revelation 3:21.
By grace ye are saved - Margin, "by whose;" see the notes at Romans 3:24. Paul's mind was full of the subject of salvation by grace, and he throws it in here, even in an argument, as a point which he would never have them lose sight of. The subject before him was one eminently adapted to bring this truth to mind, and though, in the train of his arguments, he had no time now to dwell on it, yet he would not suffer any opportunity to pass without referring to it.
quickened—"vivified" spiritually, and consequences hereafter, corporally. There must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul before there can be a comfortable resurrection of the body [Pearson] (Joh 11:25, 26; Ro 8:11).
together with Christ—The Head being seated at God's right hand, the body also sits there with Him [Chrysostom]. We are already seated there IN Him ("in Christ Jesus," Eph 2:6), and hereafter shall be seated by Him; IN Him already as in our Head, which is the ground of our hope; by Him hereafter, as by the conferring cause, when hope shall be swallowed up in fruition [Pearson]. What God wrought in Christ, He wrought (by the very fact) in all united to Christ, and one with Him.
by grace ye are saved—Greek, "Ye are in a saved state." Not merely "ye are being saved," but ye "are passed from death unto life" (Joh 5:24). Salvation is to the Christian not a thing to be waited for hereafter, but already realized (1Jo 3:14). The parenthetic introduction of this clause here (compare Eph 2:8) is a burst of Paul's feeling, and in order to make the Ephesians feel that grace from first to last is the sole source of salvation; hence, too, he says "ye," not "we."Hath quickened us; hath raised us up from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, not only in our justification, in which God frees us from our obnoxiousness to eternal death, and gives us a right to eternal life, who before were dead in law, (though this may be included), but especially in our regeneration, by the infusion of a vital principle.
Together with Christ; either:
1. God, in quickening Christ, hath also quickened us; Christ’s quickening, or receiving his life after death, being not only the type and exemplar of our spiritual enlivening or regeneration, but the cause of it, inasmuch as we are quickened, as meritoriously by his death, so effectively by his life: Christ, as having died and risen again, exerciseth that power the Father gave him of quickening whom he will, John 5:21. Or:
2. In Christ as our Head virtually, and by the power of his resurrection actually. Or:
3. By the same power whereby he raised up Christ from the dead, Ephesians 1:20. See the like expression, Colossians 2:13.
(By grace are ye saved); some read the words without a parenthesis, supplying by whose, and so refer them to Christ, quickened us together with Christ, by whose grace ye are saved; but if the parenthesis stand, yet here seems to be a connection with the foregoing words, at least a reason of the apostle’s bringing in these; for having mentioned God’s great love, Ephesians 2:4, as the cause of their spiritual enlivening here, which is the beginning of their salvation, he infers from thence that the whole of their salvation is of grace, i.e. alike free, and as much out of God’s great love, as the beginning of it, viz. their quickening, is. Ephesians 2:1.
Hath quickened us together with Christ: which may be understood either of regeneration, when a soul that is dead in a moral or spiritual sense, is quickened and made alive; a principle of life is infused, and acts of life are put forth; such have their spiritual senses, and these in exercise; they can feel the load and weight of sin; see their lost state and condition, the odiousness of sin, and the beauty of a Saviour, the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and the fulness and suitableness of Christ's; breathe after divine and spiritual things; speak in prayer to God, and the language of Canaan to fellow Christians; move towards Christ, exercise grace on him, act for him, and walk on in him: and this life they have not from themselves, for previous to it they are dead, and in this quickening work are entirely passive; nor can regenerate persons quicken themselves, when in dead and lifeless frames, and much less unregenerate sinners; but this is God's act, the act of God the Father; though not exclusive of the Son, who quickens whom he will; nor of the Spirit, who is the Spirit of life from Christ; and it is an instance of the exceeding greatness, both of his power and love; and this may be said to be done with Christ, because he is the procuring and meritorious cause of it, by his death and resurrection from the dead; and is the author and efficient cause of it; and he is the matter of it, it is not so much the quickened persons that live, as Christ that lives in them, and it is the same life he himself lives; and because he lives, they shall live also; it is in him as in the fountain, and in them as in the stream: or else this may be understood of justification; men are dead in a legal sense, and on account of sin, are under the sentence of death; though they naturally think themselves alive, and in a good state; but when the Spirit of God comes, he strikes dead all their hopes of life by a covenant of works; not merely by letting in the terrors of the law upon the conscience, but by showing the spirituality of it, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin; and how incapable they are of satisfying the law, for the transgressions of it; and then he works faith in them, whereby they revive and live; they see pardon and righteousness in Christ, and pray for the one, and plead the other; and also lay hold and live upon the righteousness of Christ, when the Spirit seals up the pardon of their sins to them, and passes the sentence of justification on them, and so they reckon themselves alive unto God; and this is the justification of life, the Scripture speaks of; and this is in consequence of their being quickened with Christ, at the time of his resurrection; for when he rose from the dead, they rose with him; when he was justified, they were justified in him; and in this sense when he was quickened, they were quickened with him:
by grace ye are saved: the Claromontane copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, "by whose grace"; and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions, "by his grace"; either by the grace of him that quickens, or by the grace of Christ with whom they were quickened; the Syriac version renders it, "by his grace he hath redeemed us"; which seems to refer to the redeeming grace of Christ; and so the Ethiopic version, "and hath delivered us by his grace"; and there is a change of the person into "us", which seems more agreeable to what goes before, and follows after; See Gill on Ephesians 2:8.Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Ephesians 2:5. The καί is not to be taken as in Ephesians 2:1 (“also us collectively,” Meier, Baumgarten-Crusius, and earlier expositors), which, apart from the universal reference of the ἡμᾶς, the order of the words forbids (καὶ ἡμᾶς must have been written), according to which, also, the καί of Ephesians 2:1 can by no, means be here resumed (Rückert, Matthies, Holzhausen, and most of the older expositors); further, καί is not, with Koppe, to be taken as although, seeing that, in fact, a making alive cannot take place otherwise than from a state of death, and consequently καί cannot convey any climactic stress, on which account Harless explains incorrectly from a logical point of view: “even in the state of death, in which we were” (comp. Calvin and de Wette). Erasmus paraphrases as though καί stood before συνεζωοπ., and even the shift to which Morus has recourse, that καί corresponds to the καί of Ephesians 2:6 (non modo … verum etiam), would demand this position. Others give other explanations, and many are silent with regard to it. If καί were also, it would have to be referred to ὄντας, and would express the reality of the relation asserted in Ephesians 2:1 (Hartung, I. p. 132 f.). But there would be nothing to call for the assurance of this reality. It is rather the simple copula: and, annexing to the διὰ τ. πολλ. ἀγ. ἣν ἠγ. ἡμ. a further element. The two elements, side by side, place in the full light what God has done. God has, on account of His much love, and when we were dead in the sins, made us alive with Christ. The καί might also be omitted; but the keeping of the points thus apart strengthens the representation.
τοῖς παραπτ.] The article denotes the sins, which we had committed, with a retrospective glance at Ephesians 2:1.
συνεζωοποίησε τῷ Χρ.] is by most expositors (including Flatt, Rückert, Meier, Matthies, Harless, Olshausen, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Schenkel, Hofmann, Bleek) understood of new spiritual quickening (“justificationem et regenerationem nostram complectitur,” Boyd; Rückert would have us think mainly of the justification). But how is this to be justified from the context? If the reader was reminded by νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτ. of the eternal death, to which he had been subjected by his pre-Christian life of sin (see on Ephesians 2:1), he would now have to think of the eternal life, which begins with the resurrection, and he could the less think of anything else than of this real resurrection-life, since afterwards there is further expressed the translation together into heaven, and then, in Ephesians 2:7, the intention of God is referred to the times after the Parousia. And had not already Ephesians 1:18 f. pointed definitely to the future κληρονομία? How, in this connection, could a reader light upon the merely ethical, spiritual quickening (Romans 6:4 f.; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:19 f.)? No, God has made believers alive with Christ; i.e. in Christ’s revivification, which God has wrought, theirs also is included. By virtue of the dynamic connection in which Christ stands with His believers, as the head with its body (Ephesians 1:23), their revivification is objectively comprehended in His,—a relation, in fact, of which the Christian is conscious in faith; “quum autem fides suscipitur, ea omnia a Deo applicantur homini, et ab homine rata habentur,” Bengel. So the matter stands in the view of the apostle as accomplished, because the making alive of Christ is accomplished; the future actual making alive, or, as the case may be, change at the Parousia (1 Corinthians 15:23), is then the subjective individual participation of that which is already objectively given on the part of God in the resurrection of Christ. Certainly Paul might, in accordance with another mode of looking at it, have expressed himself by the future, as at 1 Corinthians 15:22; cf. Romans 8:17; but who does not feel that by means of the aorist (“ponitur autem aoristus de re, quae, quamvis futura sit, tamen pro peracta recte censeatur, cum … alia re jam facta contineatur,” Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 206) the matter stands forth more forcibly and triumphantly out of the believing conviction of the apostle? οὓς ἐδικαίωσε τούτους καὶ ἐδόξασε, Romans 8:30.
The ΣΎΝ in ΣΥΝΕΖΩΟΠ. is by Beza, erroneously referred to the coagmentatio gentium et Judaeorum, a reference which is forbidden by the τῷ Χριστῷ; and by Grotius, Koppe, Rosenmüller, and others, it is explained ad exemplum (comp. Anselm: sicut), by which the Pauline idea of fellowship with Christ, which also lay at the bottom of Ephesians 1:19, is quite arbitrarily explained away.
Comp. on Colossians 2:13; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12.
χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμ.] by grace (not by merit) are ye partakers of the Messianic salvation! an impassioned (hence expressed in the second person), parenthetic reminding the readers of the divine basis of the salvation which had accrued to them, designated by συνεζωοποίησε; a reminding, which was very natural for the apostle in general (for its tenor was the sum of his doctrine and the constant echo of his own experience, 1 Corinthians 15:10), and more especially here, where he represents the quickening of believers as accomplished with the making alive of Christ, which could not but repel even the most distant thought of personal merit. In connection with ΣΥΝΕΖΩΟΠ. Τ. ΧΡ. the possession of the Messianic bliss is designated as an already accomplished fact, although it was before the Parousia (Colossians 3:3 f.) merely a possession in hope (Romans 8:24), and the final realization was yet future (Romans 5:10). That the ΧΆΡΙΤΙ emphatically placed at the beginning (for “gratiam esse docet proram et puppim,” Bengel) means the grace of God, not of Christ (Beza; comp. the inserted οὗ in D* E F G, Vulg. It. Victorin. Aug. Ambrosiaster), is manifest from the context, in which God is constantly the subject.
 For, as to the fact that καί, also, always lays the stress upon that word, before which it stands, see Haupt, Obss. Crit. p. 55 ff. Klotz, ad Devar. p. 638.
 Bleek describes this view of mine as probably the correct one, and follows it.Ephesians 2:5. καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν: even when we were dead by our trespasses. The condition of death in which we are by nature is now reaffirmed, and in a still more emphatic way than in Ephesians 2:1. The καί is not the copula, simply attaching one statement to another (Mey.), nor a mere repetition of the καί of the opening verse, nor = “also,” “also us” collectively (which would require καί ἡμᾶς), but the ascensive καί = even (Syr.-Phil., AV, RV, Ell., etc.). It qualifies the ὄντας (while the νεκροὺς is thrown emphatically forward), and heightens the sense of the greatness of the Divine power—as a power operating on us when we were yet held fast in the state of inexorable death. The τοῖς defines the trespasses as those already mentioned in connection with that state of death, and so has much the sense of “our”.—συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ: quickened us together with the Christ. Some authorities (including B 17, Arm.) insert ἐν before τῷ Χριστῷ; which is favoured so far by Lachm. and gets a place in the margin with WH and RV. But the mass of authorities omit it. The συν-, therefore, of the compound verb refers to the Χριστῷ, and the idea expressed is that of fellowship with Him, not the fellowship or comprehension of Jew and Gentile alike in the Divine act of quickening (Beza). Here again the article probably designates Christ in His official relation to us. The quickening here in view is understood by some (including Meyer) to refer to the first act in the raising of the dead at the great day; the following verbs συνήγειρεν, συνεκάθισεν being similarly understood in the literal sense, as referring proleptically to events that belong to the ultimate future. Thus the standing rather than the moral condition is supposed to be primarily in view, the idea being that when Christ was raised from the dead we also as members of His body were raised in principle with Him, so that the resurrection of the future which we await will be simply the application to the individual of what was accomplished once for all for the whole of His members then. It must be admitted that the analogous passage in Colossians 2:12-13, which associates the quickening with the forgiveness of trespasses and the blotting out of the hand-writing of ordinances, on the whole favours that interpretation. Looking, however, to the express and particular description of the worldly walk and the conversation in the lusts of the flesh, which is given in Ephesians 2:2-3, and which seems to explain what is said in Ephesians 2:1 of the state of being “dead by trespasses and sins”; and having regard also to the application to the moral life which is made in the second half of the Epistle, most interpreters understand the quickening here affirmed to be that of regeneration—the communication of spiritual life.—χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι: by grace have ye been saved. So the RV, while the AV is content with “are ye saved”. The idea is that they were saved and continued to be so. The χάριτι is put emphatically first—“by grace it is that ye have been saved”. The parenthetical mention of grace is in place. Nothing else than grace could give life to the dead, but grace could indeed do even that.5. dead in sins] Better, in respect of our trespasses. See on Ephesians 2:1 the construction is the same.
hath quickened] Did quicken, i.e., bring from death to life; ideally, when our Lord and Head rose to life; actually, when we, by faith, were united to Him.
together with Christ] As vitally and by covenant one with Him. For all His true “members,” His Death of propitiation is as if theirs; His Life of acceptance before the Father, and of spiritual triumph and power, is as if theirs also. As it is to Him the Divine pledge of the finished work of satisfaction, that pledge is theirs; as He appears in it “in the power of indissoluble life” (Hebrews 7:16), they, “because He lives, live also” (John 14:19). For the phrase cp. Colossians 2:13, which fixes the main reference to Acceptance. See accordingly Romans 4:25; “He was raised again by reason of our justification.”—Another reading, but not well supported, gives, “He quickened us together in Christ.”
(by grace ye are saved)] Lit. ye have been saved; and so Ephesians 2:8. The verb is perfect. More usually the present tense appears, “ye are being saved;” e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Corinthians 2:15 (“them that are being saved; them that are perishing”); the Christian being viewed as under the process of preservation which is to terminate in glory. See 1 Peter 1:5. And again a frequent meaning of the noun “salvation” is that glory itself, as in the text just quoted and Romans 13:11. Here, where the whole context favours such a reference, the reference is to the completeness, in the Divine purpose and covenant, of the rescue of the members of the true Church. From the Divine point of view that is a fait accompli which from the human point of view is a thing in process, or in expectation.—“By grace:”—for commentary, see the Ep. to the Romans, esp. cch. 3, 4. and Romans 11:5-6. The emphatic statement here is due to the whole context, (so full of the thought of a salvation which the saved could not possibly have generated, dead as they were,) and, immediately, to the phrase “quickened with Christ,” which involves the thought of the entire dependence of their “life” on Him.Ephesians 2:5. Καὶ, even) This is connected with you, when you were, Ephesians 2:1.—ἡμᾶς, us) both, Jews and Gentiles.—συνεζωοποίησε τῷ Χριστῷ· χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι, hath quickened together with Christ; by grace ye are saved) Quickening precedes the “raising up” [Ephesians 2:6], and ch. Ephesians 1:20; the raising up presupposes life. We were made alive at the time when Christ was made alive; comp. 2 Corinthians 5:15, concerning the death of Christ, and so of the other steps. But when faith is received, all those things are applied to man by God, and they are considered as ratified by man. The apostle, enumerating this very order of salvation, shows that grace is the beginning and the end [proram et puppim] in this and in the eighth verse, and sometimes he uses indiscriminately the first and second person, on account of the equal footing of the Jews and Gentiles.—τῷ Χριστῷ, together with Christ) Hence He is the fountain-head, Ephesians 2:6-10.Verse 5. - Even when we were dead in our sins. Repeated from ver. 1, in order to set in its true light the declaration that follows of what God did for us to make more emphatic the free and sovereign mercy of God. Though sin is the abominable thing which he hates, loathsome to him in the last degree, he did not turn from us when we were immersed in it; nor did he wait till we began to move towards him: he began to influence us even when we were dead. Made us alive together with Christ (συνεζωοποίησε τῷ Ξριστῷ). Made us alive with the life which is in Christ and which flows from Christ. A parallel is run between the way in which God's power operated on the body of Christ, and the way in which it operates on the souls of believers in him in respect of
(1) the quickening;
(2) the raising up from the grave;
(3) the seating of them in heavenly places.
The Father, having "given to the Son to have life in himself," and "the Son quickening whom he will" (John 6:21, 26), by God's decree we were first quickened by him, made partakers of Christ's life (John 11:25; comp. John 14:19; John 15:5; Colossians 3:4; Galatians 2:20, etc.). All the life we had lost was restored - the life forfeited by transgression, the life of a calm and well-ordered heart, the sublime life of fellowship with God. By grace have ye been saved. This is a parenthetical clause, more fully dwelt on in ver. 8, thrown in here abruptly by the apostle in the fullness of his heart, to throw light on this great wonder - that Christ should impart his own life to souls dead in sin. Grace in opposition to human merit is at the root of the whole arrangement; free, undeserved mercy. It is not anything that God is bound to by the necessity of his nature. It is the result of his will, not of his nature. Had it not been for his good pleasure, salvation had never been. "Saved" is the past participle (σεσωσμένοι), denoting, not the act of being saved, but the fact of having been saved. Salvation in a real sense is a present possession. When we are one with Christ we are justified freely by God's grace, our trespasses are all forgiven. The spirit of new moral life has been given to us; we are made alive to God. But while salvation is a present attainment in a real sense, its full realization is future, for that includes perfect holiness, and also the glorification of the body. In this sense salvation is to come (Romans 8:24; Romans 13:11).
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