“Without hope and without God in the world.”
This was Paul’s way of describing the Gentile experience. Would he possibly describe the modern person without God in the same way?
“Overflowing with hope.”
That is my reading of the substance of Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 2:11-22).
Paul used one succinct verse (Ephesians 2:12) to describe a life lived without God and a magnificent paragraph (Ephesians 2:13-22) to describe the wonder of a life lived with God. In a sense, Paul’s descriptions give us the meaning of each. The life lived without God is brief, dead, and empty. The life lived with God is full, significant, and alive.
What does Paul say about the life in Christ? One passage cannot contain the splendor of knowing Christ. I suggest that you read Paul’s other letters, particularly passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 2:20 and 5:22-23, to get more of what he experienced when he received Christ.
The following ideas describe the blessings which the Gentiles found in Christ:
First, their new life in Christ brought peace between Jew and Gentile. In Christ, God broke gdown the wall of hostility.
Second, they were freed from the demands of the law with its onerous requirements.
Third, the cross of Christ brought peace with God. No longer would these Gentiles live at enmity with their Creator.
Fourth, the cross opened the way to God and gave both Jew and Gentile access to the Father. Some theologians call Ephesians 2:18 the “trinity of experience.” In Christ, we are brought to the Father through the Spirit.
Finally, in Christ Gentiles become part of the household of faith.
These beautiful words also describe our wonderful relationship with God. His work on the cross opens the way to God, making peace with Him and peace with other people. This passage makes clear that we are not simply stuck with faulty relationships. Through Christ, we may make peace with the people around us.
By the power of the cross, we are brought into the family of God where we experience the healing power of community and family.
In Christ, we get both God and hope.