What does Ephesians 2:13 mean?
ESV: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
NIV: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
NASB: But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
CSB: But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
NLT: But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
KJV: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
NKJV: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Verse Commentary:
All of the drawbacks described in verses 11 and 12 implied that Paul's Gentile readers had been far from God. In this verse, Paul notes that everything has changed with Jesus. These believers had been "far off," but now they had been "brought near." Their relationship and proximity had changed all because of Christ. As mentioned in prior verses, this change has absolutely nothing to do with human worth, or human effort (Ephesians 2:8–9). It is purely due to the grace of God.

Emphasis is also made regarding the "blood of Christ." Paul mentions this phrase only one other time in 1 Corinthians 10:16, in relation to communion. However, Hebrews includes the phrase in 9:14, noting the blood of Christ can "purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." First Peter 1:19 adds that the precious blood of Christ is "like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." Christ's blood is perfect to remove the flaws which have separated us from God, and makes us acceptable to Him.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 2:11–22 explains how those who are saved, by grace through faith in Christ, have become part of a single family. Prior to the coming of Jesus, the Jewish people considered Gentiles to be unclean and inferior. Here, Paul explains how the gospel extends hope, promise, and a relationship with God to Jews and Gentiles alike. Most of the Ephesian church would have been Gentiles, and Paul frequently found himself countering anti-Gentile sentiment among various churches.
Chapter Summary:
Paul repeatedly emphasizes that salvation is accomplished on the basis of grace, through faith. Good works, human effort, and our best intentions will never be enough to earn salvation. Every person is marked with sin, both deliberate and accidental, and for this reason we deserve to be separated from God. Only through His mercy and grace can we be saved, leaving no room for bragging. This also means that all who are saved, Jew and Gentile alike, are part of the same spiritual family. There is no cause for hostility between believers; we are all unworthy, and all saved by the same kindness of God.
Chapter Context:
The first three chapters of Ephesians focus on doctrinal issues; the last three show how those principles should be applied in real life. Chapter 2 makes a pair of related points about our status as saved believers. First, salvation is entirely dependent on the grace of God, not human efforts. Second, this means all Christians are part of the same family, Jew and Gentile alike. This bridges chapter 1's explanation of God's awesome glory to chapter 3's discussion of God bringing His long-awaited plan into action.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
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