What does Ephesians 2:18 mean?
ESV: For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
NIV: For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
NASB: for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
CSB: For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
NLT: Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
KJV: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
NKJV: For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Verse Commentary:
Paul's emphasis in this verse involves two parts. First, it is clear Paul wants to highlight the common access Jews and Gentiles have to salvation through Jesus. In Romans 1:16 he likewise wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Paul preached in a particular order, starting with the Jews in a community and then to Gentiles, but the goal was bringing the message of salvation to all people.

Second, Paul again emphasizes the roles of each part of the triune God. All three persons of the Trinity are involved in the process of salvation. Salvation is found in Jesus, who gives us the Spirit to live within us, who grants access to the Father. All three persons operate at the same time in unique ways, yet are all identified as one and the same God.
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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