2:3 among whom 1 all of us 2 also 3 formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath 4 even as the rest… 5
2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! 6 – 2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages 7 the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward 8 us in Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace you are saved 9 through faith, 10 and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from 11 works, so that no one can boast. 12 2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. 13
1 sn Among whom. The relative pronoun phrase that begins v. 3 is identical, except for gender, to the one that begins v. 2 (ἐν αἵς [en Jais], ἐν οἵς [en Jois]). By the structure, the author is building an argument for our hopeless condition: We lived in sin and we lived among sinful people. Our doom looked to be sealed as well in v. 2: Both the external environment (kingdom of the air) and our internal motivation and attitude (the spirit that is now energizing) were under the devil’s thumb (cf. 2 Cor 4:4).
2 tn Grk “we all.”
3 tn Or “even.”
4 sn Children of wrath is a Semitic idiom which may mean either “people characterized by wrath” or “people destined for wrath.”
6 tn Or “by grace you have been saved.” The perfect tense in Greek connotes both completed action (“you have been saved”) and continuing results (“you are saved”).
7 tn Or possibly “to the Aeons who are about to come.”
8 tn Or “upon.”
10 tc The feminine article is found before πίστεως (pistews, “faith”) in the Byzantine text as well as in A Ψ 1881 pc. Perhaps for some scribes the article was intended to imply creedal fidelity as a necessary condition of salvation (“you are saved through the faith”), although elsewhere in the corpus Paulinum the phrase διὰ τῆς πίστεως (dia th" pistew") is used for the act of believing rather than the content of faith (cf. Rom 3:30, 31; Gal 3:14; Eph 3:17; Col 2:12). On the other side, strong representatives of the Alexandrian and Western texts (א B D* F G P 0278 6 33 1739 al bo) lack the article. Hence, both text-critically and exegetically, the meaning of the text here is most likely “saved through faith” as opposed to “saved through the faith.” Regarding the textual problem, the lack of the article is the preferred reading.
11 tn Or “not as a result of.”
12 tn Grk “lest anyone should boast.”
13 tn Grk “so that we might walk in them” (or “by them”).
sn So that we may do them. Before the devil began to control our walk in sin and among sinful people, God had already planned good works for us to do.