‘You were without Christ, being aliens…and strangers from the covenants of promise; having no hope; and without God in the world! But now, in Christ Jesus you who in previous times were far off, have been made nigh by the blood of Christ!’ Ephesians 2:12-13.
Calvin comments: “You were separated from Christ!’ He now declares that the Ephesians had been banished not only from the outward tokens but from everything necessary to the salvation and happiness of men…. Because Christ is the foundation of all the promises and of hope, he says…that they were separated from Him….
“For him who has not Christ, nothing remains but destruction!… In Whom but in Himself could the people of God be collected into the unity of a holy body? ‘(Being aliens…from the covenants) of…promise!’ On one great promise, all the others depend…. Without it, they become empty. ‘In your Seed shall all nations be blessed!’ (Genesis 22:18)…. Take away the covenant of salvation, and there remains no hope…. God made His covenant with Abraham and his posterity, that He would be their God for ever!….
“‘(We were) without God in the world!’… Paul spoke quite rightly. For he regarded all the notions about false gods, as nothing. And indeed, all idols must become nothing — since they are nothing among the godly. Those who do not worship the true God — however many sorts of worship they may have; however many ceremonies they may tire themselves with — are without God. For they adore, what they know not!…
“It was those who imagined themselves to be very religious, who are charged with that crime! Seeing that an idol is a forgery and a deception, not the Divinity!… The conclusion will easily be drawn, that outside Christ there are only idols. For he now separates from God those whom he had at first declared to be without Christ…. Let us know therefore that all who do not keep this way — wander from the true God…. It was not to one age or to one nation that He says: ‘I am the Way!’ (John 14:6)…. He declares that it is through Him, that all come to God….
“‘But now in Christ Jesus, (you who…were far off — have been made nigh by the blood of Christ)!’… You have been received…through the blood of Christ!… The meaning is that the Ephesians, when they were far off from God and from salvation, had been reconciled to God through Christ — so that now they were nigh in His blood. For the blood of Christ has taken away the quarrel which existed between them and God — and from being enemies, had made them sons!”
Calvin also says in his Institutes III:24:10 & IV:14:12 & 16:3: “At that (previous) time, you were without Christ — having no hope, and without God in the world…. He deprives Adam of the gift of immortality…. The Apostle urges the Ephesians to remember that they ‘were without Christ…, having no hope and without God in the world’…. Paul, when showing to the Ephesians how great the destruction was from which the Lord had delivered them…, infers that at that time they were aliens…, without God and without hope (Ephesians 2:12).” But we believers have now come near — through the blood of Christ! You too?