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Ephesians 2 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Ephesians 2 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

"The prince of the power of the air"
Satan is the "prince of the power of the air." Until modern times Christians believed that Satan was responsible for storms and droughts. (See The Warfare of Science With Theology, Chapter 11 by Andrew Dickson White)
"By nature the children of wrath"
We are by nature "the children of wrath."
Andrew Dickson White is a very unreliable source, see Ps. 93:1. But let's examine this quote from Thomas Aquinas:

Rains and winds, and whatsoever occurs by local impulse alone, can be caused by demons.

Note the can be. It's not are caused. If you Google for this quote, you only find links to Andrew Dickson White's book. If you actually read the Summa Theologica, you won't find that phrase. The nearest quote I can find is this:

if we take a miracle in the strict sense, the demons cannot work miracles ... It is to be noted, however, that although these works of demons which appear marvelous to us are not real miracles, they are sometimes nevertheless something real. Thus the magicians of Pharaoh by the demons' power produced real serpents and frogs. And “when fire came down from heaven and at one blow consumed Job's servants and sheep; when the storm struck down his house and with it his children--these were the work of Satan, not phantoms”; as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 19).

So this is, as usual, completely opposite as to what Andrew Dickson White claims. Demons can cause a storm, if God allows it, as the Bible tells us (Job 1:19). Thomas doesn't say they cause all the storms, nor that they are usually responsible for them. There's only one example of this in the Bible, and that one under very special circumstances.
The author of the SAB also claims that “Until modern times Christians believed that Satan was responsible for storms and droughts.” No reference is provided, and no reference exists. Christians didn't believe such things. Christians believe that God is in control of the weather, not Satan.

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The phrase “Children of wrath” means that we deserve the wrath of God, because we are children of disobedience: we do not obey God. Our will is inclined to all evil. We have a sinful nature because of the fall of our father Adam. And we are under the law of works which requires perfect obedience to God's laws.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

(2:8-9) "Saved through faith. ... Not of works, lest any man should boast." Is Salvation by faith alone?
What must you do to be saved?
As this verse clearly indicates, salvation is by faith alone. See the other verses such as Rom. 2:6 where the author of the SAB reads something different.
On what you must do to be saved, see Acts 16:30-31.

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

"Having abolished ... the law of commandments."
Must Christians obey Old Testament laws?

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.