Chapter 1 of Ephesians primarily deals with the Spiritual possessions of a Christian. Chapter 2 of the epistle has much to do with the position of a Christian within the Body of Christ.
The comparison could also be represented as benefits versus how to knowledge (Or better yet, what has already been done by Jesus).
2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
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:
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.
Quicken. A now unfortunately archaic term that simply means “to make alive” or to “preserve alive”.
Chapter 2 follows chapter 1 where the authority and power of Christ is expounded upon. It is only by Christ’s grace, power, and Gospel that we can be quickened and made alive.
When alive in Christ, remembering where we were rescued from fortifies thanksgiving (Titus 3:1-7)(1 Corinthians 11:2).
Regarding the flesh, there is nothing positive to note in the Bible about our conflicting carnal nature. It is important to note that the righteousness of God surpasses it.
It is by Christ’s power and loving kindness that while we are yet immersed in wickedness, He alone has the power to pull us up out of the miry clay of sin.
Romans 5:8 states,
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
In the lives of the lost, there are three harmful forces mentioned within verses 1 to 3: World, the Devil, and the flesh.
Succumbing to these forces is habitual for Christians and the lost alike. This does not dismiss Biblical guidance through the help of the Spirit to curve unrighteousness.
In Christ however, we are counted as blameless according to His imputed righteousness (Philiphians 2:15)(Romans 8:1)(Ephesians 1:4)
2:4-9 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:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Paul is speaking communally regarding the Body of Christ, the Church.
Paul explains that God is “rich in mercy” provoked by His great love for us.
The Greek word here for mercy is eleos. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words explains this term as an “outward manifestation of pity”.
Vine goes on to state that grace is the loving attitude of God to the rebel, mercy is the act of grace, and peace is the resulting experience in the heart of man.
God is rich in mercy. He has unlimited wealth.
While we are still in sin, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). While dead in sin, Christ made us alive .
Our position is one of a Heavenly calling and far superior to anything this Earth has to offer. Pastor David Osteen describes our position as a “…trophies of His grace”.
Chapter 2 lays out that we are saved by grace through faith. This grace is a free gift offered simply through belief in His son.
2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are God’s workmanship and are created for a purpose. The good works depicted serve the purpose of glorifying God (Isaiah 43:7). Good works are not a means of salvation so do not get this confused.
Good works are the fruit and byproduct of the new creation that God makes through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our works can not be deemed “good” without a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Word of God states that when someone is in the flesh, they cannot please God (Romans 8:8-9)/