Ephesians 2 divides neatly into two sections. Each presents our salvation as a problem that is solved in Jesus Christ. By far, the first half is the most familiar to believers today. Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us that we were once dead in our sins, but in Christ, we have been made alive. But Ephesians 2:11-22 presents a second way of speaking about salvation: we were once cut off from the people of God. For most this is simply a problem they do not consider at all. We must, then, attend Paul’s argument with care, so that we might have a fuller, more grateful understanding of the of the salvation we have received in Christ.
It is fitting that the Lord begins his rules in the Law with slavery and then murder. He wants Israel not to be like Egypt, a nation that brutally enslaves and murders, but like himself, a God who protects human dignity and life. That’s the main point of chapter 21. God’s people must preserve dignity and life as God does.