That you were at that time
From the commonwealth of Israel,
To the covenants of promise,
Having no hope,
And without God
In this world.”
ὅτι ἦτε τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ χωρὶς Χριστοῦ, ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ξένοι τῶν διαθηκῶν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, ἐλπίδα μὴ ἔχοντες καὶ ἄθεοι ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.
Paul said, “Remember that you were at that time (ὅτι ἦτε τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ) separated from or without Christ (χωρὶς Χριστοῦ), alienated from (ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι) the commonwealth of Israel (τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ), strangers (καὶ ξένοι) to the covenants (τῶν διαθηκῶν) of promise (τῆς ἐπαγγελίας), having no hope (ἐλπίδα μὴ ἔχοντες), and without God or atheists (καὶ ἄθεοι) in this world (ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ).” Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι, that means to be alienated or be estranged. Only this Ephesian letter uniquely used this word ἄθεοι, that means godless, ungodly, without God, or atheists. Paul reminded the Ephesian gentile Christians that at one time they were without Jesus Christ, separated from him. They were alienated or estranged from the Israelite community. They were the strangers to the various covenant promises that Yahweh had made to his chosen people. They had no hope, since they were atheists, without God in their lives. They were like the rest of the people in this world. Paul reminded the Ephesian gentile Christians that once there was a great distance between the blessed Israelites and themselves, before Jesus Christ came along. Were you ever without God in your life?