“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
Many believers and ministers today believe that men is merely wounded in their trespasses and sins at birth.
Man is basically good, but he sometimes does bad things.
Paul denies this totally saying that we are dead in our trespasses and sins until the power and love of God (mentioned in Chapter 1 of Ephesians) makes us alive in Christ.
Paul is about to show the difference between man’s nature before being regenerated and brought to life by Christ Jesus, by God’s grace.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
Paul says that prior to be awakened by God, we followed the course of those who by nature follow Satan in doing wicked works. We walked as children of the world, without an internal moral compass to direct us.
We walked as sons of disobedience, unbridled by God, but bridled by the evil one. We carried out passions of our fleshly desires, marked as children to receive God’s wrath for our sin. Our desires were totally polluted with sin.
Paul states in the book of Romans that there are none who do good (as unregenerate man), none who seek after God to receive His holiness.
It is not even a thought in the unregenerate man’s mind to do this.
We have inherited guilt from Adam for his sin because we were with him in the garden when he sinned and represented by him as the representative of all humanity.
From the day of our birth, we add to this mountain of debt against God as we add our own sin to our sentence of judgement and wrath.
But Paul adds to this one of his wonderful “But God” phrases which means that good news is coming next.
This phrase implies, nay even shouts out loud, that we would remain under this sentence of death and wrath had God not acted.
God not only intervened in our plight, but intervened in His rich mercy and grace.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
This is the wonderful news of the gospel for mankind!
Because of the richness of God’s mercy, which could not be withheld but must be exercised by God because of who He is, there is joyous news for sinners!
Because of God’s love established before time, He has predestined us to a loving union with Jesus Christ, in order that He might lavish upon us the forgiveness of our sins and give us all the storehouse of the riches of His grace, that He might seal us with His Spirit and bring us to glory, just as our bridegroom was raised up to glory.
We were once dead, but have been made alive by God!
Consider the magnitude of this change, believer! Consider the difference between living an eternity in hell and living an eternity in heaven!
Can you even comprehend this difference as a result of your regeneration in Christ Jesus?
Don’t think of this as a trivial matter, as a matter not worthy of eternal gratitude.
Paul breaks out into a doxology when mentioning this to the Ephesians.
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15-16)
We, like Paul, should never cease to give thanks to God for His superabundant, measureless grace in our lives!
We have been raised up in union with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenly places where we will rule and reign with Him in perfect blessedness forever!
If this does not stir your soul into doxology and rejoicing, there is nothing on earth that will!
There is no greater gift in this life than being united to Christ and receiving Him and all of His wonderful benefits.
“So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)
These riches of God’s grace are immeasurable, without total comprehension!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
And what part of all of this was your own doing? Paul says none of it. Nada. It is all given by God and all accomplished by God as a gift of His love. It has nothing to do with your merit or anything intrinsic to you.
But what is the proper response for receiving such a gift?
Gratitude, of course!
How do we show our gratitude of love back to God for this great deliverance?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
God has given us his law that we might walk in obedience to Him, just as he has prepared us to do and made us to do as His workmanship.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Believer, by God’s grace, and because of God’s grace, and out of God’s grace, walk in obedience to God’s word, because of His lavishing such a gift of everlasting salvation to you according to His everlasting covenant of grace.
(All quotes from the NKJV unless otherwise stated.)