Summary: Gospel preach from Ephesians 2 on being made alive in Christ.
As for You!!!
Ephesians 2 v 1 – 5
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.
In the first chapter we have seen Paul using incredible language to explain what God has done for us and who we are in Christ. We have seen how victorious Jesus is and the power and authority that he possesses. Jesus is Lord and reigns on high. He has been given the ultimate title in this age and in the one to come.
Every time I read this first chapter it leaves me breathless and full of awe.
But then we get to chapter two. Paul reminds us of what we were and where we were heading. We are told about the consequence of sin, the three major enemies against us and that God has a deep anger against anything unholy.
Then the apostle goes back to the mercy and grace of God.
It is good to be reminded of the gospel.
This morning I want to go through these five verses and look at four main points;
1. What we once were
2. The three major enemies
3. How God saw us
4. God’s response
1) What we once were
When I was young and before I was a Christian, I will quickly add, I used to watch those old black and white horror films starring Boris Karloff or Peter Cushing. I remember being in my Mum and Dad’s bedroom, where they kept the small portable, black and white TV. I’d lie on the bed, the lights would be out and I’d be ready for a good scaring. And then the titles would begin and the eerie music would start and the pillow would be gripped. I remember vaguely that one of the films involved zombies or otherwise know as the living dead. Sorry if I am spooking any one out. They would come out at night and walk around very slowly but still manage to catch people and then turn them into one of them. When you see these films now you just sit and laugh as the make up and special effects were hilarious. But when you are twelve or thirteen it is a completely different ball game. You would go to bed with eyes wide open. Every shadowy object in your room was alive and out to get you.
So what has this got to do with these verses?
Well the first two verses say,
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live….
Here we see that outside of Christ you are the living dead.
That sounds a bit harsh. Well it is what the Bible teaches. It goes right back to the first man who ever lived – Adam.
God said to Adam, “Adam, you can eat any fruit in the Garden but not that one over there. If you do eat that fruit you will die.”
Adam, knowing full well what he was doing, ignores God’s warnings and eats the fruit. At that point death entered the world. Not the immediate death of the physical body, although that would occur, but Adam’s spirit died. It was that part of Adam that was able to love God and communicate with God that died.
Adam was destined to live forever. But God said in Genesis 3v22
“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.”
There we have it, one man rebels against God and death enters the world.
If you do not know God personally, you are dead.
But I’m alive you cry. I can see, I can hear, I can touch, I can smell and I can taste.
That is all true, but if you don’t know God you don’t know what real life is like.
In the book of Romans, chapter five it says;
.. just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned - ………
You see as soon as Adam sinned, you and I were implicated. We became the living dead. We can walk around and do all the things that we want to do. But spiritually we can do nothing. We can’t know God, we can’t please God, and we are spiritually dead.