Summary: Dead, then alive, all because God stepped in!
EPHESIANS # 3
From the first part of Chapter 1, we learn these transforming truths.
“I am blessed... with every spiritual blessing!”
“I am included in God’s family by His design and will.”
“I am valued because He invests His grace in me.”
“I am at rest because I am included in Christ.”
In the second part of Chapter 1, there is a prayer for
wisdom and revelation that will lead us to know Christ better.
The prayer goes on to ask for us to see clearly the power that is ours in Christ.
It is RESURRECTION power, COMPLETED power, and RULING power.
Oh, what a letter this is. In just a few chapters, Paul who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, sums up the Gospel.
TEXT - Ephesians 2:1-10 PB 1818
This whole passage hinges on two words in v. 4 – “But, God...” With those words darkness is turned light, hopelessness is thrown aside for favor, a desperate situation is changed to one of amazing destiny!
The universal plight of humanity is death and not the death we commonly think of with corpses, coffins, and cemeteries! The greater problem is spiritual death.
When the Bible says, “you’re dead” there is no hyperbole or allegorical intention. It means what it says. We moderns, in love with this present world as we are, work hard to convince ourselves that life goes on unending here. The fact is that this life is a prelude to an existence that stretches into eternity. As he talked with Martha, the sister of his friend, Lazurus, who had died, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26, NIV)
There is a pre-existing fatal condition that renders us walking dead men. That condition? Sin!
The passage uses two words to define the fatal disease. First is ‘transgressions.’
These are the things we do when we wander, deluded, deceived into places forbidden by God. We don't plan to disobey God many times, but we find that we do. Romans 7 says that even when we have good intentions, we end up going wrong. "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong." (Romans 7:18-21, NLT)
Desperate, isn’t it?
The Bible secondly speaks of “sins.” As hard as it to admit, sometimes with our wills fully in function, we make the choice to do what we know is wrong. We are aware that our actions are morally inexcusable, but we choose to do what we want to do anyway.
Beyond individual choices, there are two additional causes for spiritual death, rooted in LARGER issues.