Summary: A sermon on spiritual death based on Ephesians 2:1-5
3rd Sermon on Ephesians 2:1-9 for 4/5/2009
Dead or Alive?
The story is told about a little boy who found a rat in his back yard. He jumped on it. He stomped on it. And he killed it. He was so proud of himself, and he ran to show it to his mother. But he didn’t realize that the preacher had come to call. So the excited boy ran into the house, carrying the rat by the tail, hollering to his mom, “Mom, look what I found. I jumped on it, I stomped on it, and…” Just then he noticed the preacher and he finished his sentence by saying, “And then the Lord called him home.”
A. Ephesians 2:1 says that we were dead in our transgressions and sins. The King James here says that we were quickened or made alive in spite of our deadness. The NIV says the same thing in vs. 5- made us alive (quickened) with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.
B. Funerals are serious things. We avoid talking about death and are uncomfortable with anything associated with death, especially the death of a human being.
C. I know this is Palm Sunday and that was a joyous occasion. However, just a few days after this we have Jesus being arrested, taken to his trials, flogged, mocked, nailed to a cross and then on Good Friday he died.
Thesis: This morning let’s talk about death from these verses.
I. Physical death compared to spiritual death
A. What is death?
1. Natural or physical death- The separation of the soul from the body. The result to the body is malfunction and turning back to dust.
2. Spiritual death- The separation of man from God.
3. Both of these are a result of the Fall- Genesis 3.
B. Those physically dead have the organs for all 5 senses, but no ability to have them function. Without the soul the body ceases to function. (Psa 135:15 NIV) The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. (Psa 135:16 NIV) They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;(Psa 135:17 NIV) they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.
C. So the spiritually dead have no ability to function or respond to spiritual things. They have lost their spiritual senses. They do not see the beauties of God; they see not God or Christ. (Mat 13:14 NIV) In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "’You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. (Mat 13:15 NIV) For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’(Mat 13:16 NIV) But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
D. The physically dead have all the parts to create motion, but the parts are at rest. They cannot walk or sit up or do anything that causes the body to move.
E. The spiritually dead have all the parts to create motion, but the parts are at rest. (2 John 1:6 NIV) And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
F. The physically dead are cold to the touch. Many a person has gone into a room to find the body cold to the touch. I clear sign that there is no life. A living body retains its heat very much in the same manner as a fire retains its heat. As long as the Lord tarries, our body will consume energy and remain warm until we run out of fuel and our body will then turn cold and die. The dead are as cold as the grave that covers them.
G. The spiritually dead have no warmth of Christian love going out either to God or man. (1 John 3:14 NIV) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
H. Those physically dead, the body goes on to corruption, goes back to dust. We can halt the process for a while with preserving techniques but eventually that dead body is going to decay and go back to dust. (Eccl 12:7 NIV) and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
I. Those spiritually dead are going onto corruption and even more corruption. We see it in their morals, in their attitudes, in their actions. The stench of death is all around them and if unchecked by God will continue to get worse. How could someone do something so terrible? Spiritual death gets worse and worse. (Rom 1:28 NIV) he (God) gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.