Summary: Discussion about spiritual, physical and eternal death in relation to the salvation recieved through Christ.
Dead or Alive
The book of Ephesians was written by Paul. He was the man that wrote fourteen books out of twenty-seven books in the New Testament. They are referred to as the Pauline Epistles. At one point, Paul stayed with the Ephesians for three years. Though he did not write this letter while he was in Ephesus, but rather in Rome, Paul knew the Ephesians well enough to talk to them the way he did in this chapter of the letter. In tonight?s sermon, the Ephesians, according to 2:1, have something in common with a man that I once knew ? they were both spiritually dead.
Around October there was a man that I went to witness to by the name of Frances. Of course while I was there, I was a bit nervous because this man used to be a baseball coach of mine at least ten to twelve years ago.
He was dying of cancer so he looked nothing like I had remembered. The last time I saw him he was a fit man with a little belly and hair as white as snow, he had a beard to accompany his hair that was just as white.
This time he was hairless and as thin as a rail because of his chemotherapy. I knew I had something that he needed and that was Jesus.
You see...he was spiritually dead, as the word of God says that before a relationship with Jesus we are all dead in trespasses and sin. In tonight?s sermon I want to touch on three points, which are: Spiritual death, Physical death and Eternal death.
What does that mean to be spiritually dead? Well let?s look to the Word of God. (Now just a little side note when you’re studying the word of God and you have a question look for it and you will find it. God will reveal his word.)
Let?s take a look shall we? Verse 2 shows us what spiritual death is. ?Where in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience? verse 3 says ?Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.?
Now that was King James Version ? This is what it says from the New Living Translation, ? You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the Spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature, and we were under God?s anger just like everyone else.? All right, now just for a few minutes let us look more deeply into verses 2&3. This will give us a clearer understanding as to what spiritual death is.
Verse 2 ?you used to live just like the rest of the world?? now before I continue on I want you to notice that this is past tense, that means that when Paul was writing to the Ephesians he was talking to them as if they were already saved.
I think we can use what Paul knew about the Ephesians, from those three years he lived with them, as a template as to whether we are truly saved from sin. He?s saying that you used to live like the rest of the world, and many of you may be asking: ?What?s wrong with living like the world??
Well let?s find out what the Bible says about the world - James 4:4 ?You adulterers! Don?t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can?t be a friend of God.? Now I think that is pretty clear how God feels about the world. As we work through these few verses I want you to do a little self-introspection.
Let?s ask ourselves some questions:
Am I apart of this world that God hates so much?
Am I involved in activities that God would be unpleased with?
Am I involved in smoking, drinking or drugs?
Now, I?m talking to everyone in here, not just the teens, the Word of God is used to mold and shape everyone from young children to senior citizens. Are you living like the rest of the world? Full of sin? You know what sin is - ANYTHING unpleasing to God.
Are you obeying Satan? Because the Word says that Satan is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. If your not obeying God than guess who your obeying. There is no shade of gray folks, you’re either on Gods side or you?re on the devils side. Verse 3, ?All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature?? notice that when writing this Paul was again in past tense saying we used to live that way. If you can?t apply this to your life in a past tense sentence, then it is a good chance that you are still spiritually dead. We used to be full of sin we used to obey Satan. When you are saved that is when you come to understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what he really did for you, you could not and would not stay the same. You tell me how someone can accept Christ in their heart and stay the same. You can?t! It is impossible to have Christ enter into your heart, ask him to be your Lord (that is allowing him to have total ownership over your body) and there still be no change.