Summary: Continuing our look through Ephesians. Looking at God's amazing grace.
From Death to Life
October 6, 2019
Can I ask you something? Does it drive you crazy when someone brings up your past mistakes and sins? You know what I mean?
Couples tend to do that when they’re arguing. Well, I remember when you said this to me 10 years ago! OR You’re acting like you did that time on February 28, 2009 when . . . (FILL IN THE BLANK)
I understand we can’t always cause ourselves to forget the past and the wounds which have hurt us. It’s never easy to let go and move forward.
But can you imagine if God would do that to us? If on that day when I come before the Lord, God says, “Deutsch is here, cancel all of my other appointments, I won’t have time for anyone else today!!” That’s one of my worst fears, that God will dredge up every single one of my sins. Not my mistakes, but my sins. He’ll name them ONE by ONE. And I’ll be so super embarrassed and ashamed by my stupidity, ignorance and selfishness.
I say that as a kind of hyperbole for how we think. We’ve been moving through the book of Ephesians and this morning we’re going to look at the first 10 verses of chapter 2.
Paul starts this section on a really downer note. Listen to the first 3 verses –
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 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 — 3 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.
Let me summarize what Paul’s telling the people. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure this out. You people of Ephesus, and we could add our names to the list, at one time, you were dead because of, and this is interesting because the word TRESPASS in Greek references our unintentional sins, while the word SIN references our intentional sins.
So, Paul says we were dead, whether they’re intentional or unintentional sins, we lived according to the ways of the world, we followed the one who leads the ways of the world, satan. We followed our passions, if we wanted it, we did it, if it hurt someone we didn’t care, we did it. As a result, we were no different than any other person, we were at odds with God.
It may sound like Paul is really angry, but he’s not. He’s stating a fact.
Let me give you an example of what sin is like. Have you ever had blisters on your feet from a bad pair of shoes? Or maybe you’re a runner and you get blisters, but because you keep running - - and those blisters turn into callouses. Eventually, those callouses become hard, and you could stick a pin into those callouses and you wouldn’t feel it. You know what I mean? I remember my mom would go to the foot doctor to have her callouses filed down.
That’s what Paul is talking about when it comes to our sin, intentional and unintentional. We become hardened to it. We do it once and feel guilty, but we do it again, and don’t feel so bad. Maybe we even justify it. It doesn’t matter what it is, we have away of making ourselves not feel so guilty. Those blisters which hurt, no longer hurt, they’ve become hardened, as do our hearts.
So, that’s where we’re at to start Ephesians 2. What’s so cool is what Paul does next. Because he’s not going to allow us to stay put in our sins. He wants to move us out of that thought process, because he goes on to tell us - -
Isn’t that a great word!? I know it’s kind of funny and silly, BUT let me tell you how great a word that is . . . .
Paul was just telling us we’re wretched sinners. We WERE dead, we ONCE WERE - - Notice it’s all in the past tense. Now, God is telling us something different. How many times have we used this word to change the tone of what we were saying.
How many times have you told your child that you were not happy with them, maybe you were pretty angry, yet, you end the conversation with BUT, I love you! Without realizing it, BUT can be a very powerful word.
So, Paul changes the tone of his letter, we were sinners, but now see who we are - -