Summary: We need to be reminded of our past so we can live out our present and future. Here Paul paints a picture of our pre and present condition
We begin the second chapter of our study in Ephesians with a description of our lives, for those who are believers in Jesus Christ, prior to our acknowledging Him in our lives.
I have two main points and several sub-points for us. We begin…
1. Without Christ.
Because of the ill fated decision of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we begin out lives without a relationship with God. Paul makes it clear how are lives were B.C. If you are taking notes write this down, without Christ…
a. Man is Dead.
Paul wrote in the first verse, As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins. The word Paul uses for sin is hamartia which means a miss. A person shoots an arrow at the target and misses, that is hamartia. Sin is the failure to hit the target in life.
The girl knelt in the confessional and said, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
"What is it, child?"
"Father, I have committed the sin of vanity. Twice a day I gaze at myself in the mirror and tell myself how beautiful I am."
The priest turned, took a good look at the girl, and said, "My dear, I have good news. That isn’t a sin - it’s only a mistake."
We could only wish our sins were mistakes for Romans 6:23 states clearly, The wages of sin is death. Because we sin, we are dead without Christ. Everyone born into this world is born with a sin nature which prevents them from access to God. You and I and all of mankind have a problem, it is sin and it doesn’t matter how well we live our lives, without Jesus Christ at the center, sin has made us dead. In prison, when a condemned person is walking down the corridors, they refer to him as a dead man walking. Why? Because it is only a matter of time until he meets the executioner. Well, if you don’t know Christ as Lord and Savior, you too are a dead man or woman walking because it is only a matter of time until you meet the Maker and sin prevents you from entering into the promise.
It seems unfair on the surface. Born into the world, alive but dead. Fortunately Paul does not leave us hanging. He points out why in the next two verses. Write this down…
b. Man is disobedient.
2 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. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.
Paul speaking to Believers in Christ, reminds us where we once were, disobedient to the things of God. When we were born into the world, born without God because of sin, the Bible calls us children of wrath. When we reach an age where we understand our situation and still reject the One, Christ, who can lead us from our sins, we become children of disobedience.
There has been quite a number of movies out recently focusing on the devil and the supernatural realm. Here we find people who do not follow in the way of Christ are followers of the ways of the devil, the ruler of the kingdom of the air. Make no mistake, the devil is real.
Oh, right now the devil is working to influence your decision to follow him. Consider this story as an example, an illustration if you will…
One day while walking down the street a highly successful executive woman was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself. "Welcome to Heaven," said St.Peter. "Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we’ve never once had an executive make it this far and we’re not really sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in." said the woman.
"Well, I’d like to, but I have higher orders. What we’re going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in."
"Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind...I prefer to stay in Heaven", said the woman.
"Sorry, we have rules..." And with that St. Peter put the executive in an elevator and it went down-down-down to hell. The doors opened and she found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends - fellow executives that she had worked with and they were all dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kinda cute) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing. She was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook her hand and waved good- bye as she got on the elevator.