Saturday, July 11, 2020

Ephesians 2:1-7 - Sin and Our Inability

Ephesians 2:1-7
2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Paul describes our spiritual condition before salvation as being spiritually dead in our sins, devoid of the life of God (v. 1). Our problems went deeper than our own transgressions. Because sin was the sphere in which we lived and the power that held sway over our lives, we followed the standards of a world that is in rebellion against God. Even worse, Satan, the invisible ruler of the realm of cosmic evil, was actively working in our lives. In a word, we were “sons of disobedience” who defied and disbelieved God (v. 2). Sin had its grip on our whole being, and we carried out its evil desires with our bodies and minds.

Moreover, our rebellion against our Maker had eternal consequences: we “were by nature,” from birth, “children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (v. 3). Along with the rest of humanity we were destined for an eternity under God’s wrath. Consequently, we could not rescue ourselves, for we were in a deep spiritual pit from which we could not escape. Paul underscores our need for salvation in order to exalt all the more God’s matchless grace in Christ. Paul is exuberant as he proclaims God’s great mercy, love, grace, and kindness that delivered us when we could not deliver ourselves (vv. 4–9).

When we were spiritually dead, God regenerated us by spiritually joining us to the risen Christ (v. 5). This is permanent, as we ascended spiritually to heaven and sat down with him! God’s purpose in all this is for us to display his grace forever (v. 7). He seated us with Christ in heaven (v. 6), giving us a share in Christ’s victory over the Devil and his demons. What God has done for us in union with Christ is a present reality, but it will be fully known only when Jesus returns.

If not for God’s grace, Paul’s hard words (vv. 1–3) would still describe you - assuming you are in Christ. If you are a Christian, praise God that you are not apart from Christ but are in Him and delivered.