:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; :2 Wherein 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: :3 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. :4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, :5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) :6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Over the next few days we will cover verse's 1-7 thought by thought but today I want us to view it as a whole. Read verses 1-3, those verses cover the life of a man or woman before they are in Christ. I've heard it said that dead men can do nothing for themselves but Paul tells us we were dead in trespasses and sins yet we were walking, we were fulfilling the lust of the flesh and operating in the spirit of disobedience. This isn't the case for some and not for others, this is the case of every man, woman, boy and girl. Without Christ, lost, helpless, hopeless, strangers and foreigners to the covenants of God. There has never been one who was born into this world who was not, aside from Christ Himself. Verses 1-3 depict a mans state before salvation, dead. Walking, talking, moving, living in this world but dead to the next one and if a man passes through this life having never been born again he will suffer the second death. Dear reader, it is imperative that we understand and teach that without Christ men will suffer the second death in the lake of fire. All are lost until they are regenerated. Family, friends, co-workers if they're outside of Christ they are lost and face an eternity of eternal death. Verses 1-3 are horrible truths that must be told, no one wants to hear of hell or of judgment or of condemnation or that their dead but this truth is one that brings us to realize we need a Savior. I remember when I realized I was lost, it was me that needed saving, I was sinful, I was in danger of judgment and eternal punishment, oh what terrible, wonderful truth that lead me to fall at the feet of God as a sinner in need of forgiveness and pardon and new life. You say: "This type of preaching will cause people to fear." May I remind you what it was the motivated Noah to obey God, it was faith that caused him to believe the word of God and it was the fear of God that moved him to action.
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house;.....
Men must realize that God will judge each one of us and outside Christ they will most certainly meet eternal condemnation.
Verses 1-3 are a sad period in a mans life but the verses that follow clears all debts, settles all affairs and completely changes everything. The man that was dead in trespasses and sins is forgiven, the spirit of disobedience has no power over him any longer, we no longer have to fulfill the lust of the flesh and mind because we are now fulfilled. I like the way Paul says it here: "But God." That is the point that must come in a mans life the point in time where your whole life here on earth pivots like it does in our verses today. Our verses make a 180 degree turn at verse 4. So is the life of a man who has meet Jesus. Has there been a pivotal point in your life when you meet the Savior? When you seen your self lost and hopeless without God but He stepped in and gave new life and joy and peace? I was not what the world would consider a criminal or even a "bad person" but I seen my self as the first three verses depict a man, lost, dead and hopeless, but God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved me, even in when I was dead in sins, hath quickened me together with Christ. These seven verses demonstrate the work of God in a persons life and I hope you can put your name in the place of the us' and we's in our verses.
Paul is carrying the same thought from the last chapter into this one, the thought of Resurrection from death unto eternal life.
Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, :21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: :22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, :23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
He told us about the power of God in chapter one that was wrought(or demonstrated) when he raised Jesus, not just from earthly death to earthly life but from earthly death unto eternal life. In chapter two Paul explains that it is the same power and same resurrection that saves and brings dead men from spiritual death and quickens(or makes alive) us with Christ. We are resurrected with Christ. Now we see the same illustration of how far God's power can elevate, from the grave in verse one to seats in Heaven in verse six. This should bring encouragement from two different avenues, from the past and from the future. Maybe your presents seems dark and dim and there seems to be no reason for rejoicing. Verses 1-3 reminds us where we were when He found us, dead, lost, hopeless, strangers and foreigners from God and his promises. When I look to my past I am amazed at where God brought my family from, drug addicts and drunkards whose lives were changed by the mighty power of God to redeem and change. I may currently not be as much like him as I long to be and I may still wrestle with the old man and lose but My family went to bed with prayers instead of parties, I spend my days at the church house and not in the bars and clubs, all these things are a result of his love and power, not mine. When I look to the future, the ages to come I see Christ high and lifted up, all tears wiped away, my sins are gone and all things are made new. So I may currently long for righteousness and fall short but one day in the not so distant future those things will no longer be a longing but a reality. Dear Christian, look to your past at how far He has brought you, now look to your future at how far He is going to take you, even into the heavenly realm and be comforted. Comforted by the great love wherewith He loved us!
According to the riches of His Grace!!