FROM DEATH TO LIFE – A
Ephesians 2:1-11 (NIV)
This letter was written to the Church at Ephesus, but it is directed to all Christians of every generation.
Paul is making a comparison in this passage of what the Christian was before salvation and what the Believer is after salvation.
I. THE BELIEVER BEFORE SALVATION. 1-3
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”
1. Paul is not talking of physical death, but of spiritual death.
Every person without Christ is dead. What does Paul mean?
We look around and we see people walking about, talking and breathing – yet if they do not have Christ they are dead.
2. Death here means they do not have the life of God in them.
The Prophet Isaiah said, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isa. 59:2)
Dr. Tony Evans says, “They may be able to run a marathon, but if they do not have the life of God in them – when God reads His coroner’s report He pronounces them dead.”
3. Death in Scripture always means SEPARATION.
In physical death man’s spirit is separated from his body – but in spiritual death man’s spirit is separated from God.
Verse 2 – “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,”
So before we were saved we were dead because we were separated from God “in which you once walked according to the course of this world,”
a. The word “walked” in this verse is speaking of our behavior; the way we live; the way we conduct our lives.
b. Paul tells them they are living “according to the course of this world”
This is speaking of the world system that puts pressure on us to conform to its ways.
This pressure is strong and persuasive and is hard to resist.
Peer pressure is a powerful persuader. It will cause people to try drugs, immoral sex, and doing other things they would not ordinarily do.
That’s why Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
c. Paul continues verse 2, “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,”
This is referring to Satan and make no mistake he is a cunning, powerful, dominating being who desires to makes us all “children of disobedience.”
Paul understood this and that is why he tells us in Eph. 6:11 to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Verse 3 – “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
Before we were saved our actions and behavior was sinful because our appetite was worldly our desires were of the flesh.
II. THE BELIEVER AFTER SALVATION. 4-10
A. The Work Of God. 4-7
What the sinner could never do in his life the power of God can.
In verses 1-3 we read what were before we met Jesus and He changed our lives.
Verse 4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us”
a. “But God” – Don’t miss these two words – they are dynamic – they are powerful – they are life changing.
We wanted to do right and live right but had no power to change – “But God.”
But God – will take a dead man and make him alive.
But God – can take a guilty man and set him free
But God – will take a man who is shackled by the chains of sin and remove all restraints.
But God – will take a person burdened down with the pressures of sin and shame and let him know that he is forgiven.
But God, and only God – will take an unclean person and make him clean.
God can and will do this for any person that will surrender their life to Him because He is “is rich in mercy.” and ” because of His great love with which He loved us”
b. It was at Calvary that God displayed His hatred of sin and His love for sinners. 5
“even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”
When we were sinners we were spiritually dead, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we are spiritually resurrected.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead physically will raise the believer up spiritually.
What makes this spiritual resurrection so important is that it puts us in union with Christ.
Verse 6-7 – “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
When God raised us spiritually He didn’t leave us sitting in the graveyard, but exalted us to sit with Jesus in the heavenly places.
Our physical position is on earth, but our spiritual position is that of sitting together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
We are God’s showpiece – that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (v.7)
For all eternity we will show forth the glory of God.
Not even the angels in heaven know what it is to be sinners and then be saved by God’s grace. We are going to be God’s showpiece for all eternity.
B. The Love Of The Savior. 8-9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
This is probably one of the most familiar and most memorized verses in the Bible by Christians. It is pure and simple, and yet powerful.
It states we are saved by grace and not by works. If salvation was by works it would be something we earned and that is something impossible for man to do.
Paul tells us in Romans 4-4-5: “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,”
Thank God that Jesus paid our full sin-debt at Calvary, all we have to do is accept it.
C. The Work Of The Saint. 10
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We are God’s workmanship created in Jesus.
2 Cor. 5:17, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation.”
But why were we created? The Scripture says we “are created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We are not saved by works, but because of what God has so graciously done for us we should have a desire to serve Him in any way we can because we love Him.
While we are in the heavenly’s spiritually, we are still on earth physically and are to live lives that are pleasing unto Go. (Read chapter 4)
“I will not work to save my soul.
That work my Lord has done,
But I will work like any slave,
For the lov e Of His Dear Son.”