To be made alive when one is already living is a confusing statement. Paul is teaching us that there is a spiritual death and a spiritual life. And God is the One who has made us spiritually alive. Most importantly He set things in motion for this result even when we were dead in our trespasses. This takes the self-action completely out of the picture and places our hope of calling fully in His hands. There is true rest in this understanding.
Ephesians 2:1-3, 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 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, 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.
Every one of us, by nature, were children of wrath. We were born with the sin nature as a result of the fall of Adam and in Psalms 14:1-3 states that the “Lord looks down from heaven and sees that there is none who does good, no not one”. This is confirmed in Romans 3:10-18 where the Apostle Paul quotes from several verses in Psalms to validate this.
This truth is the first and most important concept to grasp. Whether we go to heaven or not does not depend on how good of a life we live while here on earth. It is not a matter of our good out weighing our bad, nor the hope of mercy on us from Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Fact is Peter in not at the gate of heaven, the word is very clear in that it is Jesus who will judge both the quick and the dead. It does not matter if we attend church regularly or never walk in a church. We are all the same in that everyone comes into this world a fallen man and without making a confession of faith in that; “Jesus is the Son of God having died for our sins and now lives at the right hand of God, making intersession for us”, we will exit this world apart from God just like we entered. We must grasp our natural fallen state and then recognize that there is nothing we, of ourselves, can do to change this. Bottom line; without Godly intervention, we are toast. Here in lies the truth and power of verse 1 of chapter 2 in Ephesians.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. (Emphasis, mine) Who is this He, spoken of in this verse? This He is God, and in reading the first chapter of Ephesians it is clear to see that all of the work and preparation needed for our salvation came from God. Jesus was the sacrifice and had to be a willing sacrifice, but it is God who makes everything valid. God is truly on your side. Possibly the most quoted scripture from the bible is John 3:16, and yet most people do not realize the awesome power and truth of the words, “God so loved the world”. The typical theme of rejection that there even is a God is the recognition of all the violence and death of innocent people. One standard argument from people who do not want to believe in God is, “If there is a God that truly cared, than why does he allow all of the unnecessary death and violence”? This is usually followed up with something like this, “if I were god, I would put an end to all of the violence and make everybody love each other, and get rid of all of the mean people”. Neither statement is from a person that has any idea of who God truly is.
Even our scientists today are beginning to quietly reject the Darwin theory and come around to the single beginning existence Christians call “Creationism”. Many are not ready to call Him God, because they do not want to answer to a God for their worldly actions, but nevertheless, admit that something or someone had to create this world and all of the life in it. Once you understand that God originally created man with a free will, so that the love and desire to communicate with God would be by choice and not robotic, then you can begin to see that it is man’s lack of self-control that is the problem. God created man to have fellowship with and the exchange of free mutual love, not forced obedience. God created the angels for that task, but the word tells us that even though He made man a little lower than the angels, He gave man dominion over all that He created. (Psalms 8:3-9) From the fall of Adam, man has looked at his world through natural, sinful eyes and with all of his infinite wisdom has fought against his very own creator. In Luke 15:11-32 there is the story of the prodigal son. This story is a perfect word picture of a man living in the comfort and protection of his father’s house, leaving this protection with all that was his and falling flat on his face into a world of despair. Now look at the story of the fall of man in Genesis; man did the same thing, but in the last half of the story in Luke, the prodigal son comes to himself. He realizes that even the servants in his father’s house were better off than he was in his state of depravity. He reminds himself of how good life was back in his father’s protective home and decides to humble himself and return to ask for forgiveness and at least a position as a servant in his own fathers house.
God is pure love and cannot look upon sin; therefore, sin must be abolished in order for God to speak with us. In the story of the prodigal son, as soon as, the father sees the son returning in his fallen state he runs to him. The father does not sit and wait for the son to walk in the door begging for a position as a servant, he runs to him, cleans him up, and makes him whole again in his own home, not as a servant, but as his son. When you take this story in Luke as a word picture of God looking for our return so that He can restore us, couple it with John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, than reread Ephesians 2:1, you will see the power of God’s love. It is God that did all of the preparatory work necessary for our salvation, there is nothing we can do in our own strength. All we can do is repent of our fallen nature, accept, believe and confess Jesus as our Lord and savior. Romans 2:4 tell us, “the goodness of God leads you to repentance”. Accept His goodness!
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