1 Ephesians 2A The wrd Christian was first used t describe fllws f Jesus in Antich Shrtly after the martyrdm f Stephen in Jerusalem, sme men frm Cyprus escaped the persecutin in Jerusalem traveling t Antich Once there, they began preaching abut Jesus t the Greeks there And amng these Greeks, a new fllwing f Jesus emerged, the first utside Jerusalem And this new Greek fllwer f Jesus began calling themselves Christians It s a uniquely Greek wrd meaning fllwer f Jesus And the Greek idea f fllwer is imitatr Fr the Greeks, a fllwer is ne wh is like the ne he fllws We might says Christian means a little Christ Of curse, we all say we want t be like Christ, because we knw that is the gal Christ has fr us And we als knw that many days we are nt at all like Christ Despite trying t fllwing His cmmandments, we fall shrt f His perfectin And smetimes we aren t even trying But here s the gd news...a Christian is ging t fllw in Jesus ftsteps in the end As Paul was teaching at the end f Ephesians 1 last week, Christ s future will be ur future t Christ died, and then the Father raised Him Christ entered int the Father s presence and received a psitin f hnr Christ has an inheritance and all authrity ver Creatin 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
2 Ephesians 2A 2 f 14 And since we are fellw heirs with Christ, we have a similar future We t will be raised We t will share in Christ s hnr and inheritance We t will have authrity and inheritance in the Kingdm Why d we expect these things? Simply because we have been made fellw heirs in the New Cvenant by Gd s grace Paul said in v that these things were secured fr us by the Father s might The Father s might accmplished these things fr His nly begtten Sn And the Father s might will likewise d these same things fr all His children by faith Isn t it a wnderful thing knwing that yur eternal future has been secured fr yu by Gd Himself Gd isn t waiting fr yu t d smething t secure that future He already secured it Yu are just waiting t see it cme t pass And surely, it will cme t pass fr all thse wh are in Christ by faith S nw as we enter chapter 2, Paul wants us t see this clearly, s at the beginning f chapter 2 Paul traces the Christian s path as we walk in Christ s steps As a little Christ we will d all that Christ did in a spiritual sense But nce again, Paul wants yu and me t understand we take this path in Gd s pwer, nt in ur wn This explanatin begins in vs.1-7 Tday we lk at the first step f that cmparisn, mving diligently if slwly as we have been Paul begins the chapter talking abut ur death 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
3 Ephesians 2A 3 f 14 Eph. 2:1 And yu were dead in yur trespasses and sins, Eph. 2:2 in which yu frmerly walked accrding t the curse f this wrld, accrding t the prince f the pwer f the air, f the spirit that is nw wrking in the sns f disbedience. In chapter 1 Paul said the path Christ tk as the first fruits f the children f Gd began with a death Christ s death was n the crss fr ur sins And nw Paul says ur path as a Christian (i.e., a little Christ fllwing after Jesus) als begins with death But in ur case, death refers t ur existence befre we came t faith in Jesus Christ Paul says that befre we knew Christ, we were dead in ur trespasses and sins Certainly, we were alive, at least in a sense Our heart was beating and ur spirit was alive But in terms f ur relatinship with Gd, we were dead, spiritually speaking Had we never cme t faith in Jesus, then the mment ur heart stpped beating, ur eternal future wuld have been determined We wuld have been frever separated frm Gd fr ur sin We wuld have experienced the secnd death Like a cnvict n death rw, we were alive, but nly temprarily and we had n hpe fr rescue Yu culd say we were as gd as dead But being dead ges even deeper than just ur spiritual future Being dead als describes ur spiritual inability t rescue urselves frm ur predicament T understand why this is rue, we need t lk mre carefully at Paul s explanatin f ur deadness 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
4 Ephesians 2A 4 f 14 Paul specifically says we were dead in ur trespasses and sins, and these tw wrds are nt synnyms The Greek wrd fr trespasses means literally false steps We culd say ging the wrng directin, as in walking smewhere we shuldn t g Like trespassing n smene else s prperty Trespasses are ffenses against law, against standards f righteusness S anytime we d smething different than what Gd wants, we trespass But als, when we vilate the laws f ur cuntry, we trespass When we disbey a parent r teacher r bss, we trespass When we break the rules and nrms f sciety, we trespass Even when we just fail t shw cmmn curtesy, when we say mean things r think unkind thughts, we trespass Simply put, when we d the wrng thing in any way, under any circumstances and fr any reasn, we are trespassing Even ne trespass makes us lawbreakers And all lawbreakers receive the penalty f the law And the penalty fr trespassing Gd s law is eternal death S Paul says we were dead in ur trespasses We may have been alive and walking arund, but we were the walking dead But then Paul adds that we were als dead in ur sins The Greek wrd fr sin means t miss the mark It s an interesting idea because it implies trying t d the right thing yet still cming up shrt in the end Imagine a university student wh was trying t pass a very difficult cllege curse 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
5 Ephesians 2A 5 f 14 The student studies diligently and takes the tests carefully, but in the end the student fails the exams and flunks the curse The student was trying t succeed yet still missed the mark in the end The result was n better than if the student had never tried in the first place This is exactly the situatin f every unbeliever wh is dead in their sins They may be trying t d the right thing frm time t time Nevertheless, they always cme up shrt in the end What they thught was gd turns ut t be a mistake Speaking as a man, I think this is an idea every husband understands instinctively We knw what it s like t set ut t d the right thing fr ur wives But smehw, in the end we miss the mark anyway Like the time we bught ur wife a weedwacker fr Mther s Day It seemed like such a gd idea at the time She had ften cmplained abut the appearance f the yard S surely a new yard tl wuld be an bvius demnstratin f ur lve It was nly after she started unwrapping it and we saw the expressin n her face that we began t recnsider ur decisin We had tried t the right thing, but we missed the mark The Lrd describes the dilemma f unbelievers (and husbands) this way in Isaiah: Is. 64:6 Fr all f us have becme like ne wh is unclean, And all ur righteus deeds are like a filthy garment; And all f us wither like a leaf, And ur iniquities, like the wind, take us away Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
6 Ephesians 2A 6 f 14 The Lrd says that the unbeliever is unclean befre Gd The Bible uses the image f wearing a clean, white rbe as a picture f being inncent, righteus befre Gd Cnversely, the Bible pictures a sinful persn under cndemnatin as being unclean, as if dressed in dirty clthing This is the state f everyne wh has nt accepted Jesus as Lrd The wrld f unbelievers are unclean, standing befre Gd clthed in dirty clthing, s t speak Isaiah says the gd wrks dne by unbelievers des change their standing befre Gd Unbelievers may d gd wrks f varius kinds Maybe they give dnatins t wrthy causes, r vlunteer t build huses fr the pr Maybe they send greeting cards t sldiers n Christmas Or they vlunteer t cut their neighbr s lawn after he s frced t return his weedwacker And thugh they dn t knw the Lrd, they still have many reasns fr ding these gd wrks Perhaps they think they are buying their way int heaven Or maybe they just want t abslve their guilty cnscience fr past mistakes Maybe they hpe it makes them lk favrable befre friends and family Or maybe they just like hw they feel when they help smene Whatever gd wrks they d and fr whatever reasns they d them, the Lrd says these wrks are like anther filthy garment They may have been seeking t be clean befre Gd, but they came ut just as dirty as ever Their righteus deeds were wrthless in the sight f Gd Which is irnic since religius peple expect their gd deeds t impress Gd 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
7 Ephesians 2A 7 f 14 Yet Gd Himself says such wrks have n value t Him And therefre, they ffer us n benefit either Nw we need t ask is Isaiah suggesting n ne can ever d a righteus deed? Nt at all, it s a questin f ur mtives...f why we d what we d Are we acting accrding t ur wn thinking and desires? Or are we mtivated and directed by Gd by His Spirit? If we act accrding t the leading f the Spirit, then ur wrks are truly gd because Gd Himself is directing ur wrk But f we wrk ut f ur sinful nature, then ur wrks are nt f Gd and therefre cannt be righteus Since unbelievers dn t have the Spirit f Gd, they can nly act accrding t their sinful nature Therefre, they always miss the mark as they attempt gd wrks What they chse t d isn t what Gd desires They will d it fr the wrng reasns r in the wrng way, etc. That s why scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that withut faith it is impssible t please Gd A persn nt mtivated by the Spirit f Gd is incapable f pleasing the Lrd And that means their any effrts they may make t please Gd will always miss the mark Like the example f tw peple thrwing a rck... S Paul says trespasses are ding wrng things, while sins are ding wrng things even thugh we were trying t d right things S prir t faith in Jesus Christ,we were spiritually incapable f ding the right things It didn t matter if we were trying r nt trying Either way, we were just falling deeper int the hle f debt we had befre Gd 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
8 Ephesians 2A 8 f 14 And when yu find yurself in a hle, yu have t find a way t stp digging And we were dead in tw ways Our trespasses left us in jepardy f the secnd death And ur effrts t reverse the situatin were fruitless because even ur gd wrks missed the mark We were we were dead because we were spiritually incapable f crrecting ur prblem Imagine a dead bdy laying in a casket at a funeral That bdy has zer ptential t crrect its situatin It s already dead and it can t bring itself back t life Even if smene held ut a magic pill with the pwer t restre life, the dead bdy culdn t reach ut and take it It s cnditin was a barrier t participating in a plan f resurrectin S it is with the unbeliever wh is dead in his trespasses and sins The unbeliever is already as gd as dead waiting fr judgment day And the unbeliever s desire t please Gd thrugh gd wrks can nly prduce mre sin Paul uses this as the starting pint f his cmparisn with Christ, because this is the very reasn Christ died fr us Christ is ur fellw heir s He walked this path first He endured spiritual death n ur behalf because we deserved that penalty He died n a crss Likewise, we fllwing in this step, but unlike Christ we were brn int ur cnditin f death Ntice in v.2 Paul says we were frmally walking accrding t the curse f the wrld 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
9 Ephesians 2A 9 f 14 The nrmal state f every persn n earth frm birth nward is t be dead in the ways Paul described in v.1 Everyne frm Day 1 is under the penalty f sin Even a 1-day ld child is already a sinner by nature, and therefre he r she is already under cndemnatin fr sin Elsewhere in Rmans Paul says: Rm. 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Nt at all; fr we have already charged that bth Jews and Greeks are all under sin; Rm. 3:10 as it is written, There is nne righteus, nt even ne; Rm. 3:11 There is nne wh understands, There is nne wh seeks fr Gd; Rm. 3:12 All have turned aside, tgether they have becme useless; There is nne wh des gd, There is nt even ne. Scripture never shrinks back frm this truth, and neither shuld we There is simply n such thing as an inncent persn brn f the family f Adam N ne starts inncent and becmes bad We all start bad, and by faith sme becme justified This is the curse f the wrld, Paul says It s nt smething specific t an individual It s cmmn t everyne And therefre, we all must cntend with it All humanity is fallen and all humanity is in capable f crrecting their prblem Furthermre, Paul says this curse had a starting pint in the prince f the pwer f the air The term prince generally refers t a spiritual authrity 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
10 Ephesians 2A 10 f 14 The ultimately spiritual authrity in all Creatin is Gd Himself, f curse He is the Prince f Heaven and Earth But Paul isn t talking abut that spiritual authrity He s talking abut Satan, which Paul calls the prince f the pwer f air, that is the prince f this fallen wrld Satan is the spiritual authrity n earth amng the unbelievers, at least fr a time He s the head cach f Team Unbelievers He leads the wrld int furthering his purpses Paul says Satan is wrking in the sns f disbedience at the end f v.2 He means that Satan uses unbelievers as pawns in his game f ppsing Gd and Gd s peple The unbelieving wrld are cllectively the sns f disbedience They are sns, as in children, f a spirit that seeks t disbey Gd Paul s drawing n a Eastern principle that as the father ges, s ges the children S the enemy is the father f lies, the surce f all sin and rebellin And thrugh his influence in the Garden, he brught all humanity int the same state f rebellin by nature S every persn is brn int this family and int this state f heart Think f it as spiritual DNA, which we inherit frm Satan and which prgrams us fr disbedience This is the death we all knw It s a death made necessary by the spiritual nature we inherited frm Adam And it s a death made wrse by ur feeble effrts t reverse ur cnditin It s a death that separated us frm Gd 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
11 Ephesians 2A 11 f 14 And it s a death we all knew befre we knew Christ We were all dead, which is exactly why Christ had t die in ur place There simply was n ther ptin available We culdn t rescue urselves We were as pwerless as a dead bdy S Jesus walked ur path int the grave s that we culd fllw His path int Heaven And that was just step ne f ur likeness in Christ Then Paul adds, ur nature drve ur behavir Eph. 2:3 Amng them we t all frmerly lived in the lusts f ur flesh, indulging the desires f the flesh and f the mind, and were by nature children f wrath, even as the rest. Thugh tday we have the grace f Gd in Christ and have cme t knw Him and are becming like Him, we start that way On the cntrary, we all started just as everyne in the wrld starts Paul said that we t were frmally like the wrld It s imprtant t remember where we began We never want t begin living as if we have always been Christian As if we had n need fr grace in the first place N ne is brn a Christian Even if we sprinkle water n a baby s frehead and call it a baptism, the child is nt magically made a Christian T be brn again requires the mvement f the Hly Spirit in the heart t raise a dead persn int new life That mment cmes as a matter f faith in Jesus Christ, the scripture says And until that mment happened in ur life, we were as dead as the rest f the wrld 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
12 Ephesians 2A 12 f 14 Paul says t were dead just a the rest, since we were children f wrath And as a result f ur dead cnditin, we acted in accrdance with ur nature That nature came t us thrugh a prcess f inheritance, which is why Paul calls us children Our parents were under Gd s wrath when they were brn because they inherited that cnditin frm Adam And likewise, we inherited it frm ur parents The nature f a persn defines the persn s actins and thughts Think f yur spiritual nature as a cmputer prgram It is hardcded int us and it determines what we will d The surce cde f all fallen humanity was written by the devil himself And it made us his children by nature And it cndemned us t Gd s wrath The result f a spiritually dead nature is that we bey that nature, we bey the lusts f the flesh, Paul says We indulged the desires f ur flesh, allwing them t dictate ur thinking and acting We submitted t the base impulses f ur nature rutinely and withut frethught Because that s what a fallen, sinful nature prduces autmatically Nw yu see why Isaiah says that even the gd wrks f an unbeliever are filthy garments Because ur nature was incapable f prducing anything truly gd We acted as ur nature demanded Like trying t swim in a pl withut getting wet...we were saturated by the water and every part f us was wet 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
13 Ephesians 2A 13 f 14 If yu were saved as an adult, then yu can prbably remember back t past years prir t cming t faith and see the deadness wrking in yur bdy Yu can remember life prir t the sanctifying wrk f the Spirit f Gd thrugh the wrd f Gd Yu shuld be able t clearly see the changes that cmes in yur life since being brn again Yu shuld ntice hw yu think differently and act differently Yu feel differently abut sin, yu desire it less, it makes yu feel uncmfrtable with yurself Mrever, yu have a new desire fr Gd s wrd, fr knwing Him and hearing Him Yu are draw int a life with Gd s peple Yu have becme aware f yur spiritual future and that future excites yu Yu are becme mre Christ-like Obviusly, sme f us mve dwn that path farther and perhaps faster than thers This des nt mean that the exemplary fllwers f Christ amng us are t be praised r valued abve the rest Nr des it mean that the slw r spiritually lazy amng us are excused fr their pr effrts It simply reflects that the jurney f sanctificatin is difficult at times and wn t lk the same fr everyne Meanwhile, we can all celebrate the changes we d see and give the Lrd glry fr them It s prf t us f hw far we ve cme even if it reminds us f hw far we have yet t g And Paul reminds us that it all started with us being dead like the wrld This truth is imprtant because it begins t raise an imprtant questin fr the believer 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
14 Ephesians 2A 14 f 14 Hw did I mve frm death t life? We knw we are fllwing Jesus ftsteps in the path Paul is utlining He died fr us, because we were already dead And then He was raised frm the dead s we culd fllw Him int life als But hw des a dead bdy raise itself? We just learned that we were s dead that even ur attempts t d gd things failed every time We missed the mark every time, s we culdn t g what was gd S then hw did we ever manage t accmplish the gd wrk f receiving the Gspel s as t becme alive again spiritually? It s like asking hw des a dead bdy raise stretch ut its arm t take the magic pill? In ther wrds, what vercame ur nature s as t allw ur salvatin? Paul answers that questin next 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.