Ephesians– overview of 2:1-6; From death to life, our salvation by grace, part 3.

Class Outline:

Tuesday May 28, 2019


EPH 2:1-6 From death to life - the doctrines of salvation (soteriology).


EPH 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,


Our death was the result of:


“trespasses” - paraptoma = a false step or a blunder.

“sins” - hamartia = to miss the mark.


EPH 2:2 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.


EPH 2:3 Among them we too [Jews] 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.


EPH 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,


EPH 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),


EPH 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,


Can we each clearly see with the eyes of our heart what the difference is between our past death and our current life?


Since our overt appearance doesn’t change and our flesh does not completely lay down in its grave, we can be fooled into thinking our regeneration that made us born again of Spirit and water was not such a great change after all - but it was the most significant and disparate change ever made in this world. It is more contrasting and different that a caterpillar becoming a butterfly or two cells becoming the complexity that is a human being. It is death to life. Lazarus was dead four days, we were dead for years and decades and God made us alive in the life that is Christ, united to Him forever, and in His image. No greater change or victory has been ever seen or ever will.


Paul says, “And you were dead.” He doesn’t mean this figuratively. He means dead men; a real and present death.


This gets confused by almost everyone because they are physically alive, and at least when they are young enough, feel very alive. If God executed the judgment of death upon us at birth then there would be none of us. If He did so when we reached adulthood, then most of us would have never had the opportunity to believe in Christ, the only solution. Yet God reveals our death to us all along the way. The world, our own frailty, the sin and evil within ourselves and in others betrays to us that something is wrong. It’s not too many years into a person’s life that he is overwhelmed by some sorrow, disappointment, or pain, when he stops singing, “What a wonderful world.”


Remember, we have an immaterial and a material side. We are duplicitous. On one side of our being, we are alive and flourishing, but on the other side we may be paralyzed and lifeless.


We could witness a man showing great energy of mind and body at some temporal or secular task while within his spirit, he is “full of dead man’s bones.”


All of us were born physically alive and spiritually dead. Yet, the inner man was designed by God for truth, righteousness, divine joy and love, but for all who enter this world, it is dead to those things.


When you ask an unregenerate man about Christ and God, you have struck the dead part of him.


Ask the fallen man about some worldly thing with which he is familiar or enjoys and he will come alive in mind and conversation. Ask the same man about Christ and God and the Bible and you have struck a part of him that is dead. No wonder he so often reacts with horror, fear, agitation, and bitterness. You have shown a beautiful landscape to a blind man and asked him what he sees; heavenly music to a deaf man and asked him what he hears.


We would conclude that the man has no hope, and he wouldn’t if it weren’t for God the Holy Spirit who convicts the world. God supernaturally expresses the gospel to the man through you. You are God’s instrument.


Yet God has placed the desire for eternity within him. No man can fully crush or root out his craving for God in his breast.


A friend of mine posted this today:


The Fingerprint of God given to every human being - Permanent desires present at birth:

1. Desire for someone to 'be there' for you (Omnipresence).

2. Desire to trust in that someone's ability (Omnipotence).

3 Desire to trust in someone's knowledge (i.e., that he or she understands) as you search for understanding about the meaning and purpose of life (Omniscience).

4. Desire to trust that this caretaker can give you direction which will benefit your search for a plan (Sovereignty).

5. Desire to trust the truth of what this person says, as being accurate to describe reality. This desire includes a search for reality (Truth).

6. Desire to trust my caretaker's affection - a search for love and approbation (Love).

7. Desire to trust in the order of my caretaker - a search for order that guarantees my rights (Righteousness).  

8. Desire to trust my caretaker's fairness - the search for equality and genuine fairness in life (Justice).

9. Desire to trust that my caretaker will always be there - a search for perpetual life (Eternal Life).

10. Desire to trust in my caretaker's consistency -the search for security in things which do not change or are incapable of change (Immutability).


All the world desires justice, peace, love, and happiness. It is their craving for God that God has placed within them. Why so many of them balk when God is offered to them without cost through the Person of Christ is a mystery.


And to every man the word of life comes, the gospel of their salvation if they will believe in Him, vv. 8-9.


Christ’s sentence upon unbelief was, “Light is come into the world; and men loved darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.”


JOH 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


JOH 3:19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.


JOH 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.


JOH 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."


EPH 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,


EPH 2:2 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.


The course of the world is according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), and that air (spirit = breath) is filling and inspiring the lives of the sons of disobedience (unbelievers).


“The Power of the air is a fitting designation for the prevailing spirit of the times, whose influence spreads itself like a miasma through the whole atmosphere of the world. It manifests itself as a contagious nature-power; and a spiritus rector (ruling spirit) works within it, which takes possession of the world of men, alike in individuals and in society, and assumes the direction of it.” [Beck]


This sin and evil that pervades the porous atmosphere is not forced upon man. God’s anger and judgement threatens above it, for the offenses that provoke God lie in our very nature.


Sin is a constitutional malady in man. He is a born sinner, Jew or Gentile. Yet, by grace, the believer has been made alive and raised up to sit with Christ.


How strange that men should argue that God’s love forbids His wrath. It is, in truth, the cause of it. We could neither love nor fear a God who did not care enough about us to be angry or grieved when we broke His perfect law and fell away from Him. If God did not thoroughly condemn sin then we couldn’t trust Him or depend upon Him. If your own child went the way of perdition, down a road of pain and ruin to themselves and others, destroying peace in others’ homes, and you were not angry or grieved, would you be a parent that loved him? How much more our God of heaven?


As God’s children, at its simplest, it is in obeying His commands that sunshine will be within our inner man, and it is in disobeying His commands that gloom will reside there. In this passage, we were dead and unable to obey Him, but, being rich in mercy, because of His great love towards us, He has made us alive, and now we can obey.


And if that were the end of the story, well, we would be here reading about it.


“He pities evil men, and to save them spared not His Son from death; but Almighty God, the Father of glory, hates and loathes the evil that is in them, and has determined that if they will not let it go [by faith in Christ], they shall perish with it.” [Dods]