We have completed chapter one in six classes. Not bad. 1:3-14 explained the grace gifts of the Father to us, through Christ, in the past, present, and future. 1:15-19 was Paul’s prayer that these gifts would be known and exploited to the maximum by us. 1:19-23 was the vehicle by which these gifts could be given to men, the resurrection, ascension, and session of our Lord. We now begin the doctrines of the church, starting at our new birth, our salvation from death to life.
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,
The same almighty hand that was laid upon the body of the dead Christ and lifted Him from Joseph’s grave to the highest seat in heaven, is now laid upon your soul. It has raised you from the grave of death and sin to share by faith His celestial life.
Vs. 3, Paul acknowledges himself and all Jews as born as sons of disobedience. Jews thought that being from Abraham made them children of favor.
In verse 3, Paul acknowledges that himself and his fellow Jews were also sons of disobedience who went through the motions of the Mosaic Law and who thought that just by birth they were children of favor, as Jews presumed, but they were children of wrath just like the rest, born in sin.
Jesus made this clear to the Jewish leadership and they hated Him for it.
Though we were used to it, the death that was upon us before regeneration was real. It was dark, lifeless, lonely, cold, corrupt, and ugly. Jesus entered a rotting world, filled with decay and death and He was the only One truly alive. His own loneliness as a light enveloped in darkness must have been keenly felt by Him. His only true fellowship was in prayer with His Father.
It is significant that His path from loneliness and isolation to having a numerous group of people that He could truly call His brethren, of whom, not one is He ashamed, is like our own path from death to life. Jesus’ brethren were made His bride and His body because all these things; election to holiness and blamelessness, predestination to adoption as sons, redemption, wisdom and insight into God’s mystery, His inheritance, all sealed by God the Holy Spirit, and empowered by Him; were brought about when He was raised from the dead. At Pentecost the first men were entered into union with Christ and since then, millions more have become His family of royal priests.
Look at it in the sister epistle to this one.
COL 1:9For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will
in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
COL 1:10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
COL 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
COL 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
COL 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
COL 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
To be able to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in everything we do, to bear His fruit in every good work, having His power flowing through our spiritual veins is the most dramatic change that could ever happen to a person. Being immoveable, patient, and filled with joy and gratitude is so diametrically opposed to what we once were that our very existence is the miracle of Christ’s resurrection.
Can we each clearly see with the eyes of our heart what the difference is between our past death and our current life?