Week One – Day 2 – Tuesday, August 30, 2016.
Read EPHESIANS 2:1-3, 12 (ESV) SOAP v 12
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
EPHESIANS 2:12 (ESV) 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
O – What is the result of sin? From ESV – and (AMP)
- Dead in trespasses and sin – (spiritually dead and separated from God)
- Following the course of this world (following the ways of this world – influenced by this present age)
- Following the prince of the power of the air
- Following the spirit that is working in the sons of disobedience (the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient, the unbelieving who fight against the purposes of God)
- Living in the passions of our flesh (our behavior governed by the sinful self)
- Carrying out the desires of the body and the mind (indulging the desires of human nature without the Holy Spirit – and the impulses of the sinful mind)
- By nature children of wrath – like the rest of mankind (by nature, children under the sentence of God’s wrath, just like the rest of mankind)
- Separated from Christ (excluded from any relationship with Him)
- Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel
- Strangers to the covenant of promise (with no share in the sacred Messianic promise and without knowledge of God’s agreements)
- Having no hope (in His promise)
- Without God in the world (living in the world without God)
A – As I read all these things about our former state – our “natural” state – I was saddened by the extent of our separation from God, and our eternal destiny. It really is hopeless! And, it does not categorize, or list sins by “extent” or “type.” It is ALL sin! So, that means we are all hopeless, dead in our sin, and following Satan BY NATURE. It is also following whatever the world does, to be influenced by this present age. After watching and reading of some of the political climate of this world, that is scary!
But it is also the fact that we, in our sin, just follow the inclinations of our flesh, the desires that come so naturally and without restraint, that is saddening. It is who we are – without Christ. And because of this nature, we are separated from God, separated from Christ, separated from the life that He so dearly wants to give us. We have no hope.
What does that mean for me, today? How many people do I know that are living this life, in this state of lost-ness? What am I doing about it? Sometimes, I think my “circle” is so limited. Paul works in a Christian organization. Our social life revolves around family and church. Our church is a half hour away. But, we do have neighbors, and we are beginning relationships with some of them. I have also noticed that Indianapolis is a “Christian-ized” community. Many of the people that I have talked with in our neighborhood or in close proximity have some sort of “christian” (little c) background. How do I get to the crux of the matter – “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Am I intentional in bringing conversation to MY relationship with Christ? That is convicting. I also am reminded of the man on the highway, that we recently learned is named Jeff. I’ve been bringing him bottles of cold water each time that I’m on my way to Avon to church. Sometimes, it is out of my way to deliver it, as I have to turn around down the road to either meet him, or get back to where I was going. But – his smile, and “God bless you,” and genuine appreciation make me return to him each week. How can we, as a couple, minister to this older gentleman who evidently cares about his surroundings, but also evidently has physical needs? Does HE know Jesus, beyond “God bless you?”
P – Father God, thank You for your love for me – that You sent Your Son to die in my place. Thank You for rescuing me from my place of lost-ness. Bring to my heart those who are lost in MY CIRCLE – and help me learn to minister to them, in Your name. Give me Your love for the lost, who need Your forgiveness. Help me share Your hope, Your promises, Your love – for them. Give me Your heart for the lost. Bring to my heart the urgency of the lost, the state of the dying, and the results of sin – in our world. For those “without God in the world,” may I be a messenger of Your hope, and Your love for them.
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David Guzik’s commentary on blueletterbible states: We err if we think that dead in trespasses and sins says everything about man’s lost condition. It is an err because the Bible uses many different pictures to describe the state of the unsaved man, saying he is:
– Blind (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
– A slave to sin (Romans 6:17)
– A lover of darkness (John 3:19-20)
– Sick (Mark 2:17)
– Lost (Luke 15)
– A child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3)
– Under the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
Gentiles were in a desperate place, being aliens, strangers, having no hope and being without God. This shows that they were not only spiritually dead, but they also did not have the access to God that the Jews enjoyed.
- Before coming to Jesus, Gentiles were “Christless, stateless, friendless, hopeless and Godless.” (Stott quoting Hendriksen)
- Having no hope: “The absence of hope in the face of death is amply attested in the literature and epigraphy of the Gaeco-Roman world of that day.” (Bruce)
iii. Without God in the world: Some people believe in God, but they believe He lives in heaven and has nothing to do with this world. In that way, a person can still believe in God and be without God in the world.
- Without Christ: These are terrible words, and the implications of them sum of the woeful condition of the lost man or woman. To be without Christmeans to be:
– Without spiritual blessings
– Without light
– Without peace
– Without rest
– Without safety
– Without hope
– Without a Prophet, Priest, or King
- “Without Christ! If this be the description of some of you, we need not talk to you about the fires of hell; let this be enough to startle you, that you are in such a desperate state as to be without Christ. Oh! What terrible evils lie clustering thick within these two words!” (Spurgeon)
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At Calvary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x716sz_iDk
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span