Alive from the Dead (Ephesians 2:1–4)

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Doug Van Meter - 6 December 2015

Alive from the Dead (Ephesians 2:1–4a)

Ephesians Exposition

It is an inestimable privilege to be a member of the body of Christ, the church over which God the Father has placed Jesus as Head (1:22–23). Sadly, we often forget the magnitude of this glorious privilege. We forget that, as Paul teaches in the opening verses of Ephesians 2, members of the Body of Christ were once dead but are now, by the power of the living God, alive. Ephesians 2:1–10, like the two sections in chapter one, is one long, unbroken sentence. In this study, however, we will focus on vv. 1–4, where we see the power of the gospel in changing us from what we were because who God is and therefore because of what He does.

From Series: "Ephesians Exposition"

This series comprises the sermons preached at BBC during an exposition of the book of Ephesians.

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The songwriter wrote, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” And so we should be. It is an inestimable privilege to be a member of the Body of Christ, the church over which God the Father has placed Jesus as Head (1:22–23). To be adopted as God’s children results in us crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; cf. Mark 14:36). But, sadly, we often forget the magnitude of this glorious privilege. We forget about the “exceeding greatness of His power toward us” in enabling us to believe thereby becoming His people Ephesians 1:19). For, as Paul teaches us in the opening verses of Ephesians 2, we who are members of the body of Christ were at one time dead, but by the power of God we are now alive. No wonder Paul says elsewhere, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16). Paul wants these believers for whom he is praying, and to whom he is now writing, to contemplate God’s grace, love and power, in order that they might be moved to wonder, love and praise. I trust that our study will do the same for us.

What’s the Big Idea?

This section, like the two that we examined in chapter one, is another long, unbroken sentence. Clearly, vv. 1–7 is one sentence and, allowing for the conjunction in v. 8 (“for”), it probably continues through v. 10. The subject of this one long sentence is “God” (v. 4), and the main verb is “made us alive” (v. 5). This is the big idea of the passage. And this should be the big idea that motivates how we live.

In this study, we will focus on vv. 1–4. We will see the power of the gospel in changing us from what we were, all because of who God is, and therefore because of what He does.

We will study the opening four verses under two broad following headings.

The Way We Were

Paul first reminds us of the way we were:

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 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.

(Ephesians 2:1–3)

In these opening three verses Paul provides an unflattering description of mankind—universally—apart from God’s gospel.

John Stott comments on this passage, “Against the sombre background of our world today Ephesians 2:1–10 stands out in striking relevance. Paul first plumbs the depths of pessimism about man, and then rises to the heights of optimism about God … a vivid contrast between what man is by nature and what he can become by grace.”1 This description should therefore both humble and give us hope.

The description of the way we were before experiencing the gospel divides into three areas.

Our Condition

According to vv. 1–2a, we are dead men walking: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked.”

Paul begins, “And you.” Many years ago, I was rebuffed by another pastor who complained that I too often pointed my finger and said “you” in my preaching. He was afraid that I was alienating people with such an approach. Though I appreciated his concern, I disagreed, for a few reasons.

First, since I spent all week preaching the sermon to myself, I figured that on Sunday I could quite easily say in effect, “And you.”

Second, as a preacher, I was not speaking in my own voice, but was instead a mouthpiece of God (when correctly proclaiming the Word). Therefore, I had the responsibility to say, “And you.”

Third, I care about those to whom I am preaching. I want to help and therefore there is a large pastoral element behind the “and you.” I think that Paul would have agreed. He also, as it were, pointed his finger and said, “And you.” Paul says “and you” in a dramatic sense. It connects what he is going to say with what precedes. So what is it that proceeds?

He has been praying that they will experience the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” of this privilege (1:16–23) and he continues this theme into chapter 2. In a sense, he is providing the answer to his prayers for them.

He wants them to “know” the power that is ours as members of His body; that is, the power of God that raised us from spiritual death. It is for this reason that we need to reflect on just how dead and spiritually hopeless we truly were. The power of God that we experienced at conversion is the same power that continues “toward us” (1:19).

This passage will help by grounding us in the doctrines of grace; that is, the gospel, “the power of God to salvation.” First the bad news, then the good news.

Paul says that we “were dead in trespasses and sins.” Note that we “were” dead—past tense. If you are a believer, this was your former condition, which you must remember if you will properly appreciate your present position.

“Dead is not merely metaphorical, but an actual description of what we are apart from the power of the gospel.

The word “dead,” of course, is used in opposition to “life.” The Bible has much to say about life (Genesis 2:7, 9; 3:24; Psalms 21:4; 34:12; 36:9; 119:50, 93; 133:3; Proverbs 3:22; Matthew 7:14; 16:25; 18:8; 19:16, 17, 29; Luke 12:22, 23; John 1:4; 3:36; 5:21, 26, 29, 40; 10:10; 17:3). Scripture describes life in terms of knowing God and all that goes along with that: relationship, fellowship, communion, belonging, purpose, identity, significance. It is to be alive to God.

To be “dead” is the opposite. It is to be dead to God. It is to be outside of a relationship with Him. “As Calvin insisted, what is meant is ‘a real and present death.’ The most vital part of man’s personality—the spirit—is dead to the most important factor in life—God.”2 “The sinful condition of humanity is lifeless and motionless as far as any Godward activity is concerned … a life lived according to an authority contrary to God.”3

In short, before we were transformed by the gospel we were as unresponsive to God as a human corpse.

To be dead is to have no fellowship, no communion and no purpose. It is to have a false identity and flawed significance. In a word, it is to be separated.

One of our elders was recently introducing a music concert at our church. He acknowledged that everyone in attendance was there because they enjoyed music, but warned that, if they died outside of Christ, they would be forever separated from that kind of choir.

This is precisely what death is: separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body (see 2 Corinthians 5:8). Spiritual death is for the soul to be separated from God (see Genesis 2:16–17; 3:1ff; Ezekiel 18:4). To be dead to God means to be under His wrath (John 3:36). This is what we were before experiencing God’s power by which we were given life and raised from the dead.

We were dead “in trespasses and sins.” That is, “trespasses and sins” are the reason we were dead and the evidence of us being dead. The two words identify the same problem: Our lives miss the mark for which we were created, which is to love and to live for the Lord. As Stott highlights, “These two words seem to have been carefully chosen to give a comprehensive account of human evil.”4

The first word (“trespasses”) carries the idea of transgressing boundaries, while the second (“sins”) is the more general word for missing a mark.

“Trespasses” is literally “a slide-slip” or “deviation,” whereas “sin” means “failure.” The former speaks of a lapse, whereas the latter term speaks of shortcomings. Together, they drive home the reality that, when it comes to loving God and living for Him, we miss the mark.

If there is a distinction between the two, then the first speaks of sins of commission (deliberate transgressions) while the second refers to sins of omission (we are fundamentally bent towards not loving and obeying God). This is our characteristic. This is our condition. As Wood comments, “the repetition simply serves to underscore the multiplicity of ways in which man’s spiritual death is evidenced.”5 We are a mess. Yes, we are dead.

In a world where everyone is okay, there can be no guilt. And where there is no guilt, there can be no grace. You will not appreciate the grace of God in salvation until you embrace the magnitude of the guilt of your sinfulness.

Put another way, and very much in the immediate context (chapter 1), we will never appreciate or appropriate the power of God toward us until we appreciate the power required to bring us into that position. That is, we need to increasingly grasp the hopelessness of our predicament apart from the powerful grace of God.

Luke 15 records the parable of the two sons and a loving father. We know it as the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

The parable describes two sinners, both sons. The prodigal is the easier to identify. He lives a self-centred, debauched life. He demands his inheritance and then wastes it on a party life, before he finds himself hopeless and penniless, eating with the pigs. His friends, who had formerly partied with him, are long gone.

Meanwhile the older brother is at home, smugly “serving” and no doubt feeling that he is in his father’s good graces. But as the story unfolds we see that he too is a sinner. And his sin is just as ugly as his brother’s—perhaps even more so. Self-righteousness is diabolical.

Jesus told this parable to encourage the profligate and the debauched and also to warn the smugly self-righteous; specifically, the Pharisees. The point is simply this: Those who are seemingly close to the Father’s side because of their external “goodness” are in as much need of God’s grace as are those who are obviously far from Him.

In keeping with the passage before us, this parable highlights that those who are guilty of egregious sins of commission and those who are guilty of the less obvious sins of omission are both spiritually dead. Both are in need of God’s grace. This was particularly relevant to self-respecting Jews in Ephesus as well as those who so foolishly worshipped the goddess Artemas.

“And you,” my friend, are no different. Apart from Christ, you too are spiritually dead. Apart from the power of the gospel translating you from the kingdom of darkness, you are a lost and dead sinner. Sins of omission condemn you just as much as sins of commission.

It is such trespasses and sins “in which you once walked.”

The word “walked” refers to one’s manner of life. This matter of how we walk about is mentioned often in Ephesians (2:10: 4:17; 5:2). We are saved to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). This implies that our former walking about was in need of transformation. Paul here makes very clear just how bad it was.

This was their former lifestyle. They were dead men walking. When we were spiritually dead, we were still very much alive. We looked like those who were spiritually alive. We functioned in our families, in the work place, and on the sports field. In fact, we might even have been church members—active ones. Yet we were spiritual zombies. We walked contrary to God as we conducted our lives constantly missing the mark of living for His glory (Romans 3:23). And this is the way that everyone outside of Christ walks: alive, yet fundamentally dead.

We will never understand the world until we realise that those outside of Christ are walking dead. Boice notes what we must not fail to see, that, “Like a spiritual corpse, a sinner is unable to make a single move toward God, think a single thought about God, or even correctly respond to God—unless God is first present to bring the spiritually dead person to life.”6

You will never come to Christ until you come to this realisation. You may be very much alive physically, socially, financially, relationally, professionally and materially. However, until you realise that you are walking in opposition to the source of true life you will never now life. You need to hear the Spirit of God saying: “Walk this way!” Like Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones, we need to hear the voice of God before we come alive.

Our Captivity

We 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” (vv. 2b–3a). Here we see that, while we boast that we are free, we are, in fact, enslaved.

Paul highlights that, before we experienced the power of the gospel, we in fact were in bondage—to the world, to the devil, and to the flesh.

Captive to the World

We walked “according to the course of this world.” The word translated “course” is, literally, “age.” The word translated “world” is kosmos, and in almost every instance in the New Testament it refers to the ungodly worldview of life lived apart from God.

“Course” translates the Greek aion, which refers at times to the material universe as the manifestation of the ages; that is, according to the New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon, “the aggregate of things contained in time” (cf. Matthew 12:39–40; Mark 4:19; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Galatians 1:4). Paul uses the term repeatedly in Ephesians (1:21, 2:2, 7; 3:9, 11, 21; 6:12).

All the talk about “being my own person” and “walking according to my own drumbeat” is pretty much nonsense. Those who want to be “countercultural” and “anti-establishment individualists” pretty much form the same voting bloc and wear the same identifying clothing and have the same tattoos. They are, together, walking “according to the course of this world.” As they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Captive to the Devil

Not only are they captive to the world, but unbelievers are also captive to the devil. They walk “according to the prince of the power of the air.”

As mentioned, the “world,” which Paul identifies as “this” world, is the system that is opposed to God (2 Corinthians 4:4). And the ruler of “this world” is the devil, who is identified as “the prince of the power of the air”—literally, “the ruler of the authority of the air.” In John 12:31, Jesus refers to him as “the ruler of this world” and in Matthew 9:34 he is called the “ruler [prince] of the demons.”

“Air” most likely refers to the pervasive presence of the evil one and his minions. They are not bound by land or sea or geographic borders. They do not pass through any kind of passport control. They have easy access to any part of the globe. Yet at the same time it should be noted that this is an earthly term. The evil one is bound to that which is created, and he has no authority over those who are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Zoned for Zeitgeist

The text further speaks of “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” The word “spirit” here does not refer to the devil (who is an evil spirit). Rather, what Paul is saying is that the devil does influence the “spirit” or what the Germans call “zeitgeist”: the reigning spirit of the times. We were enslaved by it.

“Works” translates the Greek word energeia. This spirit is now energising the sons of disobedience. The devil supernaturally influenced—in an evil way—our worldview when we were “dead in our sins.” Our thinking was skewed. We thought we were free, but really we were enslaved.

I recently came across an article about Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, whose

religious upbringing seems to have backfired. Despite being raised in a strict Southern Baptist household in Springfield, Mo., the 51-year-old actor is now a proud atheist. In [an] interview in the UK’s Telegraph, Pitt linked his lack of faith to his dad, who raised him “with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn’t do.”

Well, Mr Pitt may be happy to think that he is free to live like he wants, but he is only fooling himself and other foolish people. He is actually being energised by the devil. He is enslaved to him.

So, make your choice. As Bob Dylan put it years ago, “you gotta serve somebody.” You will either be energised by God the Holy Spirit (1:19–20) or by the devil, the evil spirit. Luther got it quite right: Those outside of Christ are enslaved by the bondage of the will. “All humanity serves one of two masters—the Lord Jesus or the Ruler of the Kingdom of the air.”7

This is what we were apart from the power of the gospel. Paul wanted the Ephesians to realise what they really were, to understand the sinfully captive and corrupt condition in which they truly existed before they were converted. As they did so, they would all the more appreciate so great salvation.

Most of us only come to this realisation long after we have actually been transformed by the gospel, but as we come to appreciate this reality we are in a position to increasingly be transformed by the gospel.

Like Father, Like Son

Paul says that we were once “sons of disobedience.” That is, we were characterised by disobedience (5:6; Colossians 3:6). In other words, before we were transformed by the power of the gospel, we were like our father, the devil (John 8:44): hopelessly and unrepentantly disobedient.

“Disobedience” translates apeitheia, which is translated in the KJV often as “unbelief.” The term can literally be translated “disbelief” (see Romans 11:30, 32; Hebrews 4:6, 11).

Just as faith and obedience are inseparably linked in Scripture, so disobedience and unbelief. If we do not trust God, we will not obey God. We obey that which we trust. So think about it: Those who have not experienced the power of the gospel are trusting their lives and destinies to the devil. Quite literally.

Captive to the Flesh

The first part of v. 3 highlights what is true for all who are dead in their sins: that “the natural man is altogether at the mercy of the tyrant self and its rash impulses.”8 Paul writes of the sons of disobedience “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh.”

The Egalitarian Nature of Evil

In chapter 1, we noted that there was a deliberate use of “you” and “us” as Paul drew egalitarian parallels between Jews and Gentiles (see 1:11–13) with reference to salvation. In other words, Gentile believers are elected and saved and sealed in precisely the same as Jewish believers are. This is an important theme in Ephesians, where Paul emphasises that God’s community of faith knows no superficial ethnic distinctions. We see the same truth emphasised here; however, in this passage the emphasis is on egalitarian evil. Hence, “we all once conducted ourselves.” That is, Jews were in just as much a mess as were Gentiles. Sin is an equal opportunity desecrator. Though ethnocentrism is a sin, at the same time sin is not ethnocentric!

In 1 Timothy 3:15, in the KJV, the word here translated “conducted” is translated as “behave.” The word can be translated as “to live,” in the sense of behaving in accordance with certain principles. Here, Paul is saying that all of us, apart from the power of the gospel, conduct our lives according to the principle, according to the sinful rule, which is God-rejecting and earth-bound. Apart from God’s grace in the gospel, we all live oriented away from God as we pursue our own interests. Our moral compass, in the best of lost sinners, does not read correctly.

Such an ugly bent is nevertheless the very honest description of humanity apart from the power of the gospel. It is how “all” behave themselves apart from the power of God in the gospel of Christ. Before you were saved, you behaved like this.

Sensual Living

Paul confesses that, whether Gentile or Jew, we lived according to “the lusts of our flesh.” That is, before experiencing the power of the gospel, we were ruled by our most basic of desires. We were earth-bound. Life was all about merely existing. We did not realise, as yet, that life consisted of more than what we possess (Luke 12:15). Not only were we made of dust, but we foolishly lived as though life was confined to this dust. What we could see and taste and touch is what dominated us. We were, in the fullest sense of the term, sensual beings. We were therefore clueless!

Senseless Living

Further, such sensual living actually produced senseless living, for we were “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” We can say that what we desired we found ourselves doing (an alternative translation of “fulfilling”). And we did so deliberately. This is indicated by the word “mind.” “The ‘mind’ (dianoia) indicates the deliberate choices that defy the will of God.”9

This is further revealed by the word “desires,” which speaks of making a determination. It connotes “to make a positive choice” and so, by implication, it means “to wish, to desire, to will.”

Now it may sound like I am contradicting myself when I say, on one hand, that we do what we want to do and yet, on the other hand, we are in bondage to our desires. But in fact this is biblical anthropology. As Wood honestly and helpfully summarises, “The natural man is altogether at the mercy of the tyrant self and its rash impulses.”10 And we love to have it so!

Jonathan Edwards taught that we will always choose according to what is our strongest desire. That is true whether you are a Christian or not.

“The will is simply the mind choosing what the mind deems best….” Edwards declared that the will is always free; we always choose what we judge best in a given situation. But as sinners we always judge wrongly. We think God undesirable. Hence, we always resist him and reject the gospel.11

Neither their “flesh” nor their “mind” is set on God. In fact, the unanimous verdict of Scripture is that, apart from God’s grace, we are at enmity with God. Those who are not transformed and translated by the gospel hate God. Our senses, and our sense, were in bondage to sin. The rest of the verse makes this plain.

Our Condemnation

Paul says that we “were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (v. 3b).

Original Sin

We are not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we are sinners. Or, as MacArthur puts it, “We were not ‘dead’ because we had committed sin but because we were ‘in’ sin.”12

We are “by nature” sons of disobedience, and therefore we are characterised as being under the wrath of God. This is what is meant by “children of wrath.” We might say that the natural man is quite literally the object of God’s wrath. The New English Bible helpfully substitutes the statement: “We lay under the dreadful judgement of God.” We are under the wrath of God and we live as those who deserve this wrath.

Because we do not believe God in Christ, and because we therefore live disobediently, we get what we deserve, or at the least we get some taste of what we deserve. We need to pause here to consider the biblical teaching that everyone comes into this world under the wrath of God, because “by nature,” we enter the world as “sons of disobedience.” This is what is called the doctrine of original sin.

This refers to reality that, when Adam sinned, we all sinned in him. We did not merely share in the consequences of his sin, but rather, since Adam was our federal head, he represented us. What Adam did, we would have done as well. As Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned [in him].”

The glorious side of this is that the same principle of Christ’s Federal Headship applies to us. We are considered by God as living perfectly righteous as did Jesus! And therefore we are “accepted in the Beloved” (1:6).

Despisers of Wrath

The concept of “wrath” does not sit well with mankind. It never has. In fact, this doctrine of the wrath of God was perhaps was the first truth rejected in human history.

When the devil tempted Eve she responded that God had declared that, if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die. The devil responded, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:1–5). In other words, he told her to forget the idea of a God who is wrathful. According to Satan, God was petty, yes (“for God knows that in the day you eat of it you will become like God”), but wrathful? No. And unbelieving mankind has continued to mock and deny the wrath of God ever since. The problem, of course, is that the world does not take sin seriously. As James Boice says, “The worldly mind does not take God’s wrath seriously because it does not take sin seriously. Yet if sin is as bad as the Bible declares it to be, nothing is more just or reasonable than that the wrath of a holy God should rise against it.”

People did not take God seriously when He said He would destroy the world with a flood, and the entire global population, save eight, were destroyed. Judah did not take God’s warning seriously of Babylonian conquest, and millions were killed or exiled to Babylon. The unbelieving Jews in the first century did not believe Jesus’ warnings of Jerusalem’s destruction and 1.1 million were killed when Rome sacked the city.

People in our day still try to vaccinate against wrath, foolishly believing that they can escape God’s righteous judgement. Multitudes today reject the notion of eternal punishment who will ultimately discover just how real God’s warnings are.

We will never properly understand this world until we submit to the doctrine of God’s wrath. The wars and misery of this world arise from God’s holy response to unholy people. “Nature, red in tooth and claw” is because of man’s sin and because of his continued sinfulness. God has determined to punish sin and we see snippets of this throughout history.

God exercises His just wrath and man rebels further. And wrath continues. We are in that sense, “children of wrath.” The history of the unbelieving world is characterised by this. And believers were once “just as the others.” That is, we were all in the same predicament.

It is important that we who have been saved by the power of the gospel identify with those who are not saved. That is, beware of self-righteousness. Look at what we were. Remember from what you have been redeemed, rescued and delivered.

The Way God Is

Having detailed the way we were, Paul opens v. 4 in the most glorious way: “But God.” What a wonderful conjunction! What a glorious contrast! Finally, we get to the subject of this passage. Yes, we were the direct objects of God’s wrath, “but God,” the great subject of the gospel, has loved us and bestowed such rich mercy that we are delivered from our condition, captivity and condemnation. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones rightly says, “These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel.”13 This “but God” is the gospel!

Verses 1–3 paint man in his sin as very ugly—and humanly hopelessly so. But with v. 4 the passage begins to take a remarkable turn for the better. “But God” breathes a delightful breath of fresh air into the corpse of sinful man. As Stott observes, “These two monosyllables set against the desperate condition of fallen mankind the gracious initiative and sovereign action of God.”14

Life is hopeless apart from God, “but God” makes all the difference in time and in eternity. We went from death, depravity, disobedience and being damned to being delivered—by God Himself.

But Why?

But why would God deliver us? Paul says: “God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”

Heinrich Heine once said that God would forgive him because that was, he said, God’s “job.” I don’t know whether he ever came to faith, but he could not have been wronger. God is just and we must be humbled by His mercy and love. God delivered us and dynamically changed us because He is gracious to us. This is the great why.

We see the same testimony in the Old Testament, where God wrote of Israel, “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you” (Deuteronomy 7:7–8).

Having honestly assessed our humanly hopeless condition, Paul brings home the truth that God has lovingly empowered us to believe. He takes us from the most pessimistic view to the most optimistic; from the lowest to the highest; from death to life.

We must never lose sight of the truth that God makes the difference. He makes hopeful what is otherwise hopeless. It is this power that Paul wants believers to reckon on and to positively respond to. The power of the gospel is what the church must be confronted with and convinced of. It is this which gives us perspective. It is this which empowers us for daily living. It is this which produces the hope that the world needs to see and to be awakened to; and it is this power that we are to experience together.

The doctrines of grace are essential for healthy church life, for hopeful church life, for holy church life, for happy church life and for helpful church life. You see, the doctrines of grace are the means to keeping the church God-centred rather than man-centred. And this is our greatest need. This is the world’s greatest need. In fact, it this lack of God-centeredness that defines what it means to be “dead in trespasses and sins.”

But the doctrines of grace put everything in perspective. And as we grow in amazement at the powerful, love-driven grace of God, we are humbled and therefore holy and happy as we are in the position to “see God” (Matthew 5:8).

The Power of being Amazed by Grace

We need to do more than simply sing about God’s amazing grace; rather we need to truly be amazed by His grace. And this will require an honest assessment of our true condition before God. In other words, we will never be amazed by “but God” until we first say, “Woe is me.” But when this is our experience. then we will stand amazed at God’s power and grace in transforming us.

Christian, remember the way that you were, and then rejoice in what you have become because of the way that God is.

Show 14 footnotes

  1. John R. W. Stott, The Message of Ephesians: The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1979), 69.
  2. A. Skevington Wood, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 11:33.
  3. Francis Foulkes, Ephesians: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1989), 77.
  4. Stott, The Message of Ephesians, 71.
  5. Wood, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 11:33.
  6. James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), 47.
  7. Simon Austen, Teaching Ephesians: From Text to Message (Ross-shire: Christian Focus 2012), 73.
  8. Wood, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 11:34.
  9. John F. MacArthur, Jr., Ephesians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody, 1986), 57.
  10. Wood, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 34.
  11. Boice, Ephesians, 47.
  12. MacArthur, Ephesians, 53.
  13. Boice, Ephesians, 51.
  14. Stott, The Message of Ephesians, 79–80.