Tuesday, 19 July 2016
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1
There is a lot going on in Chapter 2 of Ephesians. In one sense, the first verses match the Genesis creation account. Verses 1-3 reflect the chaos which occurred at the beginning. Verse 4 parallels the Spirit of God hovering over those waters of chaos. Verses 4-10 reflect the calling of creation into order. What occurred on a physical level in creation also occurs in a spiritual sense in the redemption of man.
There are also two streams of attention which are being addressed in this chapter. In verses 1, 8, & 11, Paul writes in the second person. However, in verses 3, 10, & 14, he writes in the first person. The two streams are united in verse 18 with the words, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” Together, Jew and Gentile are united as one as described by Paul in verses 19-22. It is a masterful use of writing to demonstrate the marvel of what Christ has done in and for His redeemed.
This first verse of the chapter begins with, “And you He made alive.” The words “He made alive” are not in the original, but are inferred from verse 2:5. What Paul has done is jump back to his thought which ended in verse 1:14. From verses 1:15-23, Paul redirected his attention temporarily and now he continues with the process of what occurs in the believer. If we take 1:13, 14 and place 2:1 directly after them, we can see what Paul is relaying –
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. … And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…”
Our trusting in Christ (and not a moment before, Calvinists) led to being sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is our guarantee. At that moment our spirits were regenerated and we were made alive together with Christ. The rebirth is complete in the exercising of our faith and in what results from that.
The verse ends with, “who were dead in trespasses and sins.” If the inserted words are removed, the thought follows naturally with Ephesians 1:13, 14 and which then is followed naturally with the subject (God) of verse 2:4 and the object (us) of verse 2:5 –
“1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. … 2:1 And you, who were dead in trespasses and sins, … 4 God … 5 made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”
Obviously the “us” of verse 2:5 speaks of both Jew and Gentile who Paul refers to in the interim verses, but the overall stream of thought is realized when the verses are placed in this order. The intent of Paul’s words is to show that humanity is fallen. There is no spiritual life in us, but through faith in the work of Christ, the spiritual connection to God is reestablished.
What Adam lost for us, Christ has regained for us. The chaos of mankind is brought into harmony and order through the work of Christ.
Life application: As the human spirit can only be regenerated through faith in the work of Christ, then it follows logically that Jesus’ claim of John 14:6 is true. He is the way the truth, and the life. No one can come to God except through Him.
O God, the New Testament of the Bible shows that there is only one way to be reconciled to You, and that is through the work of Jesus Christ. I place my hope, my trust, and my faith in Christ alone. Grant me the burning desire to share this message to the world all of my days. In Christ, there is pardon and full redemption. Without Him, there is only eternal separation. Thank You for the work of Christ my Lord. Amen.