Monday, January 30, 2012

Ephesians 2:1-3

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 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. Among them we too 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.

I have a sweet 5 year old daughter who has been strong willed since birth. One day in the car she laid it out for me, “Mom, I’m going to do whatever I want to do.” In an amazing moment of clarity I told her, “Sweetie, no one can really do what they want to do. Everything you do is a choice to follow God or follow Satan. Usually when people think they are doing what they want to do they are really doing what Satan wants them to do. If you choose to be disobedient to me you are choosing to obey Satan.”

Paul has just described how God physically raised Jesus from the dead; now he describes how believers are spiritually resurrected. Most unbelievers would be shocked to hear themselves describe as the “walking dead,” but that is what we were prior to our conversion. We walked as the world walks, following the “prince of the power of the air.” “Trespasses” may refer to any slight deviation from God’s law while “sins” may refer to habitually and knowingly sinning. Even those who hadn’t committed what would be considered “big sins” by many were walking in selfishness and trying to “do whatever they wanted to do”. Thankfully God can raise the dead, physically and spiritually. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5:21). How we grieve the physical death of loved ones. If only we were so moved by the spiritual dead around us that we were moved to share the truth of God’s love and Word with them!

So many times we are sucked into “walking according to the course of this world,” becoming desensitized to sin and taking on secular worldviews without realizing it. We allow postmodern thought to convince us that faith is separate from other parts of life. Common thought is “what’s true for you may not be true for me - to each his own.” But Jesus was clear when he said he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Despite our differences, each of us deals with a sin nature tempted by many desires of the flesh and mind. Whatever our race, wealth, or country of origin we are children of wrath until covered by the blood of Christ.

Romans 6:11-14 (ESV) - So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

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