Ephesians 2:1–3 (NKJV)
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.
The key here is the word “dead.” We weren’t just lost; we were dead. We weren’t a basket case; we were a casket case.
That terminology seems extreme. It is – intentionally so – to hammer home the point that we are totally unable to save ourselves.
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. … 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.
This isn’t a portrait of someone who needs some counseling; this is a portrait of someone who needs a soul transplant. The phrase “by nature children of wrath” makes this chillingly clear. This is not a temporary condition.
It is by nature.
This completes the thought begun in verse 1:4, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” We are by nature, unable to save ourselves. If God doesn’t choose us, we’re toast.
The pieces of the gospel are starting to fit together. Our fallen human nature makes a mockery of the idea that we can save ourselves. Only God can save us.
And that’s exactly what He did. It’s two sides of the same coin. This passage shows that we can’t take credit for our salvation. Verse 1:4 showed that God gets all the credit.
And, as always, the point is His glory. This plan works. This plan makes sense. This plan is logical.
This plan glorifies God.
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