Daily Devotional: Ephesians 2:1-10

After praying that the saints may grow in all wisdom and knowledge, that their eyes of their hearts may be enlightened, Paul writes of their wretchedness. They were, past tense because they are not in Christ, dead in their trespasses and sins. When we speak of our wretched estate and that of those in our congregations, we also speak of it in the past tense because we are now in Christ. Before we were in Christ, we were each dead in our trespasses and sins. Dead men cannot simply become alive. Those who exist in their sins cannot simply stop. When we were dead, we walked according to the course of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 

Paul explains further what it meant for us to have existed in a wretched estate (be dead in our sins). We lived among the sons of disobedience in the lusts of our flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were children of wrath like everyone else by nature. By nature, which we were born with because that’s what nature means, we had lusts and sought to fulfill our lusts according to our own desires—both to satisfy our flesh and our minds. Everyone is like this from birth. This is a doctrine we refer to as total depravity. We are dead. We cannot become alive. We only do what we want according to our wills like everyone else in the world.

But God. After sharing the dead nature of each person, Paul shares the nature of God. He is rich in mercy. He loves His people with a great love. He acts because of His great mercy and love—not because of anything in us, any choice we make, any prayer we pray, but only because of His own great mercy and love. Even when we were dead in our transgressions, unable to see past our own desires or come to God, God made us alive together with Christ. That is how salvation works according to Paul. We are dead. Then, God alone makes us alive with Christ. This is what it means to be saved by grace. Paul continues in the past tense. God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Because of God’s monergistic work, we experience resurrection and rapture now, as we live on this earth. God does this work so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. He does so for His own glory, that He may be known.

By grace we have been saved through faith. It was not from ourselves whatsoever. It is the gift of God. It is not a result of our works. Since it is not a result of any of our works, no one can boast. We are God’s workmanship, not our own. We were created in Christ for good works. The Christian life does not end with our belief and salvation. We are saved for good works. God prepared these good works beforehand so that we would walk in them. So, we know longer address one another as if we are still dead. God has done an amazing work. We are alive, no longer wretched and no longer bound by our depravity. Hallelujah!

Leave a Reply