WHO WERE DEAD
Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
In Time Past
It is interesting that the Apostle, here takes the elect of God to their former sinful condition, prior to their spiritual resurrection. For he has before been addressing that which the Father did “before the foundation of the world.” (1:4). And he has addressed “the fulness of times,” when all things shall be gathered in Christ. (1:10). He has handed us a telescope to see the wondrous glories of God, then brought us to see “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe.” (1:19).
But now he hands us a microscope and causes us to look inward to the true condition of the depravity of our sinful hearts, when we were “in times past in the lusts of our flesh.” (2:3). We understand that this look of introspection is essential. For the degree of our worship expressly depends upon the degree of our acknowledgement of our sinful condition! One must know “the exceeding sinfulness of sin” (Rom. 7:13), if he is to know “the exceeding riches of his grace! (Eph. 2:7).
If we think ourselves to be but good moral men, we need not much of a Savior! It is only as we, by the Spirit, see ourselves as totally depraved sinners, that we need a Great Savior! Rev. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; He is seen as highly worthy as we see that our horrible sins required God to die!
The Mystery of His Will
But when is this depravity mentioned to us in this passage? There was not a word of it even hinted at in the discourse of the Father’s pre-foundation election in verses 1-6 of chapter one! It is only when we come to verses 7-12, where the Son’s redemptive work is laid out that we read of His “abounding toward us in all wisdom!” And then of his “having made known unto us the mystery of his will.” (1:8-9).
For the gospel was kept as a mystery until the Son came and effected the salvation of the elect of God! Before the Devil knew what hit him, it was over! Satan didn’t know what was going on until after the victorious Lamb gave forth his cry of accomplishment from the cross – “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Col. 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The revelation of God before the coming of the only begotten Son, was sent forth in types and shadows. Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. And this was done in order that the wonders of the gospel plan would not be made known to the world and to the Devil! 1Cor. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Therefore we see that the depravity of the elect, after the fall of Adam, and their hope of God’s rich mercy, is revealed to us in these verses under the Son’s work! For He would enter into their death with them, in order that they might enter with him into his resurrection! 2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
They are chosen in him! (v.4). They are adopted by Jesus Christ! (v.5). They are accepted in him as the beloved! (v.6). They have redemption through his blood! And they have forgiveness by his grace! (v.7). And it is all in order that “we should be to the praise of his glory!” (v.12).
He came to where we were in order that we might come to see him in his glory! Rom. 8:3 ..God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:
Pastor Gene Breed