Dead No Longer
By Caron Cline
Last month we examined the benefits and blessings that are ours through Jesus Christ. Paul has thrilled our souls with this information. He has prayed that every believer would have the eyes of their hearts enlightened to understand these great truths. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God far above all the powers of the enemy and He is the head over all things in the church, which is His body. After Paul discusses the authority and superiority of Christ, he rolls right into these next words. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind”. (Ephesians 2:1-3) How can we be dead and still alive? Before salvation, the body is alive; the soul is alive; the spirit is dead. According to Galatians 5:19-21, the body is alive but corrupt. Psalm 19:7 instructs us that the soul is alive but unconverted.
The spirit is dead because there is no connection with God. We are born with a disconnect to all that is holy. That cord was severed in Eden.
Chapter 2 is a sobering reminder of who these believers once were; people who were living a lifestyle of sin; completely held captive to do the will of Satan. We are always following and serving someone, God or Satan. Until we receive Jesus, we are following the course of this world whose ruler is the prince of the power of the air. It is a walk of destruction.
Many Biblical texts indicate that Satan is enthroned in the atmosphere between earth and heaven. This is why he is referred to as the power of the air. His goal is to grow his kingdom by increasing unrighteousness in those already disobedient. Satan and his cohorts entice unbelievers to move increasingly toward their doom of a Christ-less eternity. Sometimes we forget that the devil has children just as God has children. Not all people are children of God, only those who have accepted the adoption proposal. Satan has dominion in this world because Adam and Eve gave it to him when they disobeyed the word of the Lord. Therefore, we are all born under his dominion. This is the spirit at work in the sons of disobedience. But Paul reminds these readers that their destiny had been forever changed by one thing: the mercy of God.
Ephesians 2:4-10 continues, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.
The mercy of God has closed the door to hell for those who receive the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. He raised us from the dead and then He raised us above the prince of the power of the air and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. We are in two places at once. Physically we are still on planet earth, but relationally and positionally, we are already seated in heaven. Jesus went to the cross and died for the sins of the world, but we must individually believe and receive the truth that our sins were placed upon Him. Then He was buried. Once we believe that He was our substitute for sin and that His blood completely washed us clean, we become one with Him in His death. The most important step was the resurrection of Christ, which signified God’s acceptance of His sacrifice for our sins. Because of God’s mercy, every believer is raised up with Jesus and seated in heavenly places. In the mind of God, we are already exalted far above all rule and authority and power and dominion. (Eph. 1:21) No one can snatch us out of His Hand or out of His Heaven.
And He did it all to show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward those who believe.
The definition of ‘immeasurable’ in this passage is: ‘too large, extensive or extreme to measure’. His grace toward us in extreme!!
Once we are saved, Paul reminds us that we are His workmanship, created for good works. We are no longer walking the broad course of this world as a child of wrath; we are walking a road filled with opportunities to serve our Father and others. We have good works that God has prepared for us to do before the foundation of the world was laid. These works are perfectly selected based on the gifts and talents preordained for the children of God. In the Greek, the word for ‘workmanship’ is ‘poiema’ and can mean ‘a product’ or some type of fabric. We get the English word ‘poem’ from this Greek word. We are like a poem that our Father is writing, and this masterpiece will remain under construction until we see Him face to face.
By the immeasurable grace of God, we are no longer children of wrath, but children of mercy. We are no longer dead, but alive forevermore; seated in the heavenly places in Jesus. Just as Jesus was resurrected to die no more, so we will die no more, spiritually. Someday we will move out of this earthly tent, but we will never move out of His presence.
Caron is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. She loves to teach the word of God.
Her desire is to see every believer grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.