THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
2:1-3
"You Were Dead, and Among the Dead Without Christ"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


TEXT TOPIC
(2:1)
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
You Were Dead (in the past)
Your Sins
(2:2)
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,
You Walked (in the past) According to This world's Prince, the Prince ... now working in the sons of disobedience
(2:3)
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.
We All Lived (in the past) In Lust
Indulging the Flesh
Deserving of Wrath

COMMENTARY - "You Were Dead, and Among the Dead Without Christ," 2:1-3

Chapter One hopefully has educated us to the reality that God the Father has made, and put into action, the plan whereby sinful man can be redeemed from that sinful state. He has accomplished it through the willful sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. His one life was given on behalf of the many. Part of that plan of salvation includes a special set-apart category of people that are unique from the world in general, and unique from the nation of Israel (even believing Israel of the Old Testament).

This new "body of Christ," (referred to as the Mystery by Paul) the set-apart ones, is made up out of both the Jew and the Gentile (that includes all human inhabitants of the world) who have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and believed in Him as Savior. Paul calls this the Mystery because this plan of action in creating this new body of believers was unforeseen by the prophets of the Old Testament, although there are many references there about a time when the Gentiles would be included in the focus of God's plans.

In Chapter two Paul begins by telling members of this new body their spiritual heritage now that they are believers. Verses 2:1-3 tell of where the believer stood before salvation.

(2:1)
and you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

Paul has just finished with telling these new believers of the glorious truths of their salvation (Chapter 1) and now he begins to remind them of what God has saved them from. Because Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they received the penalty of death, both physical and spiritual. The exercise of their own wills to "be like Him" was a crime that could not be pardoned. However, in the "beginning," God had already foreseen this and made allowances in His plan for the salvation of man from the penalty of this crime.

Since the fall, God has considered all who will not chose Him willingly to love and follow as lost and dead. In the New Testament it is revealed that God's plan was for His only, unique, only begotten Son (Himself God), to pay the penalty by the infinite death of infinite God. Those who would willingly put their faith in this Savior Son would be freed from the penalty of Death, not only for the original human problem that was found out in the garden (original sin), but also from the sins of everyday life.

Paul now goes on to describe where these new believers had come. First, that they were dead (to God) in their trespasses and sins. God is a holy God who cannot abide sin. It cannot be in His presence. We tend to not see sin as being so serious, but God does. Even the slightest sin is enough to keep us from ever having any fellowship what-so-ever with God - He is that holy. The slightest sin is enough to require that we be cast into punishment, apart from the presence of God, for all eternity. That's Paul's point in verse 2:1. Before Christ entered into your life (if you are a believer) you were dead to God.

(2:2)
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,

Paul goes on revealing that the previous life of these believers included walking (living) according to the principles and ways of the unsaved, ungodly, world system. That system is the domain of the fallen Princely created angel Satan who inhabits and controls this world. It is he who opposed God as his god and fell from his exalted position in the heavenlies to earth (for a time). Earth then became his domain from which God would redeem those who believed upon His Son for salvation.

Paul makes it clear that the unsaved fall victim to the spirit of the evil one and that spirit is working in them for Satan's purposes. Paul says to the believer, "You who formerly walked," indicating that the believer was one who has turned-around from following the world system and the evil one and followed Jesus Christ instead - by willing choice.

(2:3)
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.

Paul continues with emphasis upon human flesh and its problem with lust. He says that lust leads to the indulging of the desires of our flesh and our fleshly mind. Wanting what is not ours to have, not just those things of sexuality, but all areas of life where we desire that which we do not possess, defrauding others in our efforts to take that which belongs to them - things, ideas, love, pleasure, etc.

Because we choose to follow our own way, our own mind, and because of sin our own mind is flawed with sin, we want, we lust, we desire, in ways that are a complete offense to God. Because of this we are declared destined for God's wrath.

Paul closes the verse with the reminder that those who have been redeemed - all come from the same evil, lust filled, Satan following, world following, pool of humanity. Not one of the saved was better then any of all the rest without salvation In Christ.

VISUALIZED TEXT - "You Were Dead, and Among the Dead Without Christ," 2:1-3

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(2:1)
And you were (Lit., "being") dead
    in ("by reason of") your
        trespasses and
        sins,
(2:2)
           in which you formerly walked
             according to
                    the course (Lit., "age") 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,
(2:3)
                            Among them
                                we too
                                all
                                 formerly lived
                                     in the lusts of our flesh,
                                            indulging (Lit., "doing") the desires
                                             of the flesh and
                                             of the mind (Lit., "thoughts"),
                                 and were by nature
                                        children of wrath,
                                     even as the rest.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "You Were Dead, and Among the Dead Without Christ," 2:1-3

(2:1)
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,"
1.    What is the Biblical definition of death?
        Separation from God (Spiritual, Fellowship, Physical)
2.    What is sin?
        That which is unlike the Character and Nature of God
3.    What are sins?
        The Character of man's state - intentional / unintentional - original
4.    What is a transgression?
        Stepping over the line - Transgression
5.    Is the text pointing to a difference between Transgressions, Sin, and Sins?
        Transgressions (trespasses): Active and Current, Sin (sins): Passive and Past
6.    What is the character of life before Jesus Christ enters into it?
        Walking in sin
7.    What's the occasion (as for you)?
        Formerly - before believing
8.    Who is the YOU?
        Believers, gentiles, and Ephesians
9.     Does that include you?
        Yes, by secondary application
10.   In what manner were you DEAD?
        Separated from God
11.   Whose transgressions and sins?
        Yours


(2:2)
"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."
1.     Does "you" include you?
        Yes, secondary application
2.     In what did you used to walk?
        In your trespasses and sins
3.     What is the significance of the term "used to walk?"
        The Imputation of Righteousness brought about a change
4.     If you were "dead" in verse 1, what is the significance of "walk" here?
        Vs. 1 - the walking dead - as far as God was concerned - Alive in the body, dead to God.
5.     When is "when?"
        Formerly, before believing
6.     Does "you" include you?
        Yes
7.     Describe "following the course of this world."
        Walking and not giving Him the Glory in Belief
8.     What is a Prince?
        A member of the royal family (former Angel)
9.     Who is the ruler of the kingdom of darkness?
        Satan, the Devil, The evil One
10.   What is a "kingdom?"
        A ruled territory
11.  Who or what is a Spirit?
        An unseen power
12.   Who is this "spirit?"
        Satan
13.   What is his work?
        Keeping God's kingdom from increasing
14.   Where is he doing his work?
        This World - "The story of Man"
15.   Is Satan still active in this world?
        Yes
16.   Who are defined as "disobedient?"
        Those who do not, will not, believe
17.   When are they disobedient?
        In everything and in everyway
18.    Specifically, what is their obedience?
        Unbelief


(2:3)
"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."
1.      How many is "All?"
        All (non free from sin)
2.      What is the significance of the word "too?" - when we were in that state with the others
        The all here includes you and I - If we are now in Christ we were formerly living in the lusts of our flesh - If you are not now in Christ you are still living in the lust of your flesh.
3.      Define "among."
        Part of them (before salvation - everyone)
6.       Who is "them?"
        Those under the power of this world
7.       When was "at one time?"
        Formerly, before salvation
8.       Define "indulging."
        Living not in/for/to Christ
9.       Define "cravings, lust"
        Desires any and all - apart from Christ
10.       Who was gratifying these desires?
        Any and all
11.       Because of the preceding verses, why were they (we) gratifying the cravings?
        They were not under the power of Christ
12.       Where do cravings come from?
        Internal
14.       What is a "nature?"
        The natural way, before salvation in Christ
16.       Who's nature is the Holy Spirit, through Paul, talking about?
        Human nature under sin
23.       Who is "the rest?"
        Even though now saved, the chosen, all the rest
28.       What is "wrath?"
        An attitude of revenge
29.       What is an "object of wrath?"
        Children of wrath - Satan practices his revenge on his earthly children
30.       Who are the "object of wrath?"
        Children of wrath - Satan practices his revenge on his earthly children
31.       Are we born in a right relationship to God?
        No, born in sin, needing a savior
32.       Are babies, the mentally incompetent, and the still born sinful creatures?
        (all) - Yes
33.       Have you ever gratified the cravings of your sinful nature or followed its desires and thoughts?
34.       Are the unsaved objects of God's wrath?
        Yes

BIBLE REFERENCE - "You Were Dead, and Among the Dead Without Christ," 2:1-3

(2:1)
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,"
     Luke 15:24 - the reference to "The Prodigal Son"
     Luke 15:32 - The reference to "The Prodigal son"
     Ephesians 2:5 - "We were dead in our transgressions"
     Colossians 3:11 - "Christ is all, and in all"


(2:2)
"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."
     Romans 13:13 - "Let us walk honestly..."
     1 Corinthians 6:11 - "and such were some of you"
     Ephesians 2:3 - "By nature children of wrath"
     Ephesians 2:11 - "Formerly... the Uncircumcision"
     Ephesians 2:13 - "Formerly... far off"
     Ephesians 5:8 - "You were formerly darkness"
     Colossians 3:7 - "Ye also walked some time..."
     1 Peter 4:3 - "In the past... when we walked in"
     Ephesians 1:21 - "Far above all rule"
     John 12:31 - "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out"
     Ephesians 6:12 - "Against spiritual forces of wickedness in high places"


(2:3)
"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."
     Ephesians 2:2 - "Formerly walked... of this world"
     Galatians 5:16 f. - "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh"
     Romans 2:14 - "Having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
     Galatians 2:15 - "sinners of the Gentiles"
     Romans 5:10 - "Reconciled by God through the death of His Son"
     Colossians 1:21 - "Yet now hath He reconciled"
     2 Peter 2:14 - "Having eyes full of adultery..."
     Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, being justified by Faith"
     Romans 5:19 - "So, by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous"
     1 Thessalonians 4:13 - "I would not have you ignorant"
     1 Thessalonians 5:6 - "Let us watch, and be sober"


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


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2014-11-21