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AND YOU HATH HE HAD MADE ALIVE, WHO WERE DEAD IN TRESSPASSES AND SINS

(Ephesians 2:1)

INTRODUCTION 

Once again mass shootings in America! Reports are that at least 20 people are dead in an El Paso Mall shooting and another 26 have been injured; more were killed and injured in Ohio. What is happening? We see evil seemingly increasing exponentially day by day. There are those who are in authority over us in various sections of the country, as well as in Congress and in the Senate, and in various positions of leadership, who are promoting ungodliness and unrighteousness and suppression of the truth regularly. Once again there is the call for gun control. It is estimated, however, that we have killed approximately 60 million little babies in their mother's womb since 1973. Where is the call for ceasing abortion? We have the Supreme Court of the United States and other courts across the country declaring that it is legal for a mother to kill her own baby and for doctors to assist in that murder.

We have politicians in authority over us who simply refuse to follow the law and are allowing record numbers of illegal immigrants into this country without complying with the law. Indeed, some of these illegal immigrants have themselves murdered Americans. The Holy Scriptures have identified both the problem, and the cure. The Bible is certainly the most up-to-date and relevant book in the world today. When Peter, James, and John were on the Mount of Transfiguration, and the Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured before their eyes, they heard a voice saying to them, “this is my beloved son hear ye him!” America needs to hear the voice of God. America needs to hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Holy Truth and heed the call to “come  unto Me all ye that labor  and are heavy laden and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ( Matthew 11:28 – 30)

Scripture identifies the problem. From the opening verse of the Book of Genesis, which is the book of beginnings, the Lord God tells us that Adam disobeyed God's Word and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden. When he did, despite God's somber warning, Adam died. The Bible teaches that as a result, every descendent of Adam that has come into the world also died, with the exceptions of the Lord Jesus Christ, Enoch,(Genesis 5:21- 24) and Elijah the Tishbite. (2 Kings 2:3-9) In Romans Chapter 5, the great Apostle Paul says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". (Romans 5:12) Also, in the 5th and 6th chapters of Paul's letter to the Church of Rome, Paul explains that (except for Enoch, Elijah and the Lord Jesus Christ), all have died. This is a testimony to God’s Word. However, there are many today who do not believe the Genesis account of Creation. They do not believe God’s Holy Word. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 19 verse 4, authenticates the Genesis account of Creation and the fact that Adam and Eve were real people; they were created by God; the Genesis account is true; and this is also affirmed elsewhere in scripture. In the Apostle Paul's  letter to the Church at Ephesus, he makes clear the problem we see confronting America today, as well as, the solution to the problem.

I.    THE PROBLEM: DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS 

You were dead in trespasses and sins apart from Christ; not sick, or wounded, but dead! In the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Church at Ephesus, he told them (and us) that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and then enumerates some of those spiritual blessings. Among the blessings are 1) chosen in Him before the foundation of the world; 2) that we should be Holy and without blame before Him; 3) having chosen us before unto the adoption of children, thereby making us His child; 4) redemption through the precious blood of Jesus Christ; 5) being sealed with the Holy Spirit. Paul also tells them that he is praying for them that the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, would give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. He goes on to tell them that He is praying for them that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe”. (Ephesisans 1:17-19) Then Paul identifies the problem. They were dead in trespasses and sins. So is everyone who is born into the world and has not come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says, “ 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 lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:1 – 3)

Apart from Christ, everyone is dead! A dead person cannot do anything, which is why the Apostle says that God has made them alive! It takes a creative miracle to make a dead person live. That is the condition of everyone who is not a Christian. They are dead spiritually! Notice that the word that is used is “dead". They were walking corpses. Of course, a dead man does not hear and thus cannot be talked to or reasoned with. Not only were they dead, they were also disobedient, for Paul says, “you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience”. They were characterized by disobedience. They did not obey the law. They constantly rebelled and disobeyed God. And, of course, he says that that is according to the course of this world. That is the condition of everyone born into the world. We get this condition naturally. 

Paul says that it is according to the course of this world because when Adam died, all of his descendents died (except Enoch and Elijah). Therefore, we see that all were dead and they were disobedient. We also see that they were doomed. They were by nature children of wrath - people doomed to wrath – God's wrath which will be poured out on sin. According to God's Word, that means hell. All who were not in Christ Jesus were doomed to hell. In the Bible, we find that God's wrath is not a matter of God "losing His temper", it is His settled disposition and the determination to punish evil. This is the real heart of the problem in America.  The heart is dead! This is also the problem that we are seeing being played out in the news of the day right before our very eyes. Unless God works a miracle, the problem will continue. America, indeed all people around the world, need to know God through and in our Lord Jesus Christ.

When one goes back and reads some of the American Medical Association's statements of the late 50’s and early 60’s regarding those who performed abortions, you see the change that has taken place. While you can find those early statements, you have to go back to those statements that were written in the late 50’s and early 60’s concerning those who were spoken of with contempt because they performed abortions. You do not hear the same condemnation from the American Medical Association today regarding doctors who do abortions, although you may hear individual physicians condemning abortions. Why? Because apart from Christ, all are dead and walking according to the course of this world; according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience! 

Therefore, we see the problem confronting America today. From the 3rd Chapter of Romans, we see Paul stating the following: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps  is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes". ( Romans 3:10 – 18) 

In the first chapter of the letter to the Roman church, Paul sets out other sinful conditions in verses 18-32. Nevertheless, it can be summed up, there is no fear of God before their eyes. This is the problem in America today. There are many who are dead in trespasses and sins. They are disobedient and they are doomed, by nature children of wrath. They cannot be reasoned with and there is no fear of God before their eyes! Is there any hope for America? The short answer is a resounding yes! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16 – 18)

II.    THE SOLUTION

We see the provision that God has made for sinful, dead, doomed men. This provision is only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells his young protégé, Timothy, that “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit (nevertheless) for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting”. (1 Timothy 1:15 and 16) 

Here we see in the 2nd Chapter of Ephesians this solution actually being applied as the Apostle states, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, [has] made us alive together with Christ Jesus (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:4 – 10)

As we have looked briefly at the problem, to wit: that there is none righteous no not one. There is no fear of God before their eyes. They are all dead in trespasses and sin. They are by nature children of wrath and thus disobedient and doomed, indeed dead! But the good news is that there is a solution. The good news is that God so loved the world that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ. Hear ye Him!

     The synopsis of the description that all are “by nature  the children of wrath" goes all the way back to Adam. Therefore, it is important for us to understand that Adam is real, and the Lord Jesus Christ has authenticated Adam and the entire Genesis account of Creation. It is very presumptuous and sinful to say that the first 11 or 12 chapters of Genesis are merely allegory. It is simply against God’s revealed Holy Truth. God’s Word reveals to us, and we see in scripture, that Adam was our federal head. When God created Adam, He created him in His own image, after His own likeness. When Adam rebelled against God, he became guilty, not only for himself, but for the entire human race. Adam's guilt is imputed to the entire human race. To be sure, there are many who don't like this truth and don't believe it! It is nevertheless true! We see in the 5th chapter of Paul's letter to the Church of Rome that by one man sin entered the world and death by sin, so that death passed onto all men, for that all have sinned (meaning “in Adam" ). (Romans 5:12)  Therefore, Adam's  guilt is imputed to the whole human race. All who descended from Adam are in the same condition, that is, “by nature the children of wrath". Ah, but the good news is that God who is rich in mercy with His great love with which He loved us, has made us alive in Christ Jesus. God so loved us that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ. He is described as “the last Adam" in First Corinthians 15; further authenticating the historical truth of the First Man- Adam. Therefore, we are told that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ receives everlasting life. We are actually placed in the Lord Jesus Christ and we are joined to Him.  We are united to Him and we receive God's Holy Spirit to live in us and abide in us and help us to live as becomes the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Romans 6:11, we are told, “therefore reckon yourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God”. This is something that has happened to us already. We see that in the description set forth in the 6th chapter of Romans in verses 1- 14, “Sin no longer has dominion over us, for we are not under the law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)

 This is not a license to sin because we are actually joined to the Lord Jesus Christ. United to Him. Therefore, we want to serve Him because He took my sin and punishment and has made me alive in Him. We see in Romans  Chapter 8 that “what the law could not do in that it was weak according to the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin and he condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit”. (Romans 8:3 and 4) “Therefore, there is no condemnation now to those who are in Christ Jesus…..” (Romans 8:1) 

Therefore, we see that the solution to the problem is to be joined to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are made alive in the Lord Jesus Christ; we are raised with Him; we are seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. He has done this for you and for all who receive Him. This is all done as a result of God's holy plan when he sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. All who receive and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have received this wonderful gift of everlasting life.  Just as the Lord Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, we too are raised from the dead in Him. We hear this glorious Gospel preached, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, and we receive it and we believe it. Indeed, the Apostle Paul in writing to the Church at Corinth says, “moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures, and that he was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) This is The Truth. This is The Word of God. 

Consequently, we hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and we receive it and believe it. In so doing, we are quickened with Christ - made alive in Him- and united with Him in His quickening. Just as He was raised from the dead, so also are we, who were otherwise dead in trespasses and sins and merely corpses. We also receive life from the dead. Second, we see that we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. We walk  differently from the way that we previously walked. We previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the Sons of disobedience. Now we walk in newness of life in obedience to God's Holy Word; no longer under the dominion of sin, for we are not under the law but under Grace. Therefore, we are to reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God. Reckon, in the Biblical sense, means to conclude, because it is true. Third, we have been seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Now!

     Therefore, the problem in America today is that there is no fear of God before their eyes. It is not guns, it is sin! We are a nation where many are dead in trespasses and sins, dead, and by nature the children of wrath and therefore doomed. Therefore, we find these heinous acts being committed not only by those who were shooting people in Texas and Ohio, but by mothers killing their babies in their wombs, and others who are “ungodly, unrighteous, and suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. (Romans 1:18-32) 

What is needed in this country is to hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and we need God's great Mercy, and for God to make us alive. Notice that we are not saved by our good works. Our works are what we do. WE ARE GOD’S WORKMANSHIP CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS. 

Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ? Do all in your family know the Lord Jesus Christ? We need to be praying for our nation for a great awakening and a great revival. We need to be praying for all of those whom we know, or we believe do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a problem in America today, but praise God, He has provided a solution to the problem. The solution is the Lord Jesus Christ. Hear ye Him and receive Him.

 

CONCLUSION

Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen