The Importance of Ephesians, Part 2
An ongoing in depth study of the Book to the Church from Paul, the Apostle
I would like to set a sort of "preamble" before you begin this study. A few things that are important you should know first.
1 - The Book of Ephesians was written as a circulating letter and the Church of Ephesus was the first recipient. Thus the name.
2 - This particular book (letter) was written specifically for the purpose of those desiring to not only grow in their walk with God, but to avoid the pitfalls that many were enduring. Just as we are today. Almost as a guidebook (as is the entire Bible) for those who were either new to the Faith or those already in the Faith.
3 - I strongly encourage you to study Ephesians as you read these multi-part blogs. In doing so you may likely see a word or bit that I did not. Which I would very much enjoy discussing with you! -Matt
Ephesians Part 2, Who We Were
Redemption & New Beginnings
Lost & Dead
You were born into sin. We all were. Regardless of the desires or tendencies we might have gotten while living in that sin, there is no excuse now because the Good News has been presented to you! And that, my friend, is all we need to come to a Father of mercy and be forever changed.
So we live in peace because we know the Prince of Peace. We are royalty because the King of Kings is our Brother. We are chosen because God always intended to save us. We are the Redeemed because the price for our sin has been paid. However, it wasn’t always that way with us...
The day came in the Garden of Eden, the home of Adam and Eve, when the enemy of all mankind decided he would sneak in and change everything. He was a spirit and so he possessed the snake. He climbed up into the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and waited patiently for Eve to come walking by. The two had a conversation and, without too much arm twisting, he talked her into eating of the fruit that hung from the same tree.
She thought it was tasty, so she offered it to Adam. He joined her in munching down and suddenly the world shifted. Why was this such a big deal?
We know the story well and, even if you are not a Christian and don’t believe it, the concept of the first sin permeates our society. World society, in fact.
The reality is that the two first members of the human race introduced us to sin and we have all shared in the same results every since.
There are many theories on the circumstances that surround that day. Was God surprised? How could He be, He was/is God. If He knew this was going to happen, why did He let it? And, for crying out loud, who left the garden gate open for the devil to come in, in the first place?
We are given a limited amount of information when it really comes down to it. But when it really comes down to it, we are given a limited amount of information throughout the Bible. After all, it is the history of God and man that spans 6,000 years. Hard to put that in a book. Even one as big as the Holy Bible.
Of course, there are reasons He gave us gaps to ponder. Not the least is the need to talk to Him about it all and build relationship with Him. Despite what we might think, the Bible is complete and lacks nothing.
Let’s get back to our point. You are born in sin. You were. There is no way around it. Now we know God is gracious, not desiring that anyone go to hell (2 Peter 3:9), so He, knowing the mind of every person, is patient with those unaware of sin or too young to know Him and the required responsibility. But if you can read this, those particulars do not apply to you. You were born in sin.
So we grow up and find out that our nature is really nothing to get excited about. We might be a gold medalist in the Olympics. Won’t change anything. Police officer. No difference. Humanitarian? Nope. Give everything to the poor? Still, no.
We are born without the ability to know God. So, now what?
Well, there’s a pretty good chance you are starting to understand the direction here. You see, our greatest level of righteousness is called “as filthy rags”. (Isaiah 64:6) Which is a nice description in the English. In the Hebrew, which it was originally written it, it actually means that our righteousness is nothing more than used feminine product. Disgusting thought, but the Hebrew tends to be blunt.
So, yeah, we got nothing.
Ephesians 2 begins with a description of what we are with Jesus as opposed to what we were without Him. We were dead in trespass and sin. Dead. Not wounded or gravely ill. Dead.
Stay Tuned For More On This Particular Topic As We Continue Our Study In Ephesians!