Walking the Resurrected Life

Walking the Resurrected Life (Eph 2:1-7)

As we read the Book of Ephesians, the chapter break between 1 and 2 should not obscure the vital connection from the latter part of chapter 1 where the mighty power of God raised Christ from the grave and crowned Him with glory and honor. In chapter 2 we get to see how that same power has worked in our lives, raising us from spiritual death and seating us in Christ in the heavenlies.

As Ephesians 2 opens, we are spiritual corpses in Death Valley. When it closes, we are not only seated in Christ in the heavenlies; we form a habitation of God through the Spirit.

This passage resembles the first chapter of Genesis. In each we have: (1) a scene of desolation, chaos, and ruin; (2) the introduction of divine power; (3) the creation of new life.

Ephesians 2:1–2 (NKJV) 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 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,

Eph 2:1-2 AMP AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

Paul reminds his readers that before conversion they were dead, depraved, diabolical, and disobedient. They were spiritually dead as a result of their trespasses and sins. This means they were lifeless toward God with no vital contact, living as if He didn’t exist. It does not mean they were spiritually inactive but that they were out of communion with their natural environment.

Sins are any form of wrongdoing, whether conscious or not, and also thoughts, words, or deeds which fall short of God’s perfection. Trespasses are sins which are committed in open violation of a known law, including any form of false steps or blundering trespass.

KJV says, that prince now “worketh” (that is, energizes and keeps on energizing) the children of disobedience. All unsaved people are characterized by disobedience to God. They are energized by Satan and are therefore disposed to defy, dishonor, and disobey the Lord. This is always true of their internal state even if not on display in their external behavior.

Ephesians 2:3 (NKJV) 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Eph 2:3 AMP   Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

Adam died spiritually the day he disbelieved and disobeyed God. He ran away from God and tried to hide instead of looking for God. That is the position of natural man today.

Paul refers to sins of thought as well as to sinful acts. It is as ruinous to indulge the desires of the mind as those of the flesh. We can seem to watch among the virgins for the Bridegroom’s advent, but if this practice is unjudged and unconfessed, it marks the offender a son of disobedience and a child of wrath…, one not walking in the Resurrected life!

We cannot conform to the life-style of the world. James says, “friendship of the world is enmity (warfare) with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”. John says, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2).

Note: man’s 3 enemies mentioned in vv. 2 & 3: the world v. 2, the devil v. 2, and the flesh v. 3.

Ephesians 2:4–7 (NKJV) 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:4-7 AMP But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). 6 And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 7  He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

God’s love is great because of the unsearchable riches it showers on its objects. And God’s love is great because of the extreme unworthiness and unloveliness of the persons loved. 

As a result of God’s love for us, and as a result of the redeeming work of Christ, we have been: (1) made alive together with Christ; (2) raised up with Him; (3) seated in Him.

This describes our spiritual position as a result of our union with Him. He acted as our Representative—not only for us, but as us. Therefore when He died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. The same power that gave Him resurrection life gave it to us.

The marvel of this causes Paul to interrupt himself and exclaim, “By grace you have been saved”. He’s overwhelmed by the fathomless favor God has shown to those who deserved the opposite. That is grace!  God saves us because of His love but He saves us by His grace.

Mercy withholds what a person deserves (judgment); grace gives what is not deserved (salvation). This is seen in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” God is just and must punish sin but He also desires to be the justifier of the sinner. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, He can then say, “If you will come on the basis of My Son dying for you, I can save you.”

Our spiritual life and progress results from our union with Christ; “Because I live, you shall live also.” As we believe, we are lifted out of the graveyard to the very throne of heaven…

3 basic aspects of salvation; Justification is deliverance from sin’s penalty now! Sanctification is deliverance from sin’s power now! Glorification is deliverance from sin’s presence at the rapture.

Not only have we been made alive with Christ; we have also been raised up with Him. Just as death and judgment are behind Him, they are behind us also. We stand on the resurrection side of the tomb to live as those who are alive from the dead.

Another aspect of our position is that we are seated in Him in the heavenly places. If we appropriate this by faith, it will change the character of our lives. We will no longer be earthbound, occupied with the trivial and the transient. We will seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1).

The key to verses 5 and 6 is the phrase, “in Christ Jesus”. He is our Representative; therefore His triumphs and His position are ours. Note, this is not in Jesus Christ but In Christ Jesus which points to His function and ministry as opposed to Jesus as His name and Lord as His title.

V. 7 Paul is describing the past, present, and future of the church and all believers… “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” This miracle of transforming grace will be the subject of eternal revelation. Throughout the endless ages God will be unveiling His trophies of grace!  (That’s you!)

Jesus sat down because He had entered His rest – Hebrews 4 calls you to enter that same rest. Instead of constantly warring to get healed, just be healthy.  Either He healed you or He didn’t. Either He delivered you or He didn’t. Either He became poor that you might become rich or He didn’t…

Grace is God’s activity toward man; Faith is man’s activity toward God.  When these meet, heaven and earth connect and power flows for “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done”. Enter into the rest of faith where all the promises of God are Yes and Amen!  Rom 4:16 It is of faith that it might be according to grace so that the promise might be sure (certain; guaranteed) to all the seed.

Lastly, be mindful of this love, grace and mercy from God as you look out at others. Men are by nature children of wrath. They are appointed to death and judgment just as you were. Having now freely received God’s abundant grace, do all you can to freely pass it on to those around you.

Do right and Trust God