And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 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— 3 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
When I realize just how much I need Jesus, He becomes that much more precious to me!
Paul demonstrates the treasure that Jesus Christ is by illustrating our total desperation for Jesus. This passage in Ephesians answers the question: “How much do I need Jesus?”
In this context, Paul has just finished expressing his thankfulness for Christ’s work in the church at Ephesus. He has proclaimed the sovereignty of Jesus over all things and ends by declaring the sovereignty of Jesus that is manifested in the church, His body, which is now the fullness of Christ.
In chapter two, Paul then demonstrates the work of Christ in the church, beginning with our memory verses for this week:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 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—3 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
Here Paul demonstrates just how desperate each of us is for Jesus.
What is my spiritual condition apart from Christ? Dead in my trespasses and sins.
How dead am I apart from Christ? According to Paul in this passage, there are at least five ways that I am dead apart from Jesus.
Dead in my actions—"in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked" My actions led to death. This is perhaps the most easily observable symptom of deadness.
Dead in my authority sources and influences—"following the prince of the power of the air” The influence of Satan is pervasive and seductive. Apart from Christ, I am following Satan toward death.
Dead in my community —“the sons of disobedience . . .among whom we all once lived” I become like those I surround myself with. Apart from Christ, I will choose to surround myself with those who, like me, are rebels toward God.
Dead in my desires and mind—“in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” Not only do I act in rebellion toward God, the source of those actions is also corrupted. There is a problem upstream. I don’t desire as I should. I don’t think as I should. My thoughts and desires lead me to death.
Dead to God —“and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.” Apart from Christ, I have no hope of experiencing the joys of knowing God. My soul is spiritually dead and destined for an eternity separated from the source of life.
The thing that stands out here is the completeness of this deadness that ought to lead me to a desperation for Jesus. I need Jesus not just because my actions lead to death, but my influences, my community, my desires, my thoughts, and my soul all need to be redeemed. How much do I need Jesus? More than I could ever comprehend!
May you see your desperation for Jesus, and may it lead you to treasuring Him more!
Spurgeon said, “He who doubts human depravity had better begin to study himself.” How have you seen your own need for Jesus?
How does Jesus redeem and regenerate each of the five areas of deadness that Paul illustrates?
Why does seeing our desperation for Jesus help us treasure Jesus? How can you treasure Him more today?