Today, as I was reading, Ephesians 2, I noticed it is tied back to everything in chapter one. However, instead of talking about non-Christians, it reminds Christians of where they came from which happens to be the same state as non-Christians, therefore we can read this to know two things, one the past state of Christians and two the state of non-Christians now to expand upon what Paul originally discussed.
Today we notice that without Christ you are dead. Dead, because of sins and transgression (anything we do short of God’s standard), and since we are obviously breathing and living right now, the death cannot be a physical death. Common sense then dictates that this must be a spiritual death similar to the death God pronounced in the Garden of Eden. Then we see that those who are dead are following the ways of the ruler of this world (Satan). Those who are dead have no idea what they are doing, but Satan is working through their lives and actions and they have no idea. Before Christ, we were the same way. Some of the ways Satan controls us are by allowing us to gratify the desires of our sinful nature. Isn’t it so much more “fun” (at least for a time) to sin even though the end consequences are much worse. And all of this brings upon us the wrath of God. This reminds me of what my wife brought up last night in regards to the false concept that the God of the New Testament is nicer, more full of grace than the God of the Old Testament. However, Tozer brings up the point that the word “mercy” or the derivation of it appears 4 times more frequently in the Old Testament than the New Testament. Let it be known there is no difference in the God of the Old Testament than the New Testament, God is one and the same unchanging throughout Eternity.
However we are different, we are set apart and made Holy by God because of his love we are the OPPPOSITE of all that was before. We are not longer dead, we no longer have to gratify our sinful desires, we no longer have to serve Satan. Instead we have been raised with Christ and experience God’s grace. However, God doesn’t just raise us from our own transgressions. He saves us for a purpose. He saves us to glorify himself because we are the result of His working, which gets demonstrated through us doing good works. This is the culmination of the grace of God, the proof of our faith that James speaks.