Ephesians 2:1-3 Dead In Sin

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. About Spiritual Deadness

A. What Is Spiritual Deadness?

1. Death is not extinction, or inactivity.
2. Death is separation.

a. Physical death is separation of the spirit and soul from the body.
b. Spiritual death is the separation of spirit & soul from fellowship w/God.
c. The Bible does not teach annihilation after physical death.
d. The Bible teaches a continuance of life after this mortal life.

3. One can be physically alive & spiritually dead; separated from God
John 5:39, 40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these
are they which testify of Me.  40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
(Religious people can be spiritually dead)
4. “Spirituality”-no proof of relationship with God. Religious Pharisees were “dead”
5. Physical existence is not proof of relationship with God.

B. What Is The Sphere Of Existence Of Spiritually Dead People?

2:1b who were dead in trespasses and sins,

1. trespasses- deviation from truth or right behavior. Willful act of disobedience.
2. sins-to miss the mark. Failing to obey God’s word; failing to measure up to what God
would have you to be.
3. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
4. 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
5. The unsaved man is “dead to God” and lives in the sphere of trespasses & sins
6. The unsaved man still has a conscience, whereby he may have a sense of sin as long as
that conscience doesn’t get hardened.
7. Romans 2:14-16 describes the unsaved man understanding how he should live.

a. The unsaved man remains dead to God because He chooses to stay in his sins.

8. John 16:5-11 describes the work of the Holy Spirit to convince the unsaved man of their need for Christ and of the judgment to come.
9. Though the unsaved man is “dead”, there is enough “there” to respond to God.

a. Guzik– “Therefore, in some ways the unregenerate man is dead; in other ways he is not.”
b. Spurgeon– “Not in a moral sense, nor a mental sense, but in a spiritual sense, poor humanity is dead, and so the word of God again and again most positively describes it.”

10. If he doesn’t surrender to God, he stays in his sins, and in his “deadness”.

II. Description Of Spiritual Deadness

A. How Do Spiritually Dead People Conduct Themselves?

1. 2:2a in which you once walked according to the course of this world,

a. in which– refers to those trespasses and sins. We used to walk in them.
b. walked– to order one’s behavior. The guiding force, impetus
c. walked – “meandering”. No deliberate direction in the things of God.
d. Movement and activity but without Godly direction.
e. Course– Current thoughts and philosophies of society. “Weathervane”.
f. world– Material universe. The world is changing its direction regularly.
g. Destination sickness– arriving at your destination and being unsatisfied.

2. 2:2b according to the prince of the power of the air,

a. Frightening when you consider that it is Satan who is directing the wind.
b. Unsaved order their behavior according to the influence of Satan.

3. 2:2c the spirit who (“that”- KJV) now works in the sons of disobedience,

a. “Spirit” not Satan, but the ideas/opinions popular in the world.
b. “sons of disobedience.” Sons-having a quality. “Sons of Thunder.”
c. Disobedience implies knowing what ought to be obeyed. Conscience.

4. 2:3a among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh,

a. among whom– numbered w/them. What the Christian used to be.
b. we all once conducted ourselves– we also ordered our behavior like them.
c. the lusts of our flesh– controlled by body appetites. Passionate cravings.

5. 2:3b fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind,

a. Desires– emotions, drives. Unsaved ruled by emotions, not by reason.
b. Unsaved wants to fulfill (fill full) emotional cravings of the flesh & mind.

B. What Is The Final Result Of Spiritual Deadness?

2:3c and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

1. We are sinners by birth. We are sons of Adam, & inherited his spiritual nature.
2. The fact that we sin only serves to prove that fact.
3. It is not environment that is the base cause, it is our very spiritual nature.
4. Man is not inherently good, but inherently sinful. Man needs to be born again.
5. “Wrath” speaks of God’s righteous judgment against sinful man.

C. Final Thoughts

1. To be spiritually dead but physically alive can be very misleading.
2. Physical life can be fulfilling in many ways, at least for certain durations of time.
3. The spiritually dead person may never know the awfulness of spiritual deadness because they can be distracted by the temporal physical life they now have.
4. When will they finally feel that awfulness of spiritual deadness?
5. When they are not only physically dead, and separated from that which gave them a pleasant distraction, but…
6. When they are forever separated from God, with no pleasant physical distraction to comfort them, and no other options to keep them busy.
7. 1And you  He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins
“And what it takes to break through this condition (deadness to God) is nothing less than the immeasurable greatness of his power.” (Ray Stedman)
8.  “Once walked” means it should be (and is) different for those who are made alive by Jesus Christ. A dead man feels comfortable in his coffin; but if he were to be made alive again, he would instantly feel suffocated and uncomfortable. There would be a strong urge to escape the coffin and leave it behind. In the same way, when were spiritually dead we felt comfortable in trespasses and sins; but having come to new life we feel we must escape that coffin and leave it behind. (Guzik)