PURPOSE: To understand who we were before salvation; our position with God, then and now, and His greatness of grace that made us who we are in Him.
In this lesson we are going to look at death. In particular there are three deaths that are the “wages of sin” (Romans 6:23). We sometimes shy away from this topic because of fear. We need not fear death, anoy of the three, because Jesus Christ took its sting for us.
Because of Adam’s rebellion against God, sin and death came upon all mankind and on the earth. Because of sin every physical birth brings a “Dead” person into the world who is in need of the quickening power of the Spirit of God.
God is not in the “Dead man’s” thoughts. As a matter of fact he does not care for any of the things of God. This “Dead man” is in the merciful had of God. It is by God’s mercy that the “Dead in sin” do not plunge immediately into the fires of Hell where “The worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched”. Every living human being at this point who is outside of God’s grace is still in His mercy. What wonder and awe it is to experience His grace.
The riches of Christ Jesus is by grace. Being the glory of God is by grace. Being to “The praise of His glory” for all eternity is by grace.
“We were” in death and the bondage of “Trespasses and sins”, “But now are made alive that He might show the exceeding riches of His grace.”
We will also see what it means to be partakers of His grace,a nd of “His divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
v. 1 — This is the place where all souls who are saved, or who will be saved must have come to receive the wondrous riches of Christ.
God’s Word teaches that all people are born spiritually dead. Understand, death does not mean annihilation; it means separation. There are, because of sin, three deaths. The first being the one everyone is born in – spiritual death – separated from God, and away from His presence and glory. The next one is physical death, the destiny of all flesh. The third is known as “The second death”, and is eternal separation from God, and His grace and mercy.
In the first death all are born separated from God. There is no love for God, no desire for His Word, no desire to do that that pleases Him. Only God in His grace can “Quicken” or make the spiritually dead individual came alive. The is nothing the dead can do to rise from this death. It is the “Wages of sin”.
Physical death is also the way of all mankind, and is the “Wages of sin”. There have only been two men in history who never experienced physical death. In this death the body begins to slowly weaken and die as we grow older, or sometimes life is just suddenly snatched away. This death separated the body from the soul and spirit of man.
“The second death” (Revelation 20:14; 21:8) is also known as “Eternal death”. This death is the ultimate of the “Wages of sin”. It is the destiny of all who continue in the position of the first death. The only way of avoiding this death is for God to make alive those whom He chooses. By calling us to His Son Jesus, and by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus we are “Made alive”, an in the stead of “Eternal death” we receive eternal life.
Notice verse one is in the past tense. Paul is writing to Christians. He is calling on them to remember their previous condition. They had been – we once were – “Dead in trespasses and sins.”
If we once were dead, then, there must be something to help us know we are now alive. There was a change made.
vv. 2-3 — Now we begin looking at how the past life apart from God and Jesus was lived (1 Timothy 5:6).
The mind untuned to God and His salvation seeks friendship with the world, so he conforms to the world and its standards, making himself more the enemy of God (James 4:4). He is bound by sin. Sin keeps him from God, God’s will, and life with God. He servs “The prince of the power of the air” walking in rebellion against God, not knowing there is a way out.
That was our former life. It is presently the life of our relatives, friends, neighbors. It is the way of many whose names are on Church rolls. The person in such a state is depraved – totally depraved. Meaning man is wicked and corrupt in God’s sight. The sesires are only for more of what the world has, and none toward God. By nature we were all born “Children of wrath”. We were deserving of God’s wrath, and death – spiritual, physical and eternal.
vv. 4-7 — The “But God” is put in the most appropriate places to show us the work of God. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners [dead in trespasses and sins], Christ died for us”. In all of Scripture God wants us to know beyond all doubt that He and He alone is responsible for the regeneration fo the lost [dead] soul. We deserve it not, nor is there anything we can do to hasten the “Quickening” of our lives. “But God”; it is God who is “Rich in mercy”, and it is we who are in desparate need. By the riches of HIs mercy He provides escape from “Spiritual death” and ultimatele “The second death”. He also will redeem our physical body from physical death. AMEN!
“Rich in mercy” and “Great love” and Hebrews mentions “So great salvation” in chapter 2 verse 3. This is God, His work, and His love. A definition of mercy is – Not receiving the wrath we so justly deserve.
When did God love us? Even while we were dead in sins. Even while we were His enemies. When did He sind His Son to take our place of judgment and wrath for sins? While we were yet sinners, His enemy. Jesus died, that those who hated Him might live. Jesus’s death made it possible for a holy, righteous God to make alive those who despised and hated all that is holy and righteous.
Those whare are raised from the dead are no longer subjects to sin to continue in it (Romans 6:1-13). We have been made alive to walk after the order and in the fashion of Jesus Himself. A life of ovedience, submission, holiness and righteousness was the life Jesus lived. It is by God’s grace He raised us up to walk a new life. Grace means – God’s undeserved favor. Remember His mercy is His keeping us from wrath; His grace is His giving us life eternal, and all the riches of Jesus Christ. Everything that is Jesus’s is ours. Grace is the means by which man glorifies God.
Notice where we “Were” and “But now are”. From death to life. From falling short of His glory; to being His glory. From being the enemy of God, to being “Sons”. From a “Child of wrath” to a child of promise. Where were we? On the road away from God toward destruction. Where are we now? Seated “Together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.
For what reason has God provided so richly and abundantly of His grace for us? That we might always, both now and for all eternity, be “To the praise of His glory”. We see tha tGod did not simply save us just to keep us fromt he fires of eternal Hell, but for His own purpose and glory.
The dead have no power to redeem themselves, or to work out their own salvation. Do you know, and do you have heavenly evidence that you have been raised up from death to live a life of praise and glory to God?
The evidence of Heaven is a changed life, changed desires, changed hopes and dreams, the fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23), and a great love for God and His crucified, buried, risen, and soon coming Son. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
If your opinions mean more to you than the truth of God’s Word, then there has been no change in you. You have no new life. You have not been raised to life out of “Trespasses and sins”. Yield your life to Him today. Raise your hands in SURRENDER to Him.