Tuesday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 2:1-3

The State of a Man Apart from Christ

That we may rightly rejoice in our salvation, that we may know just how gracious our Lord is, we must be reminded who we were before our regeneration, before we came to saving faith in Christ Jesus.  Paul does us this favor in these three short verses.

2:1: “And you were dead in trespasses and sins.”  “The wages of sin is death,” Paul writes in another place (Romans 6:23).  Sin kills.  Sin destroys.  It is a law of the universe which God created, and that law reflects his holy and righteous nature.  Contemporary pagans say that truth is a creation of man, that we all live in our own preferred narratives with which we strive to subdue the other.  They reject that there is such a thing as a moral universe in which a righteous God sits enthroned at the top who will one day judge men for their sins.  “What sins?” they demand to know.  Those thoughts, words, and deeds which reject His sovereignty, His will, His way, and what He decrees as right.  And to do these things is to earn death and receive it regardless of one’s objections.  Before rebirth by the Holy Spirit, we are dead, spiritually dead, in trespasses and sins whether we realize it or not.

2:2: “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—”  And this is how unregenerate man walks—according to the ways of the world, according to the dictates of Satan.  God sees only two ways, two kingdoms, two peoples.  Those born of the Spirit follow him and shun the world; those born of the flesh follow Satan and embrace the world.  There is no third way.

2:3: “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.”  In other words, this is the way man is born.  Born of the flesh, we live by the desires of the flesh, which desires carry us away in one direction and then another (hence, “passions”—cravings of the flesh which cause us so much suffering).  And so born, we are by nature children of wrath; that is, abiding under the just wrath of God.  We are sinners both by nature and by choice and are thus rendered guilty before God’s tribunal.  We have no defense for ourselves and will have nothing to add when God renders judgment; we will each simply have to go to his assigned destination.  And this is why we need a Savior; this is why we need an Advocate; this is why we need the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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