Our lives outside of Jesus is dead, dark, and depressing.
In Ephesians 2, Paul begins by talking about our lives before Christ – in one word: dead.
In this message, Nathan Johnson examines Paul’s description of our spiritual deadness outside of Christ …
- dead in trespasses and sins
- following the course of this world
- living under the authority/character of the prince of the power of the air
- influenced by the spirit of the world that works/energizes the sons of disobedience
- lived in the passions of our flesh
- carrying out the desires of the body and the mind
- and thus children of wrath
While it may seem depressing to think of our former way of living, this message is a reminder of how much we need Jesus in our lives.
Listen to + Download the Study
Key Passage: Ephesians 2:1-3
Ephesians 2:1-4a – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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– 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. But God …”
A Simple Bible Study Resource
1. (Spiritually) dead in the trespasses and sins
- Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
- Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. walked, following the course of this world
- Romans 8:6 – For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
- “For to be carnally minded” (NKJV)
- Romans 12.1-2: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
- 1 John 2.15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
- Amy Carmichael quote (John Tavler): A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.
3. following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience
- Ian Thomas: Every act of sin has its origin in satan; it is his character incarnate. “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8). Likewise, every act of righteousness has its origin in God; it is His character incarnate. … To be dominated by the “flesh” is to be dominated by the devil; and to be dominated by the Holy Spirit is to be dominated by God. What is this “flesh” of which the Bible speaks? The flesh is that perverted principle in human beings which perpetuates satan’s proud hostility and enmity against God. In our fallen condition, every person’s soul is dominated by the flesh and destitute of the Holy Spirit.” (Indwelling Life of Christ, 39-40).
- Romans 14:23b – For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
- Romans 8:5-8 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
4. lived in the passions of our flesh … carrying out the desires of the body and the mind
Where is the hope? – Jesus!
- Galatians 5.16-17 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
- Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Ian Thomas: It takes God to be a man! Man, that is, as God intended man to be! God created man to be inhabited by God for God! (Mystery of Godliness, 186)
- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: If you want to know the greatness of God’s power you have got to realize the depth of sin, you have got to realize the problem which confronted God, you have got to realize the problem that confronts you. (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Eph2, p8-9)
In Our Next Study Together …
I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your
- The focus of our next study: Ephesians 2:4
- We will examine the profound work God did in our lives as we examine the two powerful words “But God …”
- I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 2:1-10.
Subscribe to the Podcast
If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe on your favorite app by searching for “Deeper Christian Ephesians” or clicking the button below.
Help Others Out …
Leave a Rating & Review on Apple Podcasts
If you enjoyed the show, please take 30 seconds and rate it on Apple Podcasts and write a brief review. This would be a tremendous blessing to help us get the word out to others who might also enjoy it—as Apple uses the rating and reviews in their searches to help other people find the show.
About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.
Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.
About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the
Read more about him here.