And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… (Ephesians 1:1-2)
When you were “born of water and the Spirit” (as Jesus phrased it in John 3:5) something special happened to you. If you understand what happened, you will be blessed richly in your life. That’s simply because your thankfulness will expand. Your love for God will grow. You’ll be more likely to grow in your faith. That faith builds greater confidence, joy, and godly activities. Then something amazing happens–your love and thankfulness grow more, increasing your faith and starting this cycle all over again!
It all starts with understanding what has happened to you, being informed by God.
It doesn’t start with how you feel. That’s arbitrary. How you feel today may easily change tomorrow. If our ultimate salvation starts with our feelings of love toward God, then the basis of our salvation is our own self. That’s the very opposite of Paul’s point in Ephesians 2:1-2. Salvation begins with God addressing your spiritual problem and offering forgiveness and healing.
So it begins with God, but there is need to know what God did. Salvation is not automatic. Christianity is not something that we inherit from our parents. Our faith must be developed through learning and applying what we learn. That’s why Paul wrote in Romans 10:14,
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Be thankful that someone took the time to tell you how it is you could be born spiritually through belief, repentance, and baptism into Christ! Be thankful that someone took the time to instruct you in the Way of Christ! But above all, be thankful for what God accomplished in you.
The creation of the Universe and all that exists within it took six days. You can see that in Genesis 1. As glorious as it is, it was not His greatest work. If we measure greatness by merely looking at the length of time required for an infinitely intelligent and all-powerful Being to accomplish a task, His greatest creation far outshines the beauty and complexity of the Universe itself. It took six days to create heaven and earth, but it took thousands of years to create a Christian.
And what He did was bring the dead to life. He brought the evil to holiness, the scarred and flawed to perfection through Christ.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5)
You might not have considered yourself to be dead before your conversion to the Way of Christ, but you were, spiritually speaking. All of us who have sinned against God were spiritually dead. In Romans 6:23, Paul said, “The wages of sin is death.”
Jesus said that He came to give us life in John 10:10.
That might sound odd, but consider this: “Death” is a word that is used in different ways.
In reality, death is a separation. When we physically die, our spirits separate from our bodies. I don’t understand exactly how that works, but it’s the point at which we know someone is dead. We die spiritually when we are separated from the source of life–GOD. We could see death as the upcoming punishment for sin that we would naturally receive, but it’s more than that. Like a shadow of things to come, spiritual death affects us on this earth too, even while we live.
Not only is it a state of being separated from God, but it is also a way of life. One bad decision turns into another. We find ourselves doing and saying things we never thought we would before. We’re walking down the wrong road, and, sometimes, we don’t have any idea how to change things and make them right again.
That’s why we need God and His word. He is the way of life and will gladly show us how to come to Him for healing and life. If you are a Christian, it’s because someone showed you the way back to Him.
If you are a Christian, you have a life that is worthwhile!
Before you came to Christ, you were a part of the living dead–physically alive but spiritually dead.
Ironically, now that you are a Christian, you could also be categorized as a part of the living dead.
Romans 12:2 says,
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.
In Romans 6:11 he wrote,
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Notice that word, “consider”. This is a frame of mind that we must develop. It’s not that we are saved because we think we are. Rather, this shows us that salvation must be “recognized” if we are to appreciate and hold to it. When we fully understand what we have our hands on, we will not want to give it up no matter what we face in this world.
When you put on Christ in baptism, you also sacrificed yourself for Him (Romans 6:1-7). You put to death the old self and now are pursuing what a new life entails. That’s a great challenge that will bring joy the rest of your life, if you will hold on to it and not give up hope!
Your walk with Christ is a living death. We die to ourselves but we are alive to God. Our selfish desires are put aside and the activities that please God are pursued instead. We once walked in sin, in selfishness, and separation from God. Now we walk in self-sacrifice and separation from the processes and desires of the flesh.
Are you living like that? Need some help? Comment below or contact me by going to the “Contact Me” tab at top of the website. I’m not perfect, but I am willing to help.