The second chapter of Ephesians has shown us some powerful truths and fantastic statements, all of which define what it means to be a Christian. Once you have finally established this in your spirit, you will never again want to fall back into your “BC” days; you will realize how wonderful it is to be completely free of the influence and desires of the world.
We learned to appreciate what has happened to us by looking back to what we were and began to fully understand what Yahweh has called us out of in Christ. The opening words remind us that we were once dead in trespasses and sins; walked according to the desires and patterns of this world, followed the prince of the power of the air, the god of darkness; and continually surrendered to the lusts of our flesh. We did what we thought was right, but found that it was always getting us into trouble and destroying us — and we never knew why. We were victimized by the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature, as Paul says, “separated from Christ and excluded from any relationship with Him . . . had no hope and were in the world without God.”
And then, out of all this, Christ called us. Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ have been made alive together with him. We have received the very life and nature of Yahweh Himself! We have the Spirit of the Living God within us!
Oh, man! That is a fantastic statement! A resurrection has occurred; we have become new creations, a new species that never existed before, a new creation, different than anything we ever were before. And we have been given a new power; raised up with him, just so that the power we can depend on is not the power of a determined will, but the power of a trusting heart, relying on our Lord’s resurrection life. And then, we have been made to sit with him in heavenly places.
As Watchman Nee wrote,
“Christianity is a queer business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has ‘blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ’ (Ephesians 1:3) and we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us; not to set out to try and attain it for ourselves.”
Because of this new life, we have a new language, a new attitude, new desires and new longings. We have been delivered from striving, from pressure, and have been allowed to rest, to relax, to be confident that God is working out his purposes in our lives. All of this provides a sense of what it means to be a Christian. In Verse 11 of Chapter 2, Paul takes up another view of our past life. He looks back on what we were as unbelievers — “Gentiles” is the word he uses — and reminds us of our previous condition of ignorance. You see, not only were we dead, helpless, but we were strangers to God’s promises, living in darkness, in ignorance, apart from Jesus Christ.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.