Intro. This whole section chapters 1-3 is dealing with the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ Jesus. One of the greatest of all the spiritual blessings is the grace that has been bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ. It is only through grace that any or all of these blessings come.
I. PAUL IS WANTING HERE IN CHAPTER TWO TO TALK TO US ABOUT THE GRACE OF GOD.
A. To see all of the beautiful facets of this grace it must be placed upon a proper background.
1. It is as though a merchant wanted to show to you a perfect diamond, he wants you to see each sparkling facet, so he places the diamond on the darkest velvet that he can find.
2. Paul wants you to see all the beautiful aspects of the grace of God so he is going to place it on the dark background.
3. What is that dark background?
B. "And you." What could be darker or blacker than you in your B.C. days?
C. Paul's description.
1. "Dead in trespasses and sins."
a. The words, "Hath He quickened" you will note are in italics, which means that they were not in the original text, but were added by the translators to try to bring clarity. It is in the text in verse 5.
b. God had declared, "The soul that sinneth it shall die."
c. God declared that the wages of sin is death.
d. This is spiritual death which is separation from God.
e. God who is holy cannot have fellowship with sin. Fellowship is oneness, God cannot be one with sin.
f. The cry "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? that came from the lips of Jesus as He hung on the cross is answered in the 3rd verse of Psalm 22
which begins with those very words. "For Thou are holy, oh Thou that inhabitest the praises of Thy people."
g. On the cross, God laid on Him the iniquities of us all. In that moment when God made Him to be sin for us, He experienced the separation from God that is the inevitable consequence of sin.
h. The prophet Isaiah said, "The hand of the Lord is not short that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear, but your sins have separated you from your God."
i. The difference between trespasses and sins.
1. To sin is to miss the mark.
2. The Bible says that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
3. The mark is perfection, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
4. Trespass is a deliberate or willful disobedience.
j. I am not only guilty of sinning, but also of trespassing against the law of God. I am guilty of both counts.
2. "Wherein in times past you walked according to the course of this world."
a. Our former life was influenced and guided by the fads and fashions of this world.
b. It is amazing to me how that even the little children in school know which jeans are in, which shoes, their lives are controlled by the fashions of this world.
c. They are devastated if they have to wear the wrong labels to school.
3. Paul tells us who is behind the fashion and fads of this world. "According to the prince of the power of the air."
a. Satan is behind the worlds fashions, he guides the "in crowd."
b. He used to seek to be more subtle, but now he has been emboldened to openly come out and advocate his life of rebellion against that which is of God. The things that are holy and pure.
1. When you let your children watch the filth that is on T.V. today, especially on the M.T.V. channels, you are allowing their minds to be programmed by Satan.
2. When you allow them to listen to the popular music you are giving their minds to be influenced and controlled by the devil.
4. Paul calls him the spirit that is now working in the children of disobedience.
a. Promiscuous sex, live in mates, babies without wedlock, these are all things that have been promoted by the Hollywood set, that have been held up to your children as stars to be emulated.
b. Paul tells us that it is the spirit of darkness that is working in them and in control of their lives.
D. Paul then states that this was the manner of all of our lives in times past.
1. This is the way of the flesh.
2. This is the life that is dominated by the fleshly desires.
3. This is the path of death.
E. Again he describes it as living in the lusts of our flesh.
1. Paul told Titus that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and the lusts of our flesh.
2. Paul tells us that if we live after the flesh we shall die.
a. Paul told the Galatians that they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
b. In the fourth chapter that we are to put off according to our former manner of life, the old man who was corrupt according to his deceitful lusts.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which is idolatry, For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy filthy communication out of your mouth.
3. So many today find their lives ruled by the lusts of their flesh.
F. Fulfilling the desires of our flesh, and of our minds.
1. Rather than denying ourselves, to many, even professing believers are indulging themselves.
2. They live to fulfill the desires of their flesh.
3. How many people because of the present day media live in a fantasy world. Their minds are filled with fantasies that they are trying to fulfill.
G. By nature the children of wrath.
1. You hear of doing what comes naturally.
2. What comes naturally is coming from your nature in rebellion against God.
3. We were born with sinful fallen natures.
4. David declared that he was born in sin, and shapen in iniquity.
5. For this reason Jesus said that we must be born again.
6. We need the new nature that is conceived of the Holy Spirit.