Ephesians 2:1 in the old King James Version reads, “And you hath he quickened, who
were dead in trespasses and sins.” In 1611 quicken meant “to make alive” (see verse 5).
In John 5:24, Jesus promises that believers have everlasting life (right now and forever)
and have passed from death to life.
Ephesians 2 reinforces that same point. Our passage has suffered at the hands of theologians and pastors. It speaks of believing so one may live. Many twist it to God giving life so one may believe.
The following California pastor is dead wrong. He reverses the sequence required by the phrase “through faith.” … [The sinner] is dead. The answer to his dilemma is not in using his free will to reach out and take the medicine [e.g., believe Jesus’ promise of life]. The answer is that God must breathe His life into him, and make him alive [before he believes]!
That definition of dead comes from theology books, not from Ephesians. Unfortunately, that view is common today. Wrong teaching on this passage makes people torture themselves with introspection: “Did I really believe?” “Do I evidence being God’s workmanship (2:10), or am I still an unbeliever?” Needless doubts are a counter-productive distraction.
We will take a fresh look at this passage. Its three sentences have four movements:
- ONCE DEAD IN SIN (2:1-5a) Greek sentence 1a
- ALIVE IN CHRIST (2:5b-7) Greek sentence 1b
- BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH (2:8-9) Greek sentence 2
- GOD’S MASTERPIECE (2:10) Greek sentence 3
ONCE DEAD IN SIN. Both Jewish (we/us/our) and Gentile (you/your) unbelievers are
spiritually dead, alienated from God. We had nothing good to commend ourselves to God.
ALIVE IN CHRIST. Both Jewish and Gentile believers are now saved (made alive).
BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. We were made alive through faith, apart from works.
GOD’S MASTERPIECE. The believers at Crosspoint are equipped for good works that God has already designed for us. Serving God as part of the body of Christ is a way of saying, “Thank you Lord.” This will be the highlight of the message.