17 April, 2024

Overcoming Our Problem

by | 1 January, 2024 | 1 comment

By Stuart Powell

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he explained that before they were Christians, they faced a serious problem in their lives.  

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1-2). 

Paul didn’t soften his words to describe their previous dilemma. He said, “You were dead” . . . not ill, or terminal, or dying but “dead.” His description made clear there was no consideration of resuscitation. The coffin was closed and the body was on the way to the cemetery. They had a serious problem.  

Paul also told them this death problem impacted others. 

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). 

All of them were dead. Paul didn’t say “some of you”; he didn’t say, “you Greeks” or “those Jews.” Paul lumped all people together as dead. Their death resulted from sinful desires at work in their bodies. Death was the fruit of their cravings of the flesh. All Ephesians faced the same gigantic problem from which there was no hope. 

I am so thankful Paul didn’t stop at verse 4. What he wrote next transforms everything in the lives of Jesus’ disciples.  

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5). 

God overcame our problem of death, sin, and judgment through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. He transformed Christians into people who are truly alive and living in the presence of the Creator. Jesus’ body saved us from death. Jesus’ blood makes us alive. We no longer fall prey to the grave because our problem of death was washed away by Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

As you eat the bread, which is a reminder of Jesus’ body, and drink from the cup, which is the picture of his lifeblood offered up for all of us, take this time to give thanks to God for this demonstration of his overcoming power. 

Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church. 

1 Comment

  1. Richard Throckmorton

    Excellent view of Ephesians 2:1-5. Paul gives us great hope in our partaking of Communion.

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