Ephesians 2- Sermon Notes
Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Dead is dead. Dead is not sick. Dead is not diseased. Dead is not unreasonable. Dead is not thinking about it. Dead is dead.
Lazarus was dead. Jesus unilaterally, monergistically brought him back to life.
Regeneration- brought from death to life. We might call this born again.
Monergism- God acts unilaterally.
Four States of Mankind- From Saint Augustine
1. Able to Sin, Able Not Sin- Adam’s created state. He was able to not sin but chose to fall into sin. Incidentally, this creation state included his ability to act as a covenant head. He could have nullified the affect of Eve’s sin. Mankind fell when Adam fell into sin, not when Eve first sinned.
Adam was free to sin. Although Adam could have chosen to not sin, he also had the freedom to sin. He had not yet been given a permanently Resurrected body wherein he was fully free from sin.
2. Not Able Not to Sin- This is fallen man outside of God’s grace. He has a free will but his will has been enslaved by death.
After the fall, Adam was not able not to sin. His fall made him incapable of refraining from sin. He and his progeny were now all fallen and sin necessarily flows from fallen man.
Even in Christ, we are in this condition until we pass from this life. There are those who teach that we can attain a state of sinless perfection in this life. This is not biblical teaching and denies the need for the reality of the Resurrection. It is true that God gives life to our mortal bodies and that we can live by and walk by the Spirit. However, we do this is a state of grace where Jesus covers all of our sins, past, present and future. However much sin abounds, grace abounds more.
3. Able not to Sin
But there are some things that ought not to be even named among the faithful. 1 Cor. 5:1, Paul includes fornication with a father’s wife. This was presumably a step-mother. He states that this kind of fornication is not even to be found among the pagans.
He gives us another list in Ephesians 5 of things that Christians can be and should be done with. That is, we are morally free in Christ to not sin that sort of sin. Our will can no line up with our actions. I do not say that this moral freedom is absolute.
Galatians five talks about the moral struggle we still face even in redeemed and Holy Spirit filled bodies. There is real sanctification but there is not bodily, pre-Resurrection perfection.
Ephesian 5:3 But fornication- porneia- and keep that root word, porneia, as context. Here we translate fornication but he is referring below to the broader sexual sins related to porneia. We now have a pornography epidemic so we should understand Paul’s words in that context. Christians once lived in a rampant pornographic culture. They were expected to not participate in it. Paul expected that Christians could be done with such sins. Let them not even be named among you. Folks we have to set the bar a little higher.
and all uncleanness- uncleanness sexually
or covetousness- greed, fraud, extortion
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness- shameful acts, exposing oneself, sexting,
nor foolish talking- morologia, talking like a moron, sex jokes, crass speech
nor jesting- this seems to mean foolish jesting, vulgar witticisms, given to double entendre.
which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know,
that no whoremonger- fornicator, refers back to porneas in verse 3
nor unclean person- unclean, filthy, foolish talker, course jester
nor covetous man- coveting that which is not your own, keep your own wife, your own husband in you mind. not coveting other women or men.
who is an idolater- this is the worship of sex and pleasure. Sexolatry
hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.- Those who practice such things go to Hell. Christians go to heaven. So, no Christian, who is a Christian, indeed, can practice such things. Sure, some Christians fall into sin and even grievous sins. But, Spirit-filled and led Christians do not practice such things with impunity.
4. Unable to Sin- The Resurrected state. We will be perfected and protected from falling into sin.
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Your times past- This spirit still alive in the sons of disobedience. But we should not be drawn to it as in times past because we are ‘in Christ.’
The world- course of this world
The flesh- lusts of the flesh
The devil- prince of the power of the air
Lusts- desire for the forbidden. This is part of the transformation of the Christian mind to change us from desiring that which is forbidden to desiring that which is given.
By nature- ordinary generation, born into sin and God’s wrath.
Wrath- can mean desire. The context seems to encourage the thought that we were born into lustful desires. That is we were born wanting what is prohibited and thus an object of God’s wrath, like fallen Adam.