Dead or alive?


It’s a popular outdoor concert and the numbers are always huge. Excitement fills the air. The crowd dances and sings along with the music. People chat and eat and drink. So it’s hard to realise that, except for those who are in Christ, they are all dead! Yes, they appear to be very much alive, but they are dead. Spiritually dead. And it’s been that way for all people since Adam and Eve first disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. So is there any hope for humanity? To see what God says about this, let’s turn right now to his Word, because this truly is a matter of life and death!

Read Ephesians 2:1-3


    • Here Paul is speaking to those who have turned to Christ. How does he describe the state of all people before they believe? (v 1)
    • What ways do unbelievers follow? (v 2a). Who is controlling these ways? (v 2b)
    • At the end of verse 3, what strong words does Paul use to describe the state of unbelievers before God?

    Without Christ, we follow the ways of the world; we live under Satan, who rules the kingdom of the air. Without Christ, no matter how good we might try to be, we’re still spiritually dead! Without Christ, we deserve to be punished for rebelling against our Creator. Without Christ, our situation is completely hopeless! Nothing we can do will save us from God’s judgement, because it’s impossible for dead people to save themselves. And if this passage were to end there, then we’d be in a pretty terrible state: objects of God’s wrath.

    Read Ephesians 2:4-5


    • Let’s celebrate the word ‘BUT’ that begins verse 4. What characteristics of God are seen in this verse?
    • What transformation takes place in the lives of those who come to Christ? (v 5)

    God in his mercy and grace lovingly rescues those who turn to him. We were dead – object of God’s wrath; but now we’ve been given life. And we’ve been raised up with Christ! We deserved God’s judgement, but instead God unleashed his wrath on his Son Jesus. And Jesus willingly bore that wrath when he died on the cross for our sin. And from his death and resurrection come forgiveness and life for all who believe. See Ephesians 1:7.

    Read Ephesians 2:6-7


    • From verse 6, what does God do for those who believe in Jesus Christ?
    • From verse 7 what is God planning for believers in the coming ages?

    How amazing is our God! His great plan for the coming ages is to shower his children with the immeasurable riches of his grace – shown to us in Christ Jesus. If we belong to him, every day throughout all eternity, we will be flooded with fresh appreciation of all that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection accomplished for us. Let’s take time to remember all he has done, is doing and will do for those who belong to him.

    Something to think and pray about

    Spending time thinking and praying about this:
    Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve – his wrath.
    Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve – eternal life.

    Have you experienced God’s mercy and grace? If not, come to Jesus and ask him to forgive your sins and make you his.

    Something to sing about

    Living Hope (Phil Wickham); Jesus Paid it All (Kim Walker-Smith); His Mercy is More (Matt Boswell and Matt Papa).