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Ephesians Chapter Two

Ephesians Chapter Two

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Published by glennpease



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Published by: glennpease on Aug 14, 2013
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EPHESIAS CHAPTER TWOBY THE REV. PROFESSOR G. G. FIDLAY, B.A.,FROM DEATH TO LIFE.u And you did He quicken, when ye were dead through your tres-passes and sins, wherein aforetime ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spiritthat now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom we alsoall once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh andof the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest : — but God, being rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He lovedus, even when we were dead through our trespasses, quickened ustogether with the Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised usup together and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in ChristJesus." — Eph. ii. 1-6.WE pass by a sudden transition, just as inColossians i. 21, 22, from the thought of thatwhich God wrought in Christ Himself to that which ,He works through Christ in believing men. So Godraised, exalted, and glorified His Son Jesus Christ(i. 19-23) — and you ! The finely woven threads of the apostle's thought are frequently severed, and awk-ward chasms made in the highway of his argument byour chapter and verse divisions. The words insertedin our Version {did He quicken) are borrowed by antici-pation from verse 5 ; but they are more than suppliedalready in the foregoing context. " The same almighty \Hand that was laid upon the body of the dead Christand lifted Him from Joseph's grave to the highest seatin heaven, is now laid upon your soul. It has raised |95
9 5 THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIAS.you from the grave and death of sin to share by faithHis celestial life."The apostle, in verse 3, pointedly includes amongstthe " dead in trespasses and sins " himself and hisJewish fellow-believers as they "once lived/' whenthey obeyed the motions and "volitions of the flesh/'and so were " by birth " not children of favour, as Jewspresumed, but " children of anger, even as the rest." *This passage gives us a sublime view of the eventof our conversion. It associates that change in uswith the stupendous miracle which took place in ourRedeemer. The one act is a continuation of the other.There is an acting over again in us of Christ's cruci-fixion, resurrection and ascension, when we realizethrough faith that which was done for mankind in Him.At the same time, the redemption which is in ChristJesus is no mere legacy, to be received or declined ; itis not something done once for all, and left to be appro-priated passively by our individual will. It is a "powerof God unto salvation," unceasingly operative and effec-tive, that works " of faith and unto faith" that summonsmen to faith, challenging human confidence whereverits message travels and awakening the spiritual possi-bilities dormant in our nature.It is a supernatural force, then, which is at work upon us in the word of Christ. It is a resurrection-power, that turns death into life. And it is a powerinstinct with love. The love which went out towardsthe slain and buried Jesus when the Father stoopedto raise Him from the dead, bends over us as weI lie in the grave of our sins, and exerts itself with a* For the antithesis of "you" and "we," comp. vv. 11-18, ch. i.12, 13; also Rom. iii. 19, 23 {For there is no distinction), Gal. ii. 15.
ii. 1-6.] FROM DEATH TO LIFE. 97might no less transcendent, that it may raise us fromthe dust of death to sit with Him in the heavenlyplaces (vv. 4-6).Let us look at the two sides of the change effectedin men by the gospel — at the death they leave, andthe life into which they enter. Let us contemplate thetask to which this unmatched power has set itself.I. You that were dead, the apostle says.Jesus Christ came into a dead world — He the oneliving man, alive in body, soul, and spirit — alive to Godin the world. He was, like none besides, aware of God and of God's love, breathing in His Spirit, "livingnot by bread alone, but by every word that proceededfrom His mouth." "This," He said, "is life eternal."If His definition was correct, if it be life to know God,then the world into which Christ entered by Hishuman birth, the world of heathendom and Judaism,was veritably dying or dead — " dead indeed unto God.'Its condition was visible to discerning eyes. It wasa world rotting in its corruption, mouldering in itsdecay, and which to His pure sense had the moralaspect and odour of the charnel-house. We realizevery imperfectly the distress, the inward nausea, theconflict of disgust and pity which the fact of being insuch a world as this and belonging to it caused in thenature of Jesus Christ, in a soul that was in perfectsympathy with God. ever was there loneliness suchas His, the solitude of life in a region peopled with thedead. The joy which Christ had in His little flock,in those whom the Father had given Him out of theworld, was proportionately great. In them He foundcompanionship, teachableness, signs of a heart awaken-

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