A Contrast of Darkness to Light
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
God has saved us from being his enemies to make us his treasured possession.
It’s no wonder Paul was praying the Ephesian saints would come to understand their identities in God through Christ. It’s one thing to say we are saved but it’s another to know what we were saved from and what we are saved to. Paul continues his letter to the Ephesian church, a gathering of God’s children characterized by their love for all for God’s people, by comparing their current spiritual state to their previous one.
Starting with “the light” in chapter 1, he painted a picture of their position before God: God’s own possession, God’s glorious inheritance, changed forevermore by the same power that brought Christ our savior back from the dead, and now sealed with God’s own Spirit so that we have a hope that will never leave us. They are the church – the fullness of God’s own son.
Then, as if to say, “So you’ll better understand what you have,” Paul described “the dark”. They WERE dead in their sins and WERE following ways of the world and WERE following the devil, God’s defeated enemy. They lived among the spiritually dead and were part of them. They satisfied themselves by feeding their desires, following them wherever they led into rebellion against the creator.
Does that sound familiar? We can all think of ways we used to live, satisfying ourselves in ways that were destructive to ourselves and others. Those things felt good at the time but always left an empty space in us when the initial pleasure was over.
The Ephesian saints weren’t perfect after their conversions but continued to sin in various ways as we do. However they WERE objects of God’s wrath but ARE God’s own possession. Paul’s description of their past and current states before God not only shows how significant our conversion is – an entire change of identity from darkness to light that cannot be changed under any circumstances – but it shows us how much we have been forgiven and gives us many reasons to be thankful to our savior.
Questions To Ponder
To whom is this I passage written?]
What does Paul say about our state of spirituality before Christ?
Do you ever think about the differences in you while you were in that state?
Scripture Memory | March | Proverbs 21:30-31
“No human wisdom or understanding or plan
can stand against the Lord.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.”