THE BAD NEWS (Part 1)

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-3

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins, in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:1,2)

We must understand the bad news before we can fully appreciate the good news of the gospel. The bad news is that all of us were born with a sin nature. The description of sin in human beings is straight forward and clear — “You were dead in the trespasses and sins.” Life for the non-Christian is a living death. There is no stronger word than death — not almost dead, not desperately ill, but DEAD spiritually.

What does this mean? Perhaps the best way of defining spiritual death is to look at it in light of its opposite — life. Life in the Bible is always described in terms of one’s relationship with God — “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:8). God is life and He gives life. Apart from Him there is no true spiritual life. Life is to know God and to enjoy Him. Therefore, death is the opposite of all this — human beings by nature are ignorant of God and do not know Him as He truly is.

This means that human beings cannot grasp spiritual truth — “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). The person who is not a Christian is not interested in the things of God. He cannot accept them because he is spiritually dead.

Instead, such a person is governed by the world. His life is under the control, the outlook, and the mentality of this present world. He follows “the course of the world.” Used in this way, the word “world” means that system of evil that stands against God and His people, and is the environment that brings out the worst in human fallen nature. John tells us about the world — “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). Paul is saying that the person who is not a Christian is a person who is governed and controlled by the world — its mind, its outlook, its mentality.

A person without God is hopeless. He is helpless and cannot accept the things of God. There is only one solution to this problem — the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. We will come to this in the days ahead. Those of us who have experienced it should rejoice that we are no longer dead in sin, but have been given spiritual and eternal life by the grace of God on the merits of Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, I once was dead, but now am alive. You made this possible for me through Your death and resurrection. Thank You for delivering me from the bondage of sin and making me part of Your family. Give me power to resist following the course of this world. Enable me to live my life for Your glory. Thank You for so great a salvation!

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