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Dead In Sin - Bible Study of Ephesians 2:1-10

Discover the power of God’s grace. We were dead in sin, but Jesus made us alive, and now we’re His workmanship, created to do good works. In this Bible Study, we will see how Ephesians 2:1-10 reveals the process of personal reconciliation to God. This post will give a video message and notes for this study.

Bible Study of Ephesians 2

Dead in Sin Explained

OPENING PASSAGE - Ephesians 2:1-10

Have you ever wondered why life is the way it is? Why is there so much sin and darkness in the world? We have the answer in scripture. Here in Ephesians 2, Paul talks about how God has redeemed those who would be His people, and how we were once dead in our trespasses and sins and now we are His workmanship.

Christians are alive from the dead.

Verse 1 - And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

God has made us alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

Paul ended Chapter 1 by giving us the ultimate example of God’s power - which was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Fundamental to Salvation - Romans 10:9

We were dead in trespasses and sin. As Christians now, we are alive, but we need to realize where we came from. The world is at that place.

We must understand that we can be alive in one sense (physical) but dead in another (spiritual). It is a real death. The most important part of our being – the spirit – is dead and cut off from life, cut off from God.

The Bible uses many different examples to describe the state of the unsaved person.

  • Blind

  • A Slave to Sin

  • A Lover of Darkness

  • Sick

  • Lost

  • An Alien, a Stranger, a Foreigner

  • A Child of Wrath

  • Under the Power of Darkness

Dead in trespasses and sins: The idea behind the word trespasses is that we have crossed a line, challenged and crossed God’s boundaries. The idea behind the word sins is that we have missed the mark.

Verse 2 - in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world and according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

The life of death - paradox - spiritually dead/bound for eternal death

Before we were saved, we walked in trespasses and sins according to the age (period) of this world, which is orchestrated by Satan.

Formerly walked (you followed, once walked, walked according to - speaking of the past), our lives should give a reflection of a different walking today.

Satan (the prince of the power of the air - unique title) is working among those in rebellion against God. We see a world (sons of disobedience) respond to Satan’s “guidance.”

Verse 3 - among them we all also once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

We all once conducted ourselves as the world. The world governs itself by the influence of the devil. 1 John 2:16

The world is the world because it is going after its own desires, which give pleasure to itself, that which satisfies itself, doing the things it feels are right for itself. We need to understand what we see is completely natural for the world.

Outcome - And were by nature children of wrath. Because of our sin/transgression, rebellion, and sons of disobedience, we deserve God’s wrath. That's where the world is headed. Judgement is coming.


Verse 4 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

But God… (phrase of hope, faith building phrase, phrase of promise). God’s love is so rich and great that it extends even to the unlovable, sons of disobedience.

You can’t make yourself loveable to God. We just need to recognize His love and receive His love. Even if we don’t really understand it.

Verse 5 - faith-building even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

In this passage, we get the past, present, and future of God’s work in our lives.

A. When we were dead - This is when God started loving us. He did not wait until we were clean and make loveable. Romans 5:8

B. We are made alive together with Christ - This is what God did to those who were dead in sin. Jesus shared in our death so that we could share in His resurrection life.

Paul Emphasizes - By grace, you have been saved. Paul is saying that this is the work of God’s grace, in no way involving whether we deserve it or not.

C. Sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus - This is the present position of the Christian. We may dwell here for now, but our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20

D. In the future, God will continue to show the exceeding riches of His grace to us. He will never stop relating to us on the basis of grace.

Spurgeon Quote - “When all the saints shall be gathered home they shall still talk and speak of the wonders of Jehovah’s love in Christ Jesus, and in the golden streets they shall stand up and tell what the Lord has done for them to listening crowds of angels, and principalities, and powers.”

Verse 8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, 9 not of works, so that no one should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them.

GRACE is all through this book. An example of grace is in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. We are not even saved by our faith (though faith itself is not a work) but by grace through faith. Grace makes faith possible.

And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - The work of salvation is God’s gift.

Not of works, so that no one should boast - If salvation were the accomplishment of man in any way, we could brag about it. But under God’s plan of salvation, God alone receives the glory. Romans 11:6

Salvation is something that God gives us, and we can’t do anything to earn it. Grace is not something that can be owed.

For we are His workmanship - God saves us not only to save us from the wrath we deserve but also to make something beautiful of us. We are His workmanship, a masterpiece. The Jerusalem Bible translates workmanship as “work of art.”

The love of God that saves us will also change our life. We become new creations.

Spurgeon Quote - “The spiritual life cannot come to us by development from our old nature. I have heard a great deal about evolution and development, but I am afraid that if any one of us were to be developed to our utmost, apart from the grace of God, we should come out worse than before the development began.”

He is saying it's not possible to become a spiritual person by using our own abilities or qualities. People often talk about how we can become better by working hard and improving ourselves, but without God's help, this won't make us more spiritual. In fact, it might even make us worse.

Created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them. We aren’t saved by works, but when we are saved, good works should come from our lives because we are created in Christ (His Spirit lives inside of us); therefore, His works should come out from our lives.

These works are just as much a part of God’s predestined plan as anything else is. Christians prove their faith through their works.

CONCLUSION - Ephesians 2:1-10 reveals that salvation is by grace through faith. Our sin and trespasses have been redeemed, and we are now God's workmanship created for good works. Although this is not our own doing, it is a gift from God, and we are called to walk in the good works He has prepared for us.

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