Verse for today – “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world… (Eph. 2:1-2).”
Please begin by noting that these verses are written in the past tense. Paul is writing to people who already belong to Christ and he is trying to help them understand their past condition. However, these matters are crucial to understand whether you are already a Christian or not. Many in America believe they are “Christians” because they were born in this country, or born in a “Christian family,” or grew up in a church. The reality, however, is that BELONGING TO CHRIST IS NOT AUTOMATIC! Now, let us get back to the main thought of the verse.
As much as we would all like to avoid this subject, we must face reality. We are broken! The Bible makes this clear in 1 Timothy, where we read the following words: “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after (1 Tim. 5:24).” The first part of this sentence is clear—some people’s sins are obvious! But what is meant by the last part of the verse? The answer is that many of us are good at hiding our sin. We put on a good face but inside things are not as they appear. Our sins “follow after.” Our sins may not be known to most people! And, in some cases, we may not even see our own sin.
Think about your life for a few minutes today, dear Reader (this is more needed than you might realize). Have you always told the truth? Have you ever stolen someone else’s property? Have you always honored your mother and your father? Have you hated, yelled at, or condemned someone in your heart? Have you been morally pure? Even with your eyes? God does NOT say it is OK to look! So, looking with lust is an issue. I could go on; the Bible has given us the most advanced and beautiful plan for morality ever known to man. But your honesty with yourself is more important than any questions I could ask. As you think about your life, ask God to help you see yourself clearly. According to today’s verse, we are not only dead in our sins, or WERE dead in our sins; but we also “walked in them.” In other words, we LIVED OUT our sins. Remember the TV show “Family Matters” and how Urkel used to ask, “Did I do that”? The answer is yes, he did. And yes, we did! We lived according to this world’s pattern. We lived in ways outside of God’s plan and hope for our lives. We were in rebellion against God even though, for some of us, it was an “undercover operation.” If you are much like me, you are tired of this exercise. We do not enjoy remembering our failures! But please let God help you through this journey. It can help you with forgiveness and restoration. In the coming verses, things will become clearer and you can be filled with hope. I hope and pray that you have already found hope, life, and forgiveness in Christ! If you would like, you can read ahead in Ephesians! Ask God to guide you! Pray for others who need this understanding. I am praying for you!