Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DEAD OR ALIVE!

Art by Christella: http://christellaart.blogspot.com/
Ephesians 2:1

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins. . .

In our natural, physical state, death seems so final . . . the end of a life.  And, clearly, there is that aspect to death: finality.  In death our physical bodies cease to live.  The "physical," however, is not all that we are.  Thankfully.  We are also spiritual beings.  As Christians, we believe that we live on even after our physical bodies die.  But the apostle Paul is not talking about a physical death here.  The type of death he is talking about, however, is very real and very present.  It's like living without life.

"As for you" is directed once again to the Gentiles believers.  (Make no mistake, however, the apostle will throw the Jewish believers, himself included, into this mix as well a few verses from now.)  "As for you, [Gentile believers,] you were dead in your transgressions and sins."  Our spirit is the essence of who we are.  It is the most vital part of our personality and it's dead to the most important factor in life -- God.  When we come to the cross we receive new life and the forgiveness of our sins.  The God of the universe, the Creator of our souls, IS life and the only way to real life.  Without the death of our Savior, Jesus, and without the atonement made for us at the cross, we are the walking dead.  We live but we are not alive.  God's mercy and forgiveness have always been available to us, even before Christ walked this earth.  But since Christ came, mercy and forgiveness comes to us by means of the cross -- by the death of Jesus.  When we accept those terms, life begins anew to us.  Our spirits become alive and intrinsically aware of something greater than ourselves.  Our sense of belonging and of being loved awakens.  On the other hand, however, so does our understanding of transgressions and sins.  And so the clean-up process begins.  We have been made aware of our state.  No longer dead.  New life. 

The essence of this verse, however, is not so much about death as it is about life.  Yes, we become aware of the multiplicity of ways in which we have sinned, but we also become aware of the One who has forgiven us these many sins.  We become aware of the life He has given us and multiplicity of ways in which He has shown His love to us.  For those to whom Paul is speaking, Gentile believers, you and me, we were dead but now we live!  Life begins with God

"Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live."  Isaiah 55:3, NIV

Alive!
Kerry

2 comments:

Annie said...

"Our spirits become alive and intrinsically aware of something greater than ourselves"

I really love this! Although I know it's only half of what this verse is about, it's incredibly encouraging!

Also...I love your blog changes. Looks great!

Sweet J said...

"Without the death of our Savior, Jesus, and without the atonement made for us at the cross, we are the walking dead."

I don't know how many times I've been aware of this recently when I'm around large groups like at the mall. A part of me wants to cry out like John the Baptist but another part wants to just run home and hide. Instead I just bumble along and try and ignore the pain on people's faces. In my work it's easy to proclaim the gospel because it's expected but it's much harder everywhere else.