And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Listing truths about Me Before Christ is a very sobering thing.
I was dead in trespasses and sins.
I walked according to the course of the world, according to Satan’s spirit of disobedience.
I lived in the lusts of my flesh and indulged the desires of my flesh and of my mind.
I was, by nature, a child of wrath.
A child of wrath? Wow, that’s just…really harsh!
I look back on my youth, and yes, I see disobedience. Bigtime. I most definitely walked a worldly course, and yes, indulged my desires and excused my indulgences.
But a child of WRATH? That’s a really hard truth. I knew I was not walking in God’s light as a teenager, but somehow I didn’t really grasp the fact that living outside of God’s will was to be IN His wrath! There is no gray area, no ‘in-between place.’ We hear so much about God’s grace and His love, His kindness and his protection, and we tend to forget that He has a No Tolerance policy. He cannot, under any circumstances, excuse sin. He knows our weakness, yes, and He loves us in spite of it, but He cannot allow it in His kingdom. As long as we willfully walk our own way, we are not his children…we are children of wrath. We are dead, and we don’t even realize it! Yes, it’s a hard truth…but it’s Truth.
I’ve always felt that the “But God…” at the beginning of the fourth verse is probably the most encouraging phrase ever. After the bleak, desolate picture painted in the first three verses, we reach the answer, the only solution to the problem. His grace, His mercy, reaching into the death we were consumed by, brings us into life.
I think it’s a good thing to reflect occasionally on where we’ve been. It’s easy to forget how big the difference is. There is no greater change in all the world than the transition from death into LIFE.