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Today we will be looking at the characteristics of the life which is lived without Christ, and the life lived with Christ.

We can make a listing of those characteristics.

1. It is a life lived according to the direction of this world

2. It is a life lived according to the devil.

3. It is a life lived In disobedience.

4. It is a life lived according to personal desire.

5. It is a life lived in wrath

Paul speaks in this passage about being quickened or made alive. This happens when we are buried with Christ in baptism and are raised as a new creature - one who is then alive in Christ.

A new creature no longer lives according to the direction of the world. That new creature is not governed by the prince of the power of the air – that is, Satan.

So, today let’s look at these two ways of living. Living a dead life directed by Satan, or living a life alive in Christ.

Reading in Ephesians 2:1-10 In this passage we will see:

Our condition before Chris and Our condition after Christ

I. Our condition before Christ

The person who is a sinner is dead as far as their relationship with God is concerned.

Death in the Bible is not a state of not knowing or unconsciousness – It is simply a complete change of relationship or a separation from former relationships.

When people are alive here, we talk with them, do business with them, enjoy their company. When they die, the relationship changes. Their relationship then – if they are saved – is with the Lord.

On the other hand, a person who is alive, but dead in their sin still can walk among us. But, that person, though physically alive, is dead in their sin, and cut off from God.

However, there is hope for that person who is dead in their sin. In John 5:24 Jesus speaks these words: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” He says they shall hear and live. Only the Spirit of God can speak so that dead men who are in their sin can hear.

When we hear the Gospel preached and taught, and we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, repent, and are obedient in baptism into Christ, our relationship will change again.

Paul tells us in Romans 6:11 – “We are no longer dead IN sins, but we are dead TO sin and alive unto God whom we praise.

Sin, as Paul uses it here means missing the mark of life. We are dead because of, or by, or through, trespasses and sins. The person dead in sin lives according to the prince of the power of the air – namely, Satan.

Many people would deny that they are being directed or lead by any outside influence. They are proud, thinking they can do whatever they please. They do not realize that this is Satan’s method of directing their lives and that he is the prince of the world and he does direct their lives through his deceitful schemes.

As the prince of the power of the air, that is his domain. Just as we all come into contact with air, the likelihood that we will encounter his lure to follow the ways of the world is evident. He has his angels organized into an efficient power.

Paul plainly teaches here that a real devil exists. Many today, refuse to believe that he is real as they, at the same time, refuse to believe that Jesus is real. To illustrate how evil Satan is and how conceited he is, think about this. Satan is not offended when people deny his existence. In fact, he jumps for joy when people do deny his existence. That is simply more of his ability to deceive.

One who is dead in sins lives according to the children of disobedience. Once, we who are Christians, lived as children of disobedience, just like people who live around us today. Our manner of life was that we were led by whatever desires (lusts) of our flesh craved and whatever our minds, being lazy, filthy, and scheming, thought to do.

We were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest of humankind. God’s wrath was directed at us because of our sins. That term, “by nature” does not imply that we were born into this world with God’s wrath upon us because of some guilt we inherited from Adam. “Nature” here means conduct practiced so long and so habitually that it has become our natural way of behaving.

The excuse often offered is: “We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. That places all the blame for our sins on Adam, or on God, instead of upon ourselves where it belongs.

II. Our condition after Christ

Our condition after we come to Christ is that we are no longer dead, we are ALIVE.

God changed us from death to life. Because we have all walked according to the devil at one time, it would be natural for the Word to say here, “And God smote you in His wrath.” Instead, it says, (Ephesians 2:4-5) “But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love…..made us alive together with Christ…..” God is merciful to us because of the great love He has for us. It is important to note here that He was not only merciful to us, but He was also loving. If we go to civil court today a judge will be present. That judge can be merciful in his judgment toward the accused. But, will he ever also be loving? He could possibly be loving, but in a civil court that could not sway the decision of the court. But God can be both merciful and loving in dealing with our sin and our salvation.

It is only through an undeserved favor that we can be saved. The word “saved” here indicates a past action with continuing efforts. We can say that we have been saved, and are continually being saved. Being saved means being alive – being alive in Christ.

God’s work with us through Christ also raised us up spiritually with Christ, He made us to sit with Christ in the heavenly places – the church, which is a heavenly institution in which we sit as members of His Body.

God has favored us greatly because of His great love and mercy. But, He has also favored us because He desires the sincere praise of His children. In all the ages to come, His children will be praising His riches of grace which He has demonstrated by kindness toward us in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2 verses 8-10 tell us we are saved by grace through faith. His grace grants us the way to salvation. Faith brings us to belief, but also brings us to obedience. That obedience is to follow the full gospel which includes not only belief, but also obedience in confessing Jesus Christ as Lord, repenting of sin, and obedience to be baptized into Christ.

We were not saved because of our goodness. We are His workmanship created for good works. No Christian should feel that he is self-made. Without God’s provision to save us, through Christ, even the best of us would still be lost. Every one of us would miss the mark. We would all be dead in our sins rather than alive in Christ.

The great question for us today is this: What condition are you in today>?

Are you alive in Christ? Or are you dead in your sins?

If you have never repented of your sins, they still control you, and you are dead in them.

Now is the time to put Jesus Christ in control of your life – the time to become alive in Him.

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