(Ephesians 2:1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
I was dead to God, lost in my own world of work, striving for success, trying as hard as I could to provide for my family. Dead to God, lost in the darkness of pain, sorrow, and worries, while God still looked at me as His.
(Ephesians 2:2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
I suffered from the sin of neglect. I neglected the more important aspects of life. God, my wife, sons, and daughters. I walked a path Satan had prepared for me. One so shrouded in zeal, I could not tell where I was. I knew I was lost, but I could not find my way back. Satan had convinced me, one more day. Success was just around the corner. One more prayer for success was all you need. Pray harder, pray more for success, then you can go back to praying for others. But for now, all your attention must be focused on success. That is what your family needs. That will make them happy. That will make them love you. When you are successful, you will have something to share with them. Until you are successful, you are nothing.
(Ephesians 2:3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
We all go through this trial. Some fall, others do not. Satan presents the world to us, and we forget where we really need to be. Humble, and in love with Jesus. Satan puts these desires in our hearts which blind us. I was blinded by the lure of the world. Satan tricks us by getting us to think we are in control. Satan teaches us to think, our lives, and success depend upon our ability to always be right. I expressed this to God, my wife, sons, daughter, and everyone I came in contact with. I looked, acted, talked, listened (or lack thereof), and ministered like the world. Always right. My success in the world depended on it.
(Ephesians 2:4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
The further I drifted away, the more God reached out to me. He caught me and showed me His love at the moment I fell, and lost everything dear to me in my life. Broken relationships, no money, no hope, no more desire to live. Nothing to look forward to. God pulled me out of the deepest, darkest hole in my life.
(Ephesians 2:5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
I was dead and buried. I could never get out myself. There was no hope left for me any more. I had tried as hard as I could to succeed, to provide, to win the love of my wife and family through the works of the world. At the moment of my deepest depression, Jesus and I became one again.
(Ephesians 2:6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Jesus pulled me from the grave. I was lost and broken, no hope, no love in my life, no money, no security, nothing left in this world. When I could sink no lower, Jesus lifted me up. After a dozen studies about Heaven, I still could not see the glory and majesty of Heaven until I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Not only my heart, but to give 100% of my life to Jesus. What an exchange. When nothing was left, I offer it to Jesus. I gave Jesus what I had, nothing. In exchange, He gave me Heaven, and the mansion He had prepared for us.
(Ephesians 2:7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
God took my worthless life, and gave to me the riches of His grace. He clothed me in His robe. He gave me His kindness, His love to share with others. Success is not receiving, it is giving what you have received from God. These are the riches of Heaven.
(Ephesians 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Only God’s grace could save me. I had nothing in my life to save myself. No money, no love to give or receive, no life of my own. All my works had failed. I had nothing left, but a spark of faith, which still struggled for life in my heart. God’s gift fanned it into a flame.
(Ephesians 2:9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I could never boast. All my works had failed. My business had failed. The love I had for my wife and family had failed. Can a man boast in utter failure?
(Ephesians 2:10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The only thing that saved me was God’s plan for me. God took the hardened, broken, worthless piece of clay I had become, and through His power and grace molded me into a new person. God recreated me, like He had created Adam in the beginning, and now He walks with me every moment of everyday.
(Ephesians 2:11) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
I was in the flesh, of the flesh, and for the flesh, because my heart had not been open to Jesus. I was alone, beaten and defeated by my own hands.
(Ephesians 2:12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
I was without Christ in my life. I prayed, but little if any for others. Satan had convinced me that could wait. I forgot God’s promises. Even though I read pages and pages of the Bible, searching for meaning, and knowing God existed, I was missing His love, because I loved the world. I loved the world more than God, and I didn’t even know it.
(Ephesians 2:13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
I was so far gone I had no hope of making it back on my own, although I tried, I really tried. I could not make it back because I had no idea I was lost. Jesus died for me. Not only to forgive my sins, but so He could rise from the grave, and seek after me. I love you Jesus.
(Ephesians 2:14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Jesus has made me one with Him. He pulled me out of the world and gave me the peace I had been trying to work for. He gave me the peace I could never find through my works, hopes and dreams. I pray Jesus can one day break down the walls I have built between my wife, family, and myself, and we can become one with Christ.
(Ephesians 2:15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Total peace can only be found by putting aside the world, including the laws of the world contrary to the commandments of God. Do not trust in the world and its ways for a change in your life. Put away all of the world, trust only in Jesus, who has defeated the world.
(Ephesians 2:16-17) And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Chris died on the cross to show me what the world can do, if given the chance. My trials are nothing compared to what Jesus endured. Jesus’ example on the cross shows me the path of sacrifice, which draws me closer to God.
(Ephesians 2:18) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Before Jesus died, He prayed to the Father to send the Spirit to this planet. To guide and direct. Through Jesus, by praying in His name, I have access to the very Spirit of God.
(Ephesians 2:19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Through God’s Spirit, and the love of Jesus, I no longer wonder in darkness alone. God has out in my path fellow saints to minister to, and those to minister to me. I have a new family in God.
(Ephesians 2:20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
This new family is a wall protecting me from the lure of the world. One spiritual stone supporting another. Each supported by Jesus.
(Ephesians 2:21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Knowing the details of the Tabernacle is one thing, experiencing the closeness of Jesus’ spiritual stone, His followers, is an experience. A personal, lasting relationship based on Christ and His example.
(Ephesians 2:22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Now that I am a part of this holy temple of Christ, fit together by Jesus’ own hands, I live with God, and He lives in me through His Spirit.