Ephesians 2:1-3 - And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
At times it’s important to remember the past. Awareness and knowledge of the past helps us understand where we have been, which gives us wisdom in knowing where we are going. Who were you before you met Jesus? What was your life like before you started following Jesus?
In these verses Paul is reminding us what life was like before we were saved by Jesus. Notice there were four terrible realities we experienced. First, we were dead. Verse 1 says, “you were dead in the trespasses and sins...” This means we were spiritually dead in sin and cut off from fellowship with God. Second, we were oppressed. Verse 2 says, “you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air...” This means we were under the power of demonic forces (Satan is the prince of the power of the air). Third, we were enslaved. Verse 3 says, “we all once lived in the passions of our flesh...” This means we were under the power of sin, and our sinful desires motivated and guided our lives. Fourth, we were under God’s wrath. Verse 4 says, “and were by nature children of wrath...” This means we lived under God’s just judgment and deserved God’s righteous wrath for our sins. Simply put, we deserved hell.
Without Jesus, we would all be spiritually dead, demonically oppressed, enslaved to sin and doomed to hell. This is not a pretty picture. These four aspects of pre-Christian life show us just how much we desperately need God to save us. Understanding who we were before we met Jesus helps us appreciate who we are now because of Jesus. Remembering what our lives were like before we met Jesus reminds us that we never want to go back to the way things were. Praise God for new beginnings and new life!
• How does remembering your pre-Christian life make you feel?
• In what ways has God changed you?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for saving you.