UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 4, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“The Walking Dead”
Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)
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.
No one likes to face death or even talk about it than Americans, but today’s text gives us no choice, for Paul says that we were all dead in the past.
What are some characteristics of a “dead” person prior to living a life of faith? At the onset of this chapter, Paul reminds us of the problem of human sin that once controlled us. It would be offensive to tell anyone, particularly those brimming with confidence, enthusiasm, and independent spirit, “Guess what, though you are walking around, you are actually dead!” At best, they would be confused; more likely they’d call you crazy.
Dead people share two things in common. First, they are rendered impotent or powerless. Imagine the idiocy of trying to share the Gospel with a dead body or asking it to perform some kind of physical action. Since the body is completely lifeless and devoid of power, how absolutely hopeless for that dead person to respond to any instruction or appeal.
A second characteristic is corruption. If you’ve ever been around a dead body of any sort, you know that it always deteriorates. In the story of Lazarus (John 11), by the time Jesus arrives, since he had been dead for four days, there is a bad odor. That is another pungent mark of death—corruption.
So then, what are the implications of Ephesians 2:2 and why are they important? (i.e., regarding temptation, evangelism, etc.). One major implication is a spiritual battle that is taking place in our lives even if we do not see it with our physical eyes. Apart from Christ, we are slaves to Satan/sin. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition that rules in the hearts of men. We need to acknowledge the spiritual opposition and understand that apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, fighting sin and understanding the gospel are impossible.
In conclusion, given that we all share in the sinful nature, take some time, as you start this day of rest, to reflect on your desires and thought life to keep away from sinning against God.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You dare to tell me the truth even though I don’t want to hear or acknowledge it. And thank You that You don’t leave me in this hopeless state but that You provide a way out through the love that you demonstrated in Your Son, Jesus Christ. It is your infinite grace that enables me to receive Your solution to the human problem of sin. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 6-7