Ephesians 2:1-7

Into The Pit


Intro: Mt Whitney in California is the highest spot in the Continental United States ( 14,495)  Crystal clear & Crisp air

A) I am told that from that spot you can see the Mojave Desert / the Sierra Nevadas / several lakes {Far as the eye can see in any direction


B) And from that vantage point – you can also see 80 miles away Death Valley the lowest spot in the US – 280 feet below Sea Level

1) Death Valley is also the hottest place in the country – Set records of 134 degrees in the Shade


C) The two places are quite a contrast – One place is seemingly on the top of the world – while the other is on the Bottom

1) From one you look down on life – from the other you can only look up


Well here in Eph 2 Paul takes us down to the Death Valley of the Soul in v.1-3 and then up to the Heavenly Pinnacle with Christ (V.4-7)

A) His method is that of Contrast: From Death to life / Hell to heaven / from bondage to freedom { From the Pit to the Pinnacle


B) The Journey’s contrast is meant to enhance our appreciation for our SALVATION & for what we have in Christ


C) Like a Jeweler who wants to Show the Brilliance of a Diamond – Places it against a dark Velvet Back drop – Shines a Light on it

1) God takes the Diamond of His grace / Mercy & Salvation and places it against the Black back drop of our Sinful condition


D) In Doing so – He magnifies the Greatness of God’s Gift !!!


And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins

A)Notice first of all that the words He made alive are in Italics – that means that they are not in the original text – but were added by the translators

                               FOR CLARITY

B) That doesn’t mean that the statement is not true as we read it in our Bibles in fact Paul will say essentially that very thing – in v. 5 You were dead He made you alive


C) I think the reason they did that right here is they felt that what Paul was about to say was so intense,

1) And  so devastating to the human psyche that he had to first of all remind us of the goodness of God by inserting the idea that God has made us alive,


D) You see what Paul goes on to talk about in v.1-3 is our Depraved Condition

1) Paul paints a very bleak picture here – so they insert this phrase and you he made alive – almost to soften the blow of what He is saying here



So Literally v. 1 Should read – And you were dead in trespasses and sins

A) The word trespasses = Crossing a Known line or boundary – No trespassing – Cut thru anyway – Willful disobedience


B) Sin = to miss the mark – Archers – 10 Commandments/ I  failed to do what I was supposed to even though I was trying – Failure / Mistakes


C) So Paul covers the active as well as the Passive aspects of Human wrong doing : Failure as well as Rebellion

1) All sinned – All missed the Mark – some more so than others

                                      GRAND CANYON



Left us Dead : Explain Dead – what that means important to understand : Start with Adam – Eat you will Die - 

A) Adam ate – Death that took place – SEPARATION


B) So when we read of this idea of being Dead – we need to understand that this is what it is referring to – Totally Separated

1) Some use the term TOTAL DEPRAVITY

C) We do believe as Christian people that the Bible teaches the total depravity of man. 

1) But it’s important that we understand what that means.  Some people have misinterpreted what we mean when we say man is totally depraved. 


D) They think that we mean that man is not capable of doing any sort of good thing.  That is not what we mean. 

1) Nor do we mean that every person is as evil as they could possibly be when we talk about the total depravity of man. 


What we mean is that no part of any human person, mind, emotions, conscience, or will has remained untainted by the fall. 

A) Every person born after Adam has been tainted with the Disease of Sin in every aspect of their Lives { Left us Disconnected from God – i.e. DEAD


B) Now it is important that we understand that definition because there is a teaching that has sort of resurfaced in the last 10 yrs – growing popularity

1) Comes out of the Calvinist Camp – Reformed Camp – where they take this idea of being dead to an Extreme point – that doesn’t match up w/ Scrip.


C) The Calvinist teaches – that when we talk about being dead – that means that we are totally and completely in every way conceivable dead to God. 

1) And in order to even believe the gospel we have to, first of all, be regenerated. 


D) Calvinism teaches that a man must be born again before he can believe.  1) So regeneration, which is another more technical word for the idea of being born again, precedes faith. 


E) That’s the teaching of Calvinism.  Regeneration precedes faith.  Let me quote to you from James Montgomery Boice, good Bible expositor, and a devout Calvinist.  He said, “Like a spiritual corpse, a sinner is unable to make a single move toward God, think a single thought about God, or even correctly respond to God, unless God is first present to bring the spiritually dead person to life,” thus, the Calvinist doctrine of regeneration before faith.

 Notice what he says: “a person can’t even think about God, can’t even have a thought about God apart from the regenerating work of the Spirit.” 

A) Now this to me stands in complete contradiction to what we read in the pages of Scripture That Faith leads to Regeneration


B) Jesus told Nicodemous in John 3: that the way to be Born again was to believe

1) He didn’t say First you must be born again so that you can believe and then be saved – No he said – Believe & you will be born again


John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


C) Back when Adam and Eve sinned - They died spiritually. 

1) But we also find that they had on-going communication with God, even though they were spiritually dead.  God appeared to them in the garden. 


D) They knew His voice.  They spoke with Him.  They told Him about their shame and their nakedness. 

1) And then God went on to promise to bring them deliverance ultimately through a redeemer. 


E) But if it was true that a person who is dead in sin could have no thought of God, no communication with God, no ability to respond to God,

1) then how to we explain what happened with Adam and Eve, because they were certainly dead?  That’s where the whole thing began. 

“In the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” 


Move from Adam to Abe and Noah / Moses – the Sacrificial system of offering was used for what Seeking God – Communing w/ God

A) Joshua Choose …All by people who were not born again yet – No one was until Christ came – they were dead spiritually & yet they sought God 


B) Move into the NT – Pre Jesus – John the Baptist was calling a nation to repent – to turn from their sin and turn to God – Pre born again as well


C) Now if I embrace the Calvinistic view of Dead – it doesn’t fit with what we read in scripture at all – Dead people being called to choose

1) I have to bend the scriptures in order to support THAT view


D) Why do I bring this up – Calvinist have gotten very aggressive of late not so much in seeking to win the lost – but persuade Christians to their view

1) If I take some of these verses and isolate them from the whole of scripture it is rather intriquing – But I have to isolate it to make it fit


E) SO a more Biblical view of Death is Separation from God w/ No way in and of ourselves of Changing our Condition

1) God initiates our Salvation – Sent His Son / Gospel message to be preached - / His Spirit to convict & once we respond in faith – Saved.


So that is what Paul means here when he says we were dead in our trespasses and sins – he continues v. 2

in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,


A) Now the word Walked here is Meandered – it speaks of not having any direction – aimlessly going thru life { Looking for Something meaningful


B) Men & Women at the MallMen on a Mission { In & out – I know what I want / I know what store to go to { How much I want to pay

1) Women Meander – it is not a Mission it is an Experience – I don’t know what I want exactly – I am just looking for something – good deal


C) That is a lot of people’s approach to life – wandering aimlessly from one thing to another – like some women wander from store to store

1) Bono – I still haven’t found what I am looking for !!!


D) Matt Damon – Won an Oscar – supposed to bring me happiness – but it didn’t – Another testimony of a lonely success Actor

Notice He says walked according to the course of this world – the word world is Kosmos in the grk – it is used 186 times in the NT

A) Almost every time it has an evil connotation – Paul reveals the reason why here in this verse


B) Behind the course of this world is the god of this world – Satan himself – Paul refers to him as the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience


C) In the Garden Man forfeited the world to Satan

1) At temptation of Christ – Bow down worship me I will give you the kingdoms of the world – {Jesus didn’t refute


D) Jesus came to redeem that which was forfeited { Hasn’t laid claim to it

1) So Satan the god of this world / the prince of the power of the air – has a system and a course for this world


At the core of his system and Philosophy is 2 main ideas

A) 1st is Forget God – You don’t need Him – His standards


B) 2nd Is Live for Self – Look out for #1 – Live to please self


C) Paul says that is how every single one of us was going thru life until we met Christ –

1) meandering along – trying to figure out how we could please ourselves


D) Paul gives us further insight in v.3 - among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.







What a clear description of life before Jesus Christ

A)Conducting ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, driven by our own personal desires, Passions & lust – be they good or bad – SELF ORIENTED


B) Just conducting ourselves according to the desires of our flesh, the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the body and of the mind. 


C) That’s how we all lived.  That’s how everybody else is living who’s outside the kingdom presently,

1) living according to the dictates of the body and the mind. 


D) Whatever the body desires, that’s what drives me.  Whatever I can conceive of in my thinking process, that’s what drives me. 

1) That’s what motivates me. And that’s what we have all around us in the world that we live in. 


E) Each and every person outside of Christ, apart from those who are submitted to the authority of the Son of God,

1) are conducting themselves, as Paul said here, in the lusts of their flesh, the desires of the flesh. 


F) Whatever the flesh desires, that’s what they pursue.  Whatever the mind delights in, that’s what they mediate on, and seek to attain. 

1) That is life apart from God.


And the result of that Kind of Life ? We were Children of Wrath

A) Meaning we were people reserved for the wrath of God


B) Now a lot of people have a hard time with this concept and accepting what Paul is saying here – I ok – Your ok

1) We have the tendency to think that we are really not that Bad – good people { especially if they have cleaned up their act a bit


C) No longer doing drugs / not drinking as much or at all. –

Some people think – I have really cleaned up my act – I am a good person { You might be the best – On best day still a sinner

A) On most days your motives are mostly selfish – without even thinking you are following the course of the world – Live for self


B) But what really would make us see our sinful state in it’s reality is if  we saw it in light of the holiness of God

1) We cannot fathom the Holiness of God – Pure Diamond amongst Phonies


C) Peter Depart from me I am a sinful man –

1) Isa Woe is me


D) That is what Paul is getting at here – If we only understand the depths of our Depravity – who we are in the depths of our hearts

1) What we are Capable of – If we would grasp it we would appreciate what Paul says next  even more –


E) After taking us into the depths of Death Valley – Dead in our sins – Now Paul begins to take us to the Pinnacle – v. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


Now I want you to notice WHEN God reached out to you / The RESULT  of Him reaching out to You / WHY He reached out to you /

A) 1st when – V. 5 You were dead in your trespasses ( rebellion) and sin your Failures -


B) IN other words when you were at your worst – You were a train wreck waiting to happen – Nothing desirable to God about you in that state

1) Guys – Wife in Bath robe – Curls – Chocolate all over here face / Over the Mud pack / Morning Breath  ( I want to marry you )


C) God sent His only begotten Son to this earth – to Save us redeem us/When the world was far from Him wanting nothing to do w/ Him

1) Father & the Draw Bridge – Passenger train – Better – Criminal train

    Put his son in the gear box


Leads us to consider why He would do such a thing ? Mind boggling – why ? I wouldn’t send Aaron – No way?

A) V.4 Because He is Rich in Mercy & Full of Love / v. 5 Full of Grace


B) Mercy = Not getting what you do deserve / Grace is getting what you don’t deserve / - Love is perfect and Unconditional


C) That is why? It is the essence of who God is – When we grasp this it only magnifies – His Brightness

1) In Psa 136 The Psalmist makes the degree 26 times that his mercy endures forever


D) Paul in Romans – Sin abounds Grace abounds all the more


E) Answer to why ? Just Because – it is who God is – He is Holy yes / Righteous / Yes / Also Gracious Loving and merciful

1) Mercy and Grace seen in light of His Holiness & Righteousness – the most at the Cross – Him Punishing His Son – So you could live


Result ? We are Made alive- By Grace thru faith

A) Alive in Christ – Abundant Life


B) Seated in the Heavenlies – Speaks of our Present Position – and our Future inheritance


C)  I entitled this particular portion, “From the Pit to the Pinnacle,” because that’s exactly what we have described here. 

1) From the lowest possible position to the highest possible position, He’s seated us with Christ in heavenly places. 

D) He’s taken us from the very bottom of the pit, & He’s elevated us to the highest place of honor in the universe sharing in the glory of Christ. 

1) That is unimaginable.  It’s just beyond our ability to understand. 


E) This is why we need the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 

1) This is why we need the eyes of our heart to be enlightened. 


Now verse seven, we’ll finish it up with verse seven, but listen to what he says here:  (I just absolutely love this statement here),

v.7  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


A) God has saved us, and you know what He’s going to do for all eternity?  1) He’s going to display the riches of His grace and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 


B)Another way to translate DISPLAY is in the ages to come He will pile them one upon another in succession


C)      In other words - God is going to spend eternity piling up         blessings / showing all He has for you in Christ!


D)      kids at Christmas time - opening presents - sparkle in eye -           that is what we are going be like - wow!

            1.)      God will be like a loving parent watching our faces! smile


You ever wonder what heaven is going to be like?  Well here’s a description of it: 

A)  Forever God is just going to be revealing more and more and more of His grace to us, the exceeding riches of His grace.  Notice the words Paul uses: exceeding riches.  We’re talking about riches beyond riches. 


B) And for all of eternity God is going to just be unfolding those riches of His grace in His kindness toward us.