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Where we Started

Words of Faith Final

Where we Started

Words of Faith 1-28-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

www.faithfellowshipweb.com

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Ephesians 2

     [1] As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, [2] in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.   [3] All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 

 

     Sometimes it is good to take a look back at where you started.  After years of career growth and raising a family, a couple may drive by the first little apartment they lived in when they were married.  Or a successful restaurant will display a photo of its first location as a tiny drive-through.  Paul does something like that for us as believers.

     After a magnificent prayer that lifted up much of what we celebrate as believers, now Paul described where we started-- that first little apartment, our original location.  But we quickly realize that this no nostalgic trip down memory lane.  As we look at who we were without Christ, we might say, "It ain't pretty!"  But it is important to remember.  

     To be blunt, we were dead in transgressions and sins. Of course, this death was spiritual, not physical.  Unsaved people are very much alive physically. But death signifies an absence of communication with the living. One who is dead spiritually has no communication with God. He is separated from God. The phrase "in your transgressions and sins" shows the sphere of death.  Sin has killed people, and they remain in that spiritually dead state.

      The word translated transgressions literally means "false steps."  The sense of the word in Greek means to fall aside when one should have stood upright.  The word translated sins means literally "acts of missing the mark."  The words are similar, and both speak of deliberate acts against God and His righteousness and thus failure to live as one should. The plural of these two nouns reminds us of our repetitious involvement in sin in this state of spiritual death.

     Wow.  But it gets worse.  In this state of being dead to God, we had no choice but to live following the ways of the world and the bidding of Satan, who is the "ruler of the kingdom of the air."  The result was that we were driven to gratify the basest cravings of the sinful nature.  We followed the desires and thoughts that are generated by our sinful nature.  If we came to Christ in our younger years, we may have been blessed not to experience the full consequence of this drive to satisfy base cravings. But this is the spiritual state of every soul that is dead without Christ.

     Because of this, we were by nature objects of wrath.  Before we had life in Christ, we had no real understanding of how outraged God is by our sin, what an insult sin is to His person, or how sin fires the flames of His wrath. We were without God, without Christ, and without hope. We were sinners by birth, by choice, and by practice. Our lot was cast in a world controlled by the evil one, and our eternal destiny was to live forever under God's wrath and curse.

     Remember the couple that drove by their first little apartment?  They may get there and even walk through their first home. But things are not as they remembered. They realize just how tiny and cramped it was and recall that the garbage truck used to collect the dumpster under the bedroom window every morning at 5AM. The roof was leaky, and there was no insulation. The people next door fought until all hours of the morning, but only when they weren't blaring the stereo through paper thin walls.  

     And the picture of the first restaurant location is a nice touch. Still, it does not show the rats in the alley or the many break-ins, or the hateful graffiti painted by vandals on the door.  We often forget some of the details.

     Paul will not let us forget.  Before describing the wonder of new life in Christ, He reminds us of where we came from.  Just how bad it was.  

     Thank God, He did not leave us there.

 

     Father God, I reflect today upon what life was without Christ.  There was none.  If I think otherwise, I am just kidding myself.  I don't ever want to go back.  I rejoice in all that You have brought me out of.  I rejoice in all that You have saved me from.  With great thanksgiving, I remember.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.