Today’s passage: Ephesians 2:1-10
This morning continues our journey through the opening chapters of Ephesians. Paul started by praising God for all that he has done for us (only everything – he’s blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!) Last week, he continued by praying that God would reveal more of himself to his readers, that they might live out of what he has done for them. This week, Paul continues on from where he left off.
What defines a Christian, writes Paul, is that we are in Christ. In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul looks at what God has done for Jesus (Ephesians 1:19-21) and notes that since that is true of Jesus, it is also true of us who are in Christ Jesus.
Which is an absolutely amazing thing to ponder. Especially if, as Paul does, one understands the position we found ourselves in when God rescued us. We were, quite literally, the living dead. We know what zombies are from horror movies. To quote the google dictionary, a zombie is “a person or reanimated corpse that has been turned into a creature capable of movement but not of rational thought, which feeds on human flesh.” And, strangely enough, Paul seems to say in verses 1-3 that our world is full of such creatures.
Apart from Christ Jesus, people are dead in trespasses and sins. As far as relationship with God goes, they are insensible. Although having a semblance of life, that life is fleeting. Unable to experience the true satisfaction of relating to God, such life is ruled by sinful desires that promise satisfaction but ultimately never deliver.
And God, who created us to be fully alive hates our zombie state.
The miracle of the gospel is that God acted to save us. By his grace, all those who put their trust (faith) in him are united to him. They die as zombies. But here’s where the gospel is better than any horror film. In the films, one goes from being alive to being a zombie. In Christ, one goes from being the living dead to being the once dead now alive! Christians are united with Christ, and so they died with him and they also were raised with him and are exalted with him. We right now are seated with God in the heavenlies in Christ.
All this not because we pleased God (we couldn’t even relate to him as dead people), but to show off how incredibly good and gracious God is.
So ask yourself… are you a zombie, or alive? And what difference does that make?