As born-again believers, we have been resurrected and made alive, having been dead in trespasses and sin. If you’re not obeying God, you’re obeying someone else.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Well I’m doing fine, thank you. Nice of you to ask, and I trust the same is true as well of you my dear friend. Wherever you are and whatever you may be doing just now, may the grace of God be with you and may the peace of God fill your heart. May the power of God enable you in every effort to do His will for His glory. God bless you. It’s your good friend, Bob Cook. And you and I are together again just for a few moments to look at God’s inherent, inspired, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible.
We’re looking at Ephesians chapter 2. Paul said, “I’m praying for you folks at Ephesus, that God may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation as you get to know Him.” You get smart when you get to know God. Some of the dumbest people in the world are very well-educated heathen. Sit beside a man on an airplane, find out he’s a PhD and helped to design some of the atomic hardware that we use and have him tell you that he has been carrying on an affair with his secretary and he’s going to break up his home and he’s not too happy about it and what should he do.
Highly educated but doesn’t know the first thing about how to live. And that’s true by the millions and millions of people in this whole world. You get wisdom and you get insight. You get to know what the young people call, “the score.” What’s going on? You need to know the meaning of life and the purpose of your life and which way you’re moving and all of that comes to you as you get acquainted with your blessed Lord Jesus Christ. You get to know God.
Well, he said “you might know the hope of His calling and the riches of His inheritance in us, the born again people, the saints and the greatness of His power to us who believe”, and that’s resurrection power, the same power that He manifested in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Resurrection power.
And so in chapter 2 verse 1, he says “and you, you’ve been resurrected too. “You hath He quickened and made alive. You who were dead in trespasses and sins.” That’s about as far as we got the last time we talked together, spiritually alive and to be spiritually alive is your only claim to making any impact on this old world around you. Your opinion, people could care less about it. Your achievements, somebody else will come along that’s smarter than you. Your good looks, give you 50 years and they will have vanished. No, the only, the only claim that you and I have for anybody in this whole world to pay any attention to us, is that we’ve been resurrected. We’re spiritually alive, full of the Spirit of God so that as we walk into any situation, almighty God makes an impact on it. That is normal Christianity and that is what will shake up the world around you.
Well, he said, “you were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked.” Now, you have the use of the word walk, in the scripture particularly in the epistles of Paul and what it really means is your lifestyle, your daily conduct– literally it means walk around. Peripateo, peri means around and pateo is to walk. It’s from pateo. We get the English word patter, the patter of little feet. You heard. Well, he said you’ve been walking around in trespasses and sins.
You see, the problem that the unsaved person and the well meaning heathen and the quasi religious but unsaved person, the problem that they all face is that the atmosphere of their lives is trespasses and sins. Now trespass means going over the line saying, “I’m going to do this in spite of the fact that God says don’t,” or “I’m not going to do this in spite of the fact that God says do.” That’s a trespass. I know what God wants but I won’t do it. That’s a trespass. Sin as used here, it means missing the mark. Your best efforts fall short of satisfying the holiness of God.
There’s three words in the Greek new testament that are translated sin; one is missing the mark, that’s Romans 3:23, “All have sinned”, all have missed the mark, “and come short of the glory of God.” Then there’s trespasses, we have it here. And then there’s another word that means lawlessness. A heart that says I’m not going to have God tell me what to do. That’s lawlessness. Those are the three root concepts you may say, that we use in translating them with the English word sin.
Now you said the very atmosphere of your life, the very atmosphere of your life was to say, I’m going to have my own way regardless of what God says and at the end, after I’ve made my best efforts, I’m gonna realize that I’ve missed it. I missed the mark. In that he said, “Trespasses and sins, you walked around in them.”
Now you see the problem is, if you live in an atmosphere that pollutes, you can’t get away from it. You can’t get away from it. It’s there. And you say, “Well it’s bad here, I’ll go up — ways up the hill so you go up the hill a little and you arrive at the top of the hill panting and it’s just as bad there. Why? Because the whole atmosphere around you is polluted, right? Well now, what are you going to do about it? It takes the touch of God to make you an entirely different person, made alive, made alive no longer subject then to the atmosphere which was polluting your life. He said you lived, you walked around in this atmosphere according, little Greek word, kata, which means right down along the line of following the orders of — you might say. According, following the orders of the prince of the power of the air. Who is that? Satan. Following the orders of Satan, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. Wow. You know this is awfully rough on the unsaved heart. And I don’t marvel at the fact that people get angry when you tell them God’s truth that unless you are controlled by God you are already being controlled by the anti-god spirit that the Bible calls Satan.
It’s what he says here. You were living according, that means following the orders of, right. Following the line, following the party line, following the orders, Greek word, kata, right across the line according to the prince of the power of the air and that’s Satan. Dear friend listen, if you’re not already obeying God, you’re obeying somebody else. Whether or not you like it or whether or not you want to be told it. It’s true. And my heart goes out to you because the only answer to the discontent and the perennial failure and the periods you go through of self doubt and self loathing and alternate highs of — high hopes that ultimately get dashed anyway, the only answer to all of these things is turn your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith and let Him start to run your life. Commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. Talk to Him right now. You don’t have to listen to the rest of this broadcast. It’s far more important that you listen to Him. Talk to the Lord Jesus and say, “Lord Jesus come into my heart, forgive my sins, deliver me from them, start to control my life. I give myself by faith to thee.” Tell Him that.
The Bible says, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” and I can guarantee you that He will answer and you will know that you too have been resurrected, no longer dead in trespasses and sins but now living according to the power of a new eternal life that God has given you.
He said you walked around in this. It was the atmosphere of your life and you were following the devil’s orders. He was giving you the orders. And then he said, “Among whom,” now the whom there in verse 3 of Ephesians chapter 2 refers back to verse 2, the children of disobedience. That’s unsaved people. Among all the rest of the unsaved people, we all had our lifestyle, the word conversation means lifestyle, in times passed. Now what is the essence of an unsaved lifestyle?
You want to think about that for a minute? What is the essence of an unsaved lifestyle? That’s very simple, it’s right here. In the lust, that’s our word desires, the English word lust has a connotation of sexual desire only but there’s a broader base in your Greek New Testament. It means all kinds of desires. So he says, we had our lifestyle in times passed, in the desires of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
Now what is this? He seems to say that we were driven by our own desires. Well, what does Paul say in Titus chapter 3? He said, “We ourselves also were one time foolish, disobedient, deceived.” Now here it is, “Serving different kinds of desires and pleasures.” Serving. What does that mean? Why, it’s a Greek verb doulos, serving like a slave. “We were slaves to our own desires,” he said. And now that is the predicament that you’re in until the Lord Jesus Christ delivers you and makes you His very own. We were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
Now the flesh is the old sinful nature. The mind has to do with that which drives the flesh. Your body is driven by your mind. And so he said the desires of your body and the desires of your mind which drives your body. Well?. That’s the essence. I asked a question. What’s the essence of an unsaved lifestyle? We had our lifestyle in times passed. The desires of our flesh, the desires of our mind, slaves to desire. It’s that simple and that profound. God has to operate on my desires and He does, by sovereign grace not because I deserve it but because sovereignly He comes to me and fulfills His gracious purpose in redeeming me and paying the debt of sin and opening the door of mercy in calling me by His grace. “The goodness of God,” Paul says, “leadeth me to repentance.” Helping me actually to feel sorry for my sin and welcoming me into the heavenly family and delivering me from the slavery of following my own desires.
Now how does He do that? He puts a new set of desires in you. Philippians 2:13, “It is God that worketh in you both to will,” see that’s your desire, “and to do.” God gives you a set of, new set of desires when you turn your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. So that’s great good news isn’t it?
Hallelujah for God’s precious, wonderful work through Jesus our Lord!
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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