“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 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.” Ephesians 2:1-2
A recent survey by the Barna research group found that 52% of churchgoing Christians strongly agree that “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible.
In other words, if you want God to bless you – get your act together and do what you should do. Figure things out – get your life right and then God will join you in your effort and come alongside you to help you live your desired life and accomplish what you want.
Is this in the Bible?
Jesus did not come to help us accomplish our plans. He came to fulfill the perfect plan of God. He did not come to help those who get their lives together. He came to help those who are helpless and recognize that they desperately need a Savior and are hopeless without what He alone can provide. This is what we see in Ephesians 2:1-2.
Apart from Christ, we are completely helpless to get it together and save ourselves because we are spiritually dead. The word of God wants us to understand the seriousness of our spiritual condition. If you are dead, you are helpless. Dead people can do nothing for themselves. This is the spiritual condition of everyone, everywhere, without Jesus Christ.
If you are spiritually dead in your sin, you are following the course of this world. The natural drift of the human heart is toward sin. No one ever drifts toward holiness or godliness. In our sins, we seek to elevate ourselves to the place of God so that we can attempt to run and control our lives.
This is the desire of the enemy of God – the prince of darkness – the prince of the power of the air who seeks to convince us that we can be like God and reign over our own lives. His tactic originates all the way back in Genesis 3:5-6 in the Garden of Eden:
“For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise (elevated to the place of God), she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her (sitting passively by), and he ate.” Genesis 3:5-6
This is the spiritual condition in this fallen and broken world. Dead in our trespasses, following the course of this world, and the prince of the power of the air who leads us to believe we can be like God.
The good news is that God does not intend His world to remain broken. Through Jesus Christ, God is repairing His creation. Jesus Christ has promised to return, and when He returns, He will finish setting everything right forever.
Don’t miss God’s final invitation to a fallen world: “Come!”
And all who come to God by faith in Jesus Christ will be restored!
Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL