[God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it by you have been saved
In this and the next few verses, Paul talks about grace and faith working together to bring us to salvation. The past few verses were about God's love lifting us from wrath. Now he talks about death and life.
We were dead in our transgressions.
Previously Paul talked about living in the flesh and sin, but now he reveals something shocking -- we were dead in our transgressions.
It is ironic that's the people who most want to indulge the sinful nature regard christians as lacking a life. Those who are “ living” in transgressions are actually dead.
The film “The Matrix” illustrate this perfectly. In the movie, The human race had been captivated by aliens who held everyone in a trance. People were deceived by a computer program which made them believe that they were living normal lives.
The flesh deceives us so that we believe we are living, when we are actually dead.
To be dead in transgressions means that we live a sub-human life. We were meant for so much more than a life of self-centeredness , of self-indulgence. Every person was created by God for a purpose, and unless we surrender ourselves to God, we are living below our optimum humanity. To “ live” in transgressions is to live with the purpose and direction of an animal.
To be dead in transgressions means that our spirit is dead. The spirit is the part of our nature that communicates with God. It is the breath that God breathed into Adam, and which Christ breathed into the disciples. Until our spirit is animated by the Holy Spirit, it remains dead .
To be dead in transgressions is to be sleep walking towards hell. It is like a condemned prisoner who is on his way to the execution chamber. His body is alive but he has no future other than death.
We were once dead in our transgressions, but God made us alive with Christ.
As we stated in the previous verse, it is God who takes the action in Salvation. He takes the initiative, all we can do is receive what he has done.
God made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead.
Just as God raised Christ from the dead, he raised us also with Christ. When we first saw the truth of the gospel we were raised from the dead. Life came flowing into our spirit, and we came to life.
This is God's work of resurrection. New life flows to the spirit of the new believer. Suddenly the chains that kept us in the grave are released, and we start to feel alive, really alive, for the very first time.
It is as if we are born again, brought into a new form of life that we have never experienced before .
We could not do that by ourselves. Nobody can summon the energy to raise themselves from the grave. God did this, all by himself.
We have been saved by the grace of God.
To be saved means to be rescued where we could not save ourselves. Our ship was sinking in rough seas when a helicopter came to lift us to safety. We were lost in the bush with no food when the rescue patrol found us.
Right at the point of our death, the death of Christ raised us to life.
The word for saved means also to be healed or made whole. We were broken, dead, lost, and without hope. Then God saved us.
We were headed for hell with no possible way out. As the sentence was declared, Jesus stepped in and took our punishment away. We expected eternal hell, stared receive eternal Heaven .
This Is all by grace, the grace of God.
We need to see that it is God's grace. The living God graces us with His gift of life.
Many people have a fuzzy idea about terms such as grace. They think that the universe is favourably disposed to us and this is grace. They think that grace, like God, is some sort of impersonal force that makes sure that everything works out.
This is God's grace, Father God gifting us with his mercy and his life. Grace literally means a gift. Salvation comes as a gift from the Father.
We cannot earn grace because that would be a wage. We are not entitled to it like an inheritance. Grace is a free gift with no strings attached.
Salvation comes as a free gift.
We were dead in our sins, but God made us alive because of his free gift to us in Christ.
Key points in this verse
We were dead in our transgressions even though we thought we were alive full.
We had a sub-human existence until we were rescued.
We were sleepwalking to hell.
Salvation is God's free gift to us.
We cannot save ourselves. We need God's grace to save us.