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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

YOU HATH HE QUICKENED

Eph 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Chapter one closes with the thought that all Christians should be enlightened with the knowledge that God raised Christ from His death on the cross of Calvary, carried Him into heaven, and seated Him at His own right hand. There, God gave Him dominion. ...not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. He was made King, to rule over ...all things, including ...the church, which is His body (Eph 1:20-23). This thought, that Christ was raised from His grave, made alive again, and walked among his disciples before His ascension into heaven, is carried over into this chapter.

Although our language rarely uses it in this sense today, the word "quick" has the root meaning of being alive or being lively. Therefore the word, "quicken," means to be made lively, or to be brought back to life. It is used in this sense in a number of other passages in the bible. For instance Romans 8:11 says, But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Here, Paul assures Christians that, just as Jesus was quickened, made alive once again and arose from physical death, they would, in like manner, be raised also from physical death. In the conversion of Cornelius, Peter related this statement: and He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He, which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead (Acts 10:42). Peter told Cornelius, and all others that were gathered around him, that Jesus would return to earth to judge both the quick and dead - to judge those alive at his coming as well as those that had already died (but would also be quickened).

These are examples of the physical bodies or souls being quickened. However, in the lesson text, the word, quickened, is used in a spiritual sense. Spiritual death is said to take place when one is dead in trespasses and sins. In this scripture,Paul, after he told the Ephesian Christians that they were once (spiritually) dead in their trespasses and sins, then, explained to them, as well as us today, how spiritual death takes place. One way is to walk according to the course of this world. The word "world", as used here, means "the people of the world," or "the people of this present age." It seems that the majority of people living at any age are concerned about worldly things, and have little, if any, desire for what is spiritual or eternal. Without sufficient concern for the consequences of either eternal life or death, people are driven by earthly lust, covetousness, and desire, rather than belief, faith and hope in salvation. Such people, Paul infers, are spiritually dead.

Spiritual death also takes place when one walks according to the prince of the power of the air. Paul said unbelievers have had their minds blinded by the god of this world, which is Satan, the devil himself (2 Cor. 4:4). Similarly, Paul tells us that people of the world must constantly wrestle ...against many things including the rulers of the darkness of this world. The inference here is that most people refuse to put on the whole armor of God,and are not able to withstand the worldly temptations, which Satan and his followers place before them (Eph. 6:10-13). This "wrestling match" is, in most instances, lost to the prince of the power of the air, and the losers become known as the children of disobedience.

Verse three tells us of the depth of sin the Ephesians were in before being converted to Christianity. Their conversation, or manner of life, in times past, was spent engaged in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Their whole mind-set was bent toward gratifying earthly desires of the flesh. As such, Paul referred them to as children of wrath. In their former state as sinners, they were subject to the wrath of God - eternal punishment. As such, they were dead in (their) trespasses and sins.

However, thanks be to God, through the teaching of Paul, and other evangelists, they realized their "dead" condition, were baptized into the body of Christ, and in Him, they were quickened and given new life - the opportunity for eternal live in heaven. May it be said of us all, "You hath He quickened"!