The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
Eph 2:2 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:
†3 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.
Now the result of the original sin is total depravity. Before we begin with verse two, I want to give a brief introduction to total depravity.† There is a saying to err is human. Basically people are good, inherently they are good but there can be some evil at the edge somewhere. People compare evil to men like Hitler, Saddam Hussein and terrorists who killed innocent good people. Even the majority of the Christian churches today who hold to the doctrine of Arminianism believe that life begins with a state of innocence or man is just spiritually sick. This doctrine comes from humanism. Humanism teaches people are basically good. It is the environment and upbringing makes them corrupt. If this is true we see the scandals of FBI agents, judges, high-ranking government officials, good people who live in good neighborhoods. How often when you see when a man is caught raping a little girl the neighbors are surprised as the man lived a good life and was a good neighbor.
The word good has a broad meaning. But in relationship to the infinite holy God how good is man? We see man from a horizontally as we compare to one another or to Hitler and say, ďI am not that bad.Ē Because we compare goodness to other good neighbors. But when the prophet Isaiah the man of God saw the infinite holy God this is what he said.
Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
When we speak of man's depravity we mean man's natural condition, fallen nature, inherited sin, if not for Godís restraining grace all can become like Hitler.†
We saw the original sin which is the inherited sin of man the unconverted is in a state of spiritual death. We saw the heresy of but the scripture say opposite, the Greek word used here is nekros, which means a dead corpse.† The sinner is dead toward God but active toward sin. The unconverted are dead corpses spiritually, John Gerstner said, ďthey are the living dead an offense to Godís nostrils, they are decaying spiritual corpses that stink.Ē
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world.
In the past before you too walked just like the unbelievers, this was in opposition to Godís will. The Bible say Enoch walked with God, Noah walked with God, that is walking, fellowshipping and submitting to his will.† The unconverted and even us before conversion walked not in the narrow road but in the broad road that leads to destruction. Even the elect of God walked in this road continually sinning against God.
We walked according to the course of this world. The will of God is an opposition to the will of the world but we too offended the will of God and followed the pattern of the world. The sinner was under the bondage of the world, slaves to the desires of sin as sin dominated our lives.
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
†8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
The course of this world is a course of rebellion against God. All we like sheep have gone astray. (Isa 53:6) It is a course that leads not to God but away from God to hell. Satan designed this broad road and fallen man is traveling with the Satan and his demons at a high speed. Verse two say, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
He is called the god of this world. He is the god of all religions; he is the god of all sinfulness.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
All the unconverted are spiritually dead toward God but alive to sin as they are blinded by the enemy and under the dominion of Satan. They live in opposition to God in sin.
1Jo 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
The spiritually dead live in darkness in devilís domain of sin and pleasure. The devil is so cunning and subtle he dominates and persuades man, yet the fallen man does not believe in the devil. The fallen man thinks the devil is someone with two horns ugly looking not realizing the scripture says that Lucifer was one of most beautiful angels God created.
Satan whispers to them the ambitions of this world as his desire is to takes souls to flames of fire. The sinners and the devil and his demons march down in this world against Christ.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Eph 3 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.
We too traveled this highway with the devil and did not even know that the devil was with us. Many are walking according to their lusts, desires of their flesh (the word flesh means corruption of our nature) as they are prideful and against Godís will.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The devil is the god of this world and the Father of this world and many copy and follow the devilís way.
Joh 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, we be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
†42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
†43 Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.
†44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
By nature children of wrath, even as others: by which is meant, not only that they were wrathful persons, living in malice, hateful, and hating one another; but that they were deserving of the wrath of God, which comes upon the children of disobedience, among whom they had their conversation.
Many a times when things are going out well, there is no hatred toward God. But when things turn against them, and the situations, temptations and circumstances change, people who say good their true heart will come out and you will see them against God cursing and using filthy language.† Pharaohís hatred toward God was not more than any other unbeliever. Pharaoh never raised his finger at God, when things were moving smoothly.
But when God intervened, we see him as a different man. If other unbelievers were in Pharaohís shoes we would see the same corruption. A natural man has a heart like the heart of a devil; only corruption is more under restraint in man than in devils. If God takes away the restraint they can all become like Hitler. There is a difference between a wicked man on earth, and a wicked man in hell. The one in hell is not restrained, the old corruptions will break out without restraint.
Let us see in scripture the full-blown total depravity of man if God does not intervene.
When you see the natural man who behaves well and have a good moral character, it is not because of their nature that they are good but God has restrained them. Their nature is exceedingly evil, they seek to do evil but they have been kept from wickedness not because they are good but because God has restrained and kept from sin.
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
†11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
†12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
This is extreme wickedness, want to kill and murder men. Their tongues are extremely deceitful full of poison.
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their language is an abomination to the Lord. Cursing comes out like a stream of water, and they are full of hate and bitter.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
They live by the sword or the gun. The gun is their god. They are full of pride and if anyone makes them angry they will fight, they will fight to kill.† The other day early in the morning a policeman stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation, when he walked to the motorist car, the man pulled a gun and killed the officer. These men will kill anyone.
†16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
They are ferocious above measure, they will destroy everything wherever it prevails.
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
They are violent, cruel and savage. They do not know the meaning of peace.
†18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Every wickedness comes with disregard to God.† It all came from Adam and Eve as they had no respect to God, and had no fear of death.
The restrained power is not from us but of God. We are indebted to God; the world is indebted to God. If not for Godís restrained grace what will happen to this world, there will be no rules and regulations, as the Bible says even the government the magistrates the policeman on the road is ordained by God, if not there would be hell on earth.† The most glorious work is that God exercises his restraining grace over a wicked world. Unconverted are all like wild horses powerfully corrupt with much speed but God holds the reins on the wild horses. God in his sovereignty can release the rein if he wants to.
We have seen very clearly and precisely that the natural men are enemies of God.† The reason is the natural man is totally depraved. He is a born sinner, he has the inherited sin in him and only God can bring salvation.†
There was only one person on this earth who was born without the inherited sin. Maurice Roberts said the following:
Precisely how Christ's human nature was brought forth from the sinful human nature of the Virgin Mary we may not be able to show. But it is clear that it involved a distinct work of the Holy Spirit during the process of the formation of his human nature. The angel's words must have sounded awesome in Mary's ears as she heard them: 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God' (Luke 1:35). In the drawing forth of the nature of the man Christ Jesus there was a distinct and special ministry of the Spirit to safeguard to the Son a body and soul, which were uniquely sinless. Neither the guilt of Adam's first disobedience was imputed to him nor the corruption of mankind's depravity transmitted to him. His human nature was to be a 'holy thing' (Luke 1:35).
Total depravity is crucial for presenting the gospel. All the other doctrines are linked to total depravity. If someone is wrong in this doctrine, then he is wrong in the others, then it is not the right gospel. Let me show it to you.
Lu 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
†11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
†12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
†13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
†14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The difference of these two men is very vast.† The Pharisee is very confident in approaching God. Let us see their motives. The Pharisee went to the temple, to show God how good he is, he sees his glory and not Godís glory. He is thanking God because he is righteous in his eye, really, he is thanking himself.† He does not see total depravity in him, he sees himself as religiously good. The publican on the other hand, he went to the temple in fear of the judgment of God that is going to come upon him. He realized that he is unworthy, but God is infinitely lovely and holy, that he will not even look up to heaven, he smote his breast, because he saw how deeply he had hurt God the almighty, all powerful God in his sins, we see true humility and true repentance because he was a true Calvinist who believe in total depravity.