even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (
When we are saved we move from the graveyard to Gloryland. This truth is pictured in the Gospel story of the Gaderene demoniac. He was a demon-possessed man who lived in a graveyard. He was violent, uncontrollable, an outcast who was hopeless—but then Jesus came by—and everything changed. Christ commanded the powers of darkness to leave. The naked man put on clothes. The crazed man came to his right mind. He would leave the cemetery and head for home with a testimony of what Jesus had done for him. He was a new man with a new mission. This illustrates the Scriptural principles Paul is sharing in
There is OUR STATE WITHOUT CHRIST (v.1-3). One word summarizes our state without Christ: dead. Paul doesn’t say this is the condition of some of us, but all of us. It is the natural state of man. Death means separation—not the end of existence. As the demonized man lived in tombs apart from other people, so we are in a realm of death apart from God—the location Paul refers to as being, “in trespasses and sins.” Apart from Christ we are like the world (v.2a). This is the world system with its philosophies, practices, passions and pleasures apart from Christ. We are like the world and of the devil (v.2b). If we are not the children of God through a new birth, we are children of the Devil via our natural birth. Apart from Christ we are like the world, of the devil, and in the flesh (v.3). We are driven by fleshy desires. Why does a dog bark and not meow? What does a cat meow and not sing? Why does a bird sing and not bark? That is their nature. We are by nature powerless to change—and so must be born again.
Thankfully, there is OUR SALVATION BY CHRIST (v.4-9). One word communicates the experience of salvation: delivered. That’s what Jesus did for the demon-possessed man. Observe, Jesus gave us love (v.4, 7-9). We were children of wrath deserving Hell, but mercy means we do not get what we deserve—and God is “rich in mercy.” It is His great love that moved Him to send His Son to save us. He gave us life (v.5-6). A resurrection took place. We are united with the life of Jesus—all He is and where He is!
This leads to OUR SERVICE FOR CHRIST (v.10). The one word that conveys our service is: disciple. God call us to discipleship. We aren’t saved by works (v.8-9), but are saved to work (v.10). The man set free from demons was given a commission to witness to family & friends. There is our resource. God prepared His plan for us beforehand. God gives grace—we work out what God works in. The branch abides in Vine to bear fruit. Our resource brings our response. No wonder the man set free from thousands of demons wanted to follow Jesus! “Workmanship” in the original language is “poema,” a life of rhyme and reason. God has designed you with a special plan in mind.
Have your moved out of the graveyard and into Gloryland? The work of grace is to move you from death to life. Receive Jesus today! He makes all the difference!