You Were Dead in Sin

Ephesians: What is the Church? - Part 5

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Cory Brock

May 12, 2024


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] All right, we're going to read together from Ephesians chapter 2. So Ephesians chapter 2 verses 1 to 7, and Allie is going to come and read for us. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, the rest of mankind.

[0:31] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.

[0:55] We are working our way through this letter to the Ephesians from the apostle Paul. And so far we've been, Paul has given us a God's eye view of everything that's going on in human history.

[1:09] And he's told us in chapter 1 especially about God's plan for the world. And the idea, the big idea was that God really does have a plan. And he's had this plan from eternity and it stretches all the way into the new heavens and the new earth and because there really is a plan, there really is meaning for human life.

[1:28] And God's plan means everything. And at the very center of God's plan, Jesus Christ is the main character. And so this is His world and He has created us to live in it.

[1:39] And when Jesus Christ went to the cross and He died and He came back to life from the dead, He included the church. Any follower of Jesus today, He included you in this great plan that's unfolding.

[1:50] A plan that's all about Jesus and all about His glory and all that God the Father is giving Him as King of the world. But in redemption, you get to be a part of that. And that's the big thing we've been told so far is that there is a plan, it's a big plan, and that the church gets to be a part of it.

[2:06] And so Paul uses one word to describe that. He says, we're blessed. We've been redeemed. We've been forgiven. You've been included. And in chapter two now, and for chapter two and three, which we'll do from now through June, Paul then turns to talk about not the God's eye view of everything that's taking place, but now what's going on in our lives, what's going on in your life?

[2:30] And so if you're a Christian today, if you're a follower of Jesus, when you get to chapter two of Ephesians, Paul says, this is exactly what has happened in your life.

[2:40] So it's really just the meaning of salvation. Another way to say it is, are you saved? Are you a Christian? Do you have salvation? If you have salvation, then Paul in chapter two is going to say, this is what happened to you.

[2:55] This is what took place in your life. This is how God came in and changed you. This is exactly how it happened. Another way to say it is very important, how could a man, a man who lived 2,000 years ago, who died a criminal's death on a cross, mean anything for a person who lives in the year of our Lord 2024?

[3:15] How could Jesus matter for you living in 2024? And Paul says, this is why, this is how. So he gets down on our level and says, I've given you the God's eye view.

[3:26] Now I want to give you the point of view of salvation from where you're standing and help you understand what's going on in your life. Now, the first thing he says to us, and all we're going to look at today is this little statement in chapter two, verse one, it's very extreme.

[3:41] He says, you want to know what happened to you if you became a Christian? Well, he says, you were dead. It's a very extreme thing to say.

[3:51] It's not a popular thing to say in the modern world. You were dead in your sin. That's what he tells us. That's the beginning of understanding what has taken place in your life if you're a Christian today.

[4:02] And that means that there's only two conditions you can be in for the apostle Paul. You can either be that you were dead or you are dead.

[4:13] Everybody in the world is either dead or used to be dead. There's no other way to be than that. And it also really confronts a major myth in our modern world, a myth that is all on our city streets, a myth that is all across the royal mile right now as we sit here.

[4:30] And that's the myth that most people are good and only a few people are bad. It's the myth that everybody tells themselves in the contemporary world order that says, I'm a good person.

[4:45] And he cuts underneath that. He says, no, it's either that you were dead in sin or you are dead in sin. And that's the only two ways you can be. And so I just want to, will you please ask yourself, please ask yourself a question this morning.

[5:00] Do I really believe, do I really know today? Do I remember that I was dead? If you're a Christian today, will you ask yourself that? Do I remember that I was dead in my sin?

[5:11] Or is the question, am I dead right now? And so let's think about that. All we need to find out is what does it mean to be dead? What does he mean by that? And then ask the question, could it really be true?

[5:25] Is it really fair to say that human beings are dead? And then finally, we'll see the dangers of not realizing that and then the power when you do realize it.

[5:37] So let's think about that. What does it mean to say that we are, that humanity is dead, that you are dead in sin? All right, the very first thing is Paul says you are dead in sin.

[5:48] And there he's talking to people, the commentators say he's talking to people who are formerly pagan Gentiles in the city of Ephesus.

[5:58] And these pagan Gentiles were worshiping all types of gods, all types of things, and all types of ways. But then if you look at verse three, he says, but we all once lived according to this, according to the passions of our flesh.

[6:10] So immediately he says you Gentiles, you pagan Gentiles were dead, but then he says, but we all were. And so he's talking about himself there and saying we Jews were as well.

[6:21] So that means that for Paul, the amount of people that are dead are anybody who is a Gentile or a Jew. And that means everybody, everybody is either a Jew or a Gentile.

[6:33] And that means that every single human being spiritual condition is that they're dead in sin and trespasses. There is, we've said it already, but I just want to say it again, there is no fragment, there is no fragment of society that is not dead.

[6:49] There is no way to be well-mannered enough, posh enough to eat properly with a knife antiforc. I'm trying to learn that. You know, there's no way, no matter how, how you present, there's no way to not be dead.

[7:04] Every single person, it doesn't matter how much money you have or what your ethnicity is or how you present. He says everybody is dead in their sins and trespasses. Now, in the modern world, we are people who love equality.

[7:16] And Paul says, I want to give, yes, I want to give you some equality. You are all equally dead. Now, but what does it mean in its depths to be dead?

[7:27] Let me say a few things. Let's just walk through some of the phrases he uses for this. He says first, you are dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked. Now he's done something very Old Testament there.

[7:40] He uses something that we've borrowed in the modern, in our English-speaking world from the Old Testament that many, many nations have thought about. And that's that, the metaphor that life is a journey, life, it's cliche to say, but it's exactly how the Old Testament presents it.

[7:54] Life is a path that you're walking down. So you can think of Psalm 1. Psalm 1 says, blessed is the one who walks not, walks not in the counsel of the wicked, but instead walks like this.

[8:04] Life is a journey and life is something we're walking through. That's how the Bible talks about it in that metaphor. And he says that you're dead because you walked in trespasses and sins.

[8:16] Now this is language that if you're a Christian today, you're very familiar with trespasses and sins. But if you look at it really closely, the word trespass is a walking noun.

[8:28] So to trespass something means to cross over a boundary that you weren't supposed to cross over. Now in Scotland, you can pretty much walk anywhere freely. That's unusual, I think, in the world.

[8:38] It's amazing. So we might not be as used to this. But he's saying that a trespass is when you were meant to walk down a certain road and you go off that road, you cross that fence that you were never supposed to cross.

[8:51] Now another way to say it in more historical Christian terms, theological terms, is he's talking here about sins of commission, co-mission, sins that we actively choose to do.

[9:04] So we're walking down the road of life and we actively choose to walk off the path that God made for us. But then he says not only trespasses but also sin. And sin is not a generic term.

[9:15] Sin is a Greek word, hermatia, that means to miss what you're aiming for and to fail. So it's applied to shooting in archery. It's to miss a target.

[9:26] And in other words, it's the sins of omission. The word of sin actually means omission. It means to fail to be what you were meant to be. And so you see Paul is saying the first thing is every single person is walking down the path of life and we are actively choosing to veer off the path God made for us or we're failing to ever be the person God made us to be.

[9:48] And he's talking about love. We were made to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor completely. And he's saying but you actively choose to walk off that path and you actively choose or you fail to never actually achieve it.

[10:04] That's trespass and sin and that's the life that every single human being is living. And so the second thing is, well another way to say it is every single one of us to put it very frankly, he's saying is that we are all rebels and failures and what God made us to be and who we're meant to be.

[10:22] And then he says the second thing, you are also, verse two, following the course of this world. And one helpful way to think about this is to think about a dead body.

[10:38] Not maybe not what you came for today but think for a second about a dead body. And a dead body, what's the condition of a dead body? A dead body cannot move itself. A dead body cannot walk.

[10:49] A dead body cannot move itself from one place to another. And so when somebody dies we have to move them. We have to use herces or ambulances or in older times carts to move dead bodies.

[11:04] And Paul is thinking about that. He's using this metaphor, you're dead, spiritually dead. But just think about a dead body. A dead body cannot move itself, it's being moved by another.

[11:14] And what does he say? You're following the course of this world. And the course, that word course in Greek is the word age or another way to translate it is culture.

[11:25] And so he says, you're dead because you're being driven along by the culture of the world. You're dead because you're not actively thinking you're actually just following whatever it is that the culture around you is telling you to do.

[11:40] He's talking about something so important, something that's so real for every single one of us. And that's that when we're born into this world it takes a breakthrough.

[11:51] The breakthrough that has to happen in every single life is to become in some ways a thinking person. What's a thinking person? It's not an issue of intelligence. A thinking person is when you wake up and ask, are the assumptions, presuppositions, and beliefs of my culture actually true?

[12:09] He says, you see, when you're dead you're being driven along by the course of the culture around you. And so when you grow up in a culture, when you grow up in a time, you grow up in a place that has a presupposition, God doesn't exist.

[12:20] There's nothing but matter and motion. He says, have you really thought about that? But when you're spiritually dead you haven't. You're just being driven along by the course of the culture around you. And in other words, what Paul is saying, the beginning of moving away from deadness to life is looking at our culture and examining it, the culture that you were raised in and saying, but what is true?

[12:42] What is real? Are the assumptions and presuppositions all around me actually the case? Do they actually describe reality? Charles Taylor is a very famous philosopher and Roman Catholic thinker in Canada.

[12:56] And he wrote a big, a big long book about this, a real tome, a real doorstopper about the fact that we're all being driven along by the course of our cultures. And in it he created a term that a lot of people use nowadays.

[13:09] He said that we're all under the weight and influence of what he calls the social imaginary. It's a fancy term, but all it means is that the social, the collective has an imagination, a way of thinking about life, a way of thinking about the world that we're all being driven along by, we're all drifting in.

[13:27] And Taylor calls everybody and says, look, when you become a Christian, when you really look at it, when you break through that, you're actually saying, are the things all around me that are being said actually fitting with what's true, what's reality?

[13:41] That's part of the breakthrough. That's part of the way to change. The third thing he tells us here about being dead is he says that we're also following the prince of this world, the prince of power, of the air, the spirit at work and the sons of disobedience.

[13:59] A dead person, dead people can't move themselves. Dead people have no sensation. Dead people cannot see. They can't touch. They can't taste.

[14:10] They can't do anything like that. And Paul says, being dead means following the prince of the power of the air. And another way to say that is that you have no sensations.

[14:21] In other words, dead people cannot sense the truth, the supernatural and spiritual truth of what's all around them. They're dead. They can't see that they're being driven along by the prince of the power of the air.

[14:35] Now that language, the prince of the power of the air, is language directly out of first century magic books. So there's a couple scholars that have done big work on the way Paul talks about Satan in the New Testament.

[14:52] And he uses these funny phrases like the prince of the power of the air. What does that mean? Well, actually, we've realized that in Ephesus, some of the pagan gods were being referred to as the powers of the air.

[15:06] And so Paul is taking the language that a pagan believer, Polytheists, would use for the gods they worship. These are the powers of the air, the ones that are giving me the air or the water or whatever it may be, the ones that are grounding my material physical life.

[15:23] And he's saying, but there is the prince of the power of the air. So he's saying, in other words, what you all in Ephesus think are real gods, the pagan gods you worship is actually, they are real, but they're actually just the prince of the power of the air and his demons.

[15:38] He's taken that language and applying it to Satan. And he's saying, when you're dead, when you're dead, you don't have sensation. You can't see. And what can you not see?

[15:49] He's saying, you can't see that the gods, the idols that we're worshiping are actually part of Satan's plan, part of the demonic. That's what he's saying. C.S. Lewis wrote a wonderful book about this, the Screwtape Letters, where Screwtape is a senior demon talking to his nephew, Wormwood, a junior demon.

[16:09] And he addresses this issue really specifically. He says, Screwtape says to Wormwood, our policy, my dear Wormwood, for the moment is to conceal ourselves.

[16:21] When they believe in us, we cannot make them materialist and skeptics. He says, our big plan right now in the modern world, Wormwood, this demon says to this demon, is to make sure that nobody believes in us.

[16:35] And he says, because when they don't believe in us, that means we can keep them materialists and skeptics. We can keep them atheist. But Lewis, he says in the preface of that great book, he says, there are two equal and opposite errors into which the human race can fall about Satan and the devils.

[16:53] He says, one is to disbelieve in their existence, the other is to believe and to feel excessive, unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail that they can either make a materialist or a magician out of everyone.

[17:11] So he's saying the plan of Satan is to make a materialist or a magician, either by not being able to see that the supernatural evil exists or by seeing it so much that you worship it and you follow it.

[17:24] Now think about our city. The majority of people in our city are either materialists and atheists, maybe that's you today, or spiritual, spiritual vaguely, spiritual following the spirits in some way, going to the crystal shop, past Mid-Emmettel Walk or wherever it may be.

[17:42] You see exactly following the Prince of the Power of the Air, either to be a materialist or to be a magician. These are the two great moves. And he says, that's what it means to be spiritually dead. That's the condition that we're all born into, Paul says.

[17:57] And then the last thing that he says about it is that also following in verse three, living according to the passions of our flesh and carrying out the desires of the body.

[18:08] Now same idea. If you're dead, you don't have sensation. If you're dead, you can't see the spiritual realm. If you're dead, you also are unaware you can't see that you're living according to the desires of the flesh, Paul puts it.

[18:24] Now the word flesh here does not mean the physical flesh, the material flesh, the skin, the bones that we all have. Instead, it means the disorder desires that we all experience in our lives.

[18:39] And so we could think about the appetites. The biologists and others will talk about the appetites, the human appetites. The human appetites are for food and drink.

[18:50] We get thirsty, we get hungry, we need food and drink. That's an appetite. The human appetites include sexual appetite, affection, safety, security.

[19:00] There's about 10 or 12 appetites that every single human experiences just by way of being human. And Paul is saying when you're dead in sin and trespass, you're being driven along by your desires for all of these appetites, unaware, unable to see that these desires often take you beyond the point of what's good.

[19:23] So the desires are good at their base. It's very good to long for food. But you know what happens? When you long for food too much, it can become gluttony.

[19:33] Sexual desire is a good thing, it's given by God, but we all know all the manner of evil that can come about from over desire. In every single appetite we experience, you know, you can long for security and safety.

[19:45] That's a very good desire that God's given you. But when you rest in your financial freedom, your wealth for that, you can begin to worship the God of man-men. And he's saying when you're dead in your sin and trespasses, you don't realize that you're being driven along by the desires of your heart and mind in a way, it's in a way that you're blind to.

[20:05] And it's what you haven't seen that actually at the center, there's selfishness there, there's chasing idolatry there. When you're dead, and we have to move on, when you're dead, it means that you can't do anything about it.

[20:18] You're dead. You can't make yourself alive, you can't become alive of your own accord. And so secondly, briefly, this is an extreme thing to say that every single human being in this world is either was dead or is dead.

[20:32] And one of the questions that might come up for us in this room, whether you're a Christian or not, maybe, could this really be true? This is an extreme thing to say.

[20:42] And I'm just not sure if I'm convinced that I'm a dead person or I was a dead person because I do feel like I'm a good person. I feel like I'm generally a pretty decent person.

[20:52] I've made mistakes in my life, but I don't know that I would say I'm dead in sin and trespass. You can be a Christian today and say, I'm a Christian, and I also think I'm a good person.

[21:07] And I don't really ever know that in my heart I believe that there was a point in my life where I was dead. I can't remember a day when I didn't believe in Jesus.

[21:18] And so I don't know that I'm willing to say that there was a point in my life where I was dead. If you say, if the foundation of your life, the heartbeat of your life is saying, you know, I believe I'm a good person, then really what's going on is that's just another way of staying in control.

[21:40] It's another way of masking the truth of what's going on deep down in the depths of the heart. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who experienced, I've quoted him from here before several times, and he experienced the worst of the depths of the Russian gulag just after the First World War.

[21:59] And he wrote a great book about it, and he says, the line that separates good and evil passes not between states or nations. It does not pass the line, who's good, who's evil, between socioeconomic classes.

[22:13] It doesn't pass between political parties. It goes right through every single human heart. That's what Solzhenitsyn said. In other words, he's saying, look, if you're coming today and you're saying, I believe I'm a good person, then what you've done is you've made goodness decency.

[22:29] I make mistakes, but I'm decent. I make mistakes, but I'm basically moral. You've actually made that into your righteousness, into your salvation, into your standing before God and other people.

[22:41] And Paul's trying to come and get us to see that saying I'm a good person is an idol. It's an unwillingness to see the truth. It's an unwillingness to unmask.

[22:52] It's an unwillingness to see that the danger that you're actually in, the deadness that you're actually sitting in, in that moment. And let me just ask you a couple of questions that I'm asking myself today.

[23:06] Have you ever thought, I'm a person of principle. I'm a moral person. I'm a good person. I'm a decent person. I was raised the right way, not like the current generation.

[23:17] I was raised the right way. And you found yourself doing something that absolutely shocked you. You said, no, I cannot believe I just did that.

[23:28] I can't believe that I would become a person that would do that. You say, that's not me. Or just to bring it down a level. Have you ever, well, let me ask you like this.

[23:39] Can you live up to your own standards for yourself? Can you live up to your own standards that you set out for your children? Can you live up to the standards that you believe in?

[23:50] God's standard is do not lie. Be faithful to your one spouse. God's standard is do not desire things that are not yours. Do not covet.

[24:02] Do not kill even in your mind, even in your heart. Do not murder even with your soul. This is God's standard. But let me just put that aside for a second and ask, what are the standards of modern Western people in a city like Edinburgh, and can we live up to them?

[24:19] What are the standards? What do we love? What's the moral order of our time? And it's that we hate as modern people, elitism. We hate racism. We hate bullying. We're against favoritism, sexism.

[24:31] We're against envy. We like simplicity of lifestyle. We're against slander, injustices, and partiality in the workplace. We're against harshness and tolerance and judgmentalism.

[24:43] We can't stand bragging. Do you find yourself turning conversations back to you? Words of gossip.

[24:54] The modern world hates words of gossip, but yet you get on social media and you say, look, it's one thing to look at God's standard, but can you meet your own standards?

[25:04] Can you meet your own standards? Another way to try this is to try for one week, take one week of your life, and really focus on this experiment, and try to never brag, even in the most subtle way, try to never turn a conversation towards you in any way at all.

[25:28] Try to never say a single word of gossip, or a word that could even come close to it. Try not to slander anybody. In an age of equality and anti-judgmentalism, try to go one week without even thinking about another person and judging or critiquing them based on their height, weight, race, ethnicity, what they're up to, their political persuasion.

[25:51] Try to go one week, one week, on the modern ideals. I think what every single human being is finding, if you say, I don't know that I believe I'm dead in sin and trespasses, what you might come to find after just one week is that you can't live up to your own standards.

[26:06] And boy, we can't live up to the standards of the living God. You must be perfect. If your heavenly Father is perfect, we can't do it. We're dead in sin and trespasses.

[26:17] I need to move on, but here's one more. Here's one more diagnostic. Do you have a friend in your life, do you have a family member in your life where you think I can see so clearly the vices that are very visible and I know that everybody else around me can see the vices in that person's life and we all talk about it and we say, how can our dear friend, how can our family member not see the narcissism, the self-centeredness, the fact that they turn every conversation back to themselves and you think that and you talk about that, but oh boy, you know who that friend is?

[26:54] It's you, it's me, it's all of us. You see, we are that friend. That's what somebody else thinks about us and sometimes when you get into a relationship, finally that gets exposed, finally the selfishness, finally the self-centeredness, finally the inability to not turn every conversation back into something about me, that's who we are, every single one of us.

[27:14] We can't live up to our ideals and we can't live up to God's ideals. We're dead saying I'm a good person is a cop out and we've got to realize the self-centeredness, the depths of the deadness that's going on in our hearts.

[27:30] God made us to be people who love God in every way and love our neighbor in every way and we can't walk down that road. We're rebels and failures before the Lord and so the last thing, the dangers of not seeing this in our lives and the power when you do.

[27:49] There's real freedom here to really own this, but there's real danger in not seeing it. Paul says here, he's talking to Christians and he says you were dead.

[28:00] He's talking to Christians and he's saying you have a past and your past is that you were dead and sinned and trespassed as you are a rebel and a failure before the Lord.

[28:11] And there's a real danger here in not remembering that, not seeing it in our lives as Christians. There's many, let me just give you one. Here's one danger.

[28:21] This is the fastest way to become an elder brother. The fastest way to become a Pharisee is to not remember that you were dead and your trespasses and sins. Here's another way to say it.

[28:32] Do you look out as a Christian into our current culture in 2024 and lament the evils, lament the injustices, lament the obviousness of the sins of our culture?

[28:44] And that's good and right. We look out and we say our culture is so broken, our culture is so bent, our culture is so backward. But let me ask you this.

[28:57] Do we expect people, a society that is spiritually dead to build a culture that is spiritually alive? We look out and we lament what's going on in the evils and the illness of our culture.

[29:09] But what Paul is saying is do you remember that you were dead and sins and trespasses? And when you realize that, you look out and you say I can never expect someone who is spiritually dead to live as though they're spiritually alive.

[29:25] And what happens if you forget that is you become less and less a person of love and mercy, gospel-centered, seeing that Jesus came for me to save me, to show mercy to me when I was dead, and you can veer off into an elder brother syndrome, a person of judgmentalism, a person that only laments the culture without longing to minister to the culture.

[29:46] We have to remember we were, we too, I too, was spiritually dead before God made me alive. The other danger is not seeing it at all. And so maybe you come today and you're not a believer, you don't yet know what you believe about Christianity, and there's a real danger in not seeing your deadness and not knowing that you are spiritually dead.

[30:08] You remain dead, you remain under the judgment of God. Paul says here that every single one of us in our deadness is under God's wrath. And God's wrath here is not an emotional term.

[30:22] It's not rabid anger. It's nothing like that. God's wrath here is just a statement to say that we expect, we know that from love there must be just judgment, that at the center of the sight of there must be a court system that punishes injustice.

[30:37] And when you don't see that you're dead, that you veered off the path, that God has set out for you in love, you're under the condition of judgment. You're under the condition of wrath, and that that is justice.

[30:48] The God of love must be a God of justice. He must be a God of wrath. And that without seeing deadness, that's where we stay. That's where we remain. Now I'm going to close with this.

[30:59] Come back next week, because next week we're going to detail what it means to be made alive. But I can't stop right there. I got to say a little something about being made alive.

[31:12] But next week we're really going to focus on it. But Ezekiel, in the middle of the prophet Ezekiel, he looks out in this vision and he sees all these dead bones, these dried up bones, and he turns to the Lord and says, Lord, can dead people, can dry bones be made alive again?

[31:32] And the Lord says, absolutely. I will give life to dead people. I will give life to dead bones. And I'll do it if they cry out to me. And so let me just say this.

[31:42] If you're here today and you've been in the church all your life, but maybe today you realize I'm dead. I'm not alive.

[31:52] What God says is He will give your dry bones life again if you cry out to Him and say, I'm dead and I need life. In other words, that's a way of saying that every single one of us today, Christian or not, needs to cry out in repentance and faith once again.

[32:11] See, repentance and faith is not something you do once. Repentance and faith is the lifeblood of Christianity. Repentance and faith is daily.

[32:21] Repentance is unmasking the idol of your heart. Maybe the idol of your heart is to say, I believe I'm a good person. I'm decent. I'm moral. I'm well-mannered. But repentance is unmasking that and really owning that before the Lord and clinging to the cross and saying, no, I need, I need to be made alive.

[32:40] I've got dry bones. I'm dead. And Paul is saying to be made alive, that's the beginning of it. That's how God is making you alive. It's this path of repentance and faith.

[32:52] How can the cross of Jesus Christ matter to you in 2024? That was our opening question. It's this, that Jesus Christ died. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ died because we're dead.

[33:06] Jesus Christ died so that we could be made alive. And in the power of the Holy Spirit, He can bring that power straight into your life right now in the year of our Lord, 2024.

[33:19] The final word is us. There's this moment in Luke chapter 7. There's a moment in Luke chapter 7 where Jesus sits down at the table, the dinner table with Simon the Pharisee, and he goes to this Pharisee's house and they're eating.

[33:36] And a woman comes in off the street and the text tells us that she is a sinner, a public sinner, which means that she's a prostitute. So a prostitute comes into this Pharisee's home while Jesus is eating there.

[33:48] And she anoints Jesus' head and she begs and pleads with him for forgiveness for her sins. And Simon the Pharisee, this is not Simon Peter, by the way, Simon the Pharisee, he judges Jesus for this and he condemns Jesus in his heart and then he even says something out loud and says, basically, I cannot believe that you would allow this to happen.

[34:12] A prostitute has come to the table and anointed you and you're giving her a relationship. You're showing her that you love her. In the first century, sitting down at the table with somebody was a big deal.

[34:25] And this Pharisee cannot believe this, that Jesus would associate with a woman like this. And Jesus turns to Simon the Pharisee and says, Simon, let me tell you a story.

[34:36] Now, anytime Jesus says, let me tell you a story, you know, you better say, uh-oh, I'm in trouble. He says, Simon, let me tell you a story. And he says, there were two men, one man owed a bank, a lender, a king, we'll put it in our currency, 50 pounds.

[34:54] And another man owed him 50,000 pounds. And the lender, the king, the bank came and said, I forgive both of you your debts. And he asked Simon the Pharisee, who do you think walked away being more thankful for the forgiveness they had received?

[35:09] And of course, Simon said, the man who had been forgiven 50,000 pounds, not just 50, you see, Jesus turned and said to Simon, you do not know that you were dead.

[35:21] You know, you think you're a good person. And so sure, you've made mistakes. You've got 50 pounds, you know, on your record. And so when the bank forgives you 50 pounds, you're like, ah, this is a good day.

[35:32] But he says, you see what she sees? She knows she was dead. She knows that she's been forgiven 50,000 pounds and all the more. And so she goes out of this place leaping for joy.

[35:42] She knows what she's been forgiven. Are you right now, are you in a season right now where you're experiencing staleness in your Christian life, where you're not experiencing the joy of the gospel in your life?

[35:58] Do you wake up every day and realize and say once again and teach yourself, speak to your heart and say, I was dead. I have a past, but God made me alive.

[36:11] And when you see that boy, you'll get up from the table and you'll leap for joy. Let's pray together. Father, we ask that you would help us all to see, to say today, I was dead.

[36:25] That's our prayer. So we ask for somebody here today that they would realize their deadness this morning and cry out, Lord, make my dry bones live again. And so we pray that we pray for others in the room in the midst of what may be a season of deadness spiritually as a Christian that they too would experience once again what it means to have such a large debt forgiven for them.

[36:49] And I pray, Lord, that for all of us we would wake up every single day in the discipline, the habit, the practice by beginning our day saying I was dead.

[37:00] But God's made me alive. Thank you for the gospel. Thank you for the power of the cross to make us alive. And we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.