I am continually amazed at God’s sovereign grace being extended to me in Christ. As I consider what God’s Word says about who and what I was apart from Christ, I am reminded that there is absolutely nothing in me that was good. I did not deserve God’s grace, mercy, and favor. The Bible says,
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:1-5 HCSB).
There are some really unflattering statements made about unregenerate individuals in this passage. Such as, we were dead in our trespasses and sins (v. 1a). We lived according to the world, according to the ways of Satan (v. 1b). It is easy for us to see the religious leaders being “sons of the devil” as Jesus referred to them (John 8:44).
The pride within us downplays the depth of our guilt and corruption apart from Christ. We begin to look around us and see other individuals who commit more grievous sins, and justify our own as being rather miniscule. The mistake is seeking to understand these issues through our own reason, rather than understanding all of life as God views it.