From Death to Life
1 In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. 2You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God. 3Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.
4-5But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much he made us alive with Christ, and God's gift of undeserved grace is what saves you. 6God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. 7God did this so in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. 8You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. 9It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about. 10God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. This is why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
Isn’t it uncomfortable when old friends turn up who knew you before you came to faith in Christ? Without knowing what has happened to you, they try to pick up the threads of the old relationship when, as Paul puts it, you were “dead” because of your sins (v.1).
When Paul describes his readers as having been “dead” (v.1), he uses imagery that is very powerful for the Jew and which would have been known by the believers. So defiling was a dead person that anyone touching the corpse had to leave the community, be ceremonially washed over a period of days and dressed in fresh clean clothing before they were readmitted (Numbers 19:11-22).
So Paul is saying that, before their conversion, the believers were a source of defilement – they polluted their communities, deserved judgment and were unfit for heaven. Without them realizing it, they were confined to the Kingdom of Darkness and ruled by “the prince of the power of the air” i.e. Satan. Indeed, they were his children, as all unbelievers are.
Paul identifies this Kingdom of Darkness as the Body of Sin in Romans 6:6.This meaning is derived from Romans 5, where he speaks of two communities: the Body of Christ, which is the Church, and the Body of Sin, which is Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness.
But all of this changed through God’s kindness and mercy when they heard the good news about the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When they put their trust in His redeeming work, they were rescued from the Kingdom of Darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Christ – no longer children of Satan but forever children of their glorious God.
Dear Father, We cannot thank you enough for rescuing us from Satan’s Kingdom and bringing us into the Kingdom of the Son You love. We know we don’t deserve this grace. Please help us each day to live for Your glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.