1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
I think it is important that regardless of where we are in life today, we recognize where we came from. As Christians, I think it is easy to forget who we were before we accepted Christ as our Savior. We become quick to judge and scoff, much like the pharisees who thought they were better than everyone else because they were “educated”. However, it almost seems contradictory to act that way, since the message of the Gospel is unconditional love.
The word for dead in verse 1 is represent of spiritual death. I’ve referred to this before as separation from God in my discussion about hell. Paul is a little more descriptive about this in verse 2 where he details what it means to walk according to the course of this world. I think it is interesting that satan here is referred to as a prince. I have often heard of him referred to as the “prince of the air” but this is the first time I have seen it in the bible. I wonder if there are other references in it. I feel as though the rest of this passage is dark. It seems like it could fit in a halloween story. The sons of disobedience is annotated in my study bible as a “Hebrewism” with no easy translation, however it is meant to represent those who have a darkened heart and disobey God. This makes sense since they here are described as having the spirit of satan, who disobeyed God.
Paul takes this and turns it on the reader, as we begin to recognize that we were no better than the sinners of the world. How often do we forget this? I liken it to watching a child. It can be stressful to watch a child since they seem to do everything “the wrong way” don’t they? Yet we eventually recognize that they are just a kid and that when we were their age, we too did the same things, sometimes even worse. How is this not different from how we look at unbelievers? Do we stop loving the child because of how they act? Not at all. We love them anyway and do our best to teach them what we know, however we recognize that some lessons they have to learn the hard way and on their own. This does not, however, change our love for them.
On the contrary, we actually love them more because we understand, because we have been there ourselves. As they grow, we take care to make sure that they are protected from the things which they cannot defend themselves, but we let them grow and watch as they find their way. Let’s then look upon the world in this view. Why must we look with wary eyes at “those people” and shake our heads at their actions? Who are we to condemn them? I find, actually, that we get frustrated at those who represent us in our early years the most. I think we get frustrated because we see ourselves and feel foolish, now that we know better.
Where did you come from and how can you use that to help someone grow?