V. 1 "You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and
He is spiritually dead, and utterly helpless to alter his condition in the least. He is totally void of spiritual life, and his heart is enmity against God. His alienation is of such nature that he can not do the first thing which meets Divine approbation. His heart is so deceitful above all things; his potential for evil is so extensive that he cannot know it. (Jere. 17: 9) His evil nature is intensified daily, whereby his spiritually death state is unmistakably manifested. In a word, he is totally depraved.
The character of the unregenerate is prevailed in the words, "in
trespasses and sins." The term "spiritual death" does not mean the
person is passive or neutral toward God, what it does mean is, that
the spirit of man is in a constant state of hostility toward God.
This hostility is manifested as soon as man enters this life from
the womb of his mother (Ps. 58:3), and he is an undeviating
antagonist of righteousness (Acts 8:3).
It was by this "one offence" that spiritual death began its diabolical reign ever mankind (Rom. 5:17), but since that time, and up to the point of Holy Spirit quickening, man drinks in iniquity like water. And so it is, Paul says, "And you hath He quickened who were dead is trespasses and sins" Plural.
Vs. 2 "Wherein time past ye walked according to the course of
this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the
spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."
Note, the pronoun "ye" this is a specific reference to the Gentile membership of the Ephesian church, but Paul is careful so as not to present the Jews as being morally superior to the Gentiles, so he follows up the direct reference to the Gentiles with the general pronoun "we", wherein he includes himself.
Vs.3 "…We all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh..."
The reason Paul emphasizes the pre-regenerate state of the Ephesian, saints is to magnify the redemptive grace and mercy of God, and thereby cause them to properly appreciate what God had done for them in Christ. They, by the unmerited favor of God had been brought from the depths of moral degradation, and was caused to sit in heavenly places with Christ. Their bondage to the Devil, the world, and the flesh had been abrogated by the exercise of God's power in their behalf, and Paul wanted them to know the great price which was paid for their liberty.
In their pre-regenerate life they stood fast, and were unmovable in their pursuits of pleasures and practices of the world, were willing slaves in every dictate of their fallen nature. But being delivered from this awful state, they should stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, and not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
"Wherein in time past ye walked..." The word "walked" in this text is a reference to the total time of their life in the unredeemed state, and speaks of consistent rebellion against God. Never once did they take a step outside of an environment that was not permitted with utter spiritual darkness, the "course" of this world" held them in captivity, and all else was foolishness to them.
"Walked… according to the prince of the power of the air…." in their ante-Christian life they were wiling subjects of the princedom of Satan. This is a frightening thought, but it is a fact, accord with the Devil, and every imagination of the thought of his heart is only evil.
Vs. 2 "...Prince of the air..." "Air" as used in this text is a
reference to the atmospheric heavens, wherein Satan has set up his
abide, and order of demons. And it is from this location he exerts
an influence upon the earth that cannot be resisted by mere human
strength. Peter, realizing this truth, says to the saints, "Be
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring
lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet-5:8).
"Children of disobedience..." and "children of the world" (Lk.
16:8)" are one and the same.
The God of all mercy responded with the provision of the penalty bearer, and those children of disobedience for whom Christ died, are now children of obedience, and the Spirit that now works in them, conforming them to the image of God's perfectly obedient is none other than the Sovereign Holy Spirit.
Every place in the Bible where the term "disobedience" is used is
either a direct or indirect reference to disobedience to God.
Disobedience to the 'Least good, is disobedience to God. What will
be the end of those that spend all of their life in disobedience to
all that is good, holy, and just? The answer is,