The Bible is called a book of hope and a book of joy, yet somehow quite possibly the saddest sentence in all of world history is found in Ephesians:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
— Ephesians 2:1 NIV
Do you hear what Paul is saying to the church in Ephesus? All of mankind is sinful and separated from God and, therefore, they are dead in their transgressions and sin. Dead. Not sick, not ailing, not in trouble. Dead.
Paul isn’t mincing words. He doesn’t sugarcoat the truth. Paul comes right out and says it, “… you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”
Talk about an unpopular message. A message that no one wants to receive, yet Paul still proclaims it. Some have suggested that Christians should stop preaching this message because it makes unbelievers feel uncomfortable. As a pastor at c|Life, I implore you to preach this message every day!
Why should Christians share a message of death and sin? Why is this necessary? Because it sets up perfectly the two greatest verses in the Bible:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4–5 NIV
Here is the simple truth: no person looks for a savior until they realize they need saving. Ephesians 2:5 carries no weight until we understand Ephesians 2:1.
We were dead in our transgressions, but Christ made us alive. The saddest sentence is transformed into the greatest paragraph!