As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins. Ephesians 2:1 (NIV)
We must take the Bible seriously here. It doesn’t say: “You were trapped in your sins.” It says, “You were dead in your sins!”
If a man falls into a pit, you can throw him a rope. But if he is dead in the pit, the rope is of no use to him.
Imagine a mannequin, standing in the room with you. Let’s call him “Manny.” Manny is a good-looking fellow—tall, dark, and handsome. He seems to be doing well in life, but there’s no life in him. He’s dead.
Now suppose you were to say to him, “Manny, you need to live a life that honors God. Live by the Ten Commandments. Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.”
Manny doesn’t seem very responsive, does he? It doesn’t help to yell at Manny, or to try and encourage his self-esteem. Manny can’t do it. He does not have the capacity. He’s dead.
Think about what God is saying here, and He is saying it about us: “You were dead in your… sins.” The Bible doesn’t say that the sinner is weak, it says that the sinner is dead. That means he can’t act, he can’t feel, and he can’t move. He is completely unresponsive to God.
No matter how hard a problem, a man will feel good about himself if he thinks that he has the ability to get out of it. Tell him he has a sinful nature, and he’ll tell you that he will fight it. Tell him that he is under the wrath of God, and he’ll tell you that he will live a life that wins the admiration of God. But if you tell him that he is dead, there is nothing he can do about his own position. You have insulted him, and he will not accept your doctrine.
Yet that is precisely the teaching of the Bible
Do you think of yourself as… “trapped” in your sins? “Weak” in your sins? “Dead” in your sins? Other? Why?