Ephesians 2:1
And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) And you hath he quickened.And you also. St. Paul here begins the particular application to the Ephesians, which is the main subject of this chapter, broken off in Ephesians 2:3-10, and resumed in Ephesians 2:11. The words “hath He quickened” (or, properly, did He quicken) are supplied here from Ephesians 2:5—rightly, as expressing the true sense and tending to greater clearness, but perhaps not necessarily.

Trespasses and sins.—These two words, more often used separately, are here brought together, to form a climax. The word rendered “trespass” signifies a “swerving aside and falling”; the word rendered “sins” is generally used by St. Paul in the singular to denote “sin” in the abstract, and signifies an entire “missing of the mark” of life. Hence, even in the plural, it denotes universal and positive principles of evil doing, while “trespass” rather points to failure in visible and special acts of those not necessarily out of the right way.

Ephesians 2:1-2. And you, &c. — In the nineteenth and twentieth verses of the preceding chapter, the apostle had spoken of God’s working in the believers at Ephesus, in order to their conversion, and resurrection from spiritual death to spiritual life, by the same almighty power whereby he raised Christ from the dead. On the mention of this he runs on, in the fulness of his heart, into a flow of thought concerning the glory of Christ’s exaltation, in the three following verses. He here resumes the thread of his discourse. You hath he quickened — Or, (as these words are not in the original,) if we connect this verse with the last clause of the preceding chapter, we may read, you hath he filled, namely, with his gifts and graces, and thereby hath made you alive to himself; who were dead — Not only diseased, but dead; absolutely devoid of all spiritual life, and as incapable of quickening yourselves, as persons literally dead are of restoring their bodies to life. In this sense Locke paraphrases the words: “Ye were so entirely under the power of sin, that ye had no more power, nor hope, nor ability, to get out of it, than men dead and buried have to get out of their graves.” The truth is, unawakened, impenitent, and unbelieving sinners, are dead in three respects; 1st, They are under condemnation, on account of their past depravity and various transgressions, to the second death, or to future wrath and punishment, like criminals under sentence of death for their crimes. 2d, They are destitute of all union with God, and in a state of separation from him, and alienation from his life, chap. Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21. 3d, They are carnally minded; that is, their thoughts and affections are set upon visible and temporal things, which is spiritual death, (Romans 8:6,) implying deadness or aversion to spiritual and divine things. In trespasses and sins — Sins seem to be spoken chiefly of the Gentiles who knew not God; trespasses of the Jews, who had his law, and yet regarded it not. Or the expressions may be used indiscriminately, without any such distinction being intended; for all trespasses are sins, and all sins are trespasses, properly speaking. Wherein in time past ye walkedΠεριεπατησατε, ye walked about, or walked continually. For, as Grotius observes, the word significat consuetudinem, implies custom, or habit. According to the course of this world Κατα τον αιωνα, according to the age, or the common usage of the age in which you lived, and to those corrupt principles and practices which prevailed around you. The word above mentioned, translated course, properly means along series of times, wherein one corrupt age follows another. The prince of the power of the air — “That wicked spirit, who commands the legions of fallen angels, that by divine permission range in the air, and fly from place to place, in pursuit of their pernicious purpose of corrupting and destroying mankind.” So Dr. Doddridge, who observes, “This refers to a Jewish tradition, that the air is inhabited by evil spirits, a notion which the apostle seems to approve.” Macknight’s interpretation of the passage is nearly the same, as follows: “Power, being here put for those who exercise power, (as it is likewise chap. Ephesians 1:21, and Colossians 2:10,) signifies those powerful evil spirits, whose confinement [mentioned by Jude, Ephesians 2:6] is not of such a nature as to hinder them from going to and fro on the earth. And therefore, being irreconcilable enemies of God and goodness, they use the liberty granted to them in opposing God, and in ruining men by their temptations, 1 Peter 5:8. And that they may do this the more effectually, they have ranged themselves under the direction of one chief, here called their prince; but in other passages Satan, and the devil. Perhaps also he is called their prince, because he instigated them to rebel against God, and was their leader in that rebellion. See 1 John 5:19.” To these quotations we may add, with Bengelius, “A power this the effect of which all may perceive, though all do not understand the cause of it; a power unspeakably penetrating and widely diffused, but yet, as to its baleful influences, beneath the orb of believers.” The spirit that now worketh Ενεργουντος, worketh inwardly with energy. So he did, and so he doth work in all ages; in the children of disobedience — In all that disbelieve and disobey the gospel.2:1-10 Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses and sins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon a corpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is now fled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man. But if we viewed things aright, we should be far more affected by the thought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin is a state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves to Satan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition which there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men. From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been most prone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, being naturally children of disobedience, are also by nature children of wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly for that grace which will make them, of children of wrath, children of God and heirs of glory! God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God: he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust; sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above this world, by Christ's grace. The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power. It was his purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our good conversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can from Scripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency to evil. All who do so, are without excuse.And you hath he quickened - The words "hath he quickened," or "made to live," are supplied, but not improperly, by our translators. The object of the apostle is to show the great power which God had evinced toward the people Ephesians 1:19; and to show that this was put forth in connection with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and his exaltation to the right hand of God in heaven; see the notes at Romans 6:4-11; compare Colossians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:1. The words "hath he quickened" mean, hath he made alive, or made to live; John 5:21; Romans 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:36.

Who were dead in trespasses and sins - On the meaning of the word "dead," see the notes at Romans 5:12; Romans 6:2, note. It is affirmed here of those to whom Paul wrote at Ephesus, that before they were converted, they were "dead in sins." There is not anywhere a more explicit proof of depravity than this, and no stronger language can be used. They were "dead" in relation to that to which they afterward became alive - i. e., to holiness. Of course, this does not mean that they were in all respects dead. It does not mean that they had no animal life, or that they did not breathe, and walk, and act. Nor can it mean that they had no living intellect or mental powers, which would not have been true. Nor does it settle any question as to their ability or power while in that state. It simply affirms a fact - that in relation to real spiritual life they were, in consequence of sin, like a dead man in regard to the objects which are around him.

A corpse is insensible. It sees not, and hears not, and feels not. The sound of music, and the voice of friendship and of alarm, do not arouse it. The rose and the lily breathe forth their fragrance around it, but the corpse perceives it not. The world is busy and active around it, but it is unconscious of it all. It sees no beauty in the landscape; hears not the voice of a friend; looks not upon the glorious sun and stars; and is unaffected by the running stream and the rolling ocean. So with the sinner in regard to the spiritual and eternal world. He sees no beauty in religion; he hears not the call of God; he is unaffected by the dying love of the Saviour; and he has no interest in eternal realities. In all these he feels no more concern, and sees no more beauty, than a dead man does in the world around him. Such is, in "fact," the condition of a sinful world. There is, indeed, life, and energy, and motion. There are vast plans and projects, and the world is intensely active. But in regard to religion, all is dead. The sinner sees no beauty there; and no human power can arouse him to act for God, anymore than human power can rouse the sleeping dead, or open the sightless eyeballs on the light of day. The same power is needed in the conversion of a sinner which is needed in raising the dead; and one and the other alike demonstrate the omnipotence of him who can do it.

CHAPTER 2

Eph 2:1-22. God's Love and Grace in Quickening Us, Once Dead, through Christ. His Purpose in Doing So: Exhortation Based on Our Privileges as Built Together, an Holy Temple, in Christ, through the Spirit.

1. And you—"You also," among those who have experienced His mighty power in enabling them to believe (Eph 1:19-23).

hath he quickened—supplied from the Greek (Eph 2:5).

dead—spiritually. (Col 2:13). A living corpse: without the gracious presence of God's Spirit in the soul, and so unable to think, will, or do aught that is holy.

in trespasses … sins—in them, as the element in which the unbeliever is, and through which he is dead to the true life. Sin is the death of the soul. Isa 9:2; Joh 5:25, "dead" (spiritually), 1Ti 5:6. "Alienated from the life of God" (Eph 4:18). Translate, as Greek, "in your trespasses," &c. "Trespass" in Greek, expresses a FALL or LAPSE, such as the transgression of Adam whereby he fell. "Sin." (Greek, "hamartia") implies innate corruption and ALIENATION from God (literally, erring of the mind from the rule of truth), exhibited in acts of sin (Greek, "hamartemata"). Bengel, refers "trespasses" to the Jews who had the law, and yet revolted from it; "sins," to the Gentiles who know not God.Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul setteth before the Ephesians their former

corrupt heathen state,

Ephesians 2:4-7 and God’s rich mercy in their deliverance.

Ephesians 2:8-10 We are saved by grace, not of works, yet so as to be

created in Christ unto good works.

Ephesians 2:11-18 They who were once strangers, and far from God, are

now brought near by Christ’s blood; who having

abolished the ritual law, the ground of distinction

between Jew and Gentile, hath united both in one

body, and gained them equal access to the Father.

Ephesians 2:19-22 So that the Gentiles are henceforth equally privileged

with the Jews, and together with them constitute a holy

temple for the habitation of God’s Spirit.

And you hath he quickened; his verb quickened is not in the Greek, but the defect of it may be supplied from Ephesians 1:19, thus: The greatness of his power to us-ward, and to you that were dead in trespasses and sins; the remaining part of that chapter being included in a parenthesis, which, though long, yet is not unusual. Or rather, as our translators and others do, from Ephesians 2:5 of this chapter, where we have the word quickened. It imports a restoring of spiritual life by the infusion of a vital principle, (in the work of regeneration), whereby men are enabled to walk with God in newness of life.

Who were dead; piritually, not naturally; i.e. destitute of a principle of spiritual life, and so of any ability for, or disposedness to, the operations and motions of such a life.

In trespasses and sins:he preposition in is wanting in the Greek by an ellipsis, but the expression is full, Colossians 2:13; this dative case therefore is to be taken in the sense of the ablative. By these words he means either all sorts of sins, habitual and actual, less or greater; or rather, promiscuously and indifferently, the same thing several ways. expressed. Sin is the cause of spiritual death; where sin reigns, there is a privation of spiritual life.

And you hath he quickened,.... The design of the apostle in this and some following verses, is to show the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and to set forth the sad estate and condition of man by nature, and to magnify the riches of the grace of God, and represent the exceeding greatness of his power in conversion: the phrase

hath he quickened, is not in the original text, but is supplied from Ephesians 2:5, where it will be met with and explained: here those who are quickened with Christ, and by the power and grace of God, are described in their natural and unregenerate estate,

who were dead in trespasses and sins; not only dead in Adam, in whom they sinned, being their federal head and representative; and in a legal sense, the sentence of condemnation and death having passed upon them; but in a moral sense, through original sin, and their own actual transgressions: which death lies in a separation from God, Father, Son, and Spirit, such are without God, and are alienated from the life of God, and they are without Christ, who is the author and giver of life, and they are sensual, not having the Spirit, who is the spirit of life; and in a deformation of the image of God, such are dead as to their understandings, wills, and affections, with respect to spiritual things, and as to their capacity to do any thing that is spiritually good; and in a loss of original righteousness; and in a privation of the sense of sin and misery; and in a servitude to sin, Satan, and the world: hence it appears, that man must be in himself unacceptable to God, infectious and hurtful to his fellow creatures, and incapable of helping himself: so it was usual with the Jews to call a wicked and ignorant man, a dead man; they say (i),

"there is no death like that of those that transgress the words of the law, who are called, "dead men", and therefore the Scripture says, "turn and live".''

And again (k),

"no man is called a living man, but he who is in the way of truth in this world.----And a wicked man who does not go in the way of truth, is called, "a dead man".''

And once more (l).

"whoever is without wisdom, lo, he is "as a dead man";''

See Gill on 1 Timothy 5:6. The Alexandrian and Claromontane copies, and one of Stephens's, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, "dead in your trespasses and sins"; and the Syriac version, "dead in your sins and in your trespasses"; and the Ethiopic version only, "dead in your sins".

(i) Zohar in Gen, fol. 41. 3.((k) Ib. in Num. fol. 76. 1. Vid. ib;. in Exod. fol. 44. 2.((l) Caphtor, fol. 30. 2.

And {1} you hath he quickened, who were {a} dead in {2} trespasses and sins;

(1) He declares again the greatness of God's good will by comparing that miserable state in which we are born, with that dignity unto which we are advanced by God the Father in Christ. So he describes that condition in such a way that he says, that with regard to spiritual motions we are not only born half dead, but wholly and altogether dead.

(a) See Ro 6:2. So then he calls those dead who are not regenerated: for as the immortality of those who are damned is not life, so this knitting together of body and soul is properly not life, but death in those who are not ruled by the Spirit of God.

(2) He shows the cause of death, that is, sins.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 2:1. Connection: After Knatchbull and others (mentioned by Wolf, Cur. on i. 19) had attached καὶ ὑμᾶς to εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας, Ephesians 1:19, and Bengel to ἣν ἐνήργ., Ephesians 1:20 (both arbitrarily confusing, and the former also mistaken for the reason that ἡμᾶς, Ephesians 2:19, already included the readers), Lachmann and Harless have closed Ephesians 1:23 with only a comma, and annexed καὶ (συνεζωοποίησε) ὑμᾶς to καὶ αὐτὸν ἔδωκε κ.τ.λ., Ephesians 2:22.[127] So also de Wette, without, however, approving the mere comma after Ephesians 1:23. But in this way we should have to expect not ὙΜᾶς, but ἩΜᾶς (comp. Ephesians 1:19 : ΕἸς ἩΜᾶς ΤΟῪς ΠΙΣΤΕΎΟΝΤΑς), for Paul would attach to what God has done in relation to Christ that, which He has at the same time done in the case of the Christians. And, inasmuch as he has employed the pronoun of the second person, he has thereby indicated the beginning of a new portion. Moreover, Ephesians 1:23 is so majestic and solemn in import and form, that it is admirably suited for a sonorous conclusion, but hardly for a mere parenthetic insertion. No, after the apostle has previously spoken of the exceeding power of God in the case of believers, which may be recognised by virtue of what He has done in the case of Christ, whom He raised, exalted, etc., he wishes now, in application of this to the readers, to bring the latter to the consciousness that God has made also them (καὶ ὑμᾶς), when they were dead in their sins, to be alive, etc., with Christ, and thus has shown also in their case that exceeding power.

The construction is broken off, even before the subject and the verb are expressed, by the afflux of the thoughts in the relative clauses which begin Ephesians 2:2, but is resumed Ephesians 2:4 by means of δέ, so that the subject not yet named in Ephesians 2:1 is at length named and characterized in Ephesians 2:4; and in Ephesians 2:5 the verb (ΣΥΝΕΖΩΟΠΟΊΗΣΕ) comes in with repetition of the object, which, however,—in accordance with what has been said in the intervening clauses,—had already in Ephesians 2:4 passed over into the first person and thus become universal (ἩΜᾶς). As to the details, see below. The resumption accordingly begins already, in Ephesians 2:4, with Ὁ ΔῈ ΘΕΌς (as even Theophylact expressly observes); not first with Ephesians 2:5, as Wolf and others, including Griesbach, Koppe, ed. 1, Scholz, Meier, Rückert, Holzhausen, would have it, because otherwise Ephesians 2:4 in turn would be anacoluthic, and yet Ὁ ΘΕΌς is the subject of ΣΥΝΕΖΩΟΠ.

ΝΕΚΡΟῪς ΤΟῖς ΠΑΡΑΠΤ. Κ. Τ. ἉΜΑΡΤ. ὙΜῶΝ
] The dative denotes the causa efficiens of the death. The expression with ἐν, Colossians 2:13, is not equivalent. Quite at variance with the context, Cajetanus (not Estius, who rejects this explanation) holds that the dative is as in Romans 6:11, in which case the force of ὄντας as a present participle is urged: since ye are dead for the sins. ὑμῶν also is against this, as well as the plural, since in the being dead for sin the latter appears as principle (Romans 6:11).

A real distinction between παραπτώματα and ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑΙ does not exist,[128] in so far as both expressions denote the same thing (the peccata actualia in thought, word, and deed) in a twofold form of conception as “missing” and “fall” (see, generally, Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 324); and the abstract ἁμαρτίαις cannot mean, like Ἡ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑ at Romans 5:20, sin in abstracto as ruling power, but in virtue of the plural can only mean the actual sins (ἁμαρτήματα); comp. on Romans 5:20.

ὌΝΤΑς] state, which was present at the time, when God made them alive.

νεκρούς] is understood by the expositors (apart from those who, like Koppe and Rosenmüller, substitute for the literal meaning the notion of wretched, miserable) of spiritual death (comp. Ephesians 5:14), i.e. of the deadness of true moral life through the “alienatio animae a Deo,” Calvin; comp. Delitzsch, Psychol, p. 127. But by what, we ask, is this spiritual sense indicated? Must not νεκρ. τοῖς παραπτ. κ. ταῖς ἁμαρτ. have reminded the readers quite naturally and necessarily of the connection, well known to them, between unexpiated sins and the eternal death (the eternal condemnation),—a connection, in which they once as Gentiles shared? See on Romans 6:16; Romans 6:22 f., Romans 7:9-11; Romans 7:24; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:6. The explanation of physical death is inadmissible, because this is a consequence not of individual sins, but of the sin of Adam; see on Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22. The expression νεκροί is proleptic: when ye were dead through your sins, i.e. when you had through your sins drawn upon you death, had become liable to eternal death, so that in this way the certo morituri are designated as νεκροί. Comp. Romans 7:10; Romans 8:10, and the well-known ΨΥΧΆΡΙΟΝ ΕἾ ΒΑΣΤΆΖΟΝ ΝΕΚΡΌΝ, Epict. Anton, iv. 41. See also on Colossians 2:12. Without Christ the everlasting death, which they had incurred by their sins, would not be annulled and averted from them; but, after that Christ has completed the work of atonement and they have become believers in Him, eternal life has become the portion of those who were by their sins liable to eternal death, and that by means of the fellowship of life, into which they are brought through faith with the Christ who is made alive from the dead, raised, and exalted to heaven, which is more fully expressed, Ephesians 2:5-6, by συνεζωοποίησε τῷ Χριστῷ κ.τ.λ. Thus the passage certainly treats of the atonement accomplished by Christ, to which believers owe eternal life (see Ephesians 2:7-8). The moral restoration (Hofmann) is the consequence of the atonement (Ephesians 2:10), the ethical product of the same through the Spirit.

The relation, we may add, of our passage to Colossians 2:13; Colossians 1:21 is not that of a slavish dependence, but that of a fresh and living remembrance with new and peculiar amplification.

[127] 1 Calovius, Cramer, Koppe, and Rosenmüller attached καὶ ὑμᾶς immediately to Ephesians 1:23, namely, to πληρουμένου: “qui sicut omnes alios beneficiis cumulat, sic etiam vos,” Rosenmüller. This, however, is entirely incompatible with the correct explanation of τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσι πληρουμένου, Ephesians 1:23, and with the correlation of νεκρούς and συνεζωοπ.

[128] Augustine, ad Lev. qu. 20, makes the former denote the desertio boni, the latter the perpetratio mali, or the former to be the sin of rashness, the latter that which is deliberate, which last distinction is adopted also by Tittmann, Synon. p. 47. Jerome makes the former delicta cogitatione inchoata, the latter sins of deed; comp. Olshausen. Bengel: παραπτ. applies to the Jews, and ἁμαρτ. to the Gentiles. Meier (comp. Baumgarten-Crusius): the two words are distinguished as act and state. Matthies: the former are mental errors and obscurations, the latter moral sins and vices. Harless and de Wette: the former denotes single transgressions, the latter all kinds of sins, including sins in thought.Ephesians 2:1-10. A new paragraph begins at this point. This is denied indeed by some, who would connect the καὶ ὑμᾶς of Ephesians 2:1 immediately with the ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας of Ephesians 1:19 (Knatchbull), the ἐνήργησεν of Ephesians 1:20 (Bengel), or the καὶ αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν, etc., of Ephesians 1:22 (Lachm., Harl.). But none of these connections yields a sufficiently clear and harmonious sense. The last, indeed, which proposes to separate Ephesians 2:1 from Ephesians 1:23 merely by a comma and which would make the καὶσυνεζωοποίησεν a statement parallel to the αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν, etc., as well as continuous on it, would require ἡμᾶς rather than ὑμᾶς. All three, too, take seriously from the point and power of the closing verses of chapter 1, which are given in a strain of lofty and majestic affirmation suitable to the winding up of a great argument. We have, therefore, a new section here, in which a particular application is made of what has been affirmed in the preceding paragraph. These first ten verses speak of a further manifestation of that power of God which was seen in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ, namely, in the raising of the Ephesians themselves from the death of sin into a new life unto God, and that not of works but of grace.Chapter Ephesians 2:1-10. Regeneration of the Ephesians, an Instance of Gratuitous Salvation

1. And you hath he quickened] The construction is broken, and the gap is filled by the inserted verb, inferred from Ephesians 2:5 below, where however “we” has taken the place of “you.” Better, perhaps, did He quicken (as R. V.); the Gr. verb in Ephesians 2:5 being the aorist. Ideally, in their slain and risen Lord’s triumph, actually, in their spiritual regeneration, “believing on His name,” they had definitely received “eternal life.”—The English reader will remember that in the A. V. “to quicken” means seldom if ever to excite what already lives, but to bring from death to life.

Observe here the great theme of the Church and its Head treated in the special aspect of entrance into the Body by Divine regeneration of persons. For close parallels, though they treat the matter more from the side of Christ’s atoning work, cp. Colossians 1:21; Colossians 2:13; passages which, if written shortly before this, may have suggested the form of the opening phrase of this.

who were dead] Lit. being dead, “when you were dead;” devoid of spiritual and eternal life; see the next words. Obviously this weighty phrase needs to be read in the light of other truths; such as the existence of spirit, and the full presence of conscience, and of accountability, in the unregenerate. But those truths must not be allowed unduly to tone down this statement, which distinctly teaches that the state of the unregenerate has a true analogy to physical death; and that that analogy on the whole consists in this, that (1) it is a state in which a living principle, necessary for organization, growth and energy, in reference to God and holiness, is entirely lacking; (2) it is a state which has no innate tendency to develope such a principle of life. The principle must come to it altogether ab extra.—The latest researches into nature confirm the conviction that dead matter has absolutely no inner tendency to generate life, which must come into it ab extra if it is to live; a suggestive analogy.

On the doctrine of spiritual death as the state of unregenerate man, cp. ch. Ephesians 5:14; John 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 5:12; and see John 3:3; John 6:53. There are passages where “death” is used as a strong term to denote a comparatively lifeless state of the regenerate soul, needing (if it is to be escaped) not new birth, which is a thing once accomplished, but revival. But this modified sense of “death” must not be allowed to lower the absolute sense in a passage like this, with its peculiar doctrinal emphasis on the contrast of death and life. The state here described is not one of suppressed life, but of absence of life. Cp. 1 Timothy 5:6; Revelation 3:1.

2 Corinthians 5:14, sometimes quoted of spiritual death, is not in point: translate, “then did all die,” and interpret of the death, representatively in Christ, of “all” at Calvary.

in trespasses and sins] Better, in respect of your trespasses, &c.—The Gr. construction is the dative without the preposition “in,” (so Colossians 2:13); and indicates conditioning circumstances.—What is the distinction between “trespass” and “sin”? It has been held that “trespass” is more of the conception, and “sin” of the act; or again that “trespass” is more of omission, “sin” of commission. But usage forbids any certainty in such inferences. In Ezekiel 18:26 the LXX. use the word paraptôma (trespass) of the sin which the “righteous” commits and in which he dies. Etymologically, it is a fall over; and this may be either over a pebble or over a precipice. In actual usage, however, there is a slight occasional tendency in “trespass” towards a mitigated idea of sin, a “fault,” as in Galatians 6:1; and it is possible that we have this here; as if to say, “in every form of evil-doing, whether lighter (trespasses) or heavier (sins).” But it is more probable still that the phrase is used designedly for accumulation’s sake alone, without precise distinction; as if to say, “evil-doing, however described.”

See Abp. Trench, N. T. Synonyms, under the word ἁμαρτία, &c. And above, note on Ephesians 1:7.Ephesians 2:1. Καὶ ὑμᾶς, and you) This is very closely connected with He wrought in ch. Ephesians 1:20. You is construed with hath quickened together (συνεζωοποίησεν), Ephesians 2:5.—ὑμᾶς ὄντας, you when you were) as there is found when we were, in Ephesians 2:5. The former word, in both cases respectively, is emphatic;[19] as Php 2:7, note.—νεκροὺς, dead) What can be more wretched?—τοῖς παραπτώμασι) Although the genuine ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις intervenes, we must refer to the παραπτώμασι the neuter οἷς, in which, Ephesians 2:3 : comp. [τοῖς διωγμοῖς, τοῖς παθήμασιν] οἷς, οἵους [διωγμούς], 2 Timothy 3:11, where the gender is in like manner twofold.—ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις, in sins) Refer to this word αἷς, in which, Ephesians 2:2. Αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, sins, are chiefly applied to the Gentiles, who are ignorant of God: τὰ παραπτώματα, trespasses, to the Jews, who have the law,[20] and yet revolt from the light; Ephesians 2:5. Moreover the latter obeyed the flesh; the former, the prince of the power of the air; see following verses.

[19] In Ephesians 2:1, ὑμᾶς precedes ὄντας, and is therefore the emphatic word. In Ephesians 2:5, ὄντας precedes ἡμᾶς, and therefore the emphasis falls on the ὄντας.—ED.

[20] παραπτωμα, from παραπίπτω, I fall away from the law, I transgress. For “sin is the transgression of the law.”—ED.Verses 1-10. - SPIRITUAL HISTORY OF THE EPHESIANS. This passage corresponds to Genesis 1. It is a history of creation, and we note the same great stages.

1. Chaos (vers. 1-3).

2. The dawn - the Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters (ver. 4).

3. The work of creation - in successive stages (vers. 4-10). Verse 1. - You also, who were dead in your trespasses and your sins. The apostle returns from his digression, in which he had shown the marvelous working of the Divine power on Christ, to show the working of the same power on the Ephesian converts themselves. The ὑμἀς is not governed by any verb going before; it manifestly depends on the συνεζωοποίησεν of ver. 5, but it is separated from it by a new digression (vers. 2, 3), on which the apostle immediately starts. While the same quickening power of God was exerted on Christ and on the Ephesians, it was exerted to very different effects: in the case of Christ, raising him literally from the dead and exalting him to heavenly glory; in the case of the Ephesians, raising them from spiritual death and exalting them to high spiritual privileges. We may observe the change from the second to the first person, and vice versa, in this chapter as in Ephesians 1. Second person (vers. 1, 8, 11); first (vers. 3, 10, 14); and the two streams brought together (ver. 18). The chapter closes beautifully with an emblem of the Church as the one temple of which all believers are parts. The death ascribed to the Ephesians in their natural state is evidently spiritual death, and "trespasses and sins," being in the dative (νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασι καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις), seems to indicate the cause of death - "dead through your trespasses and your sins" (R.V.); "dead of your trespasses," etc., is suggested by Alford. It is not easy to assign a different meaning to the two nouns here; some suggest acts of transgression for the one, and sinful tendencies or principles for the other, but this distinction cannot be carried out in all other passages. The killing effect of sin is indicated. As sins of sensuality kill truthfulness, industry, integrity, and all virtue, so sin generally, affecting as it does our whole nature, kills, or does not suffer to live, the affections and movements of the spiritual life. A state of "death" implies previous life - the race lived before; it implies also a state of insensibility, of utter powerlessness and helplessness. And you

Taking up the closing thought of the preceding chapter, the magnitude of God's power toward believers as exhibited in Christ's resurrection. He now shows that the same power is applied to his readers. Hence the connection is: "When He raised Him from the dead, etc., and you did He quicken, even as He quickened Christ." The structure of the passage is broken. Paul having prominently in mind the thought God quickened you as He did Christ, begins with you also. Then the connection is interrupted by Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 2:3, which describe their previous condition. Then Ephesians 2:1 is taken up in Ephesians 2:4, by but God, God introducing a new sentence.

Who were dead (ὄντας νεκροὺς)

Better, Rev., when ye were dead, thus giving the sense of the continued state in the past expressed by the participle being.

Trespasses - sins (παραπτώμασιν - ἁμαρτίαις)

See on Matthew 1:21; see on Matthew 6:14. Trespasses, special acts. Sins, all forms and phases of sin: more general.

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