Countdown to Christmas – Day 19

A Great Divide Between Spiritually Dead And Alive

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 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. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10

It is difficult to comprehend the idea of one being alive in flesh and bone, blood pumping under soft pink skin and lungs breathing in air, yet being dead inside. Lifeless. Lost in a purgatory of sorts between life and death. But without Christ’s Spirit, dead is exactly how the scriptures describe us.

In the Greek translation, the word dead is Nekrós. Its literal meaning is “what lacks life”; figuratively it means one “not able to respond to impulses, perform functions, and is unresponsive to life-giving influences or opportunities; inoperative to the things of God.” (-Strong’s Greek).

There is much evidence of good being done in the world by many who do not have the Spirit of Christ at work within them, but works alone do not save us from this world. Works alone do not write our name in the reservation book nor save us a seat at God’s banquet table. Perhaps it is because without the Spirit of Christ at work within us we are unable to effectively respond to our moral compass for the Spirit’s impulses would be silent. Our hearts would be unresponsive to life-giving opportunities uniquely planned for us. And if one is without Christ’s Spirit, then who fights the war within our soul between good and evil? Sin has a sneaky way of snagging the spotlight.

Ask any soul obedient to Christ’s call, seeking the Spirit at work in their life, and they can tell you there exists a great divide between spiritually dead and alive. It is a dawning of sorts in their heart and mind that what once was dormant now stirs with passion. And this passion is faith in action. The scriptures are clear to remind us that it is not our works that save us because one of the greatest struggles we face in our humanity is our pride.

Christ greatly desires to save us from our ourselves so we may know without doubt that we are all loved with the same affection and sacrifice. We are as uniquely loved as we are created, both Jew and Gentile alike.

Father, may your Holy Spirit continue to point me in the right direction so I may fulfill all that you have ordained for me to do in this life. When I am tempted to do good works for myself, remind me of who I serve and why… for my hearts desire is to serve you well. In Jesus name, amen.

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