Introduction: Last week, Paul blessed us with his account of all of
the riches and power given to us by our Father in Heaven through
Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This week, Paul reminds us what we were
and what we had to deal with before God intervened in our life to
give us hope. Do you sometimes feel like you have no hope? Is life
getting you down? God has done great things for you. Let’s dive into
our study!

  1. Dead

    1. Read Ephesians 2:1-2. What was our condition when God
      “found” us? (We were dead.)

      1. Why were we dead? (Our transgressions (lapses) and
        our sins killed us.)

    2. Ephesians 2:2 tells us that we “used to live” in our
      transgressions and sins. What does it mean to “live” in
      sin? Why not just say we sinned in the past? What added
      meaning comes from the statement that we lived in sin?
      (Sin is an attitude, a pattern of living. Sin is not so
      much a specific time that we failed, as it is a pattern
      and practice of our life.)

      1. Paul connects our pattern of sin with “the ways of
        this world.” When I was a young man in Christian
        schools, it seemed the goal was to have me look
        “different” from the world in ways that seemed
        meaningless. What does it mean to avoid following
        “the ways of this world?” How should we avoid
        following the “world’s ways?”(Just because the world
        does something, does not mean it is forbidden to us.
        Paul links the “ways of the world” with the ways “of
        the ruler of the kingdom of the air.” When these two
        coincide, as they often do, we need to stand clear.
        Paul sharpens the picture by describing the dead as
        “those who are disobedient.” If looking and acting
        like the world involves disobedience to God, then you
        are dead.)

        1. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4. Can we trust our own
          judgment on the ways of the world?

  2. Air Satan

    1. Ephesians 2:2 is obviously speaking about Satan. Why is
      Satan described as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air?”
      Is this a warning against using wireless microphones at
      church? (The IVP Background Commentary explains that in
      Paul’s Jewish culture people believed that “evil spirits
      dominated the lowest realm of the heavens (i.e., the
      atmospheric realm) far below the realm of God’s highest
      angels and His throne.”)

      1. Are Paul’s words an example of bad science, or can
        you relate them to the world today? (We can relate
        this statement in two ways. First, the idea that
        Satan dominates in the minds of the people of the
        world seems absolutely true. This reflects Jesus’
        statements in Matthew 7:13-14. Second, the influence
        of Satan on the world is revealed in Satan’s
        domination of the “airwaves” today – television and

    2. When Ephesians 2:2 refers to “the spirit,” is Paul calling
      Satan a “spirit” like the Holy Spirit? (The Greek word
      (“pneuma”) used here sometimes refers to the Holy Spirit.
      Demons are often referred to as “spirits.” See, e.g. Mark
      1:26-27; Matthew 12:45. However, I think the word here is
      used to describe the attitude of the people. For example,
      Matthew 5:3 (“poor in spirit”) and Mark 8:12 (“sighed
      deeply in His spirit”(RSV/KJV/ASV)) refers to an attitude
      or inner thought and not Satan.)

      1. As an aside, when I was studying this I noticed that
        this same Greek word was used in Mark 1:12-13 to
        describe “the spirit” which drove Jesus into the
        wilderness to suffer 40 days of temptation by Satan.
        I have previously taught the Holy Spirit was driving
        Jesus into the wilderness, and tried to explain what
        seemed illogical. However, after looking at the way
        this word can be translated, I now think it was Satan
        who is the “spirit” who drove Jesus into the

    3. Are Satan and the evil angels able to be in more than one
      place at a time like the Holy Spirit? (Compare Revelation
      12:10-12 with Matthew 12:43-45. A “spirit” that is present
      everywhere could not be “hurled down.” An omnipresent
      spirit would not be described as moving to live in a
      specific person. Satan and his angels have the power to be
      invisible, but they are not omnipresent (present
      everywhere at once) as is the Holy Spirit. But see, John

      1. What comfort is there in this fact? (You and I are
        unlikely to have been directly tempted by Satan. He
        is limited in much the same way we are limited. I can
        only be in one place on Sabbath physically teaching
        this lesson. The Internet allows my influence to be
        felt world-wide. However, no one is influenced by the
        lesson unless they choose to be. We voluntarily
        allow into our lives much of the way in which Satan
        spreads his influence.)

    4. Read Ephesians 6:12-13. How does this help us to
      understand Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:2 that we used
      to follow the ways of the “ruler of the kingdom of the
      air?” (Our spiritual battle is not against fellow sinners
      — people who are like we used to be — but rather against
      the influence of evil spread by Satan.)

      1. If this is true, how should we act as God’s allies?
        (It seems that condemning individuals in the world
        (as opposed to sin)is the wrong battle. The right
        battle is to be sure the influence of our lives and
        our words and our works is for the truth.)

        1. What is your influence at home and at work? Have
          you considered it?

  3. The Solution to Trouble

    1. Read Ephesians 2:3. Whose “wrath” are we talking about?
      (God’s wrath.)

      1. What triggers God’s wrath in our life? (“Gratifying
        the cravings of our sinful nature and following its
        desires and thoughts.”)

        1. Do you understand what Paul is writing about?
          Are you able to identify your “sinful nature”
          with its “desires or thoughts?”

          1. How much of these desires and thoughts can
            you trace back to allowing “Air Satan”
            (information over the airwaves) into your

    2. Read Ephesians 2:4-5. When did Jesus save you (us)? (When
      we were dead.)

      1. Would exerting an effort to avoid letting “Air Satan”
        into our life give us life? (No. God’s mercy to us is
        unmerited. It originates in God’s love for us, not in
        our works. However, when Paul states in Ephesians
        2:2 that we “used to live” in ways that followed
        Satan, he means that changes in our lifestyle are

    3. Read Ephesians 2:6-7. Why did God show grace towards us
      through Jesus? (God is kind to us.)

      1. When will we reap the full reward of God’s kindness
        to us? (“In the coming ages.” Sometimes we do not
        feel that life is being kind to us. God gives us life
        and hope for ages to come when sin will not be part
        of our everyday experience. It will not then be
        giving us “bad days.”)

    4. Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Is any part of our salvation our
      responsibility? (In this famous text, Paul tells us that
      grace is a gift from God and not something that we earn.
      We, however, have a role to play in it. That role is
      “through faith.” Salvation is not from us, but we must
      accept it by faith.)

    5. Read Ephesians 2:10. What role do “works” play in our
      life? What role does obedience to God play in our life?
      (We were dead in our sins. Out of His kindness God the
      Father, through Jesus, gave us eternal life. We did
      nothing to earn this. We simply accept it by faith. God
      gave us this new life with the expectation that we would
      do good works (“created in Christ Jesus to do good

    6. Friend, God saved you from death and your old life. Will
      you accept His offer of grace and enter into a new life of
      service to Him?

  1. Next week: The Church Without Walls.