Introduction: The first time I was completely living on my
own was when I began law school in Atlanta, Georgia. During
my undergraduate I lived at home. The church in Atlanta was
in the middle of an exciting debate about righteousness by
faith. One of my best recollections from that time was when
a member of the church “got it” and expressed incredible joy
over the fact that he could be confident in his salvation.
He did not have to worry about whether he was “good enough”
to be saved. It is now about fifty years later and the topic
of righteousness by faith is an old one for me. Although
old, it is a topic that never fails to bring joy and
happiness over what our loving Lord has done for us. Let’s
dive into our study of Ephesians and reacquaint ourselves
with this great good news!

I. Bad Shape, Actually Dead

A. Read Ephesians 2:1-2. How would you like to read
your obituary? (While it would be interesting, the
problem is that you are dead!)

1. What do these verses tell us about our being
dead? (We were literally the walking dead. If
nothing changed we would die eternally.)

2. Paul tells us that the path for the dead is
well marked. He says that we followed “the
course of this world.” Why do you think Paul
reminds us that the rest of the world was at
one time our example and just like us?

3. Who else were we following? And, is this still
a problem in the world? (We were following
Satan. And, yes, this is still a problem for
the world.)

a. Notice the two positives by which Satan
is described. Paul calls him a “prince”
and one who has “power.” What does that
mean as a practical matter? (Read
1 John 5:19. Even after Jesus defeated Satan at
the cross, John tells us that the “whole
world lies in the power of the evil

B. Look again at Ephesians 2:2. Staying with the
issue of Satan’s power, Paul links it to “the
power of the air.” What does he mean by that? (We
used to joke that our wireless microphones had
problems in church because Satan was the “prince
of the power of the air.”)

C. Read Ephesians 6:12. Here Paul talks about
“spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
What should we conclude about these references to
Satan, the air, and heavenly places? (I think this
means that fallen angels (including Satan) never
lost their ability to fly. This is apparently
where they live – in the air above us. This also
says something about their ability to move

D. Read Luke 4:5-6. How does Satan say that he
received his power? (He says it was “delivered” to
him. If you read the context, Jesus never disputes
Satan’s power claims even though Satan disputes
Jesus being the Son of God.)

E. Read 1 Timothy 6:14-15. Who is the king of this
world? (Jesus. That must be a reason why Paul
calls Satan a “prince.”)

1. Why is it that Satan retains power on earth
after the cross? (Read Luke 13:16 and
2 Corinthians 12:7. Satan and his fallen angels
were defeated, not destroyed, at the cross.
Without a doubt Satan remains a powerful and
evil foe even though he was defeated.)

F. Look again at Ephesians 2:2. Is Paul calling Satan
a “spirit?” I thought only God could be present
in all places at the same time. (There is
absolutely no evidence in the Bible that Satan is
a “spirit” who can afflict numerous people at the
same time. Instead, “spirit” is used in the sense
of an attitude. The disobedient have the same
attitude as Satan.)

1. Why have we spent so much time discussing the
power of Satan? (We must never forget that he
is a powerful enemy. One that cannot be
defeated outside of our allegiance to God.)

G. Read Ephesians 2:3. What is our nature? (To follow
the “passions of our flesh,” and “the desires of
the body and mind.”)

1. I think most people are like me in that I can
identify a couple of areas in my life that
create sin problems. I have said, “pity the
man who is tempted by everything.” My view has
caused me to “work” on my sin areas thinking
that if I could just rid myself of them God
would be better pleased with me. Is Paul
saying that my thinking is wrong? (It appears
my thinking is wrong. Paul is talking about
the global nature of our sinful passions and
desires. We should not underestimate our
natural sinfulness.)

2. Notice that this text uses the phrase “once
lived,” and Ephesians 2:2 uses the phrase
“once walked.” What is reflected in these

II. Made Alive

A. Read Ephesians 2:4-5. How did we go from “dead in
our trespasses” to “alive together with Christ?”
(By the grace of God which is based on His “great

B. Read Ephesians 2:6 and keep in mind Ephesians 2:5.
Notice the joint action phrases: “alive together
with Christ,” “raised us up with Him,” and “seated
us with Him in the heavenly places.” What do you
think this means? (Read Colossians 2:12-13. This
is the basis for the belief that in baptism we
participate in the death of Jesus, and the
resurrection to eternal life with Jesus. The idea
is that we participate with Jesus in death for our
sins and then resurrection from that death.
Ultimately, we will literally participate with
Jesus in going to heaven.)

1. Is there a sense in which we are, right now,
“seated … in the heavenly places in Christ
Jesus?” Ephesians 2:6. (We are citizens of
heaven now.)

2. What, exactly, did it mean for Jesus to be
seated at God’s right hand in heaven? (Read
Ephesians 1:20-22. This is Jesus’ victory over
sin. His exaltation.)

a. Do we have that same victory now?

C. Read Colossians 3:1-3. What does this tell us
about what it means to be seated with Christ in
heaven? (This suggests that we have obligations
that go with our citizenship in heaven. They are
to seek things that are above and set our minds on
things above and not on earthly things.)

1. What do you think this means as a practical,
everyday matter?

D. Read Ephesians 2:7. How long will grace apply to
us? (For the coming ages.)

E. Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Do you feel superior to
others who are not as obedient to God as you? Are
there members of the church who do not adhere to
your high standards? (Paul says that boasting,
believing that we are superior to other believers,
should not exist because we do nothing to earn our
salvation. It is a gift which we receive. It is
not “your own doing.”)

F. Read Ephesians 2:10. What should be the goal of
your life? To simply rest in your salvation
knowing that your works have nothing to do with
it? (Absolutely not. We were “created in Christ
Jesus for good works.”)

1. What does it mean that we should “walk in
them?” What is “them?” In what should we be
walking? (“Them” is good works. Walking
reflects the direction, the movement of your
life. You should be walking in good works.
Good works should be the goal of your life.)

G. Friend, what great good news! Jesus has done it
all for you. He saved you from eternal death, He
lived a perfect life on your behalf so that you
are now an official citizen of heaven. And, He
gave you a mission – live a life of good works.
Will you accept what Jesus has done for you and
accept His mission for your life? Why not make
that decision right now?

III. Next week: Horizontal Atonement: The Cross and the

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.