And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him…
I. THE MISERABLE CONDITION OF OUR NATURE.
1. All the children of Adam are reckoned as dead.
(1) Because Divine grace, the soul, as it were, of the soul, being withdrawn, a polluting mass of deadly vices succeeded in their room.
(2) Because they lie under the sentence of eternal death (Ephesians 2:3).
2. The causes of this death are —
(1) Actual transgressions of the Divine law — "The wages of sin is death," "The soul that sinneth it shall die."(a) This is the death of grace inasmuch as sin by its impurity dissolves the gracious union of the soul to God in which our life consists (Isaiah 59:2).
(b) The death of hell (Romans 2:9).
(2) The uncircumcision of your flesh, i.e., original sin, which is derived by carnal propagation and renders the very soul, as it were, carnal (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 9:25). Every natural man is dead in this his native corruption.
(a) The understanding, which is the eye of the soul, is darkened and blinded as to spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14), and rushes into errors and deceivings (Galatians 5:20).
(b) The will is depraved, its good desires weak, its unlawful desires strong (Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:1.).
(c) The inferior powers of the soul are disordered, so that they refuse to obey the law of the mind (Romans 7:23). Hence the affections control, and are not controlled by reason.
3. Lessons:(1) Since every man in a state of nature is dead, it is not in the power of free will, by its own strength, to prepare for conversion, even as a dead man cannot dispose himself for his resurrection (Lamentations 5:21).
(2) No man can dispose himself to any motion to quicken himself unless his mind be formed to the life of grace by God. For as every natural operation supposes a natural power, so every spiritual motion a spiritual power (Ezekiel 11:19).
(3) Since the cause of death is sin, the; madness of men is discovered who administer that deadly poison to the soul and are guilty of its murder.
II. THE DELIVERER; GOD IN CHRIST, BY CHRIST, AND WITH CHRIST. God alone could impart animal life to this earth; He alone, therefore, can impart spiritual life to carnal men, which is a greater work than creation (Ephesians 2:10). Hence we may learn —
1. The eternal love of God the Father. We shudder to touch the dead bodies of our friends; but God is not only ready to touch but to embrace and restore our dead souls. This should inflame us with love to Him.
2. The infinite guilt of sin which could not be acquitted, and we justified but by the death and resurrection of Christ. This should excite our hatred and avoidance of sin.
III. THE DELIVERANCE.
1. The forgiveness of our trespasses. In this it is to be noticed that it is —
(1) Gratuitous, χαρισαμενος, being derived from grace itself. It is gratuitous on our part, for we are absolved without any price paid by ourselves; but on the part of Christ we are redeemed with the price of His precious blood (Romans 3:24), and indeed either a gratuitous remission or none at all must be admitted. As to our. selves, we are not able to pay, since the debt is infinite; nor can we blot out our sins by suffering, because no suffering of the guilty is deletive of sin.
(2) Universal — "All trespasses." For it does not accord with Divine majesty and goodness to remit some of our debts and require the rest from us. Because —
(a) The blood of Christ being received as a ransom, it would be unjust not to remit all, since that outweighs all.
(b) To forgive is an act of paternal love and cannot dwell with enmity; but enmity remains with unremitted sin, and those who admit a partial remission make God at once reconciled and hostile.
(c) Unless we reckon on full remission, remission is vain; for its end is life eternal, which a partial remission cannot yield the hope of, because death is the wages of even one sin (Jeremiah 33:8; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:9).
2. Hence we derive these corollaries —
(1) To forgive sins is the property of God alone; for who can forgive another his debt while the will of the creditor is not yet understood (Isaiah 43:25).
(2) As universal remission is granted on God's part there ought to be a universal detestation of it on ours.
(3) Troubled consciences may be sustained, for though sin be not destroyed upon faith it is forgiven.
Parallel VersesKJV: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;