And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Hence learn —
1. It is not sufficient that the servants of Jesus Christ do only preach privileges, and hold forth unto believers that happy estate unto which they are lifted up through Christ; it is necessary also that jointly herewith they be calling them to mind their woeful, miserable, and lost estate by nature: for the apostle, in the preceding chapter, having spoken much of those high privileges unto which the Ephesians were advanced by Christ, he doth here mind them of that miserable state wherein God found them; "And you who were dead in trespasses and sins."
2. There is nothing contributeth more to commend the doctrine of free grace to people's consciences, and so to commend it as to make them closely adhere unto it, both in possession and practice, than the serious perpending of man's woeful and altogether hopeless estate by nature: this alone would do much to scatter all that mist whereby human reason doth obscure the beauty of this truth, by extolling man's free will as a co-worker with grace (Romans 3:19, 20).
3. Believers in Jesus Christ are not to look upon their lost and miserable estate by nature separately, and apart from, but jointly with God's free grace and mercy, which hath delivered them from that misery; for otherwise the thoughts of sin and misery may, if God should give way, swallow them up (Matthew 27:4, 5). Hence is it the apostle hath so contrived his discourse here, that all along, while he speaketh of their misery in the first three verses, the mind of the reader is kept in suspense without coming to the perfect close of a sentence, until God's mercy in their delivery from this misery be mentioned (ver. 5); for the original hath not these words, "He hath quickened," in this verse: but the translators have taken them from ver. 5, to make up the sense, without suspending the reader so long until he should find them in their own proper place, "And you who were dead," etc.
4. Every man by nature, and before conversion, is dead, not to sin (for that is proper to the regenerate only; see Romans 6:2, where the grammatical construction is the same in the original with that which is here; only the sense is much different), but in sin, whereby he is wholly deprived of all ability and power to convert himself (Romans 9:16), or to do anything which is spiritually good (Romans 8:7).
Parallel VersesKJV: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;