And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
I. TO WHAT SINS THIS REPRESENTATION IS TO BE APPLIED, AND TO WHAT DESCRIPTION OF PERSONS IT BELONGS.
1. The apostle expressly includes himself among those whose former state he had been considering.
2. The same expression is applied generally to those who never were heathens (Matthew 8:22).
3. It is the declared intention of Jesus Christ, by His appearance in our world, to give life to the world by exhibiting Himself as the Bread of Life. "I am come that they might have life."
4. True Christians, without any exception, are described as persons who have "passed from death unto life."
II. EXPLAIN THE IMPORT OF THIS REPRESENTATION.
1. It implies a privation, or withdrawment, of a principle, which properly belongs, and once did belong, to the subject of which it is affirmed. The withdrawment of God is, with respect to the soul, what the withdrawment of the soul is in relation to the body. In each case the necessary effect is death; and as that which occasioned that withdrawment is sin, it is very properly denominated a "death in trespasses and sins." Now this view of the subject ought surely to fill us with the deepest concern. Had man never possessed a principle of Divine life, there would have been less to lament in his condition. We are less affected at the consideration of what we never had, than by the loss of advantages which we once possessed. We look at a stone, or a piece of earth, without the least emotion, because, though it be destitute of life, we are conscious it was never possessed. But, when we look upon a corpse, it excites an awful feeling.
2. To be dead in trespasses and sins, intimates the total, the universal prevalence of corruption. Life admits of innumerable degrees and kinds. There is one sort of vegetative life, as in plants, another subsists in animals, and in man a rational, which is still a superior principle of life. Where life is of the same sort it is susceptible of different degrees. It is much more perfect in the larger sorts of animals than in reptiles. The vital principle in different men exists with various degrees of vigour, so that some are far more animated, alert, and vigorous than others. But there are no degrees in death. All things, of which it can be truly said that they are dead, are equally dead.
(R. Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;