And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Sin disengages the love of God to the creature, because it renders the creature useless as to the end for which it was designed. Things, whose essence and being stand in relation to such an end, have their virtue and value from their fitness to attain it. Everything is ennobled from its use, and debased as far as it is useless. As long as a man continues an instrument of God's glory, so long his title to life and happiness stands sure, and no longer. But now, sin in Scripture, and in God's account, is the death of the soul. "We were dead in trespasses and sins." Now death makes a thing utterly useless, because it renders it totally inactive; and in things that are naturally active, that which deprives them of their action bereaves them of their use. The soul, by reason of sin, is unable to act spiritually; for sin has disordered the soul, and turned the force and edge of all its operations against God; so that now it can bring no glory to God by doing, but only by suffering, and being made miserable. It is now unfit to obey His commands, and fit only to endure His strokes. It is incapable by any active communion or converse with Him to enjoy His love, and a proper object only to bear His anger and revenge. We may take the case in this similitude. A physician has a servant; while this servant lives honestly with him, he is fit to be used and to be employed in his occasions; but if this servant should commit a felony, and for that be condemned, he can then be actively serviceable to him no longer; he is fit only for him to dissect, and make an object upon which to show the experiments of his skill. So while man was yet innocent he was fit to be used by God in a way of active obedience; but now having sinned, and being sentenced by the law to death as a malefactor, he is a fit matter only for God to torment and show the wonders of His vindictive justice.
(R. South, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;