Walking in Darkness – Ephesians 2:1

This is one of the best loved passages in the Pauline letters, virtually everyone knows Ephesians 2:8-9 and is able to recite it quickly. Paul describes how far separated from God the Gentiles really were, they were dead in their sin, separate from God and his people the Jews. Gentiles were unwilling and unable to respond to God, nor were they accepted by God’s people. Like the first chapter of the letter, verses 1-7 are a single sentence, the main subject/verb is “God made us alive” (v. 5).

The first words of this long sentence (124 words!) are “and you…” The pronoun “you” is accusative and the object of the verb “made alive” in verse 5. The content between the verb and the object is the state of the Gentile believers before coming to Christ. Despite the fact were dead in our sin, God made us alive in Christ!

Paul describes a person before they come to Christ as dead in trespasses and sins. “Being dead” describes the spiritual state of the Gentiles apart from Christ. The participle is present active, indicating this was an ongoing state.

The reason for this state of death is “trespasses and sins.” These words are used as synonyms here, although Paul uses transgression for Adam’s sin in Romans 5:12-21.In verse 3 he includes himself (and all Jews) as also living by passions of the flesh. It is not that the Gentiles are evil and damned and only the Jews are saved: all have fallen short of the glory of God. Paul’s view of salvation is therefore built on the foundation of the Old Testament’s view of sin and death. Romans 5:12-21, all who are “in Adam” die, but all who are “in Christ” will live.

The Gentiles once followed the dark spiritual forces at work in the world. There are three descriptions of the spiritual forces which once held the Gentiles in bondage to sin. The “course of this world” (ESV) or the “ways of this world” (NIV) translates αἰών as a reference to the worldview of the present time (cf. Gal 1:4, this present evil age). Paul uses the preposition κατά to express “being under the control of” in several expressions, such as “walking according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:4). The sense of the phrase is “conforming to a norm.” (Arnold, Ephesians, 130).  In a Jewish context, the noun can refer to eternity or history, or an age of the world history (like an era or dispensation, “this age and the age to come,” Eph 1:21, 2:7). Paul uses the word for “this age” on several occasions (1 Cor 3:18, for example).

If this is the nuance of the word, then Paul is saying the Gentile readers thought like all the other Gentiles because that is the way the all think. They are simply following the thinking of the time they were living.

To anticipate the rest of the letter, Paul is saying that the time we now live is different because God has made the Gentiles alive in Christ and saved them into a new Body of Christ. To know this new age exists changes how we think and live out our lives.

But in a Hellenistic context, the word can refer to the Aeon, a ruler of the world in Greek mythology. The word appears in magical papyri and will be used in Gnosticism to refer to the real deity (O’Brien, Ephesians, 158). There are few who take this word as a reference to a deity, however, since Paul never refers to pagan gods in his other letters.  Paul has already mentioned the common Jewish two-age view of history (this age and the age to come) using this word. It is possible Paul used this word in order to evoke the Jewish idea of ages but also the Greek idea of a god.

The Gentile readers of Ephesians once lived in accordance with the “spirit of the age,” whether that is just the worldview dominant at the time or the god who controls the age.

What is the “spirit of the age” in which we once walked in a modern context? What is an example of a “pattern of thought” which controls the way we think before we came to Christ?

31 thoughts on “Walking in Darkness – Ephesians 2:1

  1. If we all “were dead” in some sense as found here in Ephesians, God’s warning was accurate to Adam and Eve. The serpent’s cruel technicality of “you surely will not die” is explicitly exposed by Paul as a lie. Of course the misery of human history and existence told the same story.

  2. The whole reason we are “living in sin” is due to the initial sin of man. We were then all “deemed dead” as God states “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Then only by the death and resurrection of Christ we were set free from all our sin. As long as we “in Christ” we will live as
    “God made us alive” (v. 5). In this we are to live for God and try to worship Him in all that we do. We must learn and be able to live outside of the sin of flesh! As the title of this Blog states we need to not walk in darkness but in the light of Jesus Christ. As Jesus is the reason we are here today able to live the lives we want whether in flesh or in Christ. “Despite the fact were dead in our sin, God made us alive in Christ!” (P. Long).

  3. The “spirit of the age of modern age” that comes to mind for me is the selfish and superficial United States culture we live in. We live in a culture that thrives on the sinful nature of man and it embodies selfishness and vanity; the patterns of thought if you will. Much like the gentiles before their rebirth through Christ, we walk around in this world with blindfolds over our eyes (Ephesians 1:13). A verse from John comes to mind in this example; “So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see’” (John 9:24-25). We are also separate pieces and stories that cannot be brought together until we are one in the body of Christ. Christ made the Israelites and the gentiles one and created one humanity. Jesus’ death on the cross “‘put to death’ hostility and enabled unity between the two parties (2:15-16)”(Longenecker, 244). Just as the Jews and gentiles were brought together as one in Ephesians, so can the Christian body today.

    • Rachel Smith

      “What is an example of a “pattern of thought” which controls the way we think before we came to Christ?” (P. Long, blog-Walking in Darkness – Ephesians 2:1). One example of a ‘pattern of thought’ that controls the way we think before we come to know Christ is the thought of “I am number one! Everything in life is about me and I need to make sure I have what I want to be happy.” By the nature of our flesh, we want to focus on ourselves and our own needs and wants. The flesh says that our selves are the most important thing in the world; and we should take care of self and pander to self as such. This is contrary to what a life lived in Christ is supposed to look like. Those who live in Christ are supposed to, among other things, live in humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another in love (cf. Eph.4:2). Followers of Christ are supposed to live for His honor and glory; not for personal honor and glory. To live in Christ is to be transformed by His grace into a new creation. Paul talks about our transformed life in Christ when he writes to the Ephesians. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Eph 4:22-24.

  4. I agree with Allison… I think the patterns of our thoughts stem from the selfish world that we live in today. We live in an everyday thought of what can I do for myself today and how can I make my day the best it can be. We tend to let the things of this world take control sometimes. The media has a big influence in our lives and I believe it can be used to take control of our hearts and minds if we are not careful. I believe we can become even more selfish with the social media and posts that we make online as well. It is easy to post online because we can hide behind a screen. I think that as our world evolves we are taking away the real truth and rawness we once had before we placed ourselves in front of screens. “‘God has exalted Christ to be ‘head over everything for the church, which is his body,’ and a body that Christ is said to love, feed, and care for (1:22-23; 5:29) (Longenecker 241).

  5. Throughout reading this blog post what comes to mind is the pattern that individuals think they must do good in order to have a relationship with Christ. People think they must be perfect, and that God does not forgive but, He has already forgiven us all. I think that individuals think that to do good is what gets you to Heaven, but it is not like that. A relationship with Jesus Christ is admitting that you need Jesus every day. That you can not do this life without His guidance each new day. To know Christ is to agree that He has won your heart, hung on a cross, and has established each day from where you are now. He loves us forever and with an everlasting love. Ephesians 2:1 reminds us that we are or were dead in sin and our trespasses, but Jesus has come to set us free. In Him we must know that we will never be perfect, but that we can love Him with our whole being and have an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus is out first love and in order to love others, we must fall in love with Jesus. Jesus makes us the best version of ourselves with the help of God and the Holy Spirit.
    Darkness can and will overcome us if we are not walking in obedience to the will of God. We are in the age where everything is becoming new. Relationships are being restored and individuals are falling more in love with Christ. Those who are lost are coming to Him and falling in awe, down on their knees. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. The word of God is alive and well. Scripture speaks such life into the seasons we experience. Since the beginning of time starting with Adam and Eve Satan was scheming and up to no good (Gen. 3). The choses that Adam and Eve made have impacted us now, in this generation and we could say it would have been different if they did not fall to sin. God knew, He saw it all even before they were created. Even through the darkness and hard times, we must continue to trust the Lord and press in. It is His will above all else.

    • Great post Danielle
      I agree with what your saying here I found the most important when living a life with Christ in is the relationship we have with him because he has already forgiven is not looking for the mistakes we make in our lives because no one can live that perfect life.

  6. Sometimes people walk in darkness and they don’t know where to go or where to look or who to go to. First of all if you ever walking in darkness then the first thing you need to do is pray to God. 100% of the time he will lead to light or a least a path to light. God will never lead you astray if you choose to follow him and accept him as your true leader in life. In the article It talks about how the gentiles were unwilling to respond to God and how far separated they were from God. They were rejected by God’s people and that didn’t help them with responding to God. Later in the article it talks about how paul describes people who have not come to Christ as dead in the tresspasses. This is true because God wants all of us to praise and serve Him and accept Him as Lord and savior. It talked about how the gentiles were in a dark spiritual force. They were in bondage to sin.

  7. Paul saying that that the Gentiles need to no longer follow the thinking of the world, but to live their lives as followers of Christ. The Gentiles had their worldly influences that lead them to worldly thinking. People are dead in their transgressions before their salvation (Eph. 2:1). Some influences of today’s world are technology, such as social media to keep up with the world’s pattern. Younger Christians have been blending in with the world today in the sense of the hipster trend with social media, casual drinking, and swearing. Trends have always been a pattern of the world. Trends in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and all the way to now. People are always trying to keep up with what the world is putting out and letting themselves be influenced by it.

  8. I think the patterns of thought that many people have today that is leading them into the darkness is thinking that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. Catholicism comes to mind with all of the traditions that Catholics have and how seriously they take them. I respect traditions but that is all they are and I know people who believe that they MUST follow the traditions in their church in order to “make it right” with God. It is like they do not truly believe that Jesus died ONCE and for ALL, meaning one time for all people who have and ever will exist in this sinful world. Traditions and rituals and things such as these are manmade. The Bible does not say that if we do not confess our sins to another human being that we will lose our salvation or if we do not go to a designated holy day then we are doomed. If this is the case, that man-made traditions and rules are the way to salvation or KEEPING salvation then Jesus died for no reason. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” This is a pattern of thinking by so many Christians that will lead them into the dark, believing that Jesus is not the only way when in reality he is THE way, the truth, and the life. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

  9. The spirit of the age in today’s modern context will vary depending on where you live, and what culture you are a part of. This meaning that basically whatever sins the culture we are in is promoting is what the devil is using as he advertises it as good to get us trapped into a cycle of dependence on something other than God that leads to a perpetual downward spiral from the ways of God. In America, there seems to be a sense of everyone being self-righteous. People care more about animals than other human beings and spend their time stating that they are accepting of everyone, but then go around secretly judging people. It’s a culture where we are convinced that we can do life on our own which leads to hard hearts that are unwilling to submit to God. Even though as Christians we know God has a higher calling for us and asks us to stray from sin, we do not want people to be offended by us or think we are unaccepting of them. So, rather we go around living in the pattern of the world, because we care more about what other people have to think about us than glorifying God with our lives. However, everyone was once a child of wrath, but God had mercy on us, and gave us new life in Christ which should be enough of a gift for us to at least try to put our old selves to death.

  10. This was a very good read and I do believe that the society that we live in today has become the darkness that we live in today because of the media and how others try to portray themselves because of it. I also think many people do not have a clear understanding of what living a Christ lifelike is because some might think everything you do must be right and can’t have any mistakes in life but this is how I see it. There is sin and God died for our many sins I believe we live and learn and the best way to learn is from our mistakes not mainly sins but mistakes. Therefore anyone is able to turn there life around no matter the situation that they are currently living in for the better and living a life with Christ involved. I believe the best way to do that is growing in your faith and getting to know and grow in your relationship with Christ because I believe that is the most important when following Christ.

  11. Reading through the Bible I often think that my struggles and the people in those times’ struggles are very different. Taking a closer look I find that our struggles are not that different after all. The struggle to fit in with the world around you is still around, the struggle to put God first in everything is still around, and the struggle against selfish desires are still taking effect as they did back then. I believe that the “spirit of the age” can be the thing that everyone is doing, a movement, a belief, a battle that all of society is taking a part of. For example, one thing that comes to my mind is the famous saying, “follow your heart.” This seems like an uplifting and innocent saying to try and encourage people to do what they want. Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can understand it?” Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemes.” The saying “follow your heart” is the belief of “I am in control of my life and I can do what I want.” But the heart can be deceived. Whatever we spend our time on whatever we pour our hearts into will affect us and control the way we live. For where our treasure is our heart is there also (Luke 12:34). If our treasure is ourselves, our heart is going to be only for ourselves and full of pride. We need to give our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to dwell and control our hearts. When we live for ourselves and follow our sinful desires we are dead, but Christ makes us alive, and a heart that is alive is the heart that makes a difference.

  12. The “Spirit of the age”, whether it is in Paul’s day or in a modern context is simple. We all are fallen, sinful beings, and each is under the control of sin and Satan unless one comes to the saving knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. A “spirit of the age” of today is one of atheism, perhaps more so than ever before. Those of the world think that they do not need God, that the Lord does not exist and Christians who do choose to believe and have faith in Him are “fools”. However, we who are saved are reminded in God’s word, as well as comforted, that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Before a man or woman comes to salvation, they are under the complete influence of sin, and their eyes are blind to their need for salvation (John 12:39-40). The patterns of our thoughts overflow with wickedness. How to manipulate others, cheat, lie, and steal so that we can benefit ourselves, and so on. The heart of man is deceitful beyond all things (Jeremiah 17:9). IT is only through the blood sacrifice of Jesus that we can find hope and life.

  13. I think that the “Spirit of the Age” today would just be are cultural atmosphere which as of late is very liberal, accepting of sin, making excuses for every single thing that’s wrong and some how making it acceptable and right to please ourselves. The spirit of our age is very selfish, everyone wants the world customized to their beliefs and they want to be completely comfortable. This is the selfish pattern of thought that drives most non-believers. Before knowing Christ the only purpose people have is in pleasing themselves, but once we begin a relationship with Christ our heart and purpose in life is reborn, we now have an end goal that is bigger than just our own wants and needs, we now are serving Christ and living a life that honors him and brings glory to his name. Our purpose is now to spread this relationship with as many people as we can, so that when the end comes, we will be able to celebrate with as many of God’s children as we can. Our new life after being dead in sin allows us to see our lives in a new perspective, eliminating the “Spirit of the Age” in our actions an thought and replacing it with the spirit if God.

  14. Walking in the dark can be a very scary situation in life as a whole. It is something that does happen to people everyday and you may not even know it when you see them. It is very important to treat people the way you want to be treated. God is the way out of that dark tunnel or dark pathway. Find God through your prayers and Church. God will lead you in the right direction in life and away from the darkness. He can make you feel like you are back home and away from the evil spirits. Paul says that a person before they have met God is considered dead in trespasses and sins. Being dead means that in the spiritual state the Gentiles are away from Christ.Despite our bodies feeling dead God will make us feel very alive.

  15. One element of Paul’s ministry that stands out is his commitment for each and every person to know who God is. However, a verse that supports such a commitment comes from Ephesians 2: 8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast” (NIV). When it comes down to it, Paul is making the point that the Gentiles will never understand who God is until they accept who he is. At the same time, the verses leading up to this verse is also implying the same message, which states, we are to be obedient to God and not cave into the flesh of our desires (2:1-3). The information from verses 1 through 9 are making it clear that we are all sinners, and that people have to be deliberate and actively live out their faith in the Lord. Ultimately, this information from these verses are indicating that we are not in control. Rather, it is the Lord that should be at the center of our lives, and know that he is the ultimate judge of the living and the dead.

  16. Ephesians 2:1 is a harsh reality that Paul points out. In context Paul was referring to the Gentiles being separated from God, but I find this applicable to us as well. The Gentiles were unwilling and unable to respond to what Paul was teaching them about God, and as Christians we have clearly accepted and are willing to live our lives for God. However, Romans 6:23 makes it clear that we are all born sinners and therefore need to make adjustments to our lives before we can reach the Lord one day. The Lord cannot be in the presence of sin, which is why he sacrificed His son in order for us to have our sins washed away daily and because of this we are alive in the Lord.
    Paul states that before a person comes to Christ, they are dead. This may be a little confusing because the person is physically alive, but spiritually they are dead and, in their life, they have no true purpose to be living for. The Lord makes us alive and is our purpose for living. Walking in the ways of the world rather than walking in the Spirit makes all the difference. Walking in the ways of the world forces you to be trapped in darkness whereas walking in the Spirit allows for being present in the Lord. I think that the “Spirit of the age” of today’s modern world is that people live so selfishly and they live for themselves. They feel that nothing is more important than being happy when that is clearly not the message that Paul gives us as he suffered in order to live to share the Gospel.

  17. Ephesians 2:1 stated, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” We are Gentiles living in sin before we come to Christ. “Paul describes a person before they come to Christ as dead in trespasses and sins, (Long, 2019). When we do not serve God we serve sin, and we are in bondage to sin. God can separate us from our sin because He died on the cross for us. It is interesting to think about how we are dead in sin before Christ and that we are bond to sin. An example of pattern of thought is that many Christians are easily followers of the world. They do not stand for what is right, they often silence their own voices because they are afraid. Christians today should not be afraid to speak up and share their thoughts. Matthew 5:16 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Paul tells believers how they were before Christ and how they are after receiving Christ in Ephesians. This book of the Bible is one of the most encouraging books for believers. It reveals the grace of God and what God has done for the world. Gentiles are sinners but also, they can be saved by God, and renewed and strengthened in faith. Even though the world is filled with darkness Christ Jesus can save the lost. Christians should be more open about their faith and they should also stand out in a way that represents the goodness of Jesus.

  18. This passage provides a sharp contrast between unbelievers and believers by saying that they were dead and made alive through Christ. All humans enter the world spiritually dead and do not have any desire for God on their own (ESVSB p.2264). Paul says that that people actually follow “the prince of the power of the air” who is Satan, one who is at work in the ways of the world. Many people who do evil in the eyes of God or live in a worldly way would not claim to be followers of Satan, but the spiritual reality is that Satan does have influence on the lives of those who don’t belong to Jesus (TTP p.249). Consequently, it is only by grace that unbelievers find salvation because they are powerless to find God on their own. God gives humans spiritual life within which allows them to understand and believe in the message of the gospel (ESVSB p.2264). God does this because of his great love for people. Today people still live according to the spirit of the age. One really obvious aspect of that today is the glorification and service of self. It really does take a transformed perspective to see how this is wrong because exalts self rather than God. Even many believers put too strong an emphasis on self-care which looks good but sometimes gets in the way of service and obedience to God.

  19. The title of this blog post really sums up what we as Christians go through every day – we are constantly walking in darkness. We are so far separated from God in modern society as the gentiles were in the time of Paul’s letter to Ephesus. As Phil Long mentions in the blog post, the primary cause for walking in such a state of darkness, despair, and death is “trespasses and sins.” When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the garden of Eden, darkness fell upon the Earth where God had sent them and caused them to be the first to walk in the darkness of sin. Genesis 3 17-19 says that, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it, ‘cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” This curse of the fruit is just a single example of darkness that fell upon the rest of humanity because of our sinful nature. However, we know this darkness will not last. Phil Long makes an amazing point in mentioning Romans 5:12-21 which explains that through Christ we live. Through Christ we are forgiven for what sins we have committed through our walk-in darkness. If we continue the way of Adam and not accept Christ, we will die and return to the state of dust.

  20. We all have a point in our lives when we are walking in sin and darkness, for me I did for the first 18 years of my life. It was super hard for me to understand the loving caring spirit of God when i was in that darkness. As god does though he managed to pull me out of the darkness, to be with him. The transformation was really night and day for me. For other people that are in that sin and darkness the hardest part is just not really knowing how they can escape that. People will look for other things inthe world to satisfy them, and make them happy. All those fixes are just temporary though, and don’t last at all. When people really turn and trust God it changes their life. That Is what I hope for everyone.

  21. The Gentiles did not worship Jesus as their God. They were far away from Him. The believers during this time did not associate with the Gentiles either. God created all of us and Ephesians 2:1 insinuates that the “you” is us being born or being made alive from God. Even before the Gentiles came to the Lord, God knew he needed to touch those people. Before the Gentiles knew God, they were not “alive”. They did not have faith or a life with Christ. Professor Long stated “Paul describes a person before they come to Christ as dead in trespasses and sins. “Being dead” describes the spiritual state of the Gentiles apart from Christ.” (Long, 2019) Just like the title of this article “Walking in Darkness”, the Gentiles walked a dark life away from God. The Gentiles were all living the same life and routine away from God. I feel like in today’s day many people walk in darkness. Romans 13:12 is a good verse to show how God brings people back to the light out of darkness. Whether they are a believer or not it is a sort of darkness that does not come from God. We see a lot of bad things happen in our world but it is only God who can pull us through it. I have had a lot of friends that have been saved by Christ who were in very dark places before they came to Him. I would say that the spirit of the age is all depending on the community you live in. It all depends on the church you attend and the people you surround yourself with. There are many different aspects that make up a person’s spirit of the age. It is how you perceive sin and what you value and believe in.

  22. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we were born into darkness as the title of blog states. The Lord cursed us and made us “earn” our keep on the Earth that He created and designed for us. We became distant from Him and had a desire to evil rather than the good that God had designed us to do. “You are dead” spiritually when you are born but as Ephesians 2 tells us we are given grace through faith. Everyday we are tempted by things that are sinful and not part of Gods plan and we need God’s strength and grace in order to overcome it. We continue to be dragged down by human nature and are in need of the saving and unifying work of God in Christ.

    God “made us alive with Christ even when we are dead in transgressions (Ephesians 2:5).” Since we are already dead, they have to be made alive before one can believe. This is why salvation can only be “by grace alone” (ESVSB, p. 1569). We are then “raised up with Christ” (2:6) and seated with him “in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (2:6b). Since we believe “Christ has not only enabled salvation through his atoning death, but through the cross he has also eradicated the barrier” (Longenecker, p. 250). We are given new spiritual life with God and we can now be in fellowship with the creator of the universe through Christ’s resurrection, who is seated at the right hand of God.

  23. I would say the “spirit of the age” in our modern context is a lot of tolerance and acceptance of sins. We live in a society that says, “you do you” and that everyone should be accepting of everyone else’s behaviors, and we should all coexist in that way. You are not allowed to speak up against sin or you are considered judging them and no longer love them if you do not accept their behavior. Like in Ephesians, we are dead in our sins “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world” (Ephesians 2:2). Our secular world lives in ways that are “gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:3). Our culture is very self-centered and selfish. We do things for ourselves and not for the benefit of others or serving one another. Ultimately, we do things for us and not for God. A pattern of thought that can control how we think before we came to Christ is with that my decisions or actions do not affect anyone. That our motives are fleeting moments of pleasing ourselves and always wanting something to fill that void in our hearts. We know that ultimately God is the only true satisfaction in our life. Living a life that is in the pursuit of pleasing God and being in relation with him is one that is better than what any surrounding culture preaches.

  24. I would say that in the modern age there is a lot of apathy to deciding whether is something is right or wrong. With so many different cultures, not talking about ethnic cultures, that have come more widely known I feel there is just apathy in people of trying to figure out the right thing to think/do. It is hard to explain but people have come to a mutual acceptance of things that go against their own believes because there is too much to learn. Something that drives this is selfishness. I am a dual enrolled student and I won’t name any specifics, but in one of my classes I was absolutely disappointed in the class textbook. It was a ‘creative’ class and the textbook mentioned many times that we have to look out for ourselves and if someone asks help for something to not let them set us back in our goals and always see if what they need can benefit us. Coming from a Christian school I couldn’t believe that what I was reading was real. Unfortunately this is the spirit of the age. It is so dangerous to see things like this in settings in which you would think that you are learning something to be more Christ like, instead some people don’t question things like these and roll with them. It is very important for religious educators to be aware of what they are teaching, sources they are using because there can be things that are overlooked. Walking in darkness can be promoted from situations like these. As Christians we have to be wise as to what it is that we are doing and ask ourselves if what we are doing is for Christ or for our selves. First and foremost, God asks us to be kind to each other and care for each other. Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can be free from sin, and what he asks us to do is to help those who continue to walk in sin, out and into his kingdom, not for his benefit, but for our own.

  25. The “spirit of the age” in which we live in today is really hard to pin-point into one keyword; I think that there are many words that can describe spirituality in a modern context. As I become more aware of social dynamics it’s clear to me that individuals are consumed with themselves yet still seek satisfaction through the confirmation of others. Our thought pattern at this point in life is very unstable and we believe that through others we will find our purpose and value. Christians start to conform to the thought patterns of the world and non-believers alike which then forces them into a life they aren’t happy living.

    We live in a culture that is surrounded by people to seek their value through others and not through Christ; though that might sound cliché but understanding that our value, satisfaction and confirmation comes from Him is when we as individuals will be content in our daily walk. Some will continue to walk in the darkness of this until they allow their spirits to be renewed and transformed by Christ; we read this in Romans 12:2 and it describes how we as followers of the Lord should strive to be when we accept redemption. Through this a pattern of thought will be created in the way we think about life before we came to Christ, and in a sense it will make us excited to live a life according to His will.

  26. Ephesians 2:1 sounds harsh even though it is true. Paul referred to the Gentiles as being separated from God and his people that they were dead in their sin. The Gentiles were not willing and not able to respond to God and were not accepted by God’s people. Christians who accepted Christ are willing to live their life for him. It is similar to the verse in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners of matter how we make a lot of mistakes we will sin. Even for Christians know that when the person does something wrong in God’s eyes he or she knows they sinned. Ephesians 2:1 stated “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” The Gentiles did not know what they were doing, they were thinking that they knew what they were doing. They were following the wrong path. In the paragraph that they followed dark spiritual forces. Paul mentions that the Gentile readers thought they were like other Gentiles in the way they think doing what is best for them. Now that these changed because the Gentiles were saved from Christ. People who came to Christ had a struggle in their life whether it is drugs, family relationship, hurt, abuse anything they have gone through made it out of alive because of Christ. I sometimes wonder how the person ends up hearing about Christ when they are going through a difficult time and wants out to find help.

  27. The first thing that comes to mind in the “spirit of the age” when referring to modern context is the gluttony and selfishness of America. As a culture as a whole, we tend to focus on ourselves whether it is throwing someone under the bus to be more successful or not donating to any good causes. Last week in chapel, Dr. Sam used the example of someone buying the new iPhone 13 instead of donating to Christian relief funds. There are political groups that would like to make it mandatory to help lots of people, but it really shows someone’s true colors when they have the option to donate or not. In today’s America, it is sadly usually the choice of not helping because there is less for the one donating.
    An example of “pattern of thought” which controls the way we think before we come to Christ is selfishness. It is viewed as completely normal today to ignore the needs of others and just take the needs of one self. An example of this is someone like Jordan Belford. If you do not know, he is also referred to as the “Wolf on Wall Street.” He was someone that would do absolutely anything to make more money for himself even though he was even richer than anyone needed to be. He would go so far that he would do illegal things that hurt others just to benefit himself. After Christ, we look at others as people we need to support and bring to Jesus. The focus goes from one’s needs to the needs of others, both spiritual and physical needs.

  28. This is an interesting topic that Paul has talked about walking in darkness. Especially when there is a rift between the Gentiles and the Jews. What Paul actually meant was the life the Gentiles they had before coming to Christ instead. They were “dead in their transgressions” because they followed the world’s ways (Ephesians 2:1-2). Not literally being dead but the state of their spiritual side which sets them apart from Christ. These unsaved Gentiles were not only separate from Christ but as well as ostracized from citizenship in Israel and immigrants to the covenants of the promise, and are in the absence of hope and God in the world (Longenecker and Still, p250).

    Paul then goes on that this rift between the Gentiles and Jews were mended by Jesus on the cross. For the once faraway Gentiles who heard the message of truth of their salvation and now believe are now brought close to the blood of Christ (Longenecker and Still, p250). They are now under one body with the Jews by Christ: not only providing salvation through the cross, but as well annihilating the barrier circumcised Jews and uncircumcised Gentiles.

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