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Dead followers



As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.


Ephesians 2:1-3[1]


When God raised Jesus from the dead, where were we? What were we doing? Where were we living? What were we up to? How had we gotten better? How had we improved ourselves?


I’ll tell you what I was up to; I was dead. Dead I tell you. And dead is dead. No life. No hope. No future.


There was only a past. The present was dead. And so was the future. There was no getting better. There was no chance to improve. There was no possibility of getting well again. All was lost.


And why were we dead? Because of our transgressions and sins.


  • Transgressions – we have all drifted away. Skidded away. We once were close with God, but we’ve fallen away. We’ve left the path that God laid out for us and are now wandering all over the place.

  • Sins – we have missed the mark that God so clearly and patiently put in front of us. He gave us a place and purpose, and we decided to go in another direction that only leads to wrong decisions and a life that does not measure up to how he made us.


Did you notice something about both these words? They both end with an “s.” That means that there was not a single trespass or one sin. No, there were lots and lots of transgressions, lots and lots of sins.


It’s like that scene in Rain Man when they are playing Blackjack. Dustin Hoffman leans over to Tom Cruise and says that there are lots and lots of queens[2] in the deck. And he was right. Every card turned over was a queen.


Every card in our hand was either a transgression or a sin. And how do we know that this was true? Because we constantly and consistently didn’t follow God. Instead, we followed whatever the world said was right, or what made us feel good.


The world has certain ways that it thinks are best. We are to live for ourselves and no one else. We are to live by making decisions to satisfy the only master that matters. Us. We are to feed the monster within. We are to pump up our ego, lifting ourselves up.


But it doesn’t end there. Yes, it is all about us. But there is someone else right there with us, encouraging us, pushing us, motivating us to higher and higher heights of selfishness. And that’s the ruler of the kingdom of the air.


In short, Satan. And why does he do it? Is it for our good? Is it to make us better people? More attractive and popular? Perhaps, but his endgame is something altogether different.


Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


1 Peter 5:8


Yes, he wants to devour us. He wants to devour me. He wants to devour you. There is nothing pleasant or helpful about his motives. There is nothing freeing or liberating about him or his purposes.


Have you ever seen what a lion does with its kill? After he takes it down, he starts to open it up. He goes after the best pieces first. He rips it open, tearing pieces of flesh out and swallowing them whole. That’s his goal for you and me.


He wants to tear us open and stick his head in to start eating. He wants to chew us up and swallow big pieces. He wants to lick up our blood.


It’s that kind of difference between what God wants and what Satan wants. They are not just two guys with a difference of opinion. They don’t just differ on a few minor points. No, they are at opposite sides of the universe.


God is only interested in your good and welfare. Satan is only interested in your death and destruction. God made you, knows you, and wants you to have a fulfilling life. A life where you thrive, accomplishing his good purpose for you. The enemy want nothing but destruction and damnation for you.


Who are we going to choose today? God wants us alive in him. Satan wants dead followers. The choice is clear.


Noodling Questions


  • How do you think about yourself being moved from death to life?

  • What’s the difference between “sin” and “sins”?

  • Where have you seen Satan trying to devour you?

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. [2] https://youtu.be/vk7eA4gVDno?t=23

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