Loved, not because we ticked a list but because we were lost – Monday, 29th week in ordinary time – Ephesians 2: 1-10

Paul is now addressing the Gentile Christians of the Church in Ephesus. He is recalling their new exodus from a spiritual death (verse 1) to new life in Christ (verse 4)

Physical death separates us from those we love on earth; but spiritual death on earth is a separation from God. Prior to their conversion, the Gentile Christians was spiritually dead and alienated from God. This alienation took place because of their “trespasses” and “sins” in which they once lived. While modern day sensibilities may look at these words harshly, in Greek their words weigh heavily but are presented with understanding.

Transgression (paraptoma) indicated that someone slipped and fell while “sins” or hamartia in Greek simply translated as “missing the mark.” While both these words may not be presented as condemnatory, both acknowledge the idea of failure; failure to walk upright (paraptoma) and failure to hit the target (hamartia). Both convey the idea of failure to meet God’s standard of holiness. But the point is clear, apart from Christ, one is dead in his trespasses and sins.

This failure that caused one to miss the mark is the direct result of making choices that are made based on the world’s standards. These choices when they clash with divine law pervert the divine freedom that was given to us; or as often happens, when one makes choices that are governed by false pretenders. Religious mythology current in the author’s day spoke of a demonic ruler of the earth whose function was satanic, though the name is not used here for him, he is referred to in today’s text by the word ‘air’ or “eon,” He is the ‘air’ of this world and the prince of the power of the air.

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