“No More Walking Zombies”

Ephesians 2:1-10

We are back to reading through the letter to the churches of Ephesia. In the first chapter Paul began by giving spiritual blessings and reminding the new believers who they belonged to and what power they possessed. As Christians we should always remember that we are children of a King, the King. This king isn’t just any King, He comes to us in three different ways, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Not only are we a part of His family, we are provided power, the same power that Christ demonstrated when He rose from the dead. I think today many Christians forget that power. We get caught up in our day to day, going through the motions, that we forget we are part of a plan. 

Today, in chapter two Paul begins to elaborate on that plan. 

He describes the implications of Jesus’ resurrection power for our own lives. We who were once dead, walking zombies, become alive in Christ. Paul doesn’t want us to forget where we came from. In Ephesians he says we were “dead in our transgressions and sins.” But that is not the only way the Bible describes the lost condition of humans. We read a variety of different pictures of the unsaved person:

Each of us was there, once. In his letter to the Ephesian churches, Paul focuses on trespasses and sins. Trespasses are where we have crossed a line and challenged God’s boundaries and sin is where we have missed the mark, the perfect standards of God. 

Trespasses describe us as rebels. 

Sins describe us as failures. 

In verses 2-3, Paul reminds us how we “once walked,” B.C. “before Christ,” before we met Christ and repented, and turned in the opposite direction. Before Christ our sin nature which we inherited from Adam, our old self was influenced by the world system. The New Testament calls it living in the “flesh.” 

“Once walked,” means it should be different for those who have been made alive by Jesus Christ. 

When you’re dead, you feel comfortable in your coffin. But if you were to come alive, that coffin would quickly begin to feel pretty cramped and suffocating. There would definitely be a strong urge to escape the coffin and leave it behind. 

This should be exactly how we feel when we come alive in Jesus. Our old ways, the world’s ways should become cramped, suffocating, we should feel uncomfortable. They should feel this way because Satan, “the prince of the power of the air,” is guiding and has authority over the heavenly realm we talked about before. If you go to Ephesians 6:2, Paul describes this realm as the place where Satan and his principalities and powers hang out. Paul is telling us that Satan works in unbelievers in much the same way God works in believers. 

As followers of Christ, we have been delivered from Satan’s realm, where we embraced the lusts of the flesh, where we were “by nature children of wrath.” Paul reminds us that as converts, we have been delivered from our past, by the power of Christ. 

Paul is also suggesting we look back every once in a while and remember where we once were and how far God has brought us. 

If you take this retrospective journey you can easily come up with the question, “But, why?” Answer: 

Verse 4, 

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, ”


Paul explains God’s reason behind reconciling humans to Himself as being totally found in God, not us. 

Some may imagine that God loves us because we are lovable. According to Paul, not so. God’s love is so great that it extends even to the unlovely, “the children of wrath” mentioned in the previous verse. 

The reason for God’s mercy and love is found in Him. That’s just who He is. It’s not about how lovable I can make myself so God will love me, and show me grace. God’s love is so great, He doesn’t need or want a reason to love us, He just does. God is love. 

Our task is to receive it, while recognizing we don’t deserve it. Grace in action. As we continue reading verses 5-7 we discover that one of the prerequisites for being saved is that you first have to be dead. Dead to every attempt to justify yourself before God. Jesus shared in our death so that we could share in His resurrection life. 2 Corinthians 5:17,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Paul stresses the point that this grace that provides the power of resurrection and keeps us from being walking zombies comes directly from God. Humans can’t do a thing to deserve it, in fact God’s work is done for the undeserving. Instead of being walking zombies on earth, when we accept God’s grace Paul tells us we are, verse 6

“raised us up with Christ and seated (us) with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”

Christians have a new place for living, a new place of existence, it’s not here on earth. Paul wrote to the Philippians, chapter 3:20, and said, 

“But our citizenship is in heaven.”

This is a mindset, as we don’t physically sit in the heavenly places with Christ, at least not yet. But we do sit in the heavenly places in Christ, as that is where He is now and our minds should be set on those things 

of Christ. Paul continues in verse 7, in the future, God will continue to show the incomparable riches of His grace. 

God will never stop dealing with us on the basis of grace, AMEN.

Not only does God provide us with abundant grace, He never gives up begging us to receive it. When we offer a gift to someone and they flat out refuse it, we are likely to eventually allow them to refuse it and walk away. Not God. With God’s abundant grace, He persists, begging His creation to receive His free gift of salvation. 

Verse 8 reminds us, we are not saved by our faith but by grace through faith. One way to look at it is by thinking of water flowing through a hose. The hose doesn’t quench your thirst, the water does. But the hose brings water to the place where you can benefit from it. 

Even our faith is a gift of God. Under God’s plan of salvation, humans cannot claim one iota of putting it together. God alone receives the glory. 

In verse 10, Paul tells us why God created humans. 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In Greek that word for “handiwork” has the idea of “His beautiful poem.” In the Jerusalem Bible it is translated, “work of art.” As Christians we are a work in progress. God’s love should be transforming us from where we started with God to where we are going.

First, God’s love saves our souls, then it should be changing our lives. As a “work of art” we aren’t being created to hang out on a wall somewhere. We are being created for “good works.” 

Works have no part in securing our salvation but they definitely have a part in providing valid evidence that someone is walking with Jesus. 

Check in time. 

Paul has been describing a continuum of human existence. 

  • We start out as spiritually dead, walking zombies. –
  • God, our Creator seeks to have us as a part of His family. 
  • Satan does his best to keep us as walking zombies. –
  • It’s up to us to decide. 
  • Upon hearing God’s Word we realize God’s gift of salvation, freedom from sin, eternal life, is free. 
  • Once we accept that gift, we begin the transformation process from dead to life, from zombie walking to becoming a work of art. 
  • We become alive and begin doing good works so others can also become alive. 

So where are you on that continuum? 

Walking Zombie?

Hearing God’s Word and struggling to accept the free gift?

Or, you’ve accepted the free gift, you’re alive and walking with Jesus. 

Are you allowing God to change you day by day? 

Or has the world and its entrapments got you stuck somewhere?

May we leave today with the reminder that for those of us following Jesus, 

  • We are alive
  • God is changing us day by day into a work of art for His glory
  • As His work of art we are to be using the gifts and talents He has given us by doing some good works –
  • May we be taking our free gift and passing it on. 

Let’s pray.