And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Eph 2:1)
The state of a person before he is born again, is spiritually dead, darkness and incapable of any spiritual life on its own. He is a slave to sin and controlled by his nature which is sinful at that time. It is from this state of darkness and death, that the Holy Spirit open our eyes and give us life in the inner being. We then see our sin and we see Jesus Christ.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Please note the words “see the kingdom of God” in John 3:3. Without regeneration, a person will not see Jesus and thus see the kingdom. He will not understand it. He will not understand the Bible. He will be blind to the truths about God.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5, ESV)
The second thing that happen when you are born again, is that you enter the kingdom of God. You become part of it. You become a heavenly citizen. You share in the devine life of the kingdom of God. It come and live in you. The Holy Spirit take up residence in you. He start controlling your life and actions. You see and feel different. You start seeing sin. You experience conviction of sin. You start to see the deep things of God.
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (1Cor 2:10-12, ESV)
Below is an extract from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon which explains this very idea.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1
Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 2:9-14
Does it not seem a strange thing, that you, who have walked to this place this morning, shall be carried to
your graves; that the eyes with which you now behold me shall soon be glazed in everlasting darkness; that the tongues, which just now moved in song, shall soon be silent lumps of clay; and that your strong and stalwart frame, now standing in this place, will soon be unable to move a muscle, and become a loathsome thing, the brother of the worm and the sister of corruption? You can scarcely get hold of the idea; death does such awful work with us, it is such a vandal with this mortal fabric, it so rends to pieces this fair thing that God has built up, that we can scarcely bear to contemplate his works of ruin. Now, endeavour, as well as you can, to get the idea of a dead corpse, and when you have done so, please to understand, that this is the metaphor employed in my text, to set forth the condition of your soul by nature. Just as the body is dead, incapable, unable, unfeeling, and soon about to become corrupt and putrid, so are we if we be unquickened by divine grace; dead in trespasses and sins, having within us death, which is capable of developing itself in worse and worse stages of sin and wickedness, until all of us here, left by God’s grace, should become loathsome beings; loathsome through sin and wickedness, even as the corpse through natural decay. Understand, that the doctrine of the Holy Scripture is, that man by nature, since the fall, is dead; he is a corrupt and ruined thing; in a spiritual sense, utterly and entirely dead. And if any of us shall come to spiritual life, it must be by the quickening of God’s Spirit, given to us sovereignly through the good will of God the Father, not for any merits of our own, but entirely of his own abounding and infinite grace.
For meditation: Have you passed from death to life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24)? Better to be a nobody alive in Christ than a king dead in trespasses and sins (Ecclesiastes 9:4).
Sermon no. 127
12 April (Easter 1857)