There is a really big difference between a body that is broken and a body that is dead. A body that is just broken means there is still hope it can be fixed. A body that is dead brings only hopelessness.
Paul declares that we were dead in our trespasses. Dead. Without any hope.
Ephesians 2:4-5 puts it like this–
But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
This is really in a bit of a contrast to today’s common theme of “brokenness”. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the word “broken”, is this the best term to describe us before our redeemed state?
You see, broken would imply that there is something worth fixing in humans.
But we were not broken. We were dead. Utterly and completely dead in our trespasses and without any hope at all.
When we realize this truth from Ephesians 2, we also realize just how miraculous God’s mercy and grace are. Raising us from spiritual death is far greater and much more amazing than fixing us when we are broken. Wouldn’t you agree?
God didn’t just fix us, he raised us from the dead and made us alive!
A lot of this goes back to the doctrine of total depravity, which would state that all men are born sinful and dead in their sins. This is clearly in scripture from Genesis to Revelation (Ephesians 2 is just one place of many) but it is also a very distasteful doctrine. And, so, over the past years, the mainstream Church has started to be more lax on this particular doctrine, until eventually instead of dead we are just broken. And instead of hopeless in our sins, we are hopeful in our brokenness.
Can you see how this changes the essence of salvation? How it diminishes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross?
Suddenly, it becomes about Jesus fixing us rather than raising us from the dead.
Sure, it’s semantics, but I believe this is important because it takes some of the credit and glory from God and puts it squarely on us. And, yet, scripture makes it clear that this is not the case (Romans 3:11-18)–
None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
What does the Bible teach about human depravity is the question we must ask, and, once again, we find that what the Bible teaches is in complete opposition to what most of modern-day “Christianity” is teaching.
It is disconcerting, quite frankly, to always find myself in such opposition to what is being taught in the mainstream. Sometimes I feel like I must be wrong. That I must have missed something in my Bible. The doubts come but then I go back to the Word. What does the Bible say? And, again, I see that even though I am part of a quickly shrinking minority, the rock of the Word will not fail. No matter what the mainstream church says, no matter what they do, no matter how they persecute and mock us, we can hang on to the anchor of God’s Word with the assurance that God will keep us safe and secure.
We, who were dead in our trespasses are now alive in Christ! How awesome is that? So, let us not grow weary in standing on the truth of God’s Word and let’s hold each other up in prayer and through fellowship.
And let’s, by all means, continue to hold to the doctrines of the Bible that must be upheld for if we do not, we will find our own faith completely eroded into the man-centered, God-diminished thing we see in the lives of so many around us. God be with you as you stand for Him this week.