“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience”
The pattern of our lives, before salvation, was on display and in accordance with the “course of this world.” Life before salvation was not difficult but easy because there are many “sons of disobedience,” and the “prince of the power of the air” held sway in our hearts and our lives. The fact that we were living in step with the world was manifest in our actions in daily life.
Paul sets up a seemingly contradictory pattern in verse 1. “You were dead” implies that no action could take place for the dead person. This verse is often used to show that mankind is completely inept to make a choice toward God. This verse does not necessarily allow for that conclusion for Paul notes that we were dead and walking or living in accordance with the devil. In other words, the sentence of death was evident in our daily living in accordance with the values, purposes, and plans established by the evil one for the world and obediently carried out by all mankind.
The use of walk here then is used in juxtaposition of those who are “blessed in Christ” to those who are “dead in trespasses.” Being a in the “sons of disobedience” meant living and moving in a direction concurrently with the evil one. If one is outside of Christ, then they are in a state of living in obedience to the purposes of the world manifesting the deadness of one’s heart.
Theology Implication: Where our identity is matters for daily living. Those who are “dead” will “walk” in a manner that reveals their identity. Being dead spiritually produces obedience to the father of lies and the one who was a murderer from the beginning. We cannot be fooled into thinking that being saved means we are rescued merely from punishment at the end of this mortal life. Rather salvation is a complete identity change and a living (“walking”) in a new direction.
The idea of “walk” is also closely linked with “following.” We have not invented a new path but are pilgrims on the paved road of life. We follow the crowd (sons of disobedience) and the prince of the power of the air in our “walk.” We may think that we are blazing new trails that no one has been on before, but the ease of our steps is due to the fact that Satan has long tread these trails with other children of disobedience and is glad for the company.
Article By: Caleb Nedimyer