YE WERE DEAD -- In the Garden of Eden God had told man that when he sinned, "thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). Paul then argues, through the first three chapters of Romans, that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Thus man, in his sinful state, is spiritually dead. Paul said, "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). To be spiritually dead is to be spiritually separated from God, as death basically means a separation. Unconverted Gentiles were "separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). Paul sums up one's pre-Christian status by saying that "ye were dead through your trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1, 5).
YE WERE QUICKENED -- The word "quick" in the Bible means alive. God is said to be the judge of the quick and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:1; I Pet. 4:5). He thus is the judge of the living and the dead. The Hebrew writer states that the Word of God is "quick and powerful" (Heb. 4:12--KJV). The American Standard Translation says the Word is "living and active."
Men were dead in sin, but God quickened them. Speaking of this regenerative act, Paul said: "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:13). Thus in conversion, the dead sinner becomes a "new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17). Those dead in sins are raised to walk "in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). The process by which a dead sinner is made alive again is called a "new birth" (Jno. 3:5) He is begotten by the word (Jas. 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15), and therefore is born of water and the spirit. One, lost and dead, by the gospel is made alive again and is saved.
YE MUST BE ALIVE -- Activity is the way by which one can determine the living from the dead. Christians are said to have been raised to walk in "newness of life." This means that the Christian life is to be one of exuberant activity. We speak of zest in living, and there should be zest or zip in our spiritual life. We must act alive spiritually. Paul teaches that the Christian is to "be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11), and is thus to "present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Rom. 6:13).
But it is possible for one who has been born again to become spiritually dead again. He can lose his zest for living. Paul described some in the Corinthian church as being "weak and sickly, and not a few sleep" (1 Cor. 11:30). There Were Christians in that church who were spiritually asleep; they were spiritually dead. Jesus said of the church at Sardis, "thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead" (Rev. 3:1). Paul charged the spiritually sleeping Roman members to wake up. He said, "already it is time for you to awake out of sleep" (Rom. 13:11)
If you are a sleeping church member, you must be awakened and be "alive unto God" (Rom. 6:11). The spiritual house of God is to be made up of "living stones" (1 Pet. 2: 5). If we live with Him now, we shall live with him eternally (2 Tim. 2:11), but we must LIVE with Him. Are you a living, zestful, active church member? If not, you must be H you are going to live eternally. We were dead; we were quickened; and we must now BE ALIVE!
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 34, p. 529
July 9, 1970