April 1 I Wednesday
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” —Ephesians 2:1-2
From the opening verse of this devotion, Paul writes to the church in Ephesus that they are saved from the way they used to live, when they followed the ways of the world. But this begs the questions: What are the ways of this world? What are the powers and the spiritual forces of darkness that are at play in this world? What does that look like in our modern day and culture?
The ways of this world have manifested themselves in primarily five different belief systems. Firstly, secularism and atheism have one convinced that there is no god and there is no need to believe in god. Secondly, postmodernism has rendered there to be no such thing as absolute truth by declaring, “you live by your truth and I will live by mine.” However, what happens if one’s truth says that another’s truth is a lie? What do we do then?
Thirdly, there is spiritualism, which says, “I am connected to the universe. I have a mystical connection to the divine. I define my own path.” Fourthly, with religiosity, there is a multitude of religions that basically say, “I will save myself. I will be a really good person. I will be devout. I will carry out all the practices of my faith and God will let me into heaven simply on the merit of my pious lifestyle.” Lastly, religiosity extends into universalism, with the idea that all faith, all paths and every worship system culminates to the same God; therefore, all will be saved and all will be welcomed into the kingdom. This is the gospel of inclusion, where God is going to let everybody in heaven simply by the merits of them being a really good person.
Yet, when we examine all of these various worldviews or ways of the world, what stands at the heart of each of them? The answer: Self, because “I” define what “I need.” This is why Paul emphasizes the point that it is, “…the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…” (Galatians 1:3-4).
We were by nature dead in our transgressions and sins, held in captivity and spiritually blind but Jesus came to rescue us from the ways of this world––from ourselves. Jesus delivered us from secularism, atheism, spiritualism, religiosity and universalism; in essence, He rescued us from the self.
Jesus is the only path to freedom. Have we experienced that deliverance or are we still living in the ways of this world?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for rescuing me from the ways of this world. Help me to live a life that not only honours but brings glory to You. Amen.