Ephesians 2 makes great material for theological textbooks, but let’s not ignore its practical implications. This passage contains an important keyword that’s easy to miss: walk.
Paul begins by saying, “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked” (Eph 2:1). He ends by saying, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
Even more than a future home in heaven, God has given us new lives, new identities, and new affections. He has dramatically and permanently changed the course of our steps. We were once dead, but we’re now alive. We once followed the same pattern of carnal disobedience as everyone else, but God has changed our direction. By his mercy, he has turned us around, pointing us to a life that resembles the perfect life of his Son.
In fact, everything Paul says in the first few chapters of this book lay a foundation for very practical exhortations. In Ephesians 4, he says:
You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (Ephesians 4:17-18)
God has saved you from sin and its horrible consequences. Why would you want to return to that life which, according to Paul, is no life at all? It’s death. It’s hell.
You are free from the bondage of sin. Why would you voluntarily return? Why would you want to fit in a with a crowd that is marching toward wrath and destruction? Why would you want to assume the very behaviors that condemned mankind and necessitated your Savior’s death?