Does sin leave us totally unable to please God? The simple answer to that question is “yes.” Listen to Ephesians 2:1: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” By starting this way, Paul is creating the backdrop for explaining the greatness of the salvation that we have in Christ. His point is that without first being made alive in Christ, we are completely unable to please God. Deadness is the ultimately disability.
Now someone may object and say that Paul by using the word “dead” is speaking figuratively. In answer to that I would say “of course.” He is using “dead” figuratively, but what is the point of the figure? Isn’t the point obvious? “Dead” describes a condition that one cannot change. Dead people don’t decide to change and become alive. They are incapable of making a decision for life. In the same way those who are dead in sin are captive to sin. They are unable to escape servitude to Satan, the world system and their sinful desires. Therefore, they are totally unable to please God. They need someone to rescue them, to make them alive, and this is exactly what God has done for us in Christ. “Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions.” God acted unilaterally, a completely one-sided rescue. That is why it goes on to say, “It is by grace you have been saved.”
Something to thing about from “The Kingdom Perspective.”
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
~ Romans 8: 5-8