The first word of the chapter reminds us of the link between what was said in the previous verses. There were no chapter divisions in the original letter of Paul, do remember that. Paul had been speaking of his prayer for the Ephesians that they might understand more fully the greatness of the power that had brought about their conversion, even the power that had raised Christ from the grave. That same power had raised them from death -- spiritual death.
These first three verses reveal the spiritual state of the Ephesians before conversion. It is the spiritual state of us all. Here is a very important doctrine. Our eternal salvation depends upon our receiving of this truth.
I. IT WAS A STATE OF SIN.
1. The double term refers to sin within and without. "Trespasses and sins." This is a reference both to the root and the fruit of sin within us. We trespass because of the sinful nature that we have. There are trespasses in our lives because there is sin in our hearts.
2. The degree of our sinfulness. How spiritual diseased are we? There is no life -- we are dead in sins. Three deaths in New Testament illustrate this doctrine. Luke 8:51-55; Luke 7:12; John 11:39-44. All were dead but there was a differing degrees of corruption. All men are equally dead in sin but some more subject to its corruption than others.
3. Sin within produces death without. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death, James 1:15. The death within brings forth the harvest of death in our lives. The human heart can only bring forth this fruit. That is why we need a new heart, Ezekiel 36:26. We are the children of disobedience, verse 2. Disobedience marks our every action.