All of us used to live that way

(J. C. Philpot, "Meditations on Ephesians")

"Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your
 many sins! You used to live just like the rest of the
, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince
 of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the
 hearts of the children of disobedience. All of us used
 to live that way
, following the passions and desires
 of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature,
 and we were under God's wrath just like everyone
" Ephesians 2:1-3

Paul reminds us of the state and condition in which we
used to live,
that he may thereby magnify the riches of
God's grace, and bring before us what should be a matter
of the deepest humiliation and self-abhorrence. How clearly
does he show that there is no difference between the
saved and the lost
--except what grace makes between
them; that all, elect and non-elect, are equally dead in
sin; that all equally live according to the ways of this
world in their unregenerate condition; and that all are
equally led and acted upon by Satan, that foul and
accursed spirit which we see now working everywhere
around us in the children of disobedience.

If we view the children of God only as they are by nature,
there is no difference between them and the lost. Their sins
are as great, if not greater; their nature as corrupt; their
hearts as evil; the whole bent and course of their thoughts,
words, and works, were as saturated with sin and crime. And
all these things deserve wrath, and would draw down wrath
as their everlasting portion--but for the sovereign grace of
The very sweetness of grace lies in this--that it has put
away deserved wrath!

Paul's object is to remind us of our obligations to distinguishing,
sovereign grace, by showing us that we deserve nothing at God's
hands but wrath; and that had we our just due, wrath would be
poured out upon us to the uttermost! Surely every one who has
felt anything of the wrath of God as his just due, on account of
his personal sins, will freely acknowledge that he is by nature a
child of wrath, and that there are thousands in hell who have
not sinned as great as he has!

"But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so very much, that
 even while we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life
 when He raised Christ from the dead. It is only by grace that
 you have been saved!
" Ephesians 2:4-5