And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind (ESV)
Many people do not fully understand what it means to be a Christian. They think that men are basically good. And so, accepting Christ as their Savior is just a nice addition to a basically good life. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus, describes things differently. In our passage today, he describes our spiritual condition before Christ saved us. He describes us as dead in our sins, following Satan, and children of wrath. This condition is a universal condition of all mankind.
Let's briefly consider these three descriptions. First of all, we are dead. Most people like to think that the good deeds that they do add up to them being a good person. But, Paul says we are spiritually dead. So, it really does not matter how good we look by our actions. If we are dead, we cannot do anything that is spiritually alive, and therefore we cannot be right with God. Dead people are incapable of anything. Can you do anything to make yourself alive? Of course not.
Did you ever consider that before you met Jesus you were being led by Satan? That sounds very extreme doesn't it? And yet, Paul says that we were all following the prince of the power of the air, which is a description of Satan. Satan leads us to do whatever our senses tell us. Our society tells us to "follow our feelings." If it appeals to our senses we are told to pursue it. From the Garden of Eden, Satan has been telling mankind to be led by our senses.
Thirdly, Paul says that were by nature children of wrath. This speaks directly to the lie that so many believe today which says that we are all basically good people. No, we are all basically children of wrath. Our nature is so sinful that it is deserving of the full, awful wrath of Almighty God.
One of my favorite quotes is this, "Jesus Christ did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive." I think the Apostle Paul would agree.
If we know that those without Jesus are spiritually dead, led by Satan, and children of God's wrath how should we treat them? Who do you know that fits this description? Begin praying that God will make them alive? Ask God to show you how to share his life-giving truth with others.