the prince of the power of the air


And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience

(Ephesians 2:1-2)

Today’s verse passage reminds us that we were once “dead” in trespasses and sins, conducting ourselves just as the rest of the unregenerate. The word “dead” (Greek, Nekros) does not in this context denote complete inability to respond to God’s truth and His moral imperatives. Rather, it refers to the state of those spiritually estranged from God. Their lifestyles and moral choices could only be described as being dead while alive (1 Timothy 5:6). In the Lord’s parable of the prodigal son, twice this young man, living in sin and estranged from his father, was pronounced “dead” (Luke 15:24, 32). Nevertheless, he was able to change his mind and think properly; his God-given rational and moral faculties allowed him to repent, return home, and be reconciled to his father (Luke 15:17-32). This is analogous to our own redemptive histories. At a certain point in time, we too (by divine enablement to be sure), came to God through Christ and found forgiveness and reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20; Colossians 1:21). This mysterious and wonderful salvific transaction caused rejoicing in heaven (Luke 15:7, 10). Our former, unregenerate lives, were in accordance with the dictates of the world and “the prince of the power of the air.” Virtually every commentary interprets this epithet to the Devil or Satan. He is the ruler over the demonic realm thought to inhabit the atmosphere (Matthew 9:34; 12:24; 25:41; Mark 3:22; Ephesians 6:12). I have often wondered if this title doesn’t imply something else as well. Today physicists agree that physical reality comes down to atoms, which are comprised of empty space and electrically charged particles (protons and electrons). All of our electronic gadgets, including cell phones and computers, are powered by the flow of electrons. These negatively charged particles could rightly be called “the power of the air.” Judging by society’s inexorable march to link virtually everything we do to computers and the internet, and the use made of such things by wicked men, Satan is most certainly the prince of such power. He encourages depraved men to fill the internet with deception and immorality. He moves governments to use electronic systems to surveil their own citizens. Soon he will move them to require their citizens to receive a special mark, without which none will be able to buy or sell (Revelation 13). Before that dreadful time, the church will be called to her heavenly home (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Until then, let us commit to using all we have—electronic gadgets and all—to overcome the darkness of deception with the glorious Gospel of the blessed God (1 Timothy 1:11).

God bless,

pastor john