After greeting the Ephesians with a reminder of all the spiritual blessings they’d been given in Christ, Paul goes on in chapter 2 to remind them of who they were before those blessings took effect in them. Alongside reminding them who they are in Christ, he does not fail to remind them who they were without him. Paul insists that they never forget where they came from, spiritually. Both reminders are important for children seeking to walk in perseverance and humility.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 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— 3 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. ~Ephesians 2:1-3
Death. Spiritual death is where every Christian came from. Not one of use was born alive in Christ. Not one who is not in Christ is alive spiritually. All begin human life spiritually dead. And spiritual life does not come from us. It comes from God. We do not make ourselves alive. God makes us alive.
But God, being rich in mercy,because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— ~Ephesians 2:4-5
All who become spiritually alive do so by God’s will and grace alone. Dead sinners do not make dead sinners live. God makes dead sinners live. Paul tells us that it is God’s great love that saves us when we are least deserving – not when we clean up our acts and stop sinning. First, he saves us, then he sanctifies us. We do not save ourselves. We do not sanctify ourselves. God does both by grace and enables our incapable spirit to respond rightly; to change; to stop sinning; to love Him and others well. He does so by giving us a new heart, new desires, and a new life wherein we now want to live for him. His grace is the reason we want to live for him.
Ceasing from sin and starting to live for Christ means doing good in the world, in our work, in our families, and in our lives. This is the very reason we were created.