Ephesians 2:2 reads:

in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

  • A. Because the spirit is at work to some people, those people become disobedient.
  • B. Because some people are disobedient, the spirit is at work in those people.

According to Catholicism, is A or B the correct one ? Thank you.

  • 1
    This question is better suited for hermeneutics.stackexchange.com. That being said, I don't believe that this verse specifically mentions that question. It simply says there are disobedient people and that this spirit is at work them. Nothing in it seems to describe causation, and so I would recommend further research before posting there. – DKing Jun 19 '17 at 21:02
  • I see the edit, but I still don't see anything in the verse that implies causation. There may be an assumption that there is a causal relationship, but this verse doesn't necessitate that relationship. Correlation doesn't imply causation. From the verse alone, it's possible that neither is true, or even that both may be true. I think other verses may be better to argue the point. – DKing Jun 20 '17 at 17:42
  • @DKing, I understand that there may be an assumption that there is a causal relationship. I just thought if I hear a sentence something like this : [Helen who is now teaching to those special students] ... to me, "the special students" precedes "the teaching of Helen". – karma Jun 21 '17 at 14:12

This is Eph 2:1-2, Catholic translation:

You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+2&version=NRSVCE.

Reading just those two verses suggests that the spirit that St Paul is talking about here is not the Holy Spirit, but the evil one under whose influence people lived before they believed in Jesus and accepted the faith. That same spirit is now at work in those who are disobedient - i.e. those who do not belong to Christ, but to the world and who do not keep the commandments.

When people live according to worldly principles or willingly persist in their sins, they open the way for the evil one to work (i.e. by willing rejecting the faith and the gift of sanctifying grace, they, by their own choice, cut themselves off from the victory of Christ over the evil one). Through our sins and disobedience we open the way for the evil one.

It cannot be that because of the action of the evil spirit we become disobedient since it wouldn't involve our free will and choice - so, the evil one can work as hard as he wants (and God permits him) - but we are not under his influence and he cannot make us disobey God, unless we fully consent to his temptations in full knowledge that the matter is against God's will (as expressed in the commandments and dictated by our conscience).

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for offering an answer here. Can you provide a reference or two showing that this is based on catholic teachings rather than being your own interpretation? – Lee Woofenden Jun 29 '17 at 22:55
  • yes, it is based on the Catholic Church teaching on the Fall, as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for example CCC 397 and CCC 407-408 ( vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm ) – Anna Jun 30 '17 at 9:02
  • I would recommend, then, that you add to the answer itself supporting links and brief quotes from them so that it's clear exactly what statements you are referring to. See: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Jun 30 '17 at 10:07
  • @anna, thank you for your explanation from the Catholic. The sentence "When people live according to worldly principles or willingly persist in their sins, they open the way for the evil one to work" made me to conclude that from the Catholic pov, the answer is B. Thanks anna. – karma Jun 30 '17 at 14:53

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