Sunday, January 29, 2017

But God

Ephesians 2 begins with one of the bleakest descriptions of human beings that you'll find in Scripture.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
(Eph 2:1-3)
Dead in sins, walking according to the prince of the power of the air, by nature children of wrath, we naturally indulge the desires of the flesh and mind. Not much of a way to come back from that. I mean, you can't say, "Hey, dead guy, maybe you ought to reform your ways." It's not like you can walk to the graveyard and offer a rousing invitation to come out. It's not looking good for us.

That's why the next sentence is so stunning.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
(Eph 2:4-7)
"Human beings are in this horrible condition, but God ..." In contrast to Man, God, rich in mercy, on the basis of His great love, did the only thing that could be done, something that He alone could do. He "made us alive together with Christ." Wow! No invitation. No permission. No offering on our part. No 0.1%. Because of His rich mercy and great love.

Don't miss the point, though. Why did He do this marvelous thing? "So that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." By raising us in Christ, He demonstrates the surpassing riches of His unmerited favor by being kind to us. Saved by grace through faith and not of works (Eph 2:8-9), He saves us "for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Eph 2:10) So ... let's do that. Let's walk in the good works He lays out for us. Let's be living demonstrations of His grace and mercy and love. Let's show off our amazing God.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Oh how wonderful, how marvelous is this Gospel of Grace.What manner of love is this, that we should be called the "Children of God."
From the dregs of sin and shame, we are transported to the lofty thrown of Christ, to sit in his presence. it is too much, my mind cannot fathom the dept and the breath of such a privilege. is it no wonder that i want to leave this broken world and go home. Oh what a reception will be waiting for us, What a joyful moment that will be. It blows my mind to know that I am now a child of God. Of all the great rewards in heaven, having Christ as my inheritance is just too much for my heart to contain. thank you Jesus.
But for now i must be about my Fathers business, another Great privilege indeed.