“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-6 – NLT
We were dead in our sins, but God . . . We were rebels against him, but God . . . We were enslaved by the devil and our sinful natures, but God . . . These may be the two most welcome words in all of Scripture: “But God.” God could have left us spiritually dead, in rebellion against him and in bondage to our sins. But he didn’t. He did not save us because of, but rather in spite of, what he saw in us. In addition to thanking him for what he has done for us, we should also show humble patience and tolerance for others who seem unworthy or undeserving of our love and compassion. They may be spiritually dull, rebellious, and even antagonistic toward God. So were we; but God loved us anyway. Can we do less for fellow sinners?
In the previous verses Paul wrote about our old sinful nature (2:1-3). Here Paul emphasizes that we do not need to live any longer under sin’s power. The penalty of sin and its power over us were miraculously destroyed by Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ we stand acquitted, or not guilty, before God. God does not take us out of the world or make us robots—we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin. The difference is that before we became Christians, we were dead in sin and were slaves to our sinful nature. But now we are alive with Christ.
Because of Christ’s resurrection, we know that our bodies will also be raised from the dead and that we have been given the power to live as Christians now. (Life Applications Study Bible)
If you considered the words of Genesis a couple of days ago, you would remember that God protects us. Then he instructs Abraham to count the stars. Promises him that many descendants, blessing included. Yesterday I expanded on those blessings. As explained these blessings are ours through Jesus Christ, overwhelming if you think of it. Almost unbelievable. Then Paul in Ephesians elaborates.
The words “But God.” Rich in mercy and full of love. God so loved the world that he sent His Son as a living sacrifice. He did this all so that these promises are ours. Listen to the words of the commentator. God did not send Jesus because we were living in sin. It was rather in spite of the fact that we are sinners; He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to be the Living Word. Then paying the ultimate price to redeem us to, God. Believe this, and you will receive all these promises. Added to that an eternal life in heaven.
Aidan posed the Question what are you trusting God for in 2018 and made the point don’t limit God. Like He said to Abraham look up and count the stars. All things are possible with God. You cant trust for anything if you don’t have faith and believe. Remember faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. The next thought is how do you develop your faith? Romans describes it well.
‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ – Romans 10:17 NKJV
There are many ways we can hear the Word of God. Church, read the Bible, from other believers, television, podcasts and written material. If you are not doing any of these, how are you going to build your faith?
“Lord, as I had a revelation this week about Your promise, I pray that people will feed on Your Word. Holy Spirit guide them to right choices. Amen.”