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SIH STSTA ICON“Why is the sky blue?”  “Why does a dog bark?”  “Why is ice cream cold?”  The list goes on and on.  When we were much younger, we were concerned about all the “whys” of life.  Sad to say in the process of getting our answers, we drove our parents to the edge of insanity!

However, something happened to many of us as we grew older… the “whys” of life no longer seemed to be as important.  As we grew busier in our life’s activities, we no longer were concerned about “why”.  This change resulted in cheating us out of a greater appreciation of the world around us.

When it comes to God’s Word, understanding the “whys” is an absolute necessity to grasp the entire truth that is being presented.  For this blog entry, I would like us to look at one example of this principle.   Let’s look at the answer to a very common question that is asked by many Christians…. “Why did the Lord forgive us of our sins?”

THE SCRIPTURE:

And you hath he quickened,… That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:1-7)

THE STUDY:

This Scripture text is basically answering two questions:

In verses 1-3 we have the answer to: “What was our condition before The Lord forgave me of my sins?”

In verses 4-7 we have the answer to: “Why did the Lord forgive me of my sins?”

Our study will begin with verses 1-3…

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

Before the Lord intervened in our life we were “dead in trespasses and sins”.  In other words, spiritually we were separated from God and unable to help ourselves.  We could no more give ourselves forgiveness and spiritual life than a dead corpse can give itself CPR and bring itself back to life.

“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:”

Before the Lord’s intervention, our lifestyle was one of disobedience and rebellion to the will and ways of God.   Although we may have lived moral lives, our morality was of no more value than that of filthy rags (Isa 64:6).   Why were they of no lasting spiritual value? Our moral actions were not done out of a heart of love for the Lord.

“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;

Instead of our moral works being done out of love for God, they were motivated by the lusts of our flesh and mind.  In other words, our moral actions were motivated out of a love for self and pleasure.  Our entire lifestyle was one of living for self gratification.

“and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Our sinful nature, which we received from Adam, was deserving of God’s punishment.  We shared this same type of nature with all mankind.  Everyone, possesses this same nature within themselves. (1 Cor 15:22)

(Note on verses 1-3….Please notice these verses set the groundwork for the following verses 4-7.   Basically what we are saying is this…. Since I was in such a horrible condition (vs 1-3) why did the Lord ever make the time and effort to save me? (vs 4-7))

In verses 4-7…

So why did The Lord forgive us?

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”

Reason #1

We are forgiven because of His mercy and His love for us.   In other words, He is willing to withhold our deserved punishment from us (his mercy) because He so greatly loved us.

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

 This is a quick review of our horrible condition before His intervention in our lives. This review is given to remind us that we didn’t deserve, nor did we earn, His love or mercy…. It is given entirely by His willingness to give us undeserved blessings.  These undeserved blessings include His forgiveness which saved us from the punishment of our sins.

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

Reason #2

We are forgiven so we might live eternally with Him.  The Lord raised us from our spiritual death, so that we might share an eternity in heaven with Him.

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Reason #3

We are forgiven so that The Lord might be glorified.  From the moment of our salvation, the Lord glorifies Himself in the lives of those He has saved.  Anyone who is truly saved, becomes a new creature in Him.  Because of this great inward change, our outward lives change as well. (2 Cor 5:17) This change glorifies Him.

Also, throughout eternity, our presence with Him in heaven will be a continual testimony of His grace and forgiveness that He has given to His people. (Rev 4:10-11)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

When Christians are asked “Why did the Lord forgive you of your sins?” their two favorite responses are… “Because He loved us” and “Because He wanted to go to heaven and not hell”.  In our above text, we saw both of these are true.

However, please notice the third reason why He chose to save us.  It is because He wants to glorify Himself in our lives.  This is so important for each of us to understand.  If we have been saved we are to serve Him with our lives.  By doing, this we are bringing to fulfillment His third desire … that He might be glorified.  (Eph 2:8-10)

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

If you have never received the Lord’s gracious forgiveness… you can see your horrible condition without His intervention in your life. Turn from your sins and turn to Him in faith, recognizing He is your only hope… He will not cast you aside. (John 6:33-40)

____________________________________________________________

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


8 Comments

  1. Paul Cheng says:

    Hi brother Rob:

    Some will ask, can a sinful, spiritually dead, spiritually blind, filthy rag, unholy, unrighteous person choose God? Some will say no unless something must happen first. It is not that we have the desire to choose God but that it is God who choose us first. Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you …. “(John 15:16). Is God sovereign? Do you believe that there are those who are chosen and some not? For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14). I have my own beliefs than what people think these verses meant. I just like to hear it from your point of view.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Paul,

      Sorry it took so long to get back with you… I’ve been away from the computer for several days.

      Anyhow, to your question… yes, I do believe that God controls ALL things (including our salvation). The Bible is plain that one of the most devastating aspects of our sinful condition is the ability to recognize our own sinful and the need of salvation through Christ. (John 5:39-40). I certainly was not saved the first time I heard the gospel message. I didn’t see my need of salvation until years later. What changed? The Lord by His grace intervened in my life and showed me my need of salvation and then brought me to Himself (John 6:44).

      Is God sovereign? ABSOLUTELY. Is God in control of All things, even Satan Himself? ABSOLUTELY (Job 1:6-12 etc etc etc )

      Do all men deserve the lake of fire due to their sinful condition? ABSOLUTELY. We all deserve to be punished eternally for our sins.

      Did God choose to save some from this punishment? ABSOLUTELY, by His grace, He chose to save some from their deserved destiny of hell.

      Is He unjust to those He did not choose to save? ABSOLUTELY not… we all deserve an eternity of punishment in hell. By choosing to save some He is showing His mercy and grace… if He did not choose to save anyone He would still be a just God…. no one deserves deliverance from hell. It is kind of like a state governor choosing to pardon a convicted felon… is he is unjust to all the others that are sentenced to prison…. of course not, because they deserve to be there just like the pardoned convict deserved the punishment he had been given.

      I realize some aspects of His sovereignty are difficult to understand and I am the first to admit there are certain aspects that I don’t understand as well as I would like, but I guess that’s where faith comes in! Thanks for the good comment.

      I hope this helps to explain my beliefs… May the Lord bless you Paul

  2. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hi Rob, I guess I’m an odd bird. I never really asked why He forgave us, because that to me was plain. He forgave us as you said so we could join Him in heaven, and sin cannot enter into heaven ergo, forgiveness.
    Now, My question used to be WHY did He SACRIFICE HIMSELF. After many years of searching to find the truth, I finally found it. There were lots of churches that went “all around the truth”, but none came right out and said it. God sacrificed Himself for us. (1 Timothy 3:16). He did this because He had searched the world over and couldn’t find a man, who was unblemished ( which in the old testament the Jews had to sacrifice a perfect, spotless unblemished cow) so our sacrifice had to be perfect also. Anyway, He couldn’t find anyone like this, so He sacrificed Himself. Do you know I felt Guilty for many years because He died for ME? I could not wrap my head around that until the last 12 years or so. This is why I am so intent on getting the Word out there, so that others won’t have to feel the way I did or go through the emotions that I have. For so long I went from church to church searching because I felt empty. Even though I was going to church, I was just going through the motions hoping something would happen, that one day a word would be spoken that would hit my heart like an arrow. And Finally 1 Timothy 3:16 woke me up on so many levels. Not only did Jesus die for me, but GOD cared enough that He came down from heaven to live on this earth (a FAR CRY from heaven’s standards) and went through all the earthly problems that we did and was literally shun or rejected or ridiculed or all of the above, by His own creation. Now that’s pretty bad. Then to be crucified by the same people who He breathed His breath into. It just amazes me even more that He would still care enough to allow us into His kingdom.

    Rob, I know I’m “preaching to the Choir” as the old saying goes, but for some reason I felt like there might be someone out there reading this that may be in the same boat I was for so long. Again and as always I thank you for allowing me to “post”, and not just comment LOL! I really enjoy your blog so much. I learn so much from you and it also increases my thinking skills by getting my thought processes flowing . God Bless you in everything you do.
    In Jesus’ Name,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      The whole concept of the “Why” of God’s workings in my salvation is mind boggling… to be truthful, when I wrote the post I felt uncomfortable even approaching the subject because sinful man can never begin to understand nor express the love, sacrifice and forgiveness shown by the Trinity in our salvation. It is a subject that I will never be able to “wrap” my head around. To this day, at times, I do have guilt feelings (followed by great appreciation) for His sacrifice on my behalf, knowing that I did not deserve His sacrifice for me.

      But these same feelings of responsibility and thankfulness for His workings is my motive for serving HIm…. after all He has done for me… it is only “reasonable” that we give our lives to His service. (Romans 12:1). Your life and verbal testimony is a living example of that, PJ. You are a great encouragement to those who have gotten to know you through your blog (and I’m sure in your personal life as well). By serving Him out of the right motives makes a world of difference.

      Keep those comments and “sermons” coming! They add to my blog as well as glorify the Lord! Thanks again for your kind words, your comments, and your great blog… May the Lord continue to bless your efforts.

  3. Patti (PJ) says:

    I totally respect your decision to disagree with my post about the Spiritual Gifts. After all just because we may have “doctrinal” differences, doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in many other aspects of our Faith. I feel that as Christians, that it is our jobs and we are obligated to uplift and encourage others in their walk with God, which you do very well. I learn so much when I read your blog. Thank you for writing it.

    I also believe that everything we do should be for His glory, after all it is only by His power that we exist and can do anything. God Bless you,

    PJ

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