“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Salvation Of Christ: Ephesians 2:1-10
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Paul begins to remind the church at Ephesus (and each one of us) the greatest grace that we can receive from our Lord… the wonderful grace of salvation from our sins. The more we come to understand His gracious salvation, the more we should appreciate Him and the more we should be motivated to serve Him out of a heart of love and appreciation.
A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The proof of our spiritual death – 1-3
II. The gracious God of mercy and love – 4
III. The gracious blessing of spiritual life and its results – 5-7
IV. The gracious giving of faith – 8-9
V. The gracious privilege being chosen to service for Him – 10
In this morning’s devotional, Paul continues to explain the lifestyle of those who are spiritually dead…
(Ephesians 2:4-5) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
After looking at the condition of God’s people prior to their salvation, their condition looked grim indeed. If you remember the previous verse ended with the statement… “and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” If our text ended there what a horrible condition we would be in, but by God’s grace our text continues…
What a glorious thought….. even though we all were under the condemnation of eternal judgment, God stepped in!
who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
By intervening on our behalf, when we deserved only His judgment for our sins, He was showing Himself to be….
1. overflowing with compassion and tender graces
2. possessing a plentiful self-sacrificial love for us
What a wonderful Lord that we serve! By intervening in our lives working salvation in our hearts, He put on display His great love and kindness on our behalf….
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)
Even when we were dead in sins,
Our Lord displayed to us His eternal mercy and love towards us while we were still dead in our sins. In other words, when we were separated from Him and could do nothing to bring salvation to ourselves, His love and mercy were shown to us as He ….
hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
gave us spiritual life by His grace alone!
What does it mean to be quickened “together with Christ”?
1. The giving of spiritual life to the man who is dead in sins is a joint work of both the Father and the Son…
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:19-24)
2. The physical resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of our spiritual resurrection and the the physical resurrection and glorification of our bodies that is to come. Without Christ’s resurrection we have no reason to believe that we have been spiritually resurrected or that we will share in Christ’s physical resurrection in the future…
“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-20)
“But God”… if it were not for our wonderful Lord we would yet be in our sins. But, now, because of the grace, mercy, love and kindness of our Lord we will share in the resurrection of Christ by being resurrected spiritually now and physically resurrected in the last day.
Let us all thank our Lord for His grace in giving us the promise of the two-fold resurrection!
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:24-29)
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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