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“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?”
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)
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,”
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:”
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
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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.”