Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, 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.” (Ephesians 2:4-6)
We know that the word “gospel” means good news. In order for us to understand how good the good news is, we must first understand the bad news — that we are sinners by nature and by practice. Because of this, the world is under God’s wrath; it is under His condemnation. Thus in the first three verses of chapter 2, Paul lays out our condition — spiritually dead, sons of disobedience, by nature children of wrath.
The good news is that men and women can escape the condemnation that is coming for certain upon the world. This is only possible through Jesus Christ: “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
The gospel is about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ; it is not about what we do for God. In our reading today, we are told what God has done for us. The verb forms used in the Greek are in the aorist tense, which describes a one time action done in the past. These things have already been done for us. The actions have been done and are completed.
Verse four begins with these words: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us. even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” But keep reading: “and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” These things have already been done for us.
Because God is rich in mercy and because of His great love for us, He has acted on our behalf! The mercy and love of God caused Him to act for us. Think of the riches of His mercy. Mercy is what we do not get that we deserve. We deserve God’s wrath and condemnation. Grace, on the other hand, is what we get that we don’t deserve (salvation and the forgiveness of our sins). It cost God greatly to grant us mercy. It cost Him His Son. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Through the work of Jesus, God’s justice is satisfied and thus He now is able to grant us mercy.
Do you see it? Human beings either get what they deserve justice (God’s wrath and condemnation) or they get God’s mercy and therefore they do not get what they deserve. But to grant mercy, God had to pay an enormous price — the death of His Son. Therefore Paul says, that God is rich in mercy. He lavishes it upon His children because of the great love He has for them.
Never forget what God has done for you. Because He is rich in mercy and because of the great love with which He has loved us, He made us alive together with Christ, raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places!
Lord God, You are rich in mercy and Your love for me knows no limits. Thank You for making me alive together with Christ and raising me up with Him and seating me with Him in the heavenly places! May I never forget the riches of Your mercy lavished upon me.
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