Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Paul personalizes the exceeding greatness of God’s power that he just talked about. He told us that the power toward us is the same as the power that raised Christ from the dead. Now he explains that we also have been raised from the dead. The phrase “He made alive” in verse 1 is not in the original. That’s why it is in italics in your Bible. So first, he describes the lostness from which we were raised but he doesn’t explain the resurrection until verse 5. Our condition is described as one of death in trespasses and sins. We used to walk in this condition following the pattern of the world and in the plan of the prince of this world, Satan. We also lived according to the lusts of our flesh and were in our natural state children of wrath just like everybody else. We were naturally the objects of God’s wrath, anger and condemnation.

But God, because He is rich in mercy and because of the great love He has for us, made us alive with Christ. He did this even when we were dead in our trespasses. Nothing is said here of our faith or our responsiveness to the gospel. It takes a living person to be able to respond. We were dead. Resurrection comes before response. Just as in the case of Lazarus. Jesus called him out of the tomb and he came out. Did Jesus give him life because he obediently came out of the tomb or did Lazarus respond because of the life God had given him? The same is true of us. The calling of God and the Word of God grant life and then there is response.

We have been more than raised. There are several other actions that God has (past tense) performed. He has raised us up together and made us sit together with Christ in heavenly places. These have already occurred. As far as God is concerned, we are already there.

So many times we focus on us as the reason for everything God does, but in this passage we get a different point of view. God’s purpose in all of this is that in the ages to come he might show how rich His grace is as it was demonstrated by His kindness. He wants all of creation to realize how great His grace is. It has everything to do with the glory of God and His greatness. Because, after all, it is by grace we have been saved through faith. All of this is a gift of God, not through any of our own works because then we might boast. We are the workmanship of God. We are His creation – both the original and the new creation in Christ.


carrie said...


Cweed said...

hey roger i was looking around at peoples wrightings to get an idea of what to write for my blog that i just started.and i clicked on next blog on my blog and u were the first to come up.and i was looking around on your blog and i thought how cool this a man with his whole site mainly on bible versus. im assuming that u love to talk and read about bible versus and im also assuming that u love to go to church. well guess what i love to go to church also but i go with my mom and my sister.but i dont read the bible.hey if u can go to my blog and comment on my wrightings.theres not very much since i just started. go to go.and my site is www.justincreadible.blogspot.com