1Â As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,Â 2Â in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.Â 3Â All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a]Â and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.Â 4Â But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,Â 5Â made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsâ€”it is by grace you have been saved.Â 6Â And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,Â 7Â in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.Â 8Â For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithâ€”and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godâ€”Â 9Â not by works, so that no one can boast.Â 10Â For we are Godâ€™s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
On Sunday morning we continued our journey through the book of Ephesians by studying verses 1-10 of chapter 2.
The Scriptures are the best way for us to learn about who God is, how He works and who we are in relation to Him. These verses in Ephesians shed a lot of light on each of those three questions.
Paul wants to remind us that apart from Christ we were spiritually dead in our sins. We were unable to please God and we followed the way of the world. Itâ€™s not a pretty picture, but it emphasizes our great need for a saviour.
But God enters the scene! We read of Godâ€™s mercy, grace and love here. Multiple times in the book of Ephesians Paul says that God is â€˜richâ€™ in mercy and grace.
And all of this richness, love, grace and mercy was extended to us while we were yet sinners! Unworthy and even undersigning of God, yet He breathed into us the breath of life. He raised us and seated us together with Christ. He desires to bless us with his kindness in the coming ages through Christ Jesus.
Here is where we see how God works: We, Christians, have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Godâ€™s grace brings us spiritual life.
Not only that, but we are His workmanship, created with a purpose to glorify God in doing the good works He has planned for us in advance.
3 things to remember
1. Rejoice that Godâ€™s grace and mercy run much deeper than the depths of our sins.
2. We are saved by GRACE through FAITH. And even our faith comes as a gift to us from God.
3. Our salvation is not dependent on our works, BUT Godâ€™s grace FREES and us from our captivity to sin and WAKES us from our spiritual death to do the good works that God has planned for us in advance.
Questions to consider this week:
1) Why is it important to recognize our need for a saviour?
2) How am I thankful to God for the grace he gave me to know him?
3) How can I best tell others about the Godâ€™s rich mercy, love and grace?
4) What are the good works that God has purposed for me to walk in?