Thursday, October 15, 2015

And, Formerly Dead (Ephesians 2:4-5)

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2:4–5, NASB95)

The grace of God is amazing. We deserved nothing from God other than judgment and eternal separation, but because of His great love for us He chose to give us the total opposite. He gave us forgiveness and life. We read “even when we were dead in our transgressions” that He made us alive together in Christ.

Something that is dead has no power. It is lifeless and unable to do anything about it. Its end is to rot away in the continued state of death. This is simply how it is. Anyone who lives in a rural area and drives by the same dead skunk or possum knows this to be true. Anyone who has been to a cemetery knows that once planted the body is helpless to do anything but remain where it was placed until such time that decay might even reduce it again to dust just as God said in Genesis 3:19 where we read, “…till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19, NASB95)

We were all appointed to die and after that we read comes judgment as we read in Hebrews 9:27. And reading the Bible we know that this judgment not only includes eternal separation from God but being cast into the eternal presence of the evil one who would have been our ruler in this life. Satan may try to paint all kinds of enjoyable pictures for man here and now. He may want to twist the motives or plan of God and lead us to believe something less. He may even encourage us to deny God’s very existence. But the eternal result of these lies is real and it is of horrible torment. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15, NASB95)

Death is what we all deserve. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love … has made us alive”!!!! This is what mercy combined with love do, they rescue. They rescue not merely by acknowledging the distress of another and providing them comfort in their misery, but by lifting them from that misery and placing them into a new situation. This is the difference between the liberal theology of today which overlooks sin and our God who rescues us from sin and sets a new course for our lives.

God is totally righteous and He cannot in His righteousness justify unrighteousness in His presence, but He can and does take that which is unrighteousness and cleanse it with the righteousness of His own Son and then fully welcome as adopted children. When God rescues someone from their state of spiritual death He doesn’t merely life them up, dust them off, and say, “Go and sin no more.” Sure Jesus said this, but in Scripture we read that the ability to go forward victorious over sin is not found in having been given a fresh start but in having been given new life—having been made spiritually alive. Man left to himself would get himself back into the same mess, as he has proven time after time. But God makes us alive in His Son. He gives us new life.

What died in the garden with Adam is made alive in Christ. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:17–19, NASB95)

God’s love goes far beyond any human measure of compassion. It goes to the point of sacrificing His own Son to graciously give us something we did not deserve nor could we ever achieve. He gave us this great gift because HE LOVES US! If you have not already responded to this great gift from God, won’t you talk to Him and do so today?? Please. 

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