THE DECISIVE INTERVENTION
My Lord, I take this time to confess any sins in my life.
Read Ephesians 2:1–10
Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 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. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 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. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
a. Ephesians 2:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
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ReflectTo whom do you belong?
The storyteller’s technique: the hero reaches despair, then, in the nick of time, the day is saved and everyone lives happily ever after. Sadly, we presume it will be the same for us when we are judged for our sin.
Verses 1–3. Paul might appear to be patronizing the Ephesians. Most were probably Gentiles, unlike him. His mini-catalogue of problems in verses 1 and 2 is devastating: they were dead and disobedient, while unwittingly following the lifestyle of God’s enemy, Satan (‘the ruler of the kingdom of the air’).
There are two kingdoms: God’s and Satan’s. Paul has no doubt to which one the Ephesians belonged. However, Paul knows Jews are no better off than Gentiles: everyone is in the same boat (3). We all have sinful desires that we consistently give in to. We all face the terrible consequence: a justly guilty verdict.
Verses 4–7. But God has done something, not in the nick of time, but planned before creation (back in 1:4)! As in chapter 1, we get a joyful list of what God did and does. We sin; God saves. God’s character is the foundation; His grace-work is past, present, and future.
Verses 8–10. Because God acted for us, we are secure. We respond to His grace, not by complacent dependence, but by secure service. We owe so much to God and His grace.
Read Romans 7:24-8:2. Are there past sins for which you have a hard time forgiving yourself? Remind yourself today that if you confess your sin, HE is faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9). You are not condemned.
I praise You, Christ, that You are a forgiving God, that You make all things new. What riches I have found in You!