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Saved by Grace Through Faith
Beginning in Chapter two, Paul reminds the Ephesians just how far they were from God when He allowed them to hear and respond to the gospel. This wasn’t happenstance, this was planned before this world ever came into existence. God saw us, loved us and called us even before He called for light on the earth. Calvary was an accomplished fact in the mind of God, even then. When we accepted God’s free gift, we were made alive in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in 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,
3 among 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.
We, like the Ephesians and all who have not obeyed the gospel, walked according to our own will, following our own carnal desires. We did this because the devil worked in us and we really didn’t mind because we had an evil unregenerated nature. I Peter 4:3 describes our former state rather bluntly; we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries. Maybe that doesn’t really describe all of us, but no matter how good we may seem nobody is righteous enough to merit God’s favor because of their own goodness. Actually it is quite the opposite:
Isaiah 53:6 tells us that all we like sheep have gone astray. Romans 3:10 states that there is none righteous, no, not one.
That’s what we were, but thank God for what we are in Christ now. We heard the gospel and by the grace of God responded to it. We realized that we were on the road to hell and cried out for Jesus to save us. We got tired of being used by the devil whom Jesus said was a thief who would only kill, steal and destroy. We believed the promise of Jesus that if we believed on Him we would never die but have life eternal (John 10:10, 11:26).
Vss. 4-7 reiterates much of what is stated in chapter one: God, because of His great mercy, loved us and redeemed us by the blood of Jesus. We used to walk in darkness and despair (I Corinthians 6:11) but now we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. All that God’s grace may be magnified and that we might love, praise and thank Him for it eternally.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Saved by grace and grace alone! The old hymn Amazing Grace states, “I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.” What did God see in me? I don’t know, but I know His word tells me that He loved me.
Romans 3:24 tells me that I am now justified, declared righteous, freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
II Timothy 1:9 tells us that we have been called with a holy calling. not according to our works however , but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
What do I have to boast about? Absolutely nothing! What good thing did I ever do to deserve God’s mercy? Once again, nothing? All my spiritual posturing is worthless. Self reformation is good, but it has no lasting eternal value. Good works are fine, but they don’t save us. Good works will, however, follow true conversion, as a fruit of God’s Spirit. Big, big difference!
Jesus loved me and died for us. He lives in us and desires to shape our life to conform to His (Galatians 2:20). All we have to do is get out of the way and let Him do it. He will take our sin and replace it with His righteous. We’ll find ourselves loving those whom we once hated and praying for those who have misused us (Matthew 5:44).
We realize that God made us as He desired and that we had no part in the process (Isaiah 64:8). We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Psalms 100:3). He bought with a price far greater than silver or gold. He bought us by His blood (I Peter 1:18-19; Acts 20:28). We know that He works in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) and that the work that He has begun in us, He will finish (Philippians 1:6) .
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Jesus bore our sin and purchased our healing by His stripes. I cannot comprehend the suffering that He endured on my behalf. When we are gathered at the throne of God, Jesus will look out upon the innumerable number of the redeemed (Revelation 7:9). He will see the vast throngs whom He had purchased and He will be satisfied.
Aren’t you happy for the grace of God?
Keep Looking Up!
Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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