I’m so excited that today’s verses are the same two I chose for my blog! I chose these verses to remind me that God has given me a great gift, that I have done nothing to earn it, and boasting about my good works is useless because grace was a gift. Let’s dig in, but first lets review all 10 verses from Ephesians 2. We are alive in Christ!
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 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.
(NIV; emphasis added to verses 8-9)
God took out the one thing we would try and say…my works are better and therefore I deserve this! God simply gave us what we in no way deserve, and it is the belief in that gift that saves us. Notice God didn’t attach any strings…it is simply our faith in what God does that save us. Yesterday, we also looked at Halley’s Bible Handbook Notes, but I feel it is worth reading again. Can we really ever read it enough?
Saved by grace (2:1–10). First God reconciles individuals to Himself as an act of grace. The body of Christ is being built up out of unworthy, sinful people, to be an everlasting demonstration of the kindness of God. When God’s work in us is completed, we will be creatures of unutterable bliss in a state of heavenly glory beyond anything we can now imagine. It will be God’s work, not ours, and through the ages heaven will never cease to resound with the glad hallelujahs from the grateful hearts of the redeemed.
Can you imagine being in an “creatures of unutterable bliss in a state of heavenly glory”? And it’s nothing that we can ever get to on our own…we need God for this! And God’s point in everything is that we need Him! You see, He loves us so much that He is handing us what we truly don’t deserve. When was the last time you gave someone something they didn’t deserve? Or were you on the receiving end of such a gift? My pride continues to tell me I deserved what I got…that I earned it. I deserve death for my sin…and I would get exactly what I deserve…except God said, “You know what? I want Jayne here in heaven with Me! I will save Jayne with the gift of grace!”
And yes….He said that for YOU too!! Write that out with your name in place of mine. God wants you to know what He did for you!
I think that in today’s society, we are so ingrained to think that we are entitled to things that we don’t simply know how to accept a gift. Now, I will never underestimate the vastness of the gift God has given me in the gift of grace, but I long for the day in which I completely let go of the notion that I am deserving of anything! I am no more than a servant of the Lord’s. And considering all He has done for me, the least I can do is simply show some appreciation.
When I want to complain about something, I can just think of grace. When I want to shout how unfair things are, I can just think of grace. When I want to wallow in self-pity or gloat in my pride…may I be overtaken by the thought of grace…and how I didn’t earn it or deserve it. It was a gift from God.
Lord, Your love for me is unlike anything I know. I am a sinner and yet You still want me. You sent Jesus to die for me and to show me a love that no other will ever have for me, and to show me a love I would never have for another. You give me blessing upon blessing, even when I question why now, why this, or ask what else You want from me. Instead, You hold me in Your arms that much tighter. Lord, I thank You for the greatest gift ever! Help me to be a beacon for others to find You so they too can receive this gift. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.