In the last message, this is what we learned.
We learned that those of us who have not yet repented from our sins and accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, are dead in our trespasses and sins in which we are walking, following the desires, temptations, evils and immoral things of this world and ultimately we are following the devil who is the spirit that works in the hearts of those that disobey God. This means if you are currently not saved, if you currently have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the devil is working in your heart as I speak and because you live in the passions of your flesh, you carry out the desires of your body and mind, you are deserving of God’s wrath of eternal hell just like all other unbelievers. What is even scary is that we are so trapped in our trespasses and sins that on our own, we have absolutely no hope of ever getting out of the trap and freeing ourselves. In a nudshell, we are all destined to eternal hell. This is our state before we were saved and this is your state now if you have not accepted Jesus in your life as your Lord and Savior.
Now we will see how God based on his own will, how he decided to save us.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESVST)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses,
This verse starts with the word “but” because it continues from verse 1-3. Paul after describing how sinful we are and how we cannot save ourselves from sin, here in verse 4 says but God, rich in mercy. Let’s stop here. The word in Greek used here for rich is “plousios” meaning wealth, abundance of riches. The word in Greek used for mercy also means compassion or active pity. Mercy is best described as not getting what you deserve. From verse1-3, we saw that we deserved to go to eternal hell because of our continuing trespasses and sins but here Paul says but God having mercy in abundance… Paul says because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses. But God having mercy in abundance and having great love with which he loved us even when we were sinners and dead in our trespasses.
So, even if we were dead in our trespasses and sins, having no hope of saving ourselves, God having an abundance of mercy, had mercy on us, meaning he decided that we are not going to get what we deserve, God also loved us with great love. God gave us this abundant mercy and great love while we were still dead in our trespasses. While our sinful nature could not have gotten any worse because the worst form would be to be dead in our trespasses and sins and we where.
made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved —6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In our state of complete deadness in our trespasses and sins, in our complete state of hopelessness of ever being able to save ourselves, God with his abundance of mercy and because of the great love that he loved us with, made us alive together with Christ. Meaning that when he raised Christ from the dead, he also raised us from death. Having being dead to our trespasses and sins, we were made alive, we were raised from the dead, we were released from the trap of sin and trespasses, when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Please note that we did not raise ourselves from death but we were raised by God when he raised Jesus from the dead.
Paul says we were saved by grace. The word grace means an unmerited favour. The best way to explain grace is to say “to get what you do not deserve”. Three words are in play here, mercy, grace and love.
Mercy: not getting what you deserve- we deserved to die but, we were saved.
Grace: getting what you do not deserve- we were saved when we did not deserve to be saved.
Love: this is the reason why God had mercy and grace upon us
Now that God made us alive and we are no longer dead in our trespasses and sins by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, God raised us up with Christ when he raised him and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. This God did so that in future, he might show us his immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ. God did all this so that in future he might show how limitless his grace and kidness is towards us.
What does this mean?