We have now unwittingly covered Ephesians chapter two in its entirety (in length, not depth) and so I’d like to give you some of my own reflections on this incredible chapter taking us from “once were”, to “now are,” and “forever will be.”
- Apart from God we are, in fact, dead. Unfortunately it seems that we get the idea that simply because people are walking around, doing business, eating, drinking and seemingly living life that we are in fact alive. Yet, here our experience is an illusion compared to the biblical truth. Beating hearts and breathing lungs are no comparison to being spiritually alive. Paul can say, “As for you, you were dead,” and it is a true claim about each and every person.
- Our death is complete. There is no self-revival, no self-resuscitation. Paul shows us that the only thing that dead people do is stay enslaved to the world, the devil, and the flesh (our natural, sinful desires). Dead people do not get alive of their own merit, their own charm, their smarts or good looks… the dead stay dead… destined for the judgement and wrath of a holy God that does not associate with spiritually dead slaves.
- But God. In our desperation, in our destitution, unable to do anything to save ourselves, God moves. This is the Gospel (good news): that despite our wretchedness, God acts in order to make us alive. Why? His love, His mercy, His grace, His kindness… God moves to save us because God wants to. Praise God!
- We were made alive to live. This seems like a silly statement, but it is gospel truth, and one we fail to realize (or at least to put into practice). We have been made alive, we have been raised with Christ and seated in the heavenly places. The world is no longer our home… so its sin should not be ours. The devil is no longer the ruler of our domain, but Jesus Christ is our King… so we live under His rule. And our flesh having died with Christ is no longer our most powerful force within us, but the Spirit who dwells in us. Do not climb back into the grave! Live!
- We are His trophies. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t make a trophy in my own likeness, let alone actually use me as a trophy. It doesn’t seem like there would be much honor to bestow with that. But God thinks differently than I. He tells me that I am a trophy, of His mighty power to convert a dead rebel into a living son, and of His grace because I deserved none of it. Thereby, my very existence now points to God, points to His rich and incredible grace.
- God. Not you. Just in case you forgot… Paul makes it very clear in verses 8-10, that your new life is not your doing… but the God who is generous beyond anything we can comprehend.
- Gentiles were missing out. Now, unless you a descendant of Abraham (Jewish), then you too were missing out. Israel was God’s people… not part of Israel, not part of the blessings, the covenant, the law, the hope… without God. (Do you know the general timeline of the Old Testament? It’d be worth looking into… It’s helpful to have a bigger picture, see my abbreviated one here)
- But Christ. He took those far away and brought them near. Just not in the way that they thought… it was not for a new way of converting people to Judaism, but to create a new man, a new race of people united in Christ and united to God by Christ. This trumped everything people had been expecting… and is the wonderful new truth we get to live in. We were not just made alive, we were not just saved, but we were saved into a people! A people with a new way to relate to God and a new purpose.
- We are new. New citizens of God’s Kingdom, new family members of God’s household, and new stones being added together to make up a temple where God dwells. Again, When God saves he doesn’t just get rid of the bad of before, He takes us into SO MUCH BETTER. An existence with full equality and unity and purpose; not to mention the promise of an existence intimately connected to God’s presence.
- God gives. God is a giver, a saver, a planner, a doer, a maker of people and a breaker of walls. All out of his own generosity and for His own glory. Praise Him.