But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.Ephesians 2:4-7
All we looked at yesterday is set over against God’s mercy. We met this concept before when we looked at Romans 5:8 (Gem 171). God loved us while we were still sinners. Before you had done anything worthy of His attention or His grace and mercy He loved you. Long before you ever even considered loving Him, He loved you. We were dead in our sinful ways; dead spiritually and bound for eternal death (separation from God). He raised Christ from the dead by “that” power and he raised us from the dead too. But Ian, I haven’t died yet. If you have been taken from dark to light, rescued from the kingdom and realm of the devil and made a child of God you have been “raised from the dead”.
In taking you from the realm of the dead He has taken you all the way to heavenly realms. You are now seated with Him in heavenly places. Now that sure is a great height to look down from. Not only that but you have all the authority of the number one Son. Wow, isn’t God’s grace and mercy impressive. Deserving of death and separation and he brings you into the family and not only gives you an inheritance but also “gives you the family check book” and power of attorney. All because you are “in Christ”. You are united with Him. You are His adopted child. And because of that He boasts about you and shows you off as a trophy of grace. Why? Because God is boastful and full of pride and likes to skite about what He has done? No! Rather so the world, and all further generations, will know “the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness [to you]” and want to be in His family too.
We have been down the grace road before. We met it in Romans frequently. We encountered it in the Corinthian letters and now again in Ephesians. Paul is always on about Grace. Like we saw in Romans, it is grace in the beginning and grace to the end. John describes it as “grace upon grace”. The entire plan of God, His complete will, is premised on grace. Because of that we will look at a very important principle that we encounter in the next verses. Ephesians 2:8-9 were some of the first Bible verses I ever committed to memory. Have a look at the next two verses and connect them to today’s verses. We will put it together in the next Gem. Time for you to connect all the pieces.
Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mould them accordingly.Ignatius
Nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy. And nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace.Max Lucado
The Church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent.Andy Stanley