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We were dead, but are now alive

In Ephesians 2, Paul explained how God gave the Church new life: “And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins […] even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace have ye been saved.”

Paul gives a glimpse of life for believers before they knew Christ in Ephesians 2:1 – we were “dead through our trespasses and sins.”

Obviously, we were not physically dead. This death left us powerless, unable to change our circumstances, unresponsive and void of life. We were not diseased, not dysfunctional and not depressed; we were dead.

According to the world, we can live without Christ. We would be humanists, seeing ourselves as very much alive, placing ourselves on pedestals and revering in our accomplishments.

From God’s perspective, however, we were dead and enslaved to the ways of this world (Ephesians 2:2). We were obedient to satanic and demonic influences.

When obedient to these influences, our minds are manipulated: truth is a lie and a lie is the truth.

God has called us to stand against this mindset in I Peter 5:8. If we do not stand against this mindset, we are influenced by the condemned, “among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Ephesians 2:3).”

As a dead person, we acted upon our selfish desires, regardless of the consequences. We experimented in our sexuality, indulging the desires of the flesh. We had premarital sex because it felt good, no matter what the future repercussions may be. We committed adultery, regardless to what it did to the family. We watched pornography, even at the risk of jail time, depending on the content. There were no boundaries.

We were born into this, and didn’t have a choice but to live a life of death. But God has “made us alive.”

Ephesians 2:4-5 allows us to see what God has done for us in our lives. When we had nothing to offer, when we were incapable of loving God when we were “dead,” God’s mercy flowed out over us.

God is rich in mercy; overflowing, abundant. Mercy is the riches or the wealth of God. People are often rich in gold, silver and diamonds, and they pride themselves in these possessions, but God is rich in mercy. God is anxious to impart grace to others; so rich that He can make all blessed (I Peter 1:3; Psalms 103:11).

God’s great love is evident because He loved us first, and “sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (I John 4:10).”

We have received life by grace – unmerited favor upon the undeserving (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Grace comes into our life privately, and is manifested in our outward life. Grace doesn’t enter our lives because of who we are; it was God’s gift to us. We didn’t earn it because of our works. We cannot earn grace.

The doctrine of grace teaches that we are totally unable to save ourselves, to help in our salvation, to do anything to merit all or any part of our salvation, or to keep our salvation. We are saved totally as an act of God’s will, and we do not deserve it in any way. Indeed, those that are saved are equally - if not more- deserving of Hell as those who actually go there.

Once God has poured His grace upon us, He calls us His own, “His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).”

The Greek word for “workmanship” as used in Ephesians 2:10 is the same from which we get the word “poem.”

Through grace, we have become God’s love letter. The way God saved us when we were lost and the story of our salvation illuminates God’s grace. We were lost and dead, but are now alive and called children of God, in whom God is creating and building a masterpiece.

We have become His poem.

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