Just before the believer’s Magna Carta outlined in Ephesians 2:8-9 (For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.), there are a pair of words which may be the two most powerful terms juxtaposed in the Bible.
Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus and points out that before Christ:
- We were headed for Hell and in desperate need of salvation, incapable of rescuing ourselves.
- We were filled with hate and anger, slaves to sin.
- We were consumed with lust and greed.
- We were controlled by and followed the Evil One.
All those things were true and our estate absolutely hopeless. Then, the apostle connects two powerful words that instantly wash the slate clean. “But God.”
- Sure we were in a bad place, but God sent his son, Jesus to rescue us. As you often hear on Haven, “It’s ALL about Jesus!”
- We were dead in sin . . . but God sent his son to make us alive. Christ came to live and die so that we might die and live.
- We were filled with hate and anger . . . but God rescued us from the acid of our rage-filled life and replaced it with Christian love.
- We were consumed with lust and greed . . . but God sent the Holy Spirit to fill us and help us “think on these things.”
- We were controlled and followed the Evil One . . . but God took control and pointed us to the right way.
- We were called children of wrath . . . but God instilled a new spirit in us so that we are known by our love.
Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
You may feel that you’re in a hopeless situation, but God knows and cares.
It may seem life is out of control and nothing is going your way, but God knows and cares.
Yes, the horrifying news of our sickness and sin were met by the undeserved grace of God. In the ages to come, at times things may seem hopeless, “but God.”