“And you were dead in trespasses and sins…But God is rich in mercy.” This is the great disparity between us and Him. We are lifeless corpses, but he is the life-giving, merciful One. After explaining the desperate condition that all of humanity is in, Paul continued his letter by revealing the remedy for that predicament. In response to all of mankind being the children of disobedience and ultimately the children of God’s wrath, Paul explained that the believers in Ephesus were also objects of God’s love and mercy. In this statement, Paul established a key fact about salvation – it is not because of us that we were saved. In God’s economy of things, we were dead and depraved, but he loved us. There was nothing in us that would cause him to love us, therefore his love for us only came because of something in him.
Now, instead of being lifeless corpses, we have been raised to life by God’s love and mercy. And if all we received was spiritual life, we could continue the rest of eternity in wonder and awe at the kindness and grace of God to undeserving people. But God does not just bring us back to life, and leave us in the graveyard. In his raising us up and giving us new life, he secured an eternal place for us with Christ. No longer is the cemetery our home, rather, we have a new home in heaven. Now, instead of being the resident of a graveyard, we are citizens of heaven with the promise of God’s blessings and exceeding riches of God’s goodness.
What a change! We were dead and hopeless, but now we have been given life and hope. We could not help ourselves, but he came and helped us. We had nothing, but he gave us everything. In verse 7 we see the extravagance of God’s grace. Not only does he bring us to life and offer us riches, but according to verse 7, he gives us “exceeding” riches of his grace. This incredible pouring out of his kindness on us is undeserved, unmerited, and a token of God’s kindness towards us. Now, instead of being “children of disobedience” we have been brought to life so that we can be “children of obedience” who love God and do what He commands.
Instead of being “children of wrath,” we are now “children of grace” having been forgiven of our sins and had the eternal punishment replaced by eternal blessing. Instead of enemies, we are family. Through Christ, we have been given life and hope. By God’s grace, and love, and mercy, and kindness, we have received an unimaginable gift. Now, let us walk as children of grace, and war against the sin that still exists in our bodies. Let us strive to conquer the dead works of our flesh, and live in obedience to the Holy Spirit of God.
Reflect: According to Ephesians 2:4-7, how were we brought to life? Why do you think it is important to understand that we did not bring ourselves to life?