Today I plan to rap up my study of our relationship with God as describes in Ephesians with an overview of Ephesians 2:1-10.
In verses 1-3 we see our prior condition as sinful man. We are described as being dead in our sins living selfish, lifeless lives without any real purpose leading to a dead end (literally and spiritually). As we travel down this selfish lifeless path paved with disobedience we willing ignore our final destination some how thinking that if we ignore it it will somehow not be our end.
I have had the opportunity to talk to so many people by way of an off topic HR bulletin board to see these verses being lived out daily. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” People today fill their lives with so many things and activities that they are not able to hear that still small voice of God calling out to them. We have so many devices and gadgets today yet we are busier now than ever. Why is that? Shouldn’t we have more time to listen for God? How many times do I myself get caught up in the cares of this world that I fail to be still? Far too often I am afraid. Unfortunately I think we as a society are running from many things. We are running from others, always trying to either stay ahead of the Jones or leaving a trail of disaster for others to fix. Some are running from themselves because they know the real “self” and too often don’t like what they have become. And yet others are running from God because in their minds if they ignore God or pretend that He is not there somehow they don’t have to be accountable to Him. What kind of life is all this? Selfish and lifeless without real purpose. How fitting verses 1-3 are to those that are dead.
But then we get to verse 4, and oh what a change takes place for the believer. “But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us,” Oh but for God…. we would be condemned to eternity in hell, but for God… our lives would be without purpose. God, who is rich, above all others, has perfect mercy and is the only one that can bring life from the lifeless by way of death of His only begotten Son and then makes us to sit with Him, with HIM!
Why would the Creator of all the universe, the God of eternity want you and me to sit with Him? That is how much mercy and love He has for us. It is unfathomable to me. Do this for me, go to your kitchen and get the salt shaker…go ahead, I’ll wait…now pour out a tiny bit of salt into your hand. Next, get rid of all the salt except for one grain of salt in your palm. Now imagine the house you’re in is world, the town you’re in is the universe and the state you’re in is galaxy. Now look at that tiny grain of salt in your hand and image that is you. Compared to the vastness of time and space, we are smaller than a speck in God’s hands and yet He loved us and has extended his mercy to us. Wow, what an awesome God we serve.
Look at the next verse, verse seven. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” This is why God has done what He did for us. To show us by His kindness the richness of His grace, the undeserved favor toward us.
Note that there is nothing that we as sinful man can or could do to gain the love, mercy and grace of the Father. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ” God knew that in order for us to receive this great gift, there could be no room for our pride. We are His workmanship, He handcrafted mankind at the beginning of the world to do good works. We failed, but because of His craftsmanship He can take the unusable, a blob of selfish, lifeless clay and form us back into His image (Genesis 1:26-27, II Corinth 3:18).
We are that tiny speck of salt so small and insignificant yet because of the richness of His love for us we can have fellowship with Him. That is His heartbeat, for us to be the recipients of this vast love, mercy and grace.
In the Image of God
In the image of God, we were made long ago,
with the purpose divine, here his glory to show;
But we failed Him one day, and like sheep went astray,
thinking not of the cost, we His likeness had lost.
But from eternity, God had in mind,
the work of Calvary, the lost to find;
From His heaven so broad, Christ came down earth to trod,
so that men might live again in the image of God.
Now that I have believed, and the Saviour received,
now that I from the cry, of my guilt am relieved,
I will live for my Lord, not for gain or reward,
but for love thinking of, what His grace has restored!
I’ll never comprehend, redemption’s plan,
how Christ could condesend, to die for man;
Such a Saviour I’ll praise, to the end of my days,
as I upward, onward trod in the image of God.
As we conclude this first section of Ephesians we see that Paul has described what God has done for us so that we, specks in the palm of His hand, can have a personal relationship with Him.