(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Three letters, but a powerful conjunction.
As a language professor quipped in Seminary, “If you master the prepositions and conjunctions, you will master the language. Why? Because prepositions and conjunctions communicate the relationship between one part of a sentence to another or one section of a paragraph to another (OK, enough for the language lesson today!)
Ephesians 2:4-10 is one of my favorite sections of the Bible because it starts with the conjunction, “But.” It is easy to read past this, but please do not. It sets up the contrast of verses 1-3 and what follows. Remember yesterday verses 1-3 remind us that we are “dead in sin” and “objects of God’s wrath.” I’m glad God didn’t stop there. There is not much hope at the end of verse 3.
Read this slowly:
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Did you notice WHO is acting on behalf of WHO?
God is the prime mover in this setting. “God, … made us alive…” “God, raised us up with Christ and seated us with him…” “…it is the gift of God…”
Did you notice WHY God acts on our behalf?
God doesn’t say, “Because of your great attempt to follow my law…” He doesn’t say, “Because you’ve followed me for a very long time.” He doesn’t say, “Because you are better than most in loving me.” He doesn’t say, “You’ve been really good recently.” He DOES say, “because of his great love for us.”
The sole motivator for God to act on our behalf IS his GREAT LOVE for us, because he is rich in mercy.
Did you notice WHAT happens when God acts?
Our dead soul is given spiritual life.
Our status as “objects of wrath” is now “receiver of God’s mercy”
Our eternity of condemnation is now one of salvation.
This is grace.
Grace stands in stark contrast to what our sin deserves.
That’s why I love the little word, “but.”
My sin deserves death, BUT God’s love and grace gives me life.
This is God’s grace for YOU!
Apply: What stands out to you in these verses? How does it affect your understanding of grace?
Prayer: Lord Jesus thank you for loving me even though I give many reasons for you not to. I trust and rely on your grace today and always. AMEN.