Ephesians 2:1-10 “But God”
May 16, 2017 // By:Dave // No Comment
Ephesians 2:1-10 (continued from Last week’s, In Ephesians 1:15-23)
Eph. 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
Eph. 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Eph. 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Eph. 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
This week, we look at Paul’s description of where the Ephesian believers started, (where they came from). As we look at these four verses, we get a quick sense of a person’s status before becoming a believer.
- dead in sin
- walking by the course of this world (Rom 7:5, Rom 8:6-8)
- walking under the guidance of the anti-christ (and those who follow this rebellion against professing the Savior)
- living in the lusts of the flesh (see Gal 5:15-17 and Gal 5:19-21)
I do not believe that most believers truly appreciate the level of depravity we were lifted from when we came to the cross. A look at Romans 7 shows us how opposite our old nature is from our new nature. The old nature, the sin nature, the old man (whatever you prefer to call it) is totally opposed to God’s plan and will. It is so completely opposite to God’s will that we are told “it” cannot please God and WILL NOT. (Rom 8:7).
We, who are now saved, are still here on earth, behind enemy lines on a mission to recruit more to our camp and we have double agents among us. Spies that resemble each and every believer are walking and talking right among the believers they resemble (face, body , voice, etc) !!
How can this be ?! I’m glad you asked …
Each one of us still has a sin nature dwelling inside us, along side our new born-again spirit. I would suggest imagining your self as a human tank with a turret at the top. (No one around you can really see who is driving the tank or firing shells out of the cannon except to discern the direction of the tank and who is getting blown up by the shells). If the tank is not running into fellow tanks, and is firing shells at the enemy, one will conclude that “our” pilot is in control of the tank. On the other hand, if the tank is ramming the ones right along side it and the shells are being fired back at us, then we will conclude the enemy “pilot” is in control. These pilots can switch back and forth all day long (affecting direction of the tank, firing of shells, progress against the enemy or aiding the enemy). Who decides which pilot controls the tank? … the commander of the tank.
Every little choice made, throughout the day, are the countless opportunities to have the tank fighting the enemy or fighting for the enemy. You, reader, are such a tank if you chose to accept the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. The moment you accepted His work on the cross, He opened the hatch on that tank and placed a pilot who could understand His side of the battle and follow God’s instructions to win. As time passes, we get better and better at keeping the good pilot at the controls. (this is the process called santification; the transformation of learning to walk, run, and fight God’s way and not the world’s way 2 Cor 10:3-5, Rom 12:1-2)
These first four verses start with all that the believer used to be up to the point of salvation. Suddenly, in verse 4, we see these two words, “but God”. I cant think of two better words to finish a description of the depravity of man. BUT GOD !! I dont care how bad something may be when it is followed by “BUT GOD”. Once God steps in, all bets are off, the game has changed.
It doesn’t matter how deep your hole is (how bad your sin is) once you get to the BUT GOD part of all this. Whenever the phrase “but God’ appears in the bible, there is a sudden and dramatic change in the situation. Right after we read “but God” there is an intervention taking place and God steps in and changes the direction or course of events to align with His righteousness, power, mercy, and promises. In this case “but God” means an means a miracle of greatest proportions; the salvation of a human soul.
The power of God’s saving power is outlined to us in the verses that follow:
Eph. 2:4 But God, being arich in mercy, because of bHis great love with which He loved us,
Eph. 2:5 even when we were adead 1in our transgressions, made us alive together 2with Christ (bby grace you have been saved),
Eph. 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph. 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Eph. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
I love the “but God”s in the bible. I enjoy even more seeing the “but God”s in the lives of the believers around me. Seeing His intervention everytime someone does a 180 and surrenders an area of their heart to the Spirit. Seeing drug addicts being freed from their chains, victims of violence and abuse forgiving others in the Spirit’s power and raising the Cross of Christ over their relationships … The list goes on and on and on …
Take some time and pray about the “but God”s in your life. Offer thanks and praise for the times His hand has intervened in your life and those around you. Pray for more “but God”s in the lives of the people around you and be ready to be His hands and feet and be a participant in the next “BUT GOD” that comes along.
No matter how bad things may look, remember how great the “BUT GOD” is going to be !!
εν διακονια τω θεω, Dave Cadieux