This Week’s Passage and Memory Verse (in red): 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 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 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 workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
One of the great great passages in the NT. If I were to encourage you to memorize one entire passage this year then this would be it. This past Sunday I talked about preaching the gospel to yourself everyday – well here it is. I talked about the battle that we have with the unseen forces of darkness – that’s mentioned here as well. There is so much treasure in this passage – I hope you have pondered it for all it’s worth.
There are a few things that Paul says here that believers need to understand if they are going to understand the gospel at all.
1) We were dead! – Spiritually speaking, as far as our relationship with God was concerned, we were dead. There was no life in us. Nada. Zilch. When you begin to grasp this then you begin to understand the tremendous triumph of grace. There was NOTHING that we did to be made alive in Christ. NOTHING! There was nothing that we could do. We were dead. This is why God’s grace is so amazing. He made dead people alive. “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
2) We were objects of wrath! – You have probably heard somewhere before that “God hates the sin but loves the sinner”. Not true. God is not going to just punish sin, He is going to punish sinners. He will demonstrate His righteous wrath upon all those who defame His Name and who have turned away from His grace and mercy to seek life on their own terms. We at one time deserved His wrath. But at the cross he demonstrated His loving kindness to us and offered us the free gift of salvation in Christ. Those who repent and turn to Him in faith will find Life. Those who reject His offer of life will forever experience His wrath and justice.
When you get these two things then the gospel makes sense – and you understand why the gospel is such Good News.
And then we come to verse 10. The phrase that captures my attention here is “which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” So it would seem that part of the adventure in this life is to discover what it is that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Maybe you already know the answer to that question for your own life. Maybe you don’t. If you love adventure like I do then here is a great one for you. A lifetime of discovering all the good that God wants to wring out of your life. He didn’t just save us to sit. He saved us to serve. So have fun adventurizing!
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 6:1-14
Next Week’s Memory Verse: Romans 6:13a