Pondering Ephesians 2:1-5

This Week’s Passage1 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.

I’m a grace guy. I love to think on God’s amazing grace. I don’t often think on God’s amazing wrath. We don’t sing “Amazing wrath how sour the sound that condemned a wretch like me.” And yet this passage reminds us that we are by our very nature, down to the core of our being, objects of God’s wrath. Before God speaks of God’s amazing grace He speaks of God’s amazing wrath. This week as I pondered, I found a few noteworthy quotes that I thought I would share and let them speak  mostly for themselves.

A.W. Pink said:

“The wrath of God is a perfection of the Divine character upon which we need to frequently meditate.

First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever prone to regard sin lightly, to gloss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realize its heinousness.

Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God: “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him “acceptably” unless there is due “reverence” for His awful Majesty and “godly fear” of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that “our God is a consuming fire.”

Third, to draw out our souls in fervent praise for having delivered us from “the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10).”

***

Propitiation is a really cool theological word that speaks of the satisfaction of God’s holy wrath.

Here is what J.I. Packer said in his book Knowing God:

“The wrath of God against us, both present and to come, has been quenched. How was this effected? Through the death of Christ. ‘While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son’ ([Romans] 5:10). The ‘blood’—that is, the sacrificial death—of Jesus Christ abolished God’s anger against us, and ensured that His treatment of us forever after would be propitious and favorable. Henceforth, instead of showing Himself to be against us, He would show Himself in our life and experience to be for us. What, then, does the phrase ‘a propitiation . . . by His blood’ express? It expresses, in the context of Paul’s argument, precisely this thought: that by His sacrificial death for our sins Christ pacified the wrath of God.”

In order to totally appreciate the magnificent grace of God (which we’ll ponder this coming week) we need to grasp how awful is His wrath. So think with me on these things.

I’m just sayin’!

Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 2:6-10

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