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. (Eph. 2:1-10)
On Monday we read Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer for the Ephesians. After he wrote that, it led him into this beautiful passage depicting what happens when a person comes to faith. In verses 1-3 he is describing a person’s life before they surrender their life to Christ. That person is “disobedient”, following their own “sinful nature, and they are “objects of wrath”. Our eternal outlook was not hopeful. In verse four you have a great word, “but”. We find hope and that our condition is not permanent. We read of God’s great love for us and how he gives us spiritual life. By God’s grace, he saved us through our faith. It is not through anything that we have done that could give us eternal life. It is 100% a GIFT from God. Totally undeserved.
One big theme you will see throughout this letter is the importance of us finding our identity in Christ. In verse 10 you see Paul saying that “we are God’s workmanship” and we are “created in Christ Jesus”. We see that we belong to Christ and we are his. We must find our identities in him and not anything else in this world. Everything else will fail and let us down, but if we focus on Christ he will get us through anything.
There are two things I want you to focus on today. First, we must remember our past and the radical life change that happened when we became a follower of Christ. We cannot forget the amazing gift God gave us that we do not deserve. Then secondly, because we have received this great gift, God created us to do good works, which would lead us to share the news of this gift to other people. There are other people that desperately need this message of God’s great mercy and love. Who in your life needs to hear the gospel? Pray for them right now. Then pray that God would give you the opportunity and boldness to share it with them this week.