JohnSWilson3 Blog


“…he might show the incomparable riches of his grace…”
October 10, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

Starting into the second chapter of Ephesians is truly remarkable! After Paul paints an incredible portrait of Christ and His church, whereby “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” Paul immediately contrasts this with how far we were from Christ.

In the literal translation it says: “And you being dead in the trespasses and in the sins of you, in which then ye walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit – now operating in the sons – of disobedience; among whom also we all conducted ourselves then in the lusts of the flesh of us, doing the wishes of the flesh and of the understandings, and were children by nature of wrath as also the rest…” In chapter 1 Paul told the church in Ephesus that “in love he predestined us to be adopted (placed) as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his good pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace”! At one time we were “sons of disobedience” but now we are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”! As Paul told the churches in Galatia: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” Have we really thought about how much He took away in giving us of Himself? Jesus said “the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.”

“But because of his great love for us, 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.” “His great love for us” is literally:”because of the much love of his with which he loved us.” Can we really get into these few words? The depth of there meaning! No wonder Paul kept “asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” The song by David Crowder Band “How He Loves” comes to mind (http://www.onlylyrics.com/hits.php?grid=11&id=1034792). Oh, how He loves us. he loves us so much that “even when we were dead in transgressions” He “made us alive with Christ.” To the church in Colosse Paul said that “when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature (literally “flesh”), God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” It’s been taken away! Wow! “It is by grace you have been saved!” (I think Paul would have put an exclamation point their!) Being saved is about being made “alive with Christ.”

We “were dead” and walked by our flesh and were “sons of disobedience.” But now because of Christ, receiving Him as Lord, we have been made “alive with Christ.” That IS salvation! He is salvation! While we are now sons of God here on this earth at the same time “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” We are no longer of this world! Christ sees us with Himself in eternity, right now! “Our citizenship is in heaven!” But God has a purpose. Being made “alive with Christ,” being saved, being a citizen of heaven was according to “his good pleasure and will,” “the mystery of his will,” “the purpose of his will” which was that we “might be for the praise of his glory!” “He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” His purpose was that “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.” He desires that His Son be manifested to all of creation through His sons and daughters! As Paul told the church in Rome: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

The Father desires to see us live by His Spirit that dwells in us in a corporate way not just individually, because it is when we do we together begin to “show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” When we listen and follow the Spirit together then His life will be shown forth. I cannot reveal all of Christ by myself, I need my brothers and sisters to see the fullness of Christ. His life of love, His life of grace which are “incomparable” to anything we can think of or imagine! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The church is God’s workmanship or literally “poem.” I get the sense that another way of saying this is “For we are God’s poem, created in Christ Jesus to be His song.” A song expresses the heart. The church is Christ’s expression, His song, that shows His beautiful life of grace! When the church of the living God is living by His Spirit in close loving relationship with one another with their Lord His life will be made manifested. And we will see His life expressed, “the incomparable riches of his grace”! “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” Let us ask our Lord together “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” How we need to know Him better, how we need to know “His great love for us with which He loved us!” Let us be His song, let us live by His life together so that the world may see a different a new creation, a different kind of people, a family of God, a life of faith, love, hope, grace, and freedom. The world awaits such a song.

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