"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
This incredible portion of scripture can be split into two halves. The first being desperate hopelessness, death, and the miserable state of mankind. We've all been or are there; "we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." I've been guilty of rebellion against God, buying the lies and living in the chains of my own making, chains and bondage I could never free myself from. Fortunately, the passage doesn't end here.
The next two words of this passage bring hope into this hopeless condition.
God. Righteousness. Justice. Holiness. Perfection. God, the one who's face we spat in while arrogantly carrying on in our sin. The One who has every reason to destroy us. The Creator who was rejected and defied by his beloved creation. But God.
Instead of damning us to the destiny we earned, he loved us with an unexplainable, radical, perfect love. He sacrificed His precious Son so that we may taste freedom and life where misery, hopelessness and death clung. "because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved." He doesn't stop at saving us. Paul, the author of Ephesians, then goes on tell us the purpose behind saving us--to show "the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." How good is our God? How precious is our risen Savior?
How do you respond to Him? How do you respond to the crucified and risen Savior? Ask Him how. My flawed human words aren't comparable to hearing His voice and reading His Word for yourself. Seek Him and He will show you.
"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
*Scripture is hyper linked so you can click on it and read the full chapter in context*