Sermon Titled “But God……….” (Ephesians 2:4-7) Sunday 24th November, 2013
- Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, being rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In the previous week’s sermon, titled “The Walking Dead,” Pastor Reimer talked about the dilemma of the “fallen” man, the man who chooses to remain spiritually dead by walking away from God rather than with God. But because God is slow to anger, not wanting anyone to perish, He graces us with His mercy and places in our paths circumstances or people who help to divert us in His direction and walk us towards light instead of darkness.
Isn’t God’s mercy for us great! An unknown author wrote, “In His mercy God does not give us what we deserve, and in His grace He gives us what we do not deserve!” To those who recognize the “diversion” signs, and then willingly change course to follow them, God spares them from what they deserve and blesses them with what they do not deserve. New life, in the form of an “awakened” spirit, evolves in the lives of those who turn to follow God.
This new life, which represents a “change for the better,” would not be possible without God’s grace and mercy. We are introduced to Ephesians 2:4-7 with the following words, “But God, being rich in mercy……” Here we have six incredible words, highlighted by Pastor Reimer, because they are, as stated above, positively life changing.
As new beings in Christ, we are now “raised up with Him,” and made to “sit with Him in the heavenly places” (verse 6). Through Him, we are now able to do things that we could never have done without Him; we can love those who are difficult to love, forgive those who are difficult to forgive, do things that once seemed impossible to do, and find courage and strength in the most trying of times. What’s really exciting about this verse however, is that we cannot be separated from Christ once He seats us beside Him. We were spiritually dead, but now spiritually alive, and our new position in Christ is irreversible.
Finally, Paul tells us in verse 7 that God will eventually “show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Paul is telling us that a time is coming, a time which will last forever, when we will be able to glorify Jesus Christ for the grace and kindness extended to us by His father. But until that time arrives, and while we are living in this world, we should try to understand how God’s grace and mercy makes a difference.
It makes a difference, because we cannot possibly continue to be prideful, arrogant, or self-conceited knowing what we know about God’s redemptive grace. If He was willing to overlook our offenses, and grant us mercy, grace and love when we most certainly didn’t deserve it, then how can we not do the same for others?
As we celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones this week, let us be grateful – first for God’s amazing grace, then secondly for the blessings that He has bestowed upon us (family, friends, jobs, homes, answers to prayer….), and finally, for His mercy which continues to influence us daily and helps us to live our lives as He wills us to live.