The Letter to the Ephesians Message Five
A. Our Resignation
B. Our Resolve
C. Our Rescue
As I read and began to consider this verse, –
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
I thought about the Lord’s mercy and love which could not be described simply as mercy and love. Paul had to express them, not only through his own experience, but also through the truth of the Holy Spirit as he was led, with words that expressed their unlimited abundance, their infinite greatness coming from the very nature of God Himself – His riches and His greatness, “…rich in mercy…his great love… wherewith he loved us….”
And then the truth expressed that His rich mercy and His great love follows those two words that should capture our attention and lead us to reflect on the truth that we do not deserve to be clothed in His abundance of mercy and love, what amazing words they are that we often read over without even thinking about them – “But God”!
We are blessed by those words –
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:4 “But God…..”
It will do us good to be reminded of some of –
1. The Positive responses of God –
a. When no hope is expected –
Romans 5:7-8 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
b. When all hope is lost –
Acts 13:29-30 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead:
Two walking to Emmaus
Widow in Nain
Martha and Mary
Even the rich young ruler – “with God all things are possible….”
c. When hope in God is questioned –
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Planted, watered, but God gave the increase –
John 1:44-49 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
d. When no hope of victory over temptations –
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
e. When no hope that God’s plan will be fulfilled –
Hosea 13:9-10 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities?
Israel rejected God, yet God gave them Good News that His promises would stand true –
Romans 11:1-2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
See also –
Revelation 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
God is still giving Good News – How will you respond?
We must be reminded though, of –
2. The negative side of God’s responses –
Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
God’s judgment remains in place for those who reject His mercy and His grace. They are intent on loving themselves instead of loving God and through that love, loving others. They are still in the position of being “…at emnity with God….”
Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Can you rejoice today in those words, two words that mean everything to us – “But God…” –
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Our eternal life, which has already begun when we turned to God for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, is all of Him and about Him. Thank Him now and every day.