“But God” are two of the greatest words ever written. They are found in Ephesians 2:4 and other places in the Bible. God spells out man’s condition very clearly in the larger passage (Ephesians 2:1-10). The person who does not know God, does not have a relationship with God, is in a terrible, terrible mess. God promised death to all mankind in the Garden of Eden, if we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; we have all eaten from it. That is the image that Paul draws from in Romans and here in Ephesians 2. The person who does not know God is not sick and in need of a physician; the person who does not know God is dead, dead in his trespasses and sins. He is under the power of and in bondage to the evil one. He cannot even call for help. Christ did not come to make us feel better or feel better about ourselves. He came to call us from the grave, to resurrect us.
Praise God for Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, 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 ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (NASU) Our very nature made us children of wrath, But God! We were trapped with no way out, But God! We were in rebellion against God, But God! We were indulging the desires of the flesh, But God! We were indulging the desires of the mind, But God! We were sons of disobedience, enemies of God, But God! We had willingly put ourselves under the authority of Satan, But God! We deserved the everlasting wrath of a holy God, But God! But God are among the greatest words of the Bible. God could have allowed us to go on in sin and live eternally in hell with the master we had chosen, but instead God chose to intervene in time and space and history to give us an opportunity to be reconciled with Him.
God who was rich in mercy, met man who was rich only in death. As age rolls upon age upon age in eternity, God will continue to pour out the riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ. God has an everlasting purpose for the believer. God will continue to heap His grace upon believers which will serve as one more way of displaying His glory and teaching the creatures around the throne about grace. Those creatures have never experienced grace; they only know justice. In case we did not understand our condition as described in the first seven verses, Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it plain, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (NASU) None of us has been saved by any work of our own. The lost man must throw himself on the mercy and grace of the Lord, crying out to be forgiven based on nothing other than the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now is your next best opportunity. The one who calls on the name of the Lord will not be disappointed.
STEVE ELLISON is director of Ouachita Baptist Camp in Arkansas. You may contact him at email@example.com.