Ephesians is a great book! It teaches us so much truth about who we are in Christ. Today’s reading reveals that very idea. It shows us the three parts to any good testimony.
Who you WERE…
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. Ephesians 2:1-3
Before we met Jesus we were dead – without life – because life only comes in Jesus. We were caught up in ourselves – in our disobedience and sins – living just like the others around us. We were controlled by Satan – running after the passions and desires he placed in front of us that appealed to our sinful nature. We were subject to God’s wrath because of our sin. Just existing – day to day – trying to figure out what to do next. Headed for a Christ-less eternity… What was your life like before you met Jesus?
How you CHANGED…
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:4-9
Your change begins with God… God who was so rich in mercy. He sought us out and extended mercy to us – not giving us what we really deserve. He did this because of His incredible love for us – even though we were dead in our sins. He saved us through the cross and changed our lives – raised us up with Him. Someday in heaven, He will lavish his incredible grace and kindness to us for all eternity. He did it all – it was a gift from Him and had nothing to do with anything we have done or could have done. Do you remember when God saved you?
Who you ARE NOW…
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
After God saved us – He began the process of remaking us. Changing the things that were damaged and damaging into things that were “exhibit A” of what only He can do. He’s been at work to prepare us for heaven ever since that day. How has meeting Jesus changed you?
Stop right now and thank Him for His grace that reached out to you. Thank Him for His love that found you were you were and changed your life forever. Thank Him for the gift of salvation that has made an eternal difference in your life.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor