Read Ephesians 2:1-10 out loud, slowly. Listen for the words or phrases the Holy Spirit emphasizes in your mind as you read it. God has a divine plan and a purpose for everyone. Let’s reflect on how God accomplishes his purposes in us, according to Paul.
First, let’s reflect on our past spiritual condition (verses 1-4). As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
We all have been separated from God by sin. While we were still dead in our sin God provided a way for us to be made alive in Christ Jesus. Pause to breathe in the new life God has given you.
Next, receive God’s mercy (verses 5-7). But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
We have been saved by grace. God extends his unconditional love, unmerited favor, and kindness to us. The new life is a gift, there is nothing we can do to earn it, all we have to do is receive it. Pause to receive this gracious gift. Accept it with all your heart, mind and strength.
Finally, we have been given purpose (verses 8-10). For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are God’s “workmanship” (you are his creation) to do the good works he prepared for you to do long before the world began. In gratitude for what God has given us we serve Christ and build up his church. Pause to soak in the fact of who God specifically made you and what he has called you personally to do.
By Donna Burns