June 13, 2012
Everything up to this point has shown that we’re in Christ. Read verses 17-23 again. Now in chapter two we’re going to see not only that we’re in Christ, but how and why we got there. He starts by reminding us that,
We have a wicked past (:1-3)
And you hath he quickened,
Now, this ties in to 1:20. It’s not just saying that God has given us life; it’s saying God gave Jesus life, and you also He has given life.
who were dead in trespasses and sins;
This is a fact of the gospel—we were dead because of sins and trespasses (Rom. 5:12).
2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,
Being spiritually dead we lived our lives the same as the world with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I Jn. 2:16).
according to the prince of the power of the air,
We lived as though we were controlled by Satan.
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;
We didn’t look any different than the children of disobedience. We did whatever our lust told us to do.
and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Now I want to make a distinction here as I understand it. We are in Christ from the foundation of the world, by nature (according to our birth in Adam) we’re children of wrath. The devil doesn’t have the same power over us as he has over his own, but there’s no apparent difference from our perspective. We’re not of the world, but we looked just like them. We haven’t been appointed unto wrath, but by nature were children of it. The difference between us and others is only our position in Christ according to grace of God.
And that’s how we come to the next part:
But God saved us for His glory (:4-10)
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
The King James makes this a little hard to understand. I like the ESV: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us…” Why does God have mercy on us? It’s only because He loved us!
5Even when we were dead in sins,
Put the emphasis on the word “even.”
hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Put emphasis on the word “together.” Even when we were dead in sins God gave us life together with Christ! This is how grace is really grace. We were saved when we looked just like the children of disobedience. If not for being in Christ at His resurrection, we wouldn’t have a single thing!
6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Read 1:21-22 again.
Why would He do this?
7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace
(by which we’re saved)
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
God’s kindness towards us is through Christ Jesus. Let me tell you, we can never lean hard enough on Christ. We really do believe that all other ground is sinking sand.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
It doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with me. It’s not my hard work or good choice—it was settled before I was even born.
(this will tell us why God saved us without our consent or prior knowledge)
we are his workmanship,
It makes everybody say, “Look at what God has done!”
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
He gets all the credit, and nothing is outside of what Christ has finished! This has an effect on us right now:
He has made us into one body (:11-15)
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Look, the uncircumcised Gentiles didn’t even have the Law. It’s hard for us to remember that the Jews were blown away that God would save one of them (Acts 11:18). They didn’t allow the Gentiles into the inner court for fear that they would pollute the holy place (Acts 21:28)!