Summary: Paul began this second chapter with the sobering reality of man's condition apart from a relationship with Christ. He is utterly hopeless and condemned. Fortunately, God intervened, providing a Remedy!
Resurrected in Life
Ephesians 2: 4-7
In our previous study, Ephesians 2: 1-3, we discovered the utter depravity and hopelessness of mankind within the condemnation of sin. Because of sin, he is dead spiritually, separated from God, and in danger of eternal judgment. Their depravity in sin dictates their existence – desiring only to satisfy the appetite of the flesh. These have no desire for the Word of God, the people of God, or a relationship with God himself.
Because of his condition, literally being dead in trespasses and sin, the lost man can do nothing about his depraved situation, nor can he reconcile himself to God. Try as he may, his efforts to redeem himself are futile. No amount of good, moral deeds or religious activity can restore a right relationship with God. He can do nothing about his lost condition. He is dead in sin.
Fortunately for all of us, God knew all of this. He knew we were unable to redeem ourselves and reconcile the relationship sin had destroyed. Although we were unable to secure salvation for ourselves, God had a plan to rescue mankind from the depravity of sin and the condemnation it brings. In the midst of our inability and depravity, God stepped in with the solution to the vast problem of sin and the eternal condemnation associated with it. There is hope for those dead in sin, through Christ the Savior!
As we discuss the affirmations within this gracious text, I want to consider: Resurrected in Life.
I. The Intervention of God (4-5) – Being dead in sin, we stood in need of one to intervene on our behalf. Unable to resolve the great need we had, we had no hope apart from divine intervention. Thankfully, the Lord had a plan and He was determined to intervene. Consider:
A. The Authority (4) – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. We are aware of the holiness of God. Man was created in His image, with God desiring fellowship with man. As Adam sinned in the Garden, all of humanity inherited that sinful nature, bringing enmity with God. God’s holiness demanded righteousness. God’s holiness must be achieved if humanity is to have fellowship with Him and enjoy His presence.
In the previous verses, Paul reveals the sinful condition of all humanity and the desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. All stand condemned of God because of sin, and God alone has the right to judge or pardon sin. Our sin caused separation, facing eternal judgment; but God chose to provide a means for salvation and reconciliation. God is our authority for salvation!
B. The Amazement (4-5a) – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins. Every time I pause to ponder all that I have received in Christ, I stand amazed. Have you considered the mercy of God lately? God’s mercy withheld the judgment we rightly deserved. Mercy is “kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.” We could do nothing to merit the favor of God, and yet He chose to extend mercy where judgment was due. He loved us with a great love: Agape love, God’s love, that which is given without merit and is unlimited, offered without bounds or prejudice. It is God doing what is best for man, even when it isn’t what man desires.
We discover that God extended mercy, loving us with His love, even when we were dead in sins. Long before anyone ever recognizes their sin and their need for God, He extends mercy and love. That utterly amazes me! God would have been just to have left us in our sin, being forced to face His righteous judgment, but He chose to love us and provide a means for our salvation even while we were dead in sin with no regard or desire for Him!
"A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the church. There was nothing else to say. How true! Calvary says everything you need to hear about the eternal, sacrificial, unconditional, personal, effectual love of God. He loves you, of that fact there should be no question!" (i)
C. The Awakening (5) – Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Man in sin is dead spiritually; he has no means of improving his condition or standing with God. He is separated, condemned because of sin, and hopeless. God, in mercy, came to us while we were yet dead in sin, offering salvation through His abundant grace, and quickened our dead spirit. He literally “made us alive.” This has the idea of “being raised from death unto life with Christ.”