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Summary: The love of God, more than anything else, is the one moving cause of salvation. Paul said in Rom. 5:8, “God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Love is the one attribute from which the plan of salvation

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By: Tom Lowe Date: 3/11/17

Lesson 8: The Individual Believer’s Present State (2:4-10)

Series: Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

Ephesians 2:4-10 (KJV)

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Commentary

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

“But God, who is rich in mercy”

“Mercy” is a gift of the divine nature, and is essential to God; and may be considered with respect to the objects of it, either as “general,” extending to all men in a beneficial way; or as “special,” extending only to some by way of grace; for though “mercy” is a product of His nature, the display and application of it towards any object is the act of His will. Special mercy, with all the blessings and benefits of it, is only exhibited in Christ Jesus, and God is said to be “rich” in it, because He is free and liberal in dispensing it to a large number of persons, in great abundance and variety, by various ways, and in various instances, for it is present in the covenant of grace, in the mission of Christ, in redemption by him, in regeneration, in pardon of sin, and in eternal salvation; and yet it is inexhaustible and perpetual; and this reveals the excellence and glory of it. The idea of richness in grace, glory, and mercy is especially frequent in this Epistle (See Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:16.) God has a tender, yearning feeling towards men made miserable by their own sins. And this feeling is not trivial or meager?He is rich in mercy. It is an exuberant, full-flowing feeling in God ("Thy mercy ... is in the heavens," Psalm 36:5), and may therefore be sought through prayer.

“for his great love wherewith he loved us”

The love of God for His chosen people is very great, if it is considered who it is that has loved them, God and not man; who is an infinite, unchangeable, and sovereign Being; and his love is like himself, for “God is love”; it has immeasurable heights and depths, and lengths and breadths. It allows neither variation nor alteration; and is altogether free, arising from the Lord Himself, and not from any man’s ulterior motives and conditions. And if the persons themselves are considered, who are the objects of it?men, sinful men, unworthy of divine notice?and are loved personally, particularly, and distinctly, but not for anything in them, or done by them, and in spite of their many sins and transgressions. Rather, God’s love is represented here as a past act; and indeed it is from everlasting, and is a precursor to their being quickened (saved), even though they were dead in trespasses and sins. He loves us because of Who He is?“God is love”?and what Jesus has done for us.


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