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(Read Ephesians 2:1-11)
It’s hard to say any one passage of scripture is more fulfilling over another. However, certain passages just have a whole lot of meat (not to say that other parts are lacking, of course). This passage is definitely one of those revealing, life-breathing, (hopefully) adhesive sections, for sure.
Paul’s letters were all very consistent with each other, with of course the exceptions of notes specific to the churches to whom he was writing. While the first part of this passage, I believe, was directed specifically at the church of Ephesus, I’m sure some of us, myself especially, can relate all too well. In contrast, the latter is for all of us who put our faith, trust and hope in the finished work of Christ.
The before and after snapshots look vastly different on a spiritual level. I’d imagine some (or most) even had a change in physical appearance but the most important part (for them and us) is that, after knowing Christ, there’s a process of becoming “changed”.
If we were to break these two “snapshots” down and bullet point the characteristics of the before and after, here’s what it reads:
Dead or having the evidence of death
Entering without permission (trespasses)
Falling short (sins)
Followers of the satan
Having the spirit of antichrist
Fleshly in body
Fleshly in mind
Wrathful like that of children
Just like the rest of the world
Recipients of God’s Mercy
Recipients of God’s Love
Brought back to life
Accepted into a One to one relationship with Christ (individually)
Saved by God’s Grace
No longer subject to death (raised/resurrected)
Seated at the Right Hand of God with Christ
Generationally rich beyond measure (not financially but of His Grace and Mercy) in Christ
WOW!!! Anyone else’s head exploding right now? This applies to all of us, if we seek Christ, learn/get to know Christ, live exemplary lives to that of Christ.
Paul wraps this up in a neat package by a foundational statement of our faith. Rather than paraphrase, let’s read 2:8-10 one more time.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
If we have faith and are in right relationship with Him, we know the results of what HE did for us will be fruitful through us, His branches (John 15:5), thus displaying good works, not for personal gain but because of the love we have for Him because it is He Who first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Can you relate to the “before“ snapshot? Is there anything still lingering in your “after” snapshot from who you were before? Let the Vinedresser prune you so that the world will know Him through you by the fruit produced.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We ask that You show us the dead limbs remaining on our branches. Even if it causes us to be in pain for a time, prune us. We trust that You know what is best for us and, through Your Grace by the work that Jesus did for us on the cross, You will help us to bear good fruits.
Amen and amen!
Written by Brian Price
References are from:
Faithlife Study Bible App