Paul has a wonderful way of making it very clear what our moral condition was before God’s grace intervened in our lives and transformed the old self into the new man in Christ. Ephesians 2 is a clear description of this transformation. I have summarized this chapter into the two side of this issue (below) so the difference between what “we were” and what we “now are” becomes better understood (hopefully) by all of us.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins… following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air…disobedient…living in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body, mind…by nature children of wrath…at that time separated from Christ, alienated…strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, without God far off…hostile” (Eph. 2:1-3, 12-14, 17)
But now in Christ Jesus “you…are loved with great love…made alive together with Christ…saved, raised with Him, seated with Him in the heavenly places… received immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness…as a gift…His workmanship…have been brought near by the blood of Christ…we have peace , reconciled in one body, we have access in one Spirit to the Father…fellow citizens, saints, members of God’s household…joined together…built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:6-7, 10, 13-22).
One of the challenges each of us face is honestly accessing what we were. I was brought up in a ‘church culture’ that was very proud of itself. Because this distinction was not made in the heart, neither did we have an accurate understanding of who we were in Christ. This meant that there was an absence of joyful gratitude regarding what God did for us in Jesus Christ. More than that, the greater vision of “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” was missing. We thought our church was the only church that God recognized. What pride!
This distinction has critical implications for the way we live, our attitudes and passion for others to hear, receive and understand the same message. I am convinced that when the truth of these verses grips your soul, the Holy Spirit will drive that passion in directions you did not expect. Are you ready for what HE wants to do in and through you?
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