August 31, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace you are saved." Ephesians 2:3-5
There are two little words that act like hinges on a door..."BUT GOD." They have a profound affect on the passage. They either alter what is said before, or present a transforming work of God's grace in the verses that follow that supersedes what is written before. Let's take a look at a very important passage where this is very evident.
Paul reveals our despicable condition in Ephesians 2:1-6..."As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following the desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." Then we come to those two profound words, "BUT GOD," because of his great love for us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions...it is by grace you have been saved."
"BUT GOD" are the transforming words that bring us into our new creative relationship with God. What a radical change takes place when God becomes the indispensable power that takes us from our sinful condition and makes us "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ," accepted in the family of God! "BUT GOD" is the "spiritual hinge" that opens unto us the mighty grace of God that radically changes our life through the atonement of Christ.
It is the turning point in which our life turns from the superficial illusion of this world and enthrones Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is then we find the longing of our lives met with the sufficiency of a loving God, full of grace and truth..."able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or even think"(Ephesians 3:20). This blessed redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the "great act of God" which He has performed in our lives through Jesus Christ.
What is the result for those who meet God at this turning point in their life? Jesus said, "Whosoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38). Our lives change from self-seeking to letting HIM pour His life through us...from independence to "learning to lean" utterly upon Him. Jesus Christ becomes the source of our strength, the focus of our life, and the joy of our hearts.
Our spiritual journey soon becomes a reckless abandonment to Christ. We no longer seek self-realization and self-gratification, but have a consuming thirst to "know Jesus Christ." This was Paul's goal..."I count all things but loss that I may KNOW HIM and be found in Him" (Philippians 3:7-14). As we grow in grace we begin to see Jesus in every circumstance we encounter. The essential focus of our life is our personal relationship to Jesus Christ..."That I may know HIM." Not joy, not peace, not power, not even blessing...but HIMSELF, MY LORD AND MY SAVIOR!
"BUT GOD"...the great eternal "turning point" in my life! How glorious!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=244&date=2012-08-31
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