Chapter Two 1-10
“1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Once again, I have highlighted some words and underlines phrases that I wish to expound upon this week. This is not a complete exegesis of the richness found in the text. It is what the Holy Spirit seems to be drawing my attention to now.
Death; It is not the place that the bible begins. In fact, Genesis begins with the story of life. Yet, there is a general “big picture” that I believe that God wants humanity to understand through reading the entire cannon, that of how creation came to be and how we lost our eternal immortality, and most importantly, how God planned before Creation, to bring us back into eternal relationship and life with Him. This chapter begins with our fallen condition. We are spiritually dead, because of sin and our subsequent transgressions. Yet, right away, the author hints that a cure is in affect, for we formerly walked in them. They ways we walked were according to the world or cosmos, a Greek word referring to the world system of philosophy and empty human thinking. He tells us that there is a prince, the one who rules the second heaven, a clear reference to Satan and the fallen angels. Cf chapter six. Christ stripped the devil of all power at the cross; yet, Satan has one power left, that of deception and a big mouth; to spread lies and heresy.
The author tells us that “while we were dead”; God put the His plan into action. This is the ultimate act of Grace and the total show of God’s merciful intent. But God, being rich in mercy, we are told, and if great love, made us again, a second act in creation. He made us alive in Christ. Check out this divine sequence of scripture:
God: Rich in mercy + Great in love =
Made us Raised us Seated us in heaven
That in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us.
Imagine that! His riches are surpassing our imagination. We cannot understand the extent of the goodness and wonder of heaven, and this entire God planned knowing that humanity would fail Him anyway.
Many people have asked the question, why did God create this world knowing we would fail? In addition, others why not just start over. I believe the answer is in this text. It is called Grace. You see, God, in infinite wisdom, knowing that iniquity would enter the world, also knew that it is upon free will. He knew that people had to choose to fall. However, He also knew that they could not choose to save themselves. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” So, on the one hand, iniquity was allowed to enter, on the other, it was dealt the final blow, never to be an eternal prevention again, for those who believe and receive.
August 13, 2006