From death to life…

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Ephesians 2:1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. 

V.5 is what grabs me this morning, “even when we were dead through our trespasses (God) made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have bee saved”. There are at least two dimensions to this idea of “alive together with Christ”of which Paul writes.

First, there is the promise that all followers of Jesus will one day be raised from death to life, as Jesus was raised from death to life many years ago. That’s an important promise. It means, among other things, we will be reunited with those we love who have preceded us in death. Their departure from this world is not the end, but a transition. One day our lives on this earth will end as well. Yet, on the day of the Lord we will see them once again. If you’ve lost people you love, let this be a word of hope for you.

Second, being raised from death to life isn’t limited to something that happens after we die, but it begins in this life – right now. As someone who lived outside of faith for the first 25 years or so of my life, I can tell you that becoming a truly committed Christian changed me in many ways. I’ll name two for you.

  1. Though I was floundering for a sense of direction and purpose in my life (something greater than “go make money”), Jesus gave me a path to follow that has been fulfilling and rewarding in every way. I could never have imagined I would one day be a pastor. But here I am and I love it.
  2. Coming from a family that has been rife with divorce and separation as long as I can remember, God has given to me and my wife Jana sufficient grace to celebrate our 32nd anniversary (yesterday). Honestly, I never thought such a thing would be possible for me when I was a younger man. But God can do amazing things in relationships.

“…even when we were dead through our trespasses (God) made us alive together with Christ…”

If you’re a Christian, how has the Lord brought new life into your experience? If you’re not a Christian, you must know that Jesus sacrificed himself so that you might experience new life that begins NOW and extends into eternity. I’d love to talk with you about it if you’d like. Post in the comments here and let’s talk.

Lord Jesus, you are the source of life in the midst of a world filled with death. Give us grace to embrace you, submit to you, be transformed by you. Forgive us our sins and do a new work in us – from the inside out. We pray this in your holy name. Amen.

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