Death to Life

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Ephesians 2:1-7

But God, being rich in mercy . . . (v. 4)

Ephesians 2:1-7 pictures a stunning reversal of fortune. Our story is much more than the lottery-winning luck of a down-and-outer. Our story is fundamentally different.

The Bible does not say we were down-and-out until God gave us a hand. No. Paul gets to the heart of the matter: “And you were dead” (v. 1). How does a dead person ask for help? A drowning man might flail and be seen by a lifeguard. A wounded person might dial 911. But a dead body cannot flail or cry for help. Paul plainly says we were dead. We followed the world’s ways “like the rest of mankind” (v. 3). There is no hope without a resurrection.

And just when the grave seems sealed for good, God acts. He is rich in mercy and great with love. Verse 6 contains almost the same language for us that 1:20 says of Christ: God “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Christ died. Christ arose. Christ ascended. We died in sin. In Christ we rise. His glory is our future.

But why? Verse 7 provides the answer: “so that in the coming ages [God] might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” The more I meditate on the grace God gives us in Christ, the more dumbstruck in awe I become. I invite you to sit for a while and gaze at the lavish love of God. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, thank God for raising you from death and the sin that caused it.