I have heard stories from new Christians describing the change in their lives. One described the beauty of the world around them as if they had never seen it before. Still others speak of the hunger they have for the word of God which was new to them. There exists a definite change when Jesus enters a life. In Ephesian chapter two, Paul speaks regarding the change. First he discusses the situation mankind finds himself in, then what God does about it, and finally the reason He did so.
First he describes the situation. We have been made alive. It has not always been that way. Paul says we were dead in our trespasses and sins. Like everybody else, we followed the influence of the prince of the power of the air. We lived according to our flesh, with our cravings never satisfied, our moods dependent on the weather, and under the wrath of God. As a result, in our death, our disobedience, the hardening of our hearts, we were kept deaf to His word, blind to His works and unable to taste the goodness of the Lord.
What God Does About It
Secondly Paul explains what God does about it. “But God” I love that Paul begins this way. Yes, this is the situation “but God”. God who is rich in mercy, God who has a great love for us when we were dead, functioning at a level so beneath His intentions, made us alive together with Christ. It is all grace. He made us alive in Him but way beyond that, He granted us a new position which results in a whole new perspective. He has seated us together with Christ in the heavenly places.
Finally Paul explains the “why”. In the ages to come God is wanting to show the exceeding greatness of His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Our being saved is all about His grace, and about faith. Our abilities and strivings do not affect it because it is a gift. Therefore we are his workmanship. He has made us a new creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works. This was God’s plan prepared long ago. We are prepared for good works as a way of living. As a result, our lives now flow out of our position in Christ. Because now we are seated with Him in heavenly places. I found a quote this week from a book I read long ago. It speaks to me today.
It comes from a book entitled “Born for Battle” written by R.A. Matthews. At one time he was the leader of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. He states that Satan is a panic artist. He blows up a storm on the lake or causes a riot, or the wild beasts in Ephesus to get us in a panic so we will act according to our immediate predicament without taking time to lay hold of the objective facts of God’s promises.
In addition, Matthews quotes J.O. Frazer. “Each time your spirit goes under and faints in the trials which come to you, you lose mastery over the powers of darkness i.e. you get below them instead of abiding above them in God. … The mastery of them depends on your spirit abiding in the place above them and the place above them means knowing God’s outlook, God’s thought, God’s plan, God’s way by abiding with Christ in God.”
Therefore, Jesus we pray. Keep us abiding in the love of God.