Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Many come to a point in their relationship with God where they wonder, Is this all there is? God’s answer to that question is always, no. God is an infinite being who is infinitely fascinating, infinitely glorious, and infinitely loving. Growing bored with God is the saddest thing there is.
Many years ago my roommate introduced me to a young lady who was BBU: bright, beautiful and unattached. He told me she came from a wonderful family, was active in ministry, and had a heart for God. When we were finally introduced, we spoke for a couple hours, and I wanted to marry her. Ever since that day, it has been my joy to know her better and better.
That’s how it is with God. First we hear about him, then we meet him, then we grow to know him better. Pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better and better, for ever and ever.
Ephesians 2:1-5 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins . . . . But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive.
All the descendants of Adam and Eve arrive in the world spiritually dead. We might be alive physically, mentally and emotionally—but not spiritually. The only remedy is for Christ to give us life.
On his way to the town of Nain, Jesus encountered a funeral procession in which a young man was being carried out for burial. It was a very sad day because he was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. But Jesus interrupted the funeral and spoke to the corpse. Young man, I say to you, get up! To everyone’s surprise, the dead man came to life (Luke 7:11-15).
Our situation was not much different. We were not sick in our sins, or asleep in our sins, but dead in our sins. There was no breath. There was no pulse. There was no remedy. Then we heard the word of God and came to life! The Spirit of Christ entered into us, and now we live for him. The gospel is not a cure for the sick, or a crutch for the wounded. It is a resurrection from the dead. We were dead in our sins, but God made us alive in Christ.
Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.
Since Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, those who belong to Christ are also seated at the right hand of God. From God’s perspective, those who belong to Christ are just as secure as if they were in heaven now.
Think of a helicopter rescue in which a person is attached to a cable, and then pulled up into the helicopter. The person is saved the moment they are attached to the cable, even before they reach the helicopter. The Spirit of Christ is stronger than any cable, and unites us to Christ the moment we believe. At that very moment we are just as secure as if we were in heaven.
Ephesians 2:7 [I]n the coming ages he [will] show the incomparable riches of his grace.
Incomparable riches are those riches to which no other riches can be compared. If you gathered all the riches of the world, and doubled them twice, you would not even be close to the incomparable riches that will be ours in the age to come.
God is like a billionaire father who does not want his children to be spoiled by wealth. He plans to make us rich eventually, but first he wants to make us mature through hard work and discipline. We may struggle for a lifetime, but we will inherit eternal glory.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Salvation is a gift from God to those who believe in Jesus Christ. But even the faith to believe has been given to us by God, so that no one can boast about earning their salvation. That is the meaning of grace.
A little boy was so impressed with the Washington Monument that he wanted to buy it. He went to a security guard and offered everything in his pocket, which was thirty-five cents. The security guard said, Let me tell you about the Washington Monument. First, it is not for sale. Second, if it was for sale, you could not afford it. Third, if you are an American, it is already yours.
The same can be said about salvation. First, it is not for sale. Second, if it was for sale, we could not afford it. Third, if we believe in Jesus Christ, it is already ours. That is what it means to be saved by grace.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Christianity can be thought of in terms of guilt, grace and gratitude. We are guilty before God, and deserve his wrath. But God sent his Son to die for our sins so that we could be saved. This makes us so thankful that we do good works to please him. God has even prepared good works in advance for us to do.
My wife came out of a store and saw a lady in a wheel chair, struggling in the parking lot. The woman lived a mile away, and my wife decided to push her all the way home. The woman complained that God had turned away from her, but my wife explained that God was the reason she was helping her. When my wife got home she was filled joy because she had done a good work, which God prepared in advance for her to do.
Reflection and Review
How can we know God better and better?
How does Jesus make us alive to him?
Has serving God ever made you joyful?