We love to watch “Phil Spencer: Secret Agent”, where the property expert visits homes that aren’t selling and tells them why. Then over the next two weeks helps them make the property saleable. It’s a classic ‘before and after’ scenario – get rid of the naff carpets and bright paint jobs and go for neutral carpets, magnolia walls and a tidy garden.
Ephesians 2 lays out some of the ‘before and after’ that has happened to us.
Before we met Christ…
- We were dead in our sin. On death row they cry out ‘dead man walking’ as someone goes towards the death chamber. We were dead in sin. Our spirit was deadened because of the sinful nature we carried.
- We were following the world, with its fads, habits and sin.
- We were following him who is behind the world and against God – the devil – named here as the prince of the power of the air.
- We were doing the passions of the flesh – our old sin nature ruled. So here we have the world, the flesh and the devil that is against God, operating in and through every person outside of Christ.
- We were carrying out the deeds of the body.
- That made us children of wrath – God’s settled righteous anger against sin.
‘But God’ – the two most beautiful words in the New Testament. In spite of the mess we were in; because of the mess we were in and because God is rich in mercy and full of great love, we have those two words that change everything. But God…
God has made us…
- Alive in Christ – our spirit has come alive by the power of the Spirit.
- Saved in grace – note we have been saved – it’s a settled state now of who we are, saved and secure!
- Raised up and seated in the heavenly places. While living on earth in the body, we are also in our future now! That too makes us secure!
- Full of the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness towards us.
By grace you have been saved through faith. Not you are and might not be, you permanently and securely have been saved. And it’s not dependent on us – it was a gift of God, not dependent on anything we do – so we can’t boast!
One of the results (don’t forget yesterday’s list of blessings) is that we get to do good works, that he has organised for us. Not to earn favour but from favour!
Praise God for grace!