Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Have you ever wondered “am I good enough? Am I doing enough? What do I deserve?” Or maybe thoughts like: “I have to do more. I deserve it. Enough is never enough. You have to earn it.” Much of the American mindset is entrenched in the work and reward system.
In this part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we see that in God’s economy things go slightly differently than these thoughts and questions. He begins by stating that we “were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.” What an encouraging statement! While some may not see this as a positive, it truly is great news. Why you ask, because we see that we “were” dead. Past tense. No longer that way. That must mean we are no longer dead because we have changed course, no longer following “the course of the world.”
We are no longer dead but alive together with Christ because we have been saved by grace through faith. Those thoughts and worries that so easily consume us can be put to rest. We are saved by God’s grace, an undeserved gift, not by anything that we have done or can do on our own power. There is no checklist or grading rubric. The Gospel message is truly good news, the best news, and news that calls for thanksgiving and celebration. Thanks be to God!!
Heaven Father, thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. I cast away those thoughts of worry and inadequacy that so often hold me hostage and rejoice in my new life in Christ. To You be the glory. Amen.