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Nothing you can do about it

June 23, 2017

We like to work hard to accomplish our goals.

Build a house. Wash a car. Earn a diploma. Plan a road trip. Raise children. Plant a garden.

Somehow, it just feels good when we can look back on our lives, or even just one event of our lives, and say, “I did that.”

But we also know the reverse is true. Some times we work hard and fail. We don’t like to admit, “I did that.”

As I read through Ephesians 2 this morning, I thought, “This passage eliminates pride and failure at the same time. It takes the responsibility completely off of me. There’s nothing for me to brag about. There’s no risk of failure.”

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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— 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. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:1-9).

Look how the paragraph starts: “You were dead.” Corpses can do nothing on their own. They have no energy. There is no life in them. They can only respond to the forces around them. Someone else has to move them. Someone else has to dress them up for the funeral. Gravity pulls on them.

And that’s how we were. Controlled by the forces around us. Doing nothing that would make us attractive to God.

“BUT GOD!” God who is rich in mercy and loves us greatly, put life in the corpse. He made us alive in Christ. He raised us up with Him. He seated us with Him in the heavenly places.

Quite the contrast to what we were like and doing at the beginning of the paragraph.

And God did it all.

Saved by grace through faith. Not of our own work. Gift of God. Not a result of works.

Since God did the work (notice it’s all in past tense), and we did none of the work, it’s all in God’s hands.

I can’t do anything to earn my way into heaven. What can a corpse do?

I can’t do anything to lose my way into heaven. How can I fight against a sovereign, all-powerful God who always carries out His plan?

There’s nothing you or I can do about it.

 

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From → Ephesians

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