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If Not for God

Monday, April 19, 2021

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Ephesians 2:1-5 – “…you were dead in your offenses and sins, 2 in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ…” (NASB)

We need to continually be reminded that if not for God being rich in mercy, full of loving-kindness, we are spiritually dead and indifferent with no hope for the future. The word that Paul uses for sin is harmartia which is a shooting word in the Greek for missing the mark. We tend to only think of sin in a moral framework but it’s more than that; it’s also about missing the mark of why we were created to begin with. We were made by God, for God, to be His image bearers, His representatives, on the earth. This is why the idea of idols is so ludicrous to the Christian worldview. Why would we make an image representing God when WE were made to be the image of God on the earth?! Jesus is calling us out from the principalities and powers at work in the sons of disobedience. He is calling us to receive and come under the influence of the Holy Spirit, experiencing His power, to be the expression of Christ’s love God designed us to be.

Apart from Christ, we all indulge in whatever our flesh and mind desires, regardless of whether it reflects God’s image or not. But because God is rich in mercy and love, everyone has the ability to respond to the Holy Spirit’s influence and power. Everyone can be a consistent reflection of Christ, to the glory of God the Father.

Are you alive in Christ? Is His life animating your life? Can you say with the Apostle Paul, it’s no longer I who live but Christ in me? If you are not continually turning to Christ in faith to lead you, there is no hope. The wrath of God remains on all of those who refuse to repent of their sin and receive the rich mercy and love of God, calling on the name of Jesus. What are you waiting for?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the reminder of what we were before Jesus. Help us to keep an attitude of gratitude regardless of what temporary challenges we face, remembering our eternal inheritance to come. Help us to come fully alive in the joy of the Lord today. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.