July 15, 2018
Jesus Only: From Death to Life
At the beginning of Ephesians 2, Paul talks about how all of us are before we meet Jesus. If zombie stories had existed back then, no doubt Paul would have used that as a metaphor for our life before Christ. As it is, he told the Ephesians that we were dead in our sins, the things we used to “walk” in when we were following the ways of the world and the devil. In other words, in sin, we are the walking dead. But God brings us from death to life by his grace.
Salvation is a matter of crossing from death to life, from an existence as spiritual zombies to full and eternal life as regenerated humans. God acts graciously toward us, not because we deserve it, but because he is rich in mercy and love. Grace is what happens when God spends his abundance of mercy on those he loves completely.
Our appropriate response to God’s grace is to put our faith in him. One way to describe this response is as a three phase process: Grieve, Believe, Receive. First, you grieve your sin and the wretched state of affairs of this world. That’s what the Bible calls repentance. Second, you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for our sins, that he was buried, and that he rose again from the dead. That’s called the Gospel, and it’s the front door message of Christianity, and it’s beautiful. Third, you receive the grace of God through forgiveness of your sins. You receive the Holy Spirit to fill and empower you, and as the seal of your salvation.
God brings us from death to life by his grace, through faith – not by any of the good things that we do. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do good things! In fact, God has lots of good things planned for us to do. Every day that we have on earth, God has something good planned for us to do. Here’s a prayer that might help you be aware of the good things that God planned for you to do today:
Heavenly Father, you have good works planned for me today. Give me the eyes to see them, the courage to do them, and the humility to give you all the praise. Amen.