Read Ephesians 2:1-5
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.
How does our spiritual condition reveal itself? Why is it hard to accept our spiritual condition?
Growing up, I often had separation from God because of sin explained to me like a great chasm between us. The teacher would draw a great chasm on the board and put God on one side and a person on the other. Then, they would demonstrate that no matter how far the person jumped, the person would always fall short of God’s standard of perfection. A person could never jump the entire chasm and make our way to God because that requires perfection and we are born sinners. So, that’s true.
There is a problem with this illustration though. Dead people can’t jump. The reality is that we aren’t just spiritually deficient and spiritually deviant, we are spiritually dead. We can’t try to jump the chasm to get to God because we aren’t even alive. That means we are unresponsive to spiritual stimuli. We can’t even attempt to do anything that would please God in an effort to close the gap between us.
That is until God, rich in mercy, makes us alive in Christ. Picture Adam at the time of creation. God had formed his body but he was still dead until the Spirit breathed life into him. Or the valley of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Just a bunch of dead bodies until the Spirit came on the four winds and breathed life into those dry bones.
Friends, our salvation is not something we can even attempt to accomplish. The illustration should be revised to show a dead person on the other side of that chasm. Salvation is of the Lord. Period.
Our situation may be even worse than we initially thought. But that just makes the good news of the Gospel even better. God loves us. So He made us alive in Christ by the Spirit. We have been raised with Jesus into new life! That is just how rich His mercy is.
God, thank You for Your incredible love, your rich mercy, and Your amazing grace. I was dead. I couldn’t save myself. But You raised me to life! And for that, You are worthy of my praise! Amen.