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Made Alive

Read This Week: Ephesians 2

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 with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV

In his book, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Dr. Gary Habermas writes, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, he was a false prophet and a charlatan whom no rational person should follow. Conversely, if he did rise from the dead, this event confirmed his radical claim.” He goes on to say, “The good news to the world is that the God of the universe has overthrown the powers of darkness by his conquering death and resurrection.”

A dead savior is no savior at all. When the women and disciples discovered the empty tomb and saw that Jesus was alive, they realized that He was unequaled and divine. His resurrection settled, once and for all, that he was indeed the savior of the world.

The Apostle Paul saw Jesus too, and he writes about what it means when we encounter the risen Christ in Ephesians 2. He says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” Not only did God provide forgiveness of sin through Jesus’ death; he also gave us a new life by his resurrection. God intervened on our behalf and out of his love and mercy, we are made alive together with Christ.

The old life for a follower of Jesus is referred to in the past tense in this chapter. Verse 1 states that you were dead in your transgressions and sins. Verse 2 says you used to live a bad life when you followed the ways of this world. But what was once true for the Christian is not the case anymore. He or she is brought to life from a state of death; brought to newness from their old ways.

Just as he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” Paul makes the same point in this passage. He declares in verse 6, “And God raised us with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” When we are made alive in Christ, we experience renewal. When we encounter and are regenerated by the risen savior, we become new people.

This is a new identity and life that God gives us. The old father disappears. The old wife is not around anymore. The old co-worker and friend can’t be found. The old person is gone; renewed forever by the One who conquered death in the grave. The old heart, habits, behavior, and thinking, are radically changed through the power of Jesus.

12 Comments

  1. Ken on August 14, 2019 at 8:55 am

    When I look at my life before I responded to Jesus, for me, it’s easy to see that I was lost and now I am found. I was blind and now I see. I realize and regret that I was a sinner and am so happy that God loves me anyway and made a way for me to be a saint

    I thank God for my life in Him and truly know the difference from operating in my old carnal nature and living a full life in Christ in my new godly nature

    Thank you God for giving me my new life in Christ and a family of God with whom I can enjoy each day of my new life.

    • Jason on August 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      I agree and relate to you, Ken. I am so thankful for what God has done and continues to do in my life. I feel the weight of gratitude in my heart for God making me alive in Christ.

      I simply cannot imagine what I would be or what would become of me without Jesus and his saving grace.

      • almaschmidt on August 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm

        I got another song this week: “God is Great”

        We are believers, believers of our Father
        Thanking him were born anew, born anew
        Being forgiven because of his love

        We are temples, holy temples of the Lord
        Being his light, shining bright

        We are believers, believers of our Father
        Thanking him were born anew, born anew
        Being forgiven because of his love

        • Jason on August 16, 2019 at 11:12 am

          Another beautiful offering, Alma. “Being forgiven because of his love” is my favorite lyric. That is a thought and promise that puts a song in the heart.

  2. Kathy on August 14, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I read The Message version of Ephesians 2 and what stood out right at the beginning was this, “You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live” Wow! That got my attention.

    What God was saying to me in this chapter was that you must never forget where you came from. At one time you lived in trespasses and sin. Satan is active among those in rebellion against Me. Because you have been made alive by Jesus Christ, you can no longer feel comfortable continuing to live in sin. Be reminded of not only what you have been delivered from, but the grace which called you out and set you free. I have reconciled you to Me because of my great love and My rich mercy, which I extend to you. Receive my great love, recognizing you are unworthy of it. I have always loved you even before the cross.

    In Jesus, the old things have passed away and all things become new. You have a new place for living, your citizenship is in Heaven. My grace overflows and never ends. I will never give up on pursuing you. You are My workmanship, and My love is transforming. I will make you active in good works, as this is valid evidence that you are walking as one of My chosen. To be without Christ means to be without spiritual blessings, light, peace, rest, safety, and without hope, and a King, If this describes you, let this be enough to shake you up, that you are in such a desperate state. Reconciliation only comes by the blood of Christ Jesus, and it is the only way you can come near to me.

    This says to me, we are to remember where we came from, and let it be a reminder that we don’t want to go back to that place. I can not be content living in sin, and I need to stay connected to Jesus in order to stay close to God and to continue letting God use me to love on others for Him. I do want God to continue transforming me.

    • Jason on August 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Kathy, this is a deep and insightful commentary on Ephesians 2. This line jumped off the page at me: “Be reminded of not only what you have been delivered from, but the grace which called you out and set you free.”

      I love how faith in Ephesians is more than just agreeing with an idea or a person. It means freedom and total openness to allow God to give us the benefits of salvation as we obey Him. It is our willingness to receive God’s grace and let Him work in our lives with gratitude for what He’s delivered us from.

  3. Sam Centers on August 14, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I learned many things about Ephesians 2 at our men’s lunch today. There were so many comments on so many verses that it made me think about how it all came together with what God was teaching us.

    God brought us all together when He placed Jesus on the cross. He split the veil so that “everyone” could join in his eternal love, joy, and happiness. And be part of His love that He shared with us so that we could share with others. It is so precious in our lives to wake up and share His word and love with others.

    • Jason on August 20, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      It is such a precious thing to know, experience and share the love of Christ, Sam. We’ve been made alive through the work of Jesus to share life with those around us. What a privilege!

  4. Trina Barnhardt on August 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Through Jesus Christ, God has given all sinners life, bound and bonded together in harmony, in one single body, making peace by the death of His Son (by Christ dying-Ressurection).

    We are sacred, dedicated, consecrated in the presence of the Lord. Christ is pure, free of sin and so are we by faith and works for the kingdom of God. We are saints through the blood of Christ. We are no longer a prisoner of our flesh, living and responding far away.

    Our flesh, mindset, and heart can now be at peace through Jesus Christ, the head of the church. We can now worship, praise and glorify God’s handiwork, creation and have an understanding of God’s promises to us. You and I are being built up, taught to be faithful to Christ, faithful to our church and faithful to one another through fellowship.

    Last but not least, I am so happy to be a part of God’s household, living by the Holy Spirit, worshipping God and honoring him by living a holy life. I am free from the bondage of old ways, old mindset, and behavior. As the song reminds us, “There is Power in the Blood”, and I am now a new being, thirsty like a sponge and having a spirit-driven desire to be obedient to the Spirit.

    Thank you, God, for loving all of us and paving a new path to freedom from the bondage of our flesh. We love you, Jesus!

    • Jason on August 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      I love your emphasis on the freedom and peace we experience when we are made alive in Christ, Trina. I especially loved this thought: “Our flesh, mindset, and heart can now be at peace through Jesus Christ.” That’s a powerful word picture of how God renews every part of our being when we begin a relationship with Him through faith. Our mind, soul and body experience peace.

      Jesus calms the conflict in our hearts as he tears down the barrier of hostility that we once had in our old state. It was a spiritual dividing wall that kept our beings in chaos but now experiences peace through Christ’s reconciling work on the cross. What an encouraging thought that we can have calm, understanding and freedom in our new lives as we walk with God.

  5. Heidi on August 16, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

    God predestined and planned beforehand for us to live with Him. God’s plan for you and I is to enjoy life as a child of God. When we respond to God, ask Him what He wants us to do, we have a choice whether we’re going to follow Him or not. Because we love Him we want to live our life with Him.

    God created us in Jesus Christ to join him in the work he does, the good work he has prepared for us to do. Work He is counting on us to do with Him. You belong in the family of God now, so keep learning and be ready to do awesome work with Him. Learn to enjoy it. God loves you and wants you to enjoy the new life He has given you!

    • Jason on August 21, 2019 at 10:37 am

      I really appreciate what you shared here, Heidi. This line made me think about an aspect of the Christian life that is often overlooked: “God predestined and planned beforehand for us to live with Him. God’s plan for you and I is to enjoy life as a child of God.”

      When we talk about God’s sovereignty and predestination, we often just refer to salvation and who will believe. But, His plan also includes the abundant life for the Christian. It is part of his sovereign plan is for the follower of Jesus to have joy and express that in their lives. He knew and planned long beforehand for us to enjoy Him and the life He gave us to live in His spirit!

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