Prison Pen-Pal: Ephesians 2:1 – 10 (I Like Big ‘BUTs’)

I have this little theory about intelligent life outside of earth. My theory is this: If intelligent life existed outside of planet earth they would inspect us conspicuously and would quickly come to the decision that we are not really alive. We move, we think, we breath. But because humanity is not alive, alien life would preserve itself by avoiding our presence.

Why conquer the dead?

I’m weird, I know. You don’t have to remind me but you can, or share your “E.T.” theory, in the comments.

(Ephesians 2:1 – 10)

Paul writes this next section to the church in Ephesus regarding their former way of life. Paul saw all life as dead without Jesus. His reasoned that our sins and transgressions against God, and mankind, resulted in a dead world. Our judgment is pronounced by our own lives. We have betrayed ourselves and our world. You may be moving and breathing but you are a “dead man walking,” to quote Stephen King’s “The Green Mile.”

Life that gratifies itself, the lusts and cravings of the flesh, murders the image of God given to humanity. Paul writes, “Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath” (V. 3).

Wrath. Wrath is terrifying. There is a saying that gets tossed about jokingly that says, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Go ahead and say something stupid to your mom, or female co-worker, or sister, or wife. Please let me know how that goes. How the aura in your home will turn from any flavor of happiness or delight to un-sanctified horror. Each glare pierces like daggers directly into your soul. Flowers, chocolates and poems of apologies tend to minimize the wrath felt and longevity.

That is a human’s wrath. God’s wrath is unequivocally worse. To be an enemy of God is to be smushed between whatever is worse than that placed called between a rock and a hard place. WAY worse.

BUT!

I like BIG BUTs and I cannot lie! A beautiful big but! This big but is what separates me from eternal damnation. From missing out on the wonderful, joy filled, overflowing abundant life; the life that is here as a gift from God and the life to come!

“But because 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.” (V. 4-5)

The Ephesian church was dead. They were satisfying every temporal physical pleasure. Living by the delight of the moment with ill-regard for anything spiritual.

BUT! BUT! BUT! (Seriously, that BUT is so fantastic!)

He loved us. This echoes back to John’s gospel wherein the infamous lines were penned, “For God so loved the world…”

Anytime you hear about a God of hate, disregard that noise. Anytime a picketer screams and yells about the Almighty God being hateful of anyone, please do not paint them with the same brush that you paint me or the majority of other Christians.

God loves. Plain and simple. The fullness of his love was expressed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God sent his son, God sent himself, God became man because of love.

This love is an unspeakable grace that can only be referenced to as a sweet sound. Amazing grace. It is so amazing that we do not have to do a thing to receive it. This gift is present freely and without hesitation. No person’s sex, ethnicity, body type or other qualifier determine if the gift should be given.

God is love.

Because it is a free gift, you and I may reject it. We may refrain from accepting the free gift of God. We can use any excuse in the book to not accept it. But the gift is still extended, waiting for a recipient.

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EmptyTombRelief

This Sunday Christians around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is fun to get chocolate and those sugar covered marshmallow sweets, but the day is ultimately about the fulfillment of our faith. It is the reminder that the gift is a bloody cross and an empty tomb and a seat with Jesus in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6).

I want to invite you to take a step of faith in believing that Jesus died for you. The gift is available to all, regardless of your past or baggage (I’ve got as much as you, believe me). Until you receive the gift of God-given through his son, Jesus, you are dead but acting alive.

You can have the eternal, abundant life now. It is available, it is offered to you.

If you want more information about how to live a life of faith in Jesus, how to become a disciple and follower, fill out this form. I would love to talk with you about the journey!

 

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