Thursday, February 15, 2007
Made alive in Christ
Today I was reading in Ephesians Chapter 2. Every time I read this passage of scripture I sit there amazed at what it means to me. It reminds me that I was once dead but now I'm alive because of what Christ did for me. When I read these verses it makes wish I could show it to everyone I know that doesn't know Christ, because these words are that powerful. They're life changing words!
Eph 2:1 Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins.
Eph 2:2 You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
Eph 2:3 All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else.
Eph 2:4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much,
Eph 2:5 that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!)
Eph 2:6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms-all because we are one with Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:7 And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Eph 2:9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Eph 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
You know, when someone gives you a gift, you don't say... "What do I owe you?" No, you say... "Thank You." Don't you? Yet we as Christians after accepting God's free gift of salvation feel obligated to pay it back, we try to work our way to God. But, because our salvation is a free gift, we should respond with gratitude and thanksgiving. We become Christians by God's amazing grace and love for us. We realize that it's not because of our efforts, accomplishments, achievements or any acts of service, that we have been given eternal life. However, we know that because we have been given eternal life we seek to help others, to serve and show acts of service to others, because of our gratitude for this free gift of eternal life. We don't work or serve to earn God's favor... we do good because we're thankful and appreciative.
Eph 2:10 says that we are God's masterpiece! He created us! We are His works of art and salvation is something only God can do. It's his powerful creative work in us! We're not saved merely for our own benefit, but to serve Christ and do his work. What is this work? It's good things that we do for others, for our church, for our communities, friends and neighbors. The good things that God had planned for us... long ago.
I'm always amazed that even before I realized I needed Jesus, He had the good things that He wants me to do planned out long ago.
These verses help me to stay focused and remember to do good, to help others, to fulfill God's plan for my life. And it's not because I owe God anything, because I don't. He saved me just because he loves me. That's it! HE LOVES ME. That's why I live for Him. Thank you God for the gift you gave me. Thank you!