Matt’s most recent devotion for the website Coping Through Christianity
Now you can download Matthew J. Cochran’s Devotions for Disciples: Children of God for free on Noisetrade! This 1-month devotional covers Romans chapter 8 verse by verse and takes a close look at the mystery of being adopted into God’s family as His own children.
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
If you hadn’t noticed, the Apostle Paul was particularly eager to point out to the Ephesian church in his letter that Christians had been made alive. Though we were once dead spiritually, the Father caused us to have life through the Son.
When something is mentioned this much in one letter, it must be worthy of paying attention to. Of all the blessings God gives, the one that’s most important is life in the Spirit. Without life there would be no other blessings. What good would it do to talk of God’s promises if we were not awakened spiritually to experience them?
The Lord gives many gifts, free of charge, but they begin with Him bringing us out of our spiritually dead status into a new life that allows us to see, hear, and feel Him at work. In His grace He saved us. He kept us from eternal death by making us alive.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
God loves you. You’ve heard that before, right? If you’re like me, you’ve heard that statement thousands of times over the course of your lifetime. But the thing is, many of us hear that God loves us and just let that pass over like it’s nothing. There may be nothing more significant, ever.
The Creator of all things LOVES you. He created you because He loves you. He shows you mercy because He loves you. He showers grace upon you because He loves you. The blessings never end.
When you and I were walking as dead men, He made us alive AND adopted us into His family through Christ Jesus. And He did that because of His great love. Don’t ever let that pass by you. Let it sink in. In fact, right here and right now, take some time to really meditate on that. GOD LOVES YOU.
Ephesians 2:3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
The people of this world, those haven’t yet been redeemed by adoption into God’s family, are just walking around like dead men. They have no more control over themselves than a newborn infant does. The are slaves to sin, led around by their own passions, unable to choose what’s right.
Those of us who have been made alive with Christ used to be like those lost souls. We were children of wrath, destined for destruction. That’s the bad part. The good part is that God rescued us and He’s willing to do it for them too. They’re all around us, sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus looked out on the multitudes who were like sheep without a shepherd, He took pity on them (Matthew 9:36). This should be our response too. We can’t look past the people who surround us that are so in need of what we have. We have a Rescuer, a Redeemer, a Savior. We’ve been made alive even though we didn’t know we were dead. How can we not help the others who are lost find this life?
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
What did you do to make yourself be born into the world? Most of us would not argue against the truth that we had nothing to do with our physical birth. It was as out of our control as anything can be. Why do so many of us, then, think that we had anything to do with our own spiritual birth?
When you’re dead, you’re just dead. There’s nothing that a dead thing can do to make itself come to life; that can only be done supernaturally. We were all once dead, even though we walked as someone who was living. We lived and breathed physical life, but spiritually we had no pulse. We could only follow the course of this world, led around by the rest of the walking dead. We were slaves to sin.
That is, until God made us alive. Yes, He made us alive together with Christ, that we might be His people. This is true if we’ve put our trust in Christ and we’ve been adopted into God’s family. Notice all the passive language. We’ve been made alive – passive. We’ve been adopted into the family of God – passive. We were chosen – again, passive.
The dead can’t raise themselves, physically or spiritually. We can no more choose to wake up from spiritual death than we can choose to be born from our mother’s womb. We have ever so much to be thankful for, and spiritual birth is among the greatest gifts we could ever receive. God’s grace is unfathomable.