God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. II Timothy 1:9
I've been spending time in Ephesians - what a great book! As I was reading in Ephesians 2 this morning I was struck by the contrast between what I was like before Christ rescued me from the domain of darkness, and what I am now, living under His grace.
-Dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1)
-Walking according to the course of this world (v. 2)
-Walking according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit working in the sons of disobedience (v. 2) - Yikes!
-Living in the lust of the flesh (v. 3)
-Indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind (v. 3)
-Children of wrath (v. 3)
-Separate from Christ, having no hope, without God in the world (v. 12)
This is not a pretty picture. I could have written "yikes" after every one of those. It is a sobering list.
I am thankful to God that He
-chose me in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world
-made me holy and blameless before Him
-predestined me to adoption as His child according to the kind intention of His will
-freely bestowed grace upon me through Jesus Christ, His beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6)
Because of His great love with which He loved me, I have been
-made alive together with Christ! (Ephesians 2:5)
-seated with Him in the heavenly places! (v. 6)
-shown the surpassing riches of God's grace in kindness in Christ Jesus! (v. 7)
-saved by faith, a gift of God! (v. 8)
-created in Christ Jesus for good works that have been prepared for me by God! (v. 10)
-brought near to God by the blood of Christ! (v. 13)
-given access to the Father by the Spirit! (v. 18)
-made a fellow citizen with the saints, a member of God's household! (v. 19)
-built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit! (v. 22)
Aren't you glad for this latter list? Does it apply to you? Have you made the decision to follow Jesus and live under God's grace?
If you have, I pray that you will meditate on this list and go to the Father in thankfulness.
If you haven't, I pray that you will seek His face and put your trust in Him. If you place your faith in Him, you will be saved, (a free gift of God!) and have eternal life with Him in heaven. Don't spend another minute living in that first list of who you are without Christ. Turn to Him today and be made a fellow citizen with the saints through your adoption into God's household.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! II Corinthians 9:15
By Grace I'm Saved
Words by Christian L. Scheidt
By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless;
My soul, believe and doubt it not;
Why stagger at this word of promise?
Hath Scripture ever falsehood taught?
Nay; then this word must true remain:
By grace thou, too, shalt Heav’n obtain.
By grace! None dare lay claim to merit;
Our works and conduct have no worth,
God in His love sent our Redeemer,
Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth;
His death did for our sins atone,
And we are saved by grace alone.
By grace! O, mark this word of promise
When thou art by thy sins oppressed,
When Satan plagues thy troubled conscience,
And when thy heart is seeking rest.
What reason cannot comprehend
God by His grace to thee doth send.
By grace! This ground of faith is certain;
So long as God is true, it stands.
What saints have penned by inspiration,
What in His Word our God commands,
What our whole faith must rest upon,
Is grace alone, grace in His Son.