Realize and then Rejoice

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Ephesians 2:1–3
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 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— 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.

This summer over the next three months, we will begin to memorize the entire passage of Ephesians 2:1-10.  For the month of June, we will focus on verses 1 to 3.

The apostle Paul begins Ephesians chapter two by first reminding his readers how far they were from God before He drew them back to Himself by the blood of His Son, Jesus.  Paul starts with their “dead” condition without Jesus not to induce guilt or shame in them, but he does it in order to reaffirm God’s great love for them.  He longs for the Ephesians Christians to see how vast, committed and trustworthy God’s love is for them in Christ Jesus.

Side Note:  The longer I am a parent (going on 19 years now) the more I begin to realize how much my parents truly loved me.  As I drive my kids around town, work late nights, care for their needs and help them with homework, I begin to fully appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for me.  As a result, my understanding of their love for me grows because I have finally begun to realize ALL that they had done for me as a child.  The growing recognition of my parents committed love for me, ministers deeply to my soul and establishes in me a solid inner peace and strength.  I see Paul replicating this same phenomenon in Ephesians 2.  The more we realize what Jesus has already done for us, the more we will see how truly vast His love is for us.  And the more and more his love for us is realized, the less fear we will have of people and of difficult circumstances.  And when fear is gone, then look out bruddahs!  The gates of hell are coming down!  If you read Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21, this is precisely what he’s praying for.  Anyway, that “Side Note” ended up being longer than I thought it would be!

So, as you begin to memorize these first three verses (Ephesians 2:1-3), keep in mind that Paul’s main goal is that we fully come to appreciate and savor the immense love that God has for us.  However, before we can rejoice and revel in His great love, we first need to realize (and have the Spirit reveal to us) how far we were from Him before He drew us near.