Gospel of Grace Alone 37

Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

In this passage of Holy Writ, we see how it must be that the Gospel is by grace alone. There can be nothing else but grace that can save the sinner in ways that the sinner needs saved by. Sinners are by nature children of wrath and live in the lusts of their flesh. Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins. What is there that can take a sinner from deadness and give them life? Only God can do that. What can move God to give those who are dead in trespasses and sins life? Only God can move God to do that. There is nothing desirable about those who are dead in sins and trespasses to God. They do nothing that is righteous and all their words are nothing but the scent of an open grave which has the smell of a rotting corpse because the corpse has not been covered up.

Who can take those who walk according to the course of the world which is set in place by the prince of the power of the air and turn their hearts from that to loving to follow Christ? Only God can take a person and change their hearts that they can and will do this. But again, what will move God to do such a thing? Only the love God has for His own glory and the glory of His own grace. The Gospel is saturated with grace from beginning to end and there is nothing but the glory of God’s grace in this Gospel. God does not start with sinners who deserve anything but His wrath and enmity as they go on in sin and are at enmity with Him.

This passage of Scripture sets out the depravity of man so very clearly but also the utter need for the Gospel of grace alone as well. Those who are dead in sins and trespasses can do nothing to earn the slightest rag of righteousness. Those who are dead in sins and trespasses can do nothing to take away the slightest bit of sin. They must have Christ to save them by grace alone or they will never be saved. These sinners have nothing in them and there is nothing they can do to make them the slightest bit more savable, but instead they are utterly dependent on the grace of God to save them at all points and in all ways.

Verse 4 starts off by giving a glaring contrast between the dead sinners and the only way sinners can be saved. They can only be saved by God. Look at how dead sinners are by nature as they go along in the walk of death that is found in trespasses and sins, but look at the hand of God who makes sinners alive by grace alone. It is by grace alone that God raises sinners from the spiritual dead and makes them spiritually alive. It is by grace alone that God sets His love on sinners and makes them alive in Christ. If sinners could see that they are dead in sins and trespasses and are by nature children of wrath, they would see with clarity that they must have God show grace to them or they will perish. What is there about a dead person that lived a life of enmity toward God that would move God to give them life? What is there about a person who lives in the lusts of his or her flesh and does nothing but indulge the desires of the flesh and mind that would attract God in the slightest to save them? Only the grace of God would be moved to save such vile wretches.

The rest of the passage goes no about the wonders of grace, but for the moment we can behold the beauty of the glory of His grace. Only God can move God to save sinners from themselves and their bondage to sin and the devil. Only the grace of God in Christ can save sinners and nothing else can even contribute the slightest to such a glorious grace. The Gospel that must be proclaimed must be proclaimed to people who are being taught how dead they are in sin and what they are by nature. When those things are seen and felt by the people as true of them, the Gospel of grace becomes beautiful and glorious to them.

One Response to “Gospel of Grace Alone 37”

  1. Jim Says:

    If this is the gospel, and it is indeed, then think about how many herald messages to men and women that is another gospel. I am not ashamed. Let us boast that we understand and no him, and know his loving kindness

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