Monday, January 17, 2011

Ephesians 2:1-7

You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, 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 immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Questions to consider:
  • What do you think the author means by “the course of this world” in verse 2?
  • What kinds of passions of the flesh do you still struggle with?
  • How have you experienced being made alive with Christ?
  • Do you feel that you have encountered the “immeasurable riches” of God’s grace? What does that look like for you?

Possibilities for prayer:

The first several verses explain the ways in which sin has caused spiritual death in our lives. But you’ll notice how the author uses the past tense--”You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived”--which already seems to offer a sense of hope, the promise that in the present tense, you are no longer dead. And then we get to verse 4: “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us...” The “But God” strikes me as important, as it prefaces some seriously important information about God’s redemption of our lives. Let’s make that “but God” our prayer today. No matter what the situation, circumstance, concern or source of confusion that may be tempting you to doubt or fear, simply pray the “but God” prayer--But God knows you, has grace for you, sees you, and most importantly, loves you.