Jesus Gives Each of Us Our New Life of Freedom and Grace!
Ephesians 2:1-6 New International Version (NIV)
Made Alive in Christ 2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Friday - March 19
Paul picks up the same idea of the snake-bitten Israelites in Numbers 21. Like Jesus, Paul also expands that story to show that ALL of us are ALREADY sinful and rebellious. Think of a child born to Nazi German parents during the 1920’s and 30’s. We are all born into a rebellion against God, what Paul calls “the flesh” with its passions and desires that are set against obeying God. As Genesis 3:5 highlights, we “desire” to be “like God” rather than to be creatures who are dependent upon and loved by God. This is what Paul calls being “children of wrath.” The good news is that God loved us and still loves us, even though we are rebels! The cross of Jesus has become our death and his resurrection has become our new life of freedom and grace.