Ephesians chapter 2 says that the unsaved sinner “is dead in trespasses and sins” (vs. 1). In that condition, they are separated from God, and they are doomed to face God’s judgment. What every doomed sinner needs is divine intervention. Paul tells us that God intervened to bring salvation to our souls!
Verse 4 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.” The words “But God” are filled with power and meaning. Those two words may just be the greatest words in the Bible. Those two words tell us where salvation originates. It originates with God.
Galatians 4 tells us, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (vs. 4-5). Why did God go to all this effort to bring His Son into the world? Since man is a sinner, he cannot do anything, or pay any price, to redeem himself. The only way sinful man could ever be delivered from his sins would be through the sacrifice of a sinless man … Jesus did what sinful man could never do when He died on the cross. This is what God accomplished … when Jesus died, He did not die for His own sins, but He died for the sins of the lost. Thanks to His personal intervention, I am saved. What about you? Can you praise Him for personally intervening in your life?
“But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us.” Paul says God is “rich in mercy.” The word “rich” refers to “an overabundance, that which is without measure, unlimited.” This characteristic suggests that God possesses an overabundant, measureless, and unlimited quantity of “mercy.”
The word “mercy” refers to “goodness or kindness toward the miserable and afflicted, coupled with a desire to help them.” You see “mercy” has the idea of “not receiving what one deserves.” In the Lord’s mercy, He turns His wrath away from the “children of wrath” and He extends to them His forgiveness and His salvation. He does not give them the judgment they deserve! The Lord’s mercy for the sinner flows out of His love for the sinner. Paul calls it His “great love”.
I was lost in sin, “But God!” I was separated from God and headed to Hell, “But God!” Because God intervened in my life, I am not the person I used to be. My life has changed and so has my eternal destiny. Because of what He did, I have been delivered from my wretched past, I have been identified with Jesus, and I have received His salvation. That’s a lot to thank Him for!
Rev. J. Patrick Street is the lead pastor of Redeemer Church in Marion. He can be reached at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Marion Star: Pastor column: Salvation of our souls originates with God