The City

Attributes lead to actions

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church 2 months ago | 518 views Link: https://goo.gl/YFVXvz

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

What an abundant amount of information Paul packs into Ephesians 2!  As I was reading it again, I was struck this time by the number of God’s attributes and actions Paul mentions.  Paul describes our sad and desperate condition, but magnifies God in a number of ways.  We were dead in our sins, following the prince of the power of the air and living in the passions of our flesh; children of wrath deserving eternal punishment.

But Paul describes God as being rich in mercy.  He is a merciful God toward us despite our going our own way.  He does not give us what we deserve.  Instead we receive mercy.

Paul tells us the reason for God giving us mercy.  Paul says it’s because of the great love with which He loved us.  God is not only a merciful God, but also a loving God Who loved us even when we were dead in sin.

Because of those attributes of God, He acted on our behalf.  He made us alive in Christ and raised us up with Him and seated us in heavenly places in Christ.  Paul gives us a parenthetical expression in that sentence by saying it was due to God’s grace.  He is going beyond mercy in not giving us what we deserve to grace in giving us what we don’t deserve.  God is showing us the riches of His grace which magnify His kindness.  He is not only merciful and loving but also a God of kindness.

Our salvation by His grace through faith is a gift from our God.  He is motivated by His love and kindness to be a giving God as well. 

Paul then tells us that we are new creatures.  God created us in Christ Jesus.  He is also a creating God.

In providing salvation and making us new creatures, God brings us near.  We were aliens and far off from Him, but He brings us near to Him.  We could never have come near in our sin, but He draws us near as His own.

Paul then describes God as a God of peace.  He is our peace, breaking down the wall of hostility.  In doing so, He reconciles us to Himself and kills the hostility.  He acts to reconcile us so we can approach Him; we have access to Him and are no longer aliens.  He has made us fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

No doubt Paul was overwhelmed by God’s mercy and grace and love and kindness and giving nature which motivated Him to act on our behalf to make us His.  May we be as overwhelmed when we consider how great a God we have.

Dale

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Mary Leadbetter

Amen and amen!

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We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

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