The Immeasurable Riches of His Grace (BCday#29) ~ blog
Do you realize that there was a time in your life when you were dead? That sounds strange does it not? We usually think of death as what happens after a person has lived. Isn’t the universal pattern that we are born, live our lives, and then die? Seems to be the pattern once God created Adam and Eve and they started having children.
That is the normal pattern in the physical lives of everyone. However, the Bible clearly teaches us that if anyone is going to see the Kingdom of God she or he MUST be born again. Therefore, for the Christian the normal pattern is that we are born physically but spiritually we are dead and separated from God. Then…we must be born again by the Spirit of God and are given by the Grace of God eternal life.
This is what Jesus taught Nicodemus late one night on the rooftop of the home in which Jesus was staying. Remember Nicodemus? He was a ruler of the Jews in that he was one of the 70 elders of Israel who were both the religious and governmental leaders of Israel.
One night, early in the ministry of Jesus Nicodemus, let’s call him Nic for short…Nic at Night came to talk with Jesus because he wanted to ask Jesus some questions. Nic at Night said to Jesus…
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, f
or no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
To which Jesus said…
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nic at Night thought about that statement and it was puzzling to him. Never had he heard these two words put together…born…and again. The phrase is not found in the Old Testament and is only found here in John 3 and twice in 1 Peter 1.
How is it possible for a person who has been born once to be born again? Impossible Nic reasoned. Nobody can perish the thought…climb back into their mother’s womb and come out a second time.
Jesus gives Nic the first “no duhhh…” look but explains that for people who have already been born once physically…they can be born again and that second birth is a spiritual birth accomplished by the Holy Spirit. It is a birth that is really a spiritual birth done by the Holy Spirit when someone puts their faith in Christ…a faith given to us by the Father…and we are saved by grace. We experience a spiritual birth and become eternal members of the Family of God.
So…first, we have all been born physically by our mothers but need to be born spiritually by the Spirit or we do not have a spiritual life and we are spiritually dead in our sins and transgressions.
Paul takes this idea of us being alive physically but dead spiritually in Ephesians 2. He directly says we were all spiritually dead in our sins and transgressions, followers of the ways of this world and were living by our lusts because we had no spiritual life and our sins separated us from the spiritual life of God, by His grace, has for us.
Now, think carefully with me on this for a second. Before we trusted Christ by receiving the faith given to us because of God’s grace…we were all physically alive but spiritually dead in our sins.
However…hold on…we are going to hear what I like to refer to as the “best but” in the bible…
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace, you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Even when we were still spiritually dead in our sins and separated from God…and indulging ourselves in the sinful things of this world…and were by our very nature “objects of His wrath” just like everybody else. We were made alive spiritually…we were born again by the Spirit…and we were all saved by grace.
In other words, being rebellious and selfish people, spiritually dead and separated from God, He gave us the faith to believe in Jesus and we were in that instant born again…born spiritually…made spiritually alive by the Spirit and eternally born into the family of God.
However, hold on there is more in this passage. Not only in that instant were we made alive with Christ by God’s grace but something else that is even more incredible and will stretch our faith to believe it…we read…
“…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
Say what??? Notice, this is said in the past tense so that it has already happened…and again remember these are spiritual truths that have already happened even though in our physical life we would have no idea this is true…but it is…it is true.
Spiritually, you and me, though still alive physically and in this battle with sexual sin…we are also spiritually already seated with Christ “…in the heavenly places.”
And the best is yet to come…because in our future we are going to be shown…
“…the immeasurable riches of His grace
in kindness toward us.”
All of this is by the grace given to us as a free and undeserved gift. Therefore, rejoice in the Lord always…again I say rejoice!!!
Stop living in sexual sin and eating garbage and begin to feast on the good life…the spiritually good life that God has given you.