And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… 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.
— (Ephesians 2:1,4-5 ESV)
In conversation with a friend, this text came to my mind; and once again, it struck me with the depth of God’s work in our salvation through the gospel.
We were dead. I was spiritually dead, as dead as one could be. Look at the meaning of the word: total void of life; total absence of life. A dead body, a corpse, is absolutely unable of any movement, of any function of its own, save for the natural death processes which include decay and cell lisis. Trying to make a corpse do something is a fool’s errand.
The Word of God says precisely that. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were absolutely unable of anything, event the slightest action on our behalf. That’s how we were… but that’s not the whole story. When we were effectively dead in our trespasses and sins, God made us alive in Jesus Christ.
Just think of it. God gave life to the dead, out of His mercy and the great love with which He loved us. We attained eternal life not because of us, not because of our help or our disposition, but out of God’s sheer mercy and love, and despite ourselves.
We owe God eternal gratitude for His gift to us, and one way of showing this gratitude is to mirror His attitude. If God gave us life out of mercy and love. So, we should also show mercy and love to others in two respects.
First and foremost, we should ensure that everyone is exposed to the Gospel claims of God, so they could learn of this love and mercy, and act accordingly.
But it is also important to remember how we were in our past lives. Seeing how God pulled us from certain death and gave us hope should be sobering. And also, it should move us to display mercy and love to others. Knowing that God showed us mercy and love, should prompt us to be loving and compassionate when confronted with oter people’s miseries.