In Ephesians chapter 2 verses 1-10 Paul described the transition from death to life of those who have faith. While everyone starts off spiritually dead, God’s mercy brings spiritual life to those who accept his Grace. But this new life doesn’t merely change our eternal destination, it changes our day-to-day life as well.
God is love. And that love drives him to take offence when his laws are transgressed (holiness) because sin harms people. But a loving God is also not willing to abandon those he loves to destroy themselves (Mercy). While mercy and holiness may at first appear mutually exclusive, New creation solves this problem. God can forgive our sin because he gives us grace that transforms us into a new creation that lives differently.
God’s intention is not to merely forgive us, but also to change us. Salvation by grace through faith cannot be rightly understood apart from God’s work of transformation. While God accepts and forgives us just as we are, his grace at work in us reorients our lives and causes us to do good works. This means that Christians ought to live differently after their conversion than before. It’s as we accept both God’s mercy (forgiveness) and his power to transform (grace) that we can see the transition from death to life.
Questions for Reflection
- What does this passage tell you about what God is like?
- How do you distinguish mercy from indulgence?
- How would I feel if someone harmed me and God looked the other way? What is the difference between Him ignoring the offence and having mercy?
- What are the signs that God’s grace is at work in your life? How has it changed you
Check out the other sermons in this series: