In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul, using the believers as an example, demonstrated why and how every human being can experience divine elevation from spiritual death to new life in Christ. First, he described the kind of life the believer lived before conversion.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul, using the believers as an example, demonstrated why and how every human being can experience divine elevation from spiritual death to new life in Christ. First, he described the kind of life the believer lived before conversion. This is the kind of life unbelievers still live. Four things are said about this. One, before conversion man lives a life of death (Eph, 2:1).Two, before conversion, man lives a life of trespasses and sins.
Three, before conversion man lives a life with the disobedient of the world (v.2). Four, before conversion, man lives under the wrath of God (v.3). The wrath of God is consistently directed towards those who do not follow His will (Deut. 1:26-46; Josh. 7:1; Psa. 2:1-6). Second, Paul attributed the divine spiritual elevation experienced by man to God’s mercy (vv.4-5). The most astounding interruption in human history is the word "but" in this passage.
Man is dead in trespasses and sins, but God is rich in mercy. He has intervened in the destiny of man; He has interrupted the doom of death and judgment. God has had mercy upon us! The work of God's mercy is to quicken us with Christ. The word "quickened" means to be made alive. We were dead in trespasses and sins, but God has made us alive. Another aspect of the work of God's mercy is to sit us in heavenly places in Christ (v. 6).
A third aspect of the work of God's mercy is its one great purpose—to show believers the riches of His grace throughout all the ages to come (v. 7).Third, Paul attributed the divine spiritual elevation experienced by man to God’s grace (vv. 8-10). If a man wants to be saved, these verses tell him how to be saved. Salvation is the work of God, of God's grace and of God's grace alone. It is not of man, not to any degree whatsoever.
Salvation is a free gift of God. It is by grace alone that man is saved. Man can do nothing whatsoever to save himself. He cannot earn, win, or merit salvation. All man can do is accept the fact that God says He will save him, accept as true the free offer of salvation (Romans 11:6). Salvation is received by faith (Romans 3:27; Romans 4:2, 5; 1 Cor. 1:31). Man must believe just what God says and accept His Word, accept His free offer of salvation.
And when he accepts the fact that God says He will save him, God takes him and creates him into a "new man" (2 Cor. 5:17; Ephes. 4:24; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:4). Paul rounds off by making the following assertions: Man is saved by God and by God alone (vv. 8-9). This is the major stress of this passage, but how? Man is saved by grace. Grace means the favor and kindness of God, but there is a uniqueness about God's favor and kindness.
His favor and kindness are given despite the fact that it is undeserved and unmerited. Two, man is saved through faith. When we believe, really believe, that Jesus Christ died for us, God does a wonderful thing. God takes our faith and counts it as the death of Jesus Christ for us. It is our faith that causes God to credit us with salvation. Three, man is not saved of himself.Four, man is saved as a gift of God, not of works.Five, the reason salvation is by grace and not by works is to prevent men from ever boasting.
The honor and glory due to God are not to be shared with anyone. If man was saved by some effort of his own, he would be due some credit, some boast, some honor. This God cannot allow. His very nature forbids it.