One of the most significant “buts” in the whole Bible is found in the 2nd chapter of Ephesians. In the 4th and 5th verses we read, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loves us even when were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (NASB). What makes this “but” so significant is the contrast it sets between v.1-3 with what Paul’s about to say about God’s great love for us. When I read verses 1-3 of this chapter I see an incredibly accurate description of what my life was like before I met Jesus Christ. I was completely dead in my trespasses and sins. I yielded to my flesh completely to its lust. The amazing thing is that although I was completely dead I thought that I was alive. Going out and getting completely drunk or stoned was life, my life!
“But” then God broke into my dead heart and I experienced a complete heart transplant. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love found my dead body lying on a slab in the morgue and He did something incredible. He gave me a new heart and breathed the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) into my sin frozen body. I didn’t deserve the least of His mercies. The turning point of man’s destiny and my destiny begins with those two little words, “But God”. God would not leave me on that slab in the morgue. Believe me as well when I tell you there were many times in my physical life where I could’ve, maybe should’ve died, but God saved me there, too.
It is because of His great love that God didn’t leave me in the morgue. The word “great” in the Greek refers to great in amount or extent. There is a quantity of love that proceeds from the heart of God that is amazing. This deep love in the heart of God is the foundation on which the eternal display of God’s grace found in the following verses is built. Nothing can or should affect us so profoundly or melt our hearts (frozen by sin) more quickly than to reflect on the goodness and love of our God revealed through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verses 1-3 we see man’s position described not only in terms of spiritual death but also as an enslavement and inescapable entanglement in the evils of this present age. It is from this that Christ sets us free. It says in verse 5 that He “made us alive together with Christ.” That speaks of us being spiritually connected with Christ. There must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul before there can be a transformation of the heart and life. We deserve nothing but God’s wrath, but instead He has showered us with His indescribable love and mercy. Have you experienced that “but God” in your life where God takes a rough, crude, dead sinner and transforms you by His Son, Jesus Christ? If so rejoice and tell somebody. If not, what are you waiting for? God wants to give you real life. God is moving and working in our world. Is He moving and working in your life?
For God’s Glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo