1You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
These verses give us such a clear picture of the entire gospel.
First, we (you, me, all of us) are dead in sin and hopelessness. We are wallowing in a swamp of sin, unaware of where to even look for help. We run after money, power, affection, and stuff—whatever we can use to crawl our way out. But it never works. All we can do and all we can buy fades away and we find ourselves right back where we started.
But, despite our helpless place and our hopeless efforts, God, who is merciful and incredibly good, still has unending love for us. He reaches into the mud, not just reaching in, but entering into the mud with us. He lifts us out and cleans us off. Only love can do that, sacrificial love. He cleans us completely, not just surface cleaning, but deep cleaning, reaching into every corner of our lives. And he keeps on cleaning all the time. He makes us bright, shiny, and new.
And, as if the saving and cleaning weren’t enough, he seats us in the place of honor, the best seat in the house, right next to Jesus, in a place that can never be lost. We are seated there right now, not in some future time. We have been resurrected with Christ, we are victorious with him, and each of us sits right there, enjoying him forever. From that place, we have the privilege of entering into his work across the globe or next door. A place of honor to do works of grace completes the saving and the cleaning.
We were once lost in sin, then we were saved through no work of our own, and now we are securely victorious with Jesus now and forever.
Prayer: Father, thank you for making me your own in Christ and thank you that I can never be removed from your love. Amen.
Karen Bogerd has worked in RCA Global Mission for more than 15 years and as operations manager for three years. Her main goal is to support missionaries around the world so that they can continue their good work of spreading the gospel and compassion of Jesus Christ.