Like the man who has received the diagnosis of his terminal illness, If we accept our diagnosis we are now ready to look for a treatment. If we ignore the diagnosis we don’t change reality, we just get a few more moments of bliss before the inevitable.
What's the diagnosis? We are dead in our sins.
Thankfully God gives us the treatment!
He does the impossible. He makes the dead not-dead!
That might not seem crazy in the first instance to our modern ears. We’re used to comic books and TV shows where characters miraculously come back from the dead. We’re used to video games where “death” just means “have another try”. We’re used to hearing surprising stories of how Uncle Jim was dead on the operating table for ten minutes before he was revived.
So when I say "God makes the dead alive", don’t think of temporary cardiopulmonary arrest, or a re-spawn point , instead think of a skeleton lying on the ground. The bones are scattered and dry. Before grace, that is you!
There’s no flesh. No flicker of life. Nothing.
Now with that picture in mind, lets look at a few verses in Ephesians;
"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—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4–7)
God, because of his Love and by his grace, God takes the spiritually dead and revives them! He makes us spiritually alive with Christ! Not merely made alive but raised to positions of honor and joy! Why? So God can reveal his grace in His kindness. It is to His own glory.
God’s love is expressed to his people through this grace by making them alive. This is how we receive salvation, through this regeneration of our dead hearts. He unshackles our chains of sin and releases us from the oppression of Satan. God through his Spirit causes us to be Born Again so that we might see and receive the Kingdom of Heaven.
By Grace God revives our dead hearts. Grace alone is the way we receive the Love of God for his own people. Grace alone is how we are saved!!
Hang on a sec. I thought we were saved by faith in Jesus? Isn’t that how you become a Christian; by believing in Jesus and repenting of sin? How can you say that we are saved by grace, when you are clearly saved through Faith?
Usually when you first become a Christian, you are not thinking about the mechanics of salvation. Usually we get to a point where we recognize we do need God’s gracious salvation, and that the way to access that is through faith. We put our hope, trust, belief in Jesus. “Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but receive eternal life.” It’s simple. Faith is the entry avenue to God’s Kingdom.
We understand that God is gracious to us by receiving us and granting us salvation, but it’s not until we look a little deeper that we begin to realize that God’s grace has actually already been given to us by the time we believe!
By the time we call out to God for mercy and grace, He is already granting it to us!
His grace has been at work in us, reviving our spiritually dead souls to receive spiritual life! It wasn’t our natural inner drive or choice that turned our hearts toward Him, rather he makes our souls alive, and as he reveals himself to us in all His Glory and Splendor we see that everything else pales in comparison. With a revived heart we turn to God as willing recipients of the Salvation life he has for us, blown away that he would be willing to give us so great a slavation! When God works in us by grace, then we are enabled to trust in Him with faith.
Our salvation is by grace, through faith.
We receive spiritual life and experience God’s love throughamazing Grace.