Eph 2:1-7 (ESV)
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Have you ever heard of Tule fog? It’s a familiar term if you’re from the Central Valley of California. Tule fog is a thick ground fog that settles into the valley during the winter and into the spring months. It’s the leading cause of weather-related accidents in CA and has even caused multi-car accidents involving dozens of vehicles (sometimes over 100 vehicles!).
The fog is so thick that if you're driving down a highway it’s easy to miss your exit. I’ve known people who have driven past entire towns and who, after driving for several miles, finally realize their mistake and had to turn around to get back to their destination usually arriving much later than they anticipated.
I was thinking about Tule fog as I was reading the first three verses of this passage. Paul’s point is that people are going in the wrong direction but not only that, they are following that direction without hesitation and thinking that everything is just fine, but it isn’t. Paul points out that left to our own devices we’re naturally going to go the wrong way either by following after our physical impulses or the desires of our own minds. This is something that was readily apparent in Judges as the people continued to do what “was right in their own eyes” and it led to unmitigated disaster for the people of God as their sinfulness was epic.
And please don’t miss Paul’s point that this road to disaster is something that everyone is on. Paul doesn’t say it was just the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) who were on this road to destruction, it’s everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike as Paul in verse three says “we”.
That’s how verse four starts and I love it. These are my favorite two words in the Bible, “but God!”
But God gives us the way out, the way back, the way to do a complete 180 and enter into an entirely new life through His Son Jesus.
We see that reflected in the “dead/alive” language that Paul uses. When we entrust our lives to Christ, we suddenly find ourselves in Him. And because our lives are in Him, now, what is true of Jesus, is now true of us—He has been raised and is alive and so we have been raised and are alive because we are in Him. He has been seated in glory and so we too are seated in glory because we are in Him.
All this is from God. Go back and read verses 4-7 again and underline in your own Bible the outrageous kindness of God to you; rich in mercy, loving you with great love, saving us through His unfathomable grace, heaping His immeasurable kindness on us through Christ.
You were dead…, but God…, and through Jesus, we are made alive, together, with Jesus.
That image of God really flies in the face of those who want to say God is exclusionary and petty.
I love these verses because they show that the road to destruction isn’t the only way, there is another, one which God has provided for each of us through the ridiculous gift of His Son Jesus.
It begs the question; which road will you choose?
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly.