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.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
The Apostle Paul has set forth the truth that solely on the basis of God’s rich mercy and great love with which He loved rebellious sinners like you and me, God initiated an action on the sinner’s behalf, even as sinners were was dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3).
What action has God done? He has made the spiritually dead sinner alive in Christ. The sinner has been spiritually resurrected and brought to new life in Christ. God imparted unto us new life. This necessitated a new birth by the Holy Spirit called regeneration (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:1-5). Regeneration always precedes conversion (John 3:3).
Secondly, God has raised us up with Him. The Lord has resurrected us into new life and living. It is a spiritual resurrection which foreshadows the believer’s bodily resurrection in Christ (I Corinthians 15:35-49).
Thirdly, the Lord has “seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This positional fellowship believers presently have with God is in the heavenly places. This means the domain of God and His angels. This fellowship is solely for those who are in Christ Jesus.
What was God’s purpose in doing all these things for sinners? God’s purpose extends not only for the present but also for all time. It was to show (ἐνδείκνυμι; endeiknymi), to demonstrate, or to make known what Paul says are the immeasurable riches of God’s grace.
The word immeasurable (ὑπερβάλλω; hyperballow) means to presently and actively go beyond the ordinary and to be, and to do, far more than what is expected. The word riches (πλοῦτος; plooutos) means extreme abundance or wealth. Both words, within the context, refer to God’s grace.
As often noted, grace (χάρις; charis) is the Lord’s unmerited favor, which is found solely in His character. The Apostle Paul also states that God’s graciousness towards sinners was displayed by the instrumentality of His active kindness (χρηστότης; chrestotes) which is His goodness and benevolence in salvation. All this is sourced in the person and work of Christ Jesus.
One biblical scholar put it this way: “The satisfaction of His love was God’s motive in quickening and raising them (sinners). The manifestation of His glory in its surpassing wealth is His final purpose in the same.”
May we all give thanks today for God’s great grace for the immeasurable riches of HIs grace.
Soli deo Gloria!