Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Remember the Way We Were

"Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12)

Before salvation, we were:
- separate from Christ (verse 12)
- without hope (verse 12)
- without God (verse 12)

- excluded from the covenants of the promise (verse 12)
- dead in our transgressions and sins (verse 1)
- following the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (verse 2)
- gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts (verse 3)

- deserving wrath (and eternal damnation in Hell) (verse 3).

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)
Without verse 13, verse 12 is depressing. Without verse 12, verse 13 is not as meaningful.

Once we're saved, we are in Christ. In Christ, we are forgiven and free, cleansed by His precious blood. Therefore, the redeemed shall rejoice with the glad hallelujahs from grateful, humble hearts.
It's always good and important to remember what we were and what we have become by the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lest we forget and take our salvation for granted! The better we understand the extent of our wretchedness, the more we appreciate the magnitude of God's grace and forgiveness! When was the last time we pondered our former state of utter depravity and desperation outside of Christ? Now is a good time for us to pause and remember how marvelous our redemption is and how blessed we are because of Christ. "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me!" (John Newton)

Benefits of reflecting upon the contrast between our former condition without Christ and our current condition in Christ:

- It deepens our humility and increases our godly sorrow for sin
- It evokes in us immense gratitude for God's incredible love, grace, and mercy for us

- It renews the joy of our salvation and gives us peace for we're eternally safe & secure
- It inspires us to love God more and trust Him more
- It motivates us to obey, please, honor, & glorify God
- It energizes us to serve God with greater zeal
- It encourages us to share the Good News with others who are now what we once were
- It reminds us to give grace and to forgive others as Jesus has graciously forgiven us
- It strengthens our faith and hope (confident assurance) even in the midst of trials and sufferings.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am forever grateful for Your deliverance! Help me to always remember what a difference You have made in my life. You have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into Your kingdom of light. Thank You for the forgiveness of sins! I love You and I am resolved to live for You! 

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