From Death to Life
Open Your Bible
Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 1:13-14, Colossians 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Psalm 103:8-12, 1 John 4:9-10, Hebrews 10:19-22
BY Yana Conner
Due to the fall of humanity when Adam and Eve sinned, we live with a sinful nature that affects how we think, feel, and interact with God and others. We are inclined toward sin, and we need powerful intervention through salvation and ongoing sanctification. Otherwise, we live in a “can’t stop, won’t stop” entanglement with sin.
This sinful condition is very different from the one I heard about growing up. After giving honor to God, a seasoned saint would proclaim at the top of her lungs, “I once was lost, but now, I’m found!” Though I get the sentiment and even affirm its use, what Paul describes in these verses is not a person who is lost but a person who is dead.
This is you and I, apart from God’s divine intervention. Elsewhere, Paul describes the effects of sin as slavery, binding people to obey the demanding power of sin (Romans 6:16). Sin infects all of us and often keeps us from seeing the depth of our need for redemption. That’s why Paul says that without Christ, we are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
God, being rich in mercy, abounding in never-fading, never-ending love, intervenes. He sends His Son to take our place. Instead of pouring His wrath out on us, God pours out His wrath onto His beloved Son so that those who were once children of wrath can become children of God. And, in this, we rejoice! We have been saved from God’s wrath. But, friend, this is not all. The good news doesn’t stop there.
In Christ, not only have we been saved from God’s wrath, but we have also been saved from our once-dead state. Salvation is the gift that keeps on giving. You see, through His death, Jesus saves us from God’s wrath (justification), and through His resurrection, Jesus makes us alive with Him (regeneration)! He moves us out of the morgue of our “can’t stop, won’t stop” relationship with sin and into a life-giving relationship with Him. Where we were once unable to respond to God and His Word, we can now respond to Him through the death and resurrection of our Savior. What a reversal!
However, can I be honest? I don’t always live as though this reversal is true. While I find it easy to cling to Christ’s death, which saves me from God’s wrath, I sometimes find it difficult to cling to Christ’s resurrection, which liberates me from sin’s power. But these two salvific realities are what make the gospel beautiful. Jesus saves us to the utmost, delivering us from sin’s penalty and power. And soon enough, He will deliver us from its presence. Until then, our refrain is no longer “we can’t stop, and won’t stop,” but “Yes, Lord, yes!'”