Paul was constantly aware of how greatly God had changed his (Paul’s) life (1 Timothy 1:12-15). He begins Ephesians chapter 2 with the words ‘and you’, because he was teaching the Christians in Ephesus. He wanted to remind them about how much God had forgiven them. However, his description of their former state, without God in their lives, reminded Paul about his own former state. So, Paul’s words soon change from ‘you’ to ‘we’ and ‘us’. In this matter, there is no difference between the Jews (Israel’s people) and the people in other nations. All people are guilty of wrong and evil thoughts, words and deeds. We are all guilty in front of God, and only God can forgive us, because of Christ’s death (Romans 3:21-24).
It is our wrong attitudes and behaviour that bring God’s anger against us (Romans 1:18). We ought first to love God completely, and then to show love by the way that we help other people (Mark 12:28-34). Instead, we so often do whatever things our emotions and feelings direct us to do. So, we do not respect God, and we act in a selfish manner. In fact, we even choose, on purpose, to do those wrong things that our minds and bodies desire. In other words, we do what we want. We refuse to obey what God wants us to do.
The devil constantly tempts us, and all people, to behave in this wrong manner. We must choose whether to obey God, or whether to accept the devil’s authority over our lives.
The people who now are Christians must not imagine themselves to be superior to other people. God did not save (rescue) them from their evil behaviour as a reward for anything good in their lives. He saved them because of his grace, his great kindness, by the death of Christ. Even now, they depend on that grace to give them the power to do what is right in their lives.
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2018, Keith Simons.