Grace in Christ

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Conjunctions are useful words, and the conjunction but is a handy way we have in English to show contrast. But can be ugly when we use it in conflict resolution to either qualify our apology or make an excuse for our actions while we apologize. I don’t particularly like but when it follows some tidings of good news, for then I realize that all the news isn’t good. Children have been known to tarnish the word but when they use it all by itself while their parents correct them through reprimand. Yet but can be beautiful when it follows an explanation of someone’s action with an admission of wrongdoing. Even more so, when it follows a bit of bad news indicating that good news is around the corner. Ephesians 2 has one of the most beautiful uses of but in all the English language. Paul had just painted a pretty negative picture of the state of humanity in Ephesians 2:1-3: dead, walking under the control of the world, the flesh, and the devil, destined for punishment; it’s all pretty bad news. Then Paul turns the tables on that bad news with a glorious but. And Paul doesn’t say, “But we all did enough good to offset all that bad.” He doesn’t say, “But you didn’t really mean it so it’s all water under the bridge.” In fact, he doesn’t mention us as a subject again in the next four verses. He says, “But God.” Why is that significant? It’s significant because our hope in our deadness, corruption, and damnation isn’t in ourselves, but in the God who is rich in mercy, love, and grace. We don’t come to live by concentrating really hard, but through the power of God. We don’t move past our corruption by offsetting it with good, but through the kindness of God. And we don’t escape damnation by giving a good defense, only through the grace of God. When it comes down to it, salvation is a work of God. God loved us; God made us alive; God raised us up; God seated us with Him; God showed the riches of His grace toward us. We certainly benefit; we are the objects of all those works of God, after all, but it’s a work of God’s mercy, love, and grace that any sinner escapes the clutches of Ephesians 2:1-3. To God be the glory for saving sinners, like me. – Pastor Rory 

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Josh De Leon–Questions About Souls, 2

10AM: Pastor Rory–Ephesians 2:4-7–Grace in Christ  (sermon notes)

6PM: No Evening Worship 

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