Where We’re From

14

Everybody has a past. Not necessarily a sinister or a dark past, but we’ve all come from somewhere. We’ve all done things we have been pleased with, achieved things we’ve felt good about. We’ve felt joy and happiness and raised a glass to good times. But there’s something murky about all of us too. We might not have lived outside the law, or done something unspeakable. We might not have been involved in anything corrupt or fraudulent. We might have, to all intents and purposes, led reasonably sober and upright lives. But we have all had days before we were saved. And those days, whether we were walking on the wild side or quietly sipping tea in some cosy corner of the world, are what we all have in common. As we read Chapter 2 of Ephesians this week, we will see Pauls’ emphasis on the lavish grace that saved us. And he begins chapter 2 with these verses:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

It’s so easy to forget sometimes the simplicity of the before and after. How easy do we find it to slip into a life that is characterised by self-righteousness and moral uprightness because, well we’re the kind of people who have never done anything really very wrong…? But this isn’t what Paul alludes to in this passage. He doesn’t commentate on the individual sins of those who were once in darkness and are now in light.  He doesn’t point out that so-and-so used to do this and whatcha-ma-call-him used to be like that and don’t even speak about what thingybob did before she was saved… Instead, Paul puts us all firmly in the same place. Wherever we’re from, whatever we’re done, we were all once dead. We all once lived in the passions of our own flesh. And how that translated between us and among us doesn’t really matter. We were dead. Now we’re alive. But why is this so important to remember?

  • It keeps us grace-focused – when we start to even think we’re not as bad, weren’t as bad, have never been as bad as Joe and Jane Bloggs then we lose our focus on God’s grace. We run the risk of forgetting that it is only by grace we are saved and not by any merit of our own.
  • It keeps us humble – if I think my past sins are better than anyone else’s, then who does that exalt? Me? or God? When we realise that we are no better than anyone else – in history – ever – then maybe we’ll stand a better chance of remaining humble.
  • It keeps our hearts soft – we’re all on this journey together and God is still working on all of us. When we are first saved, sometimes God changes things quickly, instantly even. Sometimes, shaking off old habits or forming new ones takes time. We’re all works in progress and what’s hard for one might not be for another. But the same is true vice versa too. And if we all remember that our starting block is the same, our race is on the same track and our finish line is shared, then maybe we’ll help each other and cheer each other along the journey a bit more, remembering that we all move along at different rates in different ways.

Because of grace, we don’t need to beat ourselves up over what we might or might not have done. God doesn’t use our pasts as a stick to beat us with. Grace and salvation are not rewards that can be snatched away in an instant. But because of grace, we have a more level playing field.

We were all blind and can now see We all walked in darkness and now walk in light We were all dead and now we are alive

Whatever you have done, whether your past is more colourful than you’d like, grace is the same for all of us. It’s lavish. It’s undeserving. It’s free. It’s everlasting.

 

Thoughts for Today

 

  1. In what ways can these words from Paul motivate us?
  2. How does the simplicity of everyone having a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ help us witness to other people?

 

Prayers for Today

 

  • These verses remind us how much we have compared to our lives before Christ. How can you lift your praises and worship to God today for the free gift of grace?

Grace and Love

Helen x

Linked with Purposeful Faith A Little R’n’R

Comments

  1. Joyce reid says:

    I love the walking on the wild side or quietly sipping tea. Sums it up. Its all sin and needs grace to cover it. Xx

    Like

  2. Joyce reid says:

    The fact that we all have a past is a great leveller. We can identify with those we meet and are trying to reach with the gospel. We are not” good” people because we are Christians. We are sinners saved by grace,and if we walk humbly ,others will see that it is Jesus they need ,not a better way of behaving.

    Like

  3. I agree it is so important to never forget where we once were before Christ saved us. It keeps us humble and humility keeps us from putting ourselves above others. I recently wrote a post on what Jesus meant by ‘the world’ You may find it interesting.

    Glad I stopped by. I’m next to you at the RaRa linkup : )

    Like

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