A Walk Through Ephesians Two: Reflections on the Gospel

The Gospel is intertwined throughout the pages of the Bible, from the Book of Genesis to the last page of Revelation. The Bible is a story of God’s heart towards an imperfect humanity. It is ultimately His story, revealing His perfections. In comparison, humanity has proven itself totally far from the mark in every way. In light of that, God has proclaimed the good news of His love, pursuit, and salvation for a world in need. The Apostle Paul was excellent at reminding his readers of this good news. In one of his letters, in particular, Paul walks through the gospel in 10 concise verses. This passage is a go-to for myself. I also like to take youth groups through the reflection of Ephesians Chapter two. I would invite you to set aside some time, grab a cup of tea, remove distractions, and sit with this passage and these questions.


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.

Ephesians 2:1-3

There is no doubt that without God…before God intervened in our lives…we were in a desperate situation. We were in BIG trouble! It’s powerful to remember who we are apart from God and the person He’s rescued us from. When we made the choice to follow Jesus, it came with a cost. We made the choice to lay things down, live for a different purpose, and make different choices. We chose to let Him in.

Reflection: Take some time to contemplate who you once were before God and who you may struggle to be now without keeping your focus on God. In what ways were you dead? What else do you need to be rescued from?


But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:4-7

The greatest invasion in world history was Christ’s invasion into the world of darkness. His victory over death has not only set the world free but has set you and me free. He breathed life into creation back in the early pages of Genesis, and He did it again when Christ rose from the dead. Death no longer has the final word. As if that wasn’t enough, God never stops at the cross with His children. He continues to love, nurture, guide, protect, prosper, and bless us. He does this so that we will know along with the world, that He has immeasurable kindness and goodness.

Reflection: Take time to thank God for His amazing grace in your life…for His unfailing love and mercy. It always helps to write them down. If you don’t already have one, maybe create a gratitude journal. Take some time to pray, sing praises, and maybe even take Communion.


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:8-10

God has a future for all of us. He has prepared one for you. The cross opens up a new door for us. Jesus, Himself said that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). God promised that He has plans for us that are good and hopeful (Jeremiah 29:11). There is a plan and a life ready for us to embrace.

Reflection: What is your future hope? What is your purpose? What makes you come alive and how can God use that? How can you be used by your Savior to make a difference? What are your talents and how can they be used to point others to Jesus?

Always remember, you are loved more than you could ever know. Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.


God’s Redemptive Love Part IX: The Prophets

Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. 

Isaiah 59:1 NKJV

For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. 

Jeremiah 30:3 NKJV

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Matthew 23:37 NKJV

Even in the midst of their depravity, God looked upon Israel with compassion and a desire to save them from themselves. He sent prophets to them such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Ezra, Micah, and several others. These prophets gave stern warnings to the people and encouraged them to abandon their sinfulness. They reminded the people of God’s love for them and His future glory that awaits. Even once Israel was taken away to bondage God used prophets such as Daniel to speak words of hope.

As prophecy was being fulfilled and the people were being gathered by God from captivity, He raised up more prophets such as Ezra and Zechariah to remind them of God’s goodness and His call on their lives as they enjoy their newfound freedom. But as Jesus states in Matthew 23, God was so much desiring His children, and they would not listen.

Despite our hard hearts at times, God is still whispering (sometimes shouting) His love in our ears. In my darkest days, I still saw God moving in my life. Even at my worst, God still loved me and didn’t abandon me. Whether you are started down a bad road, caught up in bondage, or experiencing your freedom in Christ, God is constantly after your heart. The stories of the prophets are just that much more of a reminder that God does not leave us nor forsake us. It is also a good lesson in listening to God, heeding His voice, and following His path which will keep us from stumbling. God and His word will never leave us no matter our circumstances because His heart is always seeking the redemption of our souls.

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.

God Pursues the Undeserving

What is Passover about? That’s really the question that I want to answer in this post. I am aware that some of you may fully know what the Passover is. And the idea of the Passover is not a new one, nor do I want to present a brand new concept around what the Passover is. But in answering my initial question, that is, what is Passover all about? I am going to attempt to answer a couple of other questions. The first question I want to look at is, in the Passover, did Israel deserve to be saved? The second question is, why did God rescue Israel in the Passover?

You can read about the story of the Passover in the book of Exodus, starting in chapter 3 with the call of Moses and through the 10 plagues. However, I would argue that the theme that the Passover represents was not new with the event of the first Passover nor did it end with the first Passover. What are some of the themes of Passover? Some big themes that stand out are redemption, rescue, salvation, and God saving Israel from slavery.

This brings us to our first question: Did Israel deserve to be saved? The simple answer is no. Let me classify. In both Joshua 24:14 and Ezekiel 20:6-9 Israel is described as a people who served the gods of Egypt were rebellious, and set detestable things before their eyes.

I think it’s easy for us to think of Israel as a godly people in captivity. But they were essentially a pagan idolatrous people by the time that Moses hits the scene. Moses doesn’t even know who God is when they meet at the burning bush. Moses wants to know what to call God when he tells Israel about Him, most likely because the people of Israel would have lost connection with Him over the previous 400 years.

So we know Passover is about redemption and rescue and is not deserved in any way. I say that, not to single out or harp on the people of Israel. Lord knows you and me would have most likely been the same way had we lived then. The undeserving element, in my opinion, adds so much encouragement.

Now for our second question: why did God rescue Israel in the Passover? When God is speaking with Moses He says things like…He was watching over them and that He remembered the covenant with Abraham.

“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”

Exodus 34:6 ESV

This verse is how God describes himself. And His track record more than proves it. God delivered Israel for the same reason He delivers anyone, He is abounding in love and faithfulness. He makes promises and He keeps promises. God promised Abraham, back in Genesis 15:12-14, He would rescue his descendants. There was no stipulation tied to it. God’s faithfulness to His promises is why the Passover happened.

In addition to His faithfulness, another reason for the Passover is God’s desire to make His name known. In Speaking with Moses, God said that He will send plagues in order to make His name known. God also wanted to make Himself known to Israel. And through Israel, He would be made known to the world. And in Exodus 12, we see not only Israel going out of Egypt, but a mixed multitude of other peoples with them. God’s wonders humbled the most powerful kingdom in the ancient world at that time, rescued an entire nation of people from slavery, and convinced a multitude of non-Israelites to go with them.

Now let’s go back to our overarching question: what is the Passover? It’s salvation, initiated by God, towards undeserving people, out of His love and faithfulness, to make His name known. What does that sound like? The Gospel right? Look at these New Testament passages.

He saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace…

2 Timothy 1:9a ESV

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

Romans 3:23-24 ESV

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”

Ephesians 2:8 ESV

This is our message. The one that God has been telling since the beginning. God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve after they sinned (Genesis 3). God rescued Noah and his family (Genesis 6-9). God saved Israel time and time again through the Judges from Othniel to Samuel (Judges and 1-2 Samuel). God brought Israel out of Egypt and out of Persia (Ezra and Nehemiah). God preserved Israel through Esther and Mordecai while they were still in Persia (Esther). He has been in the business of rescuing and redeeming undeserving people since the beginning. Passover is a major expression of that. And one that pointed to a future Passover in which, not just a lamb, but the Lamb would suffer and die.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Romans 5:6-10 ESV

I don’t deserve Jesus. You don’t deserve Jesus. That’s the point. Thank you Lord for the Passover. Thank you Jesus for loving us and saving us. Help us grow in gratitude for all you’ve done.

“And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Luke 22:14-20 ESV