Devotional

Can’t Quarantine the Gospel: The Depth of Sin & The Height of Grace

The Depth of Sin & The Height of Grace

Jeff Schachinger

Ephesians 2:1-3

Made Alive in Christ
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

The Depth of Sin

Q: Where were you before you became a Christian? What was that like?
Q: Is the recall easy or are the memories a bit more faded?

Without Christ we were all dead in our sins. Why does Paul bring this up? Ephesians chapter 1 ends in such a positive note, why does Paul bring up this discouraging information?

It is important to remember where you were to appreciate where you are.

Often when we look back we can look back with a bit of a distorted view of things. We can think the good times were better than they actually were and the bad times worse than they actually were.

When we look back at our sin, sometimes we can forget the depth of it. We can forget the pain our sin caused to ourselves and to other people. We also can forget the consequences of our sins. We must also be careful not to think that my sin was less egregious than the sin of others.

Romans 3:23-24

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

As we think about where our sin has taken us we don’t want to dwell there, but once again it is important to remember where we were to appreciate where we are.

Ephesians 2:4-10

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We recall the depth of our sin so that we can see the height of God’s Grace. Sin drags us do, but Grace lifts us up!

The Height of Grace

What is Grace anyway?

Grace (Charis): God’s unmerited favor toward us. Grace is…

  • Forgiveness when we don’t deserve it
  • Love when we least expect it
  • Compassion when you weren’t feeling it
  • Kindness when you weren’t seeing it

God is saying I am with you when you thought no one else was. Without Grace we would have nothing positive to talk to each other about right now.

Q: How can we appreciate the height of God’s grace more?
Q: How do you do with embracing God’s Grace?

God poured out his Grace on us ! Titus 2:3. In 1 Timothy 1:12 Paul also talks about how incredible and how much Grace God pours out on us. Paul was incredibly grateful for God’s grace!

Reflect: Think about the Grace of God in your life. What do you have in your life now only because of God’s Grace? Write down as many things that come to mind. Here are some areas to help you:

  • Marriage – Where would your marriage be without God’s Grace?
  • Peace – Having peace in a world that is not very peaceful
  • Sobriety – Overcoming addictions
  • Integrity – God freeing you from lying and cheating
  • Hope – We now have an anchor for our souls when all else fails
  • Freedom – Freedom from sin and anything than holds us back
  • Joy – Because of God we will always have at least one reason to be incredibly joyful
  • Salvation – We can look forward to Heaven
  • Church – Having this support

In God we go from the pit of sin to the peak of God’s grace! 

When the pit of sin and the peak of Grace meet what happens?

Reconciliation

Ephesians 2:14-16

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Reconciliation brings into unity two or more things that are in opposition to each other. Reconciliation is a beautiful thing and we can see it in so many areas of our lives. When God’s Grace removes the guilt of our sin, we are reconciled to God!

Q: What are you feeling guilty about? What does God’s Grace say about it?

(Talk to someone about it. If you are not sure who to talk to about it shoot us an email patrick.genova@sctcoc.org)

As we individually become one with Christ we collectively become one with Christ.

It is because of this Grace that the Jews and Gentiles were able to come together which was previously unheard of. It is because of this Grace that all of the demographics in our Church are able to come together.

Ephesians 2:19-22

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Recap:

  1. Seeing the Depth of our sin and recognizing who we would be without Christ.
  2. Seeing the Height of God’s Grace and appreciated it and being grateful for it.
  3. Understanding that when Sin and Grace meet we have reconciliation!

Today is Day 19 of our Devotional series and this particular devotional is a special edition based on the Midweek lesson done by Jeff Schachinger where we as a church are going through the book of Ephesians. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time. You can see more devotionals here

You can check out the next Midweek on April 21st on Facebook live

Or catch it on our next podcast! 

Listen again here:


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