Have you ever been to a restaurant and the waiter just wasn’t happy to be there in the place where you had been so looking forward to enjoying?
Have you ever walked into a shop trying to buy something and the sales assistant not only didn’t believe in the amazing product but wasn’t interested in whether you bought it or not?
Have you ever walked into a Church and spoke to a Christian who had the most impoverished spirit, gloomiest face and who sucked the living daylights out of you and all of that in a simple ‘hello’?
The answer to all 3 is probably yes.
But not for this writer of Ephesians, who is stuck in prison, contained, locked down from all his desires and plans:
“Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 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.” Ephesians 2: 3-7
So what more undeserving riches have been given to us?
Saved by grace.
We have been rescued from danger by Him leaning towards us with favour.
Today, we carry the name above all other names.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body”. 2 Corinthians 4:10
A Saviour is one who intervenes, who steps in and rescues from either physical or spiritual suffering. We carry His name and His presence in our lives today. We may not have done much in our lives but He has done it all!
We believe that the Saviour can rescue us from the prisons and plans of our enemy: “My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies” Psalm 31:15
He is with us! Our Saviour is ready to save us time and again.
Raised up and seated with Christ.
PETER RANDOLPH, a slave in Prince George County, Virginia, until he was freed in 1847, described the secret prayer meetings he had attended as a slave.
“Not being allowed to hold meetings on the plantation,” he wrote, “the slaves assemble in the swamp, out of reach of the patrols. They have an understanding among themselves as to the time and place. … This is often done by the first one arriving breaking boughs from the trees and bending them in the direction of the selected spot.
“After arriving and greeting one another, men and women sat in groups together. Then there was “preaching … by the brethren, then praying and singing all around until they generally feel quite happy.”
The speaker rises “and talks very slowly, until feeling the spirit, he grows excited, and in a short time there fall to the ground 20 or 30 men and women under its influence.
“The slave forgets all his sufferings,” Randolph summed up, “except to remind others of the trials during the past week, exclaiming, ‘Thank God, I shall not live here always!’ “
And if you would describe your situation as a prison, this is not where you sit today. It wasn’t for Paul and it isn’t for you. You have been saved by grace, rescued raised with Christ! Amen!