“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ.”- Ephesians 2:4-5
Judah Smith concludes Chapter 8 of How’s Your Soul? as he discusses the third and fourth emphases of Ephesians that dramatically shape the identity of our souls.
3. So great a salvation. Pastor Smith exhorts us to remember where we’ve come from, the progress we’ve made. Perhaps we’re dissatisfied with our current status or frustrated in our level of achievement. Yet, Judah underscores, sometimes we simply need to stop and say: “Thank God I am where I am.”
Furthermore, Judah believes the apostle Paul thanked God for where he was in Ephesians 2. There Paul emphasized our great salvation (emphasis Judah’s). Therefore, Judah calls particular attention to the opening words of verse four- But God. Judah notes that “But God”:
- identifies the foundation of the gospel
- provides the greatest revelation we ever need of God’s love, care, and concern for us
- reminds us God took the initiative and provided the solution
Although we don’t always live or feel like new people, our reality remains unchanged. In Christ, we are a new creation.
4. We belong. Pastor Smith firmly believes that belonging describes a fundamental need of the human soul. Consequently, your new identity in Christ shapes and defines your soul more than anything else. Jesus came to break down barriers and walls. As a result, with Jesus, we belong. We’re part of His family.
In conclusion, Judah summarizes and recaps the four emphases of Ephesians. For healthy soul identities, we have:
- our identities set firmly in Jesus, the source and definition of who we are
- a Savior superior to all authority and power, who declares we’re blessed and approved- alive together with Christ
- a great, complete, final, and free salvation
- a community of Jesus followers where we belong, even with our imperfections
Today’s question: What Bible verses remind you that God is rich in mercy? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The point of our walk with God”