But God…

Ephesians 2:4, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”

But God …” is a wonderful scripture, revealing more than the two words seem to reveal.

There is some 44 times the phrase “But God…” appears in the Bible. Each time, there is hopelessness. But God changes hopelessness into joy and rejoicing.

Look at the condition we were in before God came to us.

  1. Ephesians 2:2-3 – Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

  2. Titus 3:3-6 – For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

  3. Colossians 2:13-15 – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

  4. Psalms 14:1-3 – The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

  5. Romans 3:10-18 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Now back to our text: Ephesians 2:4 – But God…

  1. God is rich in mercy toward us – when we were still in sins, not after we got ourselves out of sins.

    1. Rich means wealthy, abounding in resources, both spiritual and material.

    2. Mercy means “kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted”, “clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ”

  2. God has a great love for us – even when we were still in our sins, not after we got ourselves out of sins.

  3. Ephesians 2:5 – Even when we were dead in sins.

    1. The word “dead” means spiritually dead, spiritually lifeless, destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because we are given up to trespasses and sins.

    2. We are saved by grace, not works.

    3. Grace means: “good will, loving-kindness, favor”, “unmerited, unearned, undeserved mercy”.

    4. Romans 11:5,6 – Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.