Ephesians 2:4-5 - The Verses Project

Bible Ephesians 2:4-5

Posted March 24, 2014

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

We continue our journey memorizing Ephesians 2:1-10. Last week’s verses depicted a humanity dead in trespasses and sins, following the course of the world, the devil, and the desires of the body and the mind, unable to save itself (Ephesians 2:1-3). What hope could there be for such a corrupted people before a holy God?

The Divine Interruption

Verse 4 starts with a glorious and unexpected interruption: “But God…” Could there be a better two words spoken to a helpless people? The Gospel Transformation Bible says: “The heart of the gospel pumps bright red in the first two words of verse 4. In verses 1–3 we see that mankind was dead, disobedient, demonic, and destined for destruction. We were prodigals, scoundrels, vile, impure, unholy, treacherous, lecherous, self-absorbed, self-exalting, out-and-out rebels. That’s the bad news. And then this good news: “But God!” We were dead, but God made us alive in Christ. We were not strugglers in need of a helping hand or sinking swimmers in need of a raft; we were stone-cold dead—spiritually lifeless, without a religious pulse, without anything to please God. But he loves the loveless, gives life to the lifeless, and is merciful to those deserving no mercy.” May we praise a God who interrupts our death with life, our rebellion with mercy, and our hatred with love!

The Divine Attributes

Though God saw us in our incorrigible and lifeless state, He intervened. Why would He do this? Though we were rich in trespasses, God is “rich in mercy”, loving us with a “great love”, and gracing us with life and salvation through Christ. The birth place of our salvation is nothing we could accomplish in our own strength or merit, but rather completely based on who God is. How could God save those who turned away? He is merciful; He loving. He was not waiting for us to become worthy of salvation, but knew we could never resurrect and save ourselves! God’s mercy, love and grace were the notes by which our song of salvation was composed and sung over us through Christ. Praise Him.

The Divine Impartation

These verses teach us that our merciful, loving, graceful God interrupted our dead state by making us alive in Christ. Apart from Him, lifeless; in Him, resurrected and alive! What a gift… Could we ever thank Him enough? Note that God did not grant us life abstractly but rather objectively, in and through the person of Christ. Acts 4:12 teaches us that, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Do you need life and salvation? Look to Jesus! At the cross we find the mercy, love, and grace of God.


Song by Native Air (Luke Brawner & Allyson Watson).
Artwork by Jonathan Lindsey.