Listen: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Read: Ephesians 2:1-10
Grace. Don’t you love that word? Christian songs are uniquely written full of grace. We are constantly celebrating, re-telling, and thanking God for the grace He has imparted to human hearts. This singing of God’s grace isn’t unique to our current status either. In the presence of our Heavenly King, we will sing of His grace more perfectly than we could ever have done in this life. One new people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will sing the song of the redeemed.
Paul in Ephesians 2 will attempt to highlight this truth of a unified and newly created people of God. Paul wants to help us see ourselves as not defined by our culture, but to recognize our identity is only truly found in Christ. No matter where we naturally categorize ourselves culturally, economically, ethnically, or any other popular measurement is meant to be abandoned in Jesus’ church. We are not meant to define ourselves or our neighbors by our distinctiveness primarily. We should be united as a single people under the banner of Christ.
Before we can operate rightly in this ideal, we must have a motive. What would cause us to lay down our natural divisions? Grace would. Not a generic grace that might be produced by humanitarians with big hearts and good intentions but no gospel of Christ. The grace I speak of isn’t natural. We need God’s grace imparted to us.
We are natural-born sinners. Paul describes the unregenerate man as dead. God looks upon His fallen and openly rebellious creation with grace. He is able to make dead men live. God saves us by His own grace apart from all our own merits. Grace is an amazing gift from God. As we personally experience the grace of God giving us new life, we become capable of collectively living in this new gospel unity. On earth, this unity is called the “church.”