But God ...
A Sermon on Ephesians 2:1-10
By Grace Through Faith
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
Is it possible that the Gospel can be summarized in just two words? For Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the answer is emphatically, “yes!” Given the context of Paul’s transition here in Ephesians 2:1-10, from sin to salvation, great hope shines forth with just two words: But God. These two words suggest hope for the sinner. It is the only message that holds out hope for the individual and a world that is dead in trespasses and sins. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones contends, these two great words tell us that salvation is entirely a divine action. The contrast with sinful humanity is evident in these two great words. “But God” tells us he is unlike wicked men. He is slow to anger and abounding with grace towards those who deserve wrath. In a world full of anxiety, stress, and difficulty, our great hope and joy is summarized in this brief statement. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that God has entered into this state of death by offering hope through Christ. Our condition is not hopeless but can be changed through the intervention of a merciful God. Listen to this sermon and see the good news in two wonderful words: But God!