And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
“And you” preceded by “Christ…the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” followed by “but God” are a series of phrases laden with gospel glory and truth. “Christ” “and you”. “And you” “but God”. When “you” isn’t preceded or followed by God or an “and” before “you” we are “without God” and “alienated from the life of God”. Yet, when we like John the Baptist knew that Christ “is preferred before me: for He was before me”, then Christ before “and you” yokes us together with Christ when Paul says, “and” (pause) “you”. “And you” without the One, that is Christ, before us needs “but God”. We need God despite ourselves, and God provides for our need by Christ and rectifies it in Christ.
“But God” stands adversely to that which precedes it in the text, that is, “and you”. With God nothing is impossible. In time past you and I were dead in trespasses and sins. We were the walking dead because of Adam, ourselves, and the course of this world with its’ princely spirit. This spirit of the world of the god of this world isn’t so foreign to us for it continues to “now worketh in the children of disobedience”. Our pursuit and walk were according to this “vanity” as we went about our “conversation in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind”. We were by nature the children of wrath because we were dead in trespasses and sins and walked according to the spirit of the world as children of disobedience. All that we were and did was contrary to God. Now in view of the Lord of glory at the right hand of God in which all things will be to the praise of His glory, we were among those that come short of it. We not only came short of the glory of God we were without strength to come to it.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son”, “He gave His only begotten Son”; yea, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Moreover, He called us into the grace of Christ by the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation. “But God” when we heard that word and trusted He sealed us with that holy Spirit of promise. Yea, “but God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Truly, “but God”, by His grace, ye are saved!
The mighty power God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, set Him at His own right hand, put all things under His feet, and gave Him, the head over all things, to the church, which is His body is to be known deeply, intimately, assuredly, and hopefully. His mighty power wrought in Christ is His exceeding great power to us ward who believe. Deeply, for His power reaches those dead in trespasses and sins following His adversary. Intimately, for He works adversely to His adversary and strips them that believe from that prince of the air, seals, and joins them together with the One far above that prince – Jesus Christ, our Lord. Assuredly, for His power is “for God’s great love” by which He quickened us, raised us, and set us together with Christ. Hopefully, for our past conversation looked forward to self and wrath, but now to ages to come – that He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Such breadth, and length, and depth, and height manifest in who we were, who God is, what Christ did, God’s power to us ward, and who we now are in Christ affords us a new conversation, a newness of spirit, and a walk in newness of life. Truly, we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. “Christ”, “and you”, “but God” – so “are you” walking in good works?
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher