As Pastor Brad Holmes taught us in the short video clip below, the letters Saul carried (for the arrest of those who followed Jesus) symbolized his sin. So do the things we carry from our past—all those times we “missed the dartboard”—highlight the depth of our sin and result in our being an enemy of God. This same Saul, soon to be renamed Paul and the author of much of the New Testament, described our situation as “dead in your transgressions and sins…by nature deserving of [God’s] wrath” (Ephesians 2.1, 3).
That’s bleak. It’s as if he’s walking through a first-century cemetery and, as he points to a tomb in the hillside, says, “That’s you over there behind that rock. Dead.” Not only that, but in this state of “deadness” we’re still deserving of God’s wrath because of our sin. And this we know for sure: dead people can’t rescue themselves. Our rescue must come from someone else.
That’s where Jesus comes in! Even as we were dead, God “made us alive with Christ” when we received God’s gift of “the incomparable riches of his grace (Ephesians 2.5, 7).
Today, memorize Ephesians 2.8-9 and use it to remind yourself of God’s amazing grace that gives life to those who are spiritually dead—those who are his enemies.