Jeremy Sarber

But God who is rich in mercy

Paul writes, But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us—” Stop right there (Eph 2:4).

Something drastic has taken place. Believers are not like everyone else. The taste of pig slop no longer appeals to us. Sin doesn’t provide the same pleasure it once did. More than that, we have hope for something greater than this world. We find joy even in the midst of suffering. What’s going on? How did this happen? After all, we were spiritually dead.

The answer is God. But God,” Paul says. Yes, you were dead in sin. You were following the course of this world. You were destined for wrath, but God.”

We may not have known it at the time, but our transformation didn’t begin with us. It began with God and his love. He loved us, so he showed us mercy even in our fallen state. Jesus said, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

We can’t begin to explain why God loves us. There’s nothing inherently lovable about rebellious sinners, but he loves us anyhow. Not only does he love us, but he loves us with an unfailing, everlasting love. Through his prophet Jeremiah, God said, I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3).

And because he loves us, he sent Jesus to pay for our crimes against him. Paul wrote, God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Ro 5:8).

Spurgeon once said, Nothing binds me to my Lord like a strong belief in His changeless love.” I feel pity for those Christians who underestimate the extent of God’s love. They cripple themselves with a view that God might love us immeasurably one day but revoke his love the next.

How much more proof do you need that God loves you and will always love you? You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it (Eph 1:13-14). You were dead in sin, but God has brought you to life. You’re a walking miracle.