Text: Ephesians 2:1-22
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” —Ephesians 2:13
Has your GPS ever done you wrong? Mine sure has, and apparently I’m not alone. I read about a 67-year-old Belgian woman who drove 900 miles off course, over a two-day period due to a faulty GPS combined with her own disorientation. Her actual destination was only 90 miles away.
During Sabine Moreau’s odyssey, she stopped two times to get gas, slept for a few hours on the side of the road, and even suffered a minor car accident. She ended up in Croatia! Moreau later explained: “I saw all kinds of road signs: first in French, then in German, and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn’t in Belgium anymore.”
To those early Christians in Ephesus, Paul reminded them of what their lives looked like when they were spiritually off course and disoriented in a world of lost-ness. It seems that he doesn’t want his readers to forget the reality of what that was like. Remembering, perhaps, would not only cause them to worship God more gratefully, but also help them to be more compassionate toward those still in a state of spiritual darkness.
The apostle writes: “you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13)
Let those words sink in for a moment—“having no hope and without God in the world.” This is the condition of so many of those around us. I think oftentimes we forget what it is like to be in this cold and lonely world apart from Christ. This is especially true for those of us who have been “saved” for many years. Though we still have struggles, trials, troubles, persecutions, and suffering, we still tend to forget what it was like to go through these hardships alone.
Though we were once “far off,” the blood of Christ has brought us near. We are no longer slaves to this world’s faulty GPS system—lies, disillusionment, moral myopia, and spiritual disorientation. Our minds are no longer blinded by the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4); we have had the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, and what are the riches of his glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18). We have a new and reliable GPS—the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13).
He wants us to remember that we have been saved by such amazing grace. This grace was demonstrated in that Jesus offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. In His great mercy, God has reconciled us to Himself and brought us near through the ransom of Christ’s blood. He also doesn’t want us to forget what we have been saved from, and that people all around us are still in that alienated condition, afar off—hurting, blinded, lost, and without hope. Ask God to give you eyes to see this brokenness and the hands to reach out to those enslaved by the world’s faulty navigation system. They need your testimony. They need your witness. Pray about this as you seek to abide in Him this week.
God, you have saved us from a world without hope. Help us to never forget the great price and ransom that you paid to save us from this spiritual darkness. May our meditation of the depth of your grace cause us to worship YOU more fully. May the remembrance of what we have been saved from cause us to love and serve others more diligently, especially with great compassion toward those who are presently far off. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions for Reflection, Small Group or Family Discussion:
- When was the last time you were physically lost? What happened and how did you get back on course?
- Do you remember what it was like to be spiritually lost? How would you describe your life when you were “far off” from God?
- Why do you think it is important to remember that we have been saved by grace alone (God’s free gift of salvation), and not our own doing?
- Why do you think it is important to remember what it was like to be lost and without God in this world?
- Who are those in your proximity or network of relationships that may be lost in this world and in particular need of your prayers, witness, or outreach?
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