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not the end…

I started reading this passage the other day and it has stayed in my mind… I think I was only looking at a few verses but kept reading on because it was just so good!

But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great andwonderful and intense love with which He loved us,

Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

– Ephesians 2:4-10 (Amplified Version)

I had the opportunity to share the message of Easter with a lovely Irani girl today; she commented that in her Islam religion, they also had days to remember the death of their prophets but on those days, they never celebrated – they were just sad.  She found it fascinating that we would be celebrating Jesus’ death… why do we do that?  It’s because his death was not the end of the story!  On the third day, He was raised to life and in doing so, He conquered death once and for all so that we could also be raised to new life in Him!
Now that is good news :).
– Ames –
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