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April 9, 2013

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 9 APRIL 2013

Winston Churchill famously stated, “There is nothing more exhilarating than being shot at and missed.” As one who was spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1) and now alive in Christ Jesus, I cannot help to think how relevant Churchill’s statement is. Christians are those who have been “shot at and missed.” All humanity is affected by sin, and its effects are found in every aspect of life. Spiritual death fires upon all humanity, but God has provided deliverance. Spiritual death may not be eternal because new spiritual life can be received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Personal trespasses and sins are the cause for being in the state of spiritual death. According to Ephesians 2:2, this position and practice is “according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” Those who are spiritually dead operate under the control of “the lusts of the flesh” (Eph 2:3). The only escape from this control is to be regenerated (“born again,” to use the words of John 3:3).

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love” causes those who “were dead” in their “transgressions” to be made “alive together with Christ,” and to be “seated” with Him “in the heavenly places” (Eph 2:4-6). The purpose of salvation, therefore, is to demonstrate the lavishness of God’s grace (2:7). His grace is certainly sufficient. The origin of salvation is not “a result of works,” but it is “the gift of God” (2:8-9). God will not share His glory with another (cf. Isa 42:8). He has ordained that “His workmanship” should “walk” in the realm of “good works” (Eph 2:10).

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William Barclay (in The New Daily Study Bible) remarked, “When we realize what sin is, we come to see that it is not something which theologians have invented. It is something which is found in every aspect of life. It is the failure in any sphere of life to be what we ought to be and could be.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 teach that those who were spiritually dead and objects of God’s wrath have been delivered. Motivated by His great love, God extends mercy and grants deliverance from wrath by His grace and through faith. God accomplished this redemption without help. Consequently, believers are His workmanship, and the good that is accomplished in this life is determined by God and is accomplished by His enabling.

Perhaps this week is making you feel overwhelmed, or maybe you simply need to balance a busy schedule with great practicality. How will you know to discern between the important and the urgent? According to Ephesians 2, the important thing for us to be doing this week (and every other week) is to praise God for His gracious gift of salvation, study and fellowship in the ministry of the Word for our spiritual growth, and let God display His glory through our lives as doers of the Word. When we seek the purpose and will of God first, then everything else will be as needed (cf. Matt 6:33).

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. . . . "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. — Jesus

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Pastor/Missionary, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org

P.S. Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.