Amazing Grace

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him.

–Colossians 2:13

A Native American man converted to Christianity, and his friends asked him to explain what had happened in his life. So he found a worm and placed it on a pile of leaves. Then he set the leaves on fire. As the fire made its way toward the worm, suddenly the man reached down and scooped up the worm to save it from the fire. He said, “I was like that poor worm.”

What a perfect picture of what God has done for us! When we were utterly helpless, destined for eternity in hell, He reached down and scooped us up to save us. We had nothing to do with it.

In our study of Colossians so far, we’ve seen that Jewish converts had brought legalism into the church. They were saying, “Jesus Christ is important, but you also need to follow the Old Testament law.” No–there is absolutely nothing we can do to add to what God has already done for us.

If you have never truly appreciated God’s amazing grace, I want you to notice what God saved you from. Paul wrote, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13).

Before we came to Christ, we were “dead in [our] transgressions.” Just as a corpse is unable to respond to anything, when we were dead in our sins, we were unable to respond to any spiritual stimuli. That means we have nothing to brag about when it comes to our salvation. Paul said, “[God] made you alive.” Everything about our salvation originated with God. He gave us the ability to respond to the gospel. He made the final payment for our sins. He is molding us to be more like Christ. And one day, He will give us brand-new bodies. It’s all by God’s grace.

We were also dead in the “uncircumcision of [our] flesh.” Paul made it clear that physical circumcision is not enough to get into heaven. But he was saying to the Gentile Christians in Colossae, “At least the Jews were part of God’s covenant promise. They received God’s law and knew what God required of them. Before you were saved, you not only didn’t share in God’s covenant blessings, but you weren’t even aware of them.”

Apart from Christ, we are spiritually dead. And those of us who are Gentiles are strangers to God’s covenant. We’re utterly lost in this world without God. But against that dark backdrop, the light of the gospel shines brightly. By God’s grace, He has made us spiritually alive.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “Amazing Grace” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Story adapted from Sunday School Magazine (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1843), 183.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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