I know I’ve done a more in depth look at this part of Ephesians, but I feel that some of the core principles may have gotten lost in the intricacies of the text. So, here ya go.
(1-2a, 3b) And you were DEAD in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world…and were by nature children of WRATH, like the rest of mankind.
–The Bible doesn’t beat around the bush concerning our spiritual state apart from Christ, we were dead in our sins, unable to respond to God, unable to seek Him out. We all were, so none of us is alone in this.
(4-6) But God, being rich in MERCY, because of the great LOVE with which he loved us, even when we were DEAD in our trespasses, made us ALIVE together with Christ—by GRACE you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
– Because God was had an abundance of compassion on us out of His love, while we were unable to seek Him out, He sought us out. While we were dead, He made us alive. We didn’t deserve it, we deserved eternal punishment for treason against the King. He gave us grace and He saved us. He lifted us up when we couldn’t lift ourselves.
(7) so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
– He did this so that His glory might be seen through His grace and kindness toward those whom He saved in Christ. This is ultimately about Him.
(8-9) For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH. And this is not your own doing; it is the GIFT of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
– Again, we have been saved solely because of God’s grace. He breathed LIFE into us when we were dead, He gave us FAITH so that we would believe in Him. He started this work in us when there was no way we ever could, and He will complete it (Heb. 12:2). We didn’t earn this on our own, and we can’t maintain it by following rules. We rely desperately on the grace of God to complete what He started. Knowing this should drive us to deep, deep humility.