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, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.(Ephesians 2:4-9, ESV)
“God, being rich in mercy…” How rich is God in mercy? I hope you don’t view God as poor in mercy. Our Heavenly Father is wealthy in mercy; he has an abundant supply. And look at Paul’s next statement about whenGod is merciful to us: “Even when we were dead in our trespasses.” Not only was he merciful at our lowest point, he transformed us to make us alive together with Christ. Now, you may be asking, Why “together with Christ?”Christ died and was buried, then was made alive again. We also were dead (in our sins) and buried (in baptism) then God raised us to life together with Christ. How did this happen? It happened by grace. Neither mercy nor grace have anything to do with us. They have to do with the Giver. Don’t get me wrong—people can reject his mercy and his grace, but no one can earn those gifts. As verse 9 says, it’s not because of our works, so we can’t boast. It is a result of his kindness toward us who have been saved through faith.
In verse 7, Paul tries to express the riches of God’s grace by calling them immeasurable. Immeasurable? Try calculating the immeasurable! While water is measurable, as are land and math tests, God’s grace is immeasurable. The vast riches of his grace are immeasurable, boundless, unlimited, bottomless…. And he freely gives those riches to us!
How does the truth about God’s immeasurably rich mercy and grace apply to our relationships? To apply this truth, understand the quality of God’s forgiveness to us through his son, Jesus. Remember the story about the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet at a meal? Here is Luke’s account of what Jesus said: “‘Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 7:47-48, ESV). Jesus was teaching that if we realize how much we have been forgiven, we will love much. Therefore, if you’re unable to forgive someone, it is probably because you haven’t fully grasped how much you have been forgiven and how rich in mercy and grace God has been toward you.
Lord, I have been immeasurably forgiven through your mercy and grace. Thank you! I want to love this other person immeasurably like you do. Please help me…. (Continue praying.)