This past Sunday I listened a Christian brother tell the story how he heard the Gospel and came to Christ. At the end of his story he said he wanted to read something that sums up what has happened to him in words much better than he could write. He then read the beginning of Ephesians chapter 2 with the singular pronouns “I” and “me” and “my” inserted where they are given in the plural. I really enjoyed hearing this. It reminded me again how Christ seeks each of us as in the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matt 18.12-14; Lk 15.3-7). He wants you, yes, you in particular.
No doubt we want to avoid the hyper-individualism of modern Christianity in the West. We don’t need the “my personal Savior” and the “just Jesus and me” trendiness we have had so much of recently. The Gospel is kingdom oriented, community oriented and widely dispersed to “every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Rev 7.9). Without minimizing the grand reach and scope of Redemption we can also deeply enjoy the “me” in the Gospel.
Here I have reset Ephesians 2 for you with that in mind. My friend made clear that he didn’t want to diminish the way Ephesians 2 was originally written. Later he told me that his motive was to express how real the Gospel is and how real the God of the Gospel is to him.
As for me, I was dead in my transgressions and sins, in which I used to live when I followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. I also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of my flesh and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, I was by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for me, God, who is rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in transgressions—it is by grace I have been saved.
And God raised me up with Christ and seated me with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to me in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace I have been saved, through faith—and this is not from myself, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.
delight in God. again.