From Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus we read a couple of significant words,
“But God . . .” (Ephesians 2:4 – NASB)
The word “but” is a stark word to us. Stark in the sense that It is an attention grabber. By its very use, it causes us to pause and ponder what has been written or what has been said. There is a statement of some sort, either voiced or written down, and then there is the word “but,” and right away we are aware that there is something else to be said, there is clarification needed, there is an existing condition that has been altered due to new information.
The little word “but” is an extremely large and meaningful word to we who are in Christ . . . extremely large!
Ephesians 2 starts with a heavy dose of bad news, news that every one of us is dead in our trespasses and sins and are by our very nature children of wrath. There is this state of being that the Bible says every one of us is in and it is a state that we, in and of ourselves, cannot seem to do anything about (Ephesians 2:1-3). Woe to me! Woe to you! For if this is our nature, how can anyone ever change such a depraved and wicked nature? And here is where the word “but” is of particular interest to us . . . .
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5 – NASB)
Oh those wonderful words of life: “But God!” That little word “but” takes on a huge significance to us does it not?
In his letter to the Christians in Rome Paul writes in its beginning chapters that all have sinned (Romans 3:23), that none of us are good (Romans 3:12), that all are helpless sinners, enemies of God (Romans 5:6-10). And here again that little word, “but” enters into our attention . . .
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 – NASB)
Oh my, oh my! “But God!” Brethren, take the time to reflect on the great contrast that this little word “but” brings to our understanding. For we were in a state of utter hopelessness with no way to change ourselves or alter the terrible righteous judgment due us . . . . . . . “But God!”
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:4-5 – NASB)
What a most wonderful word to us is this little word, “but.” It highlights a very noteworthy contrast regarding each one of us who are in Christ: Lost “but . . . He saved us.”
Have a great day brethren . . . and I would urge you to always find time in your day to recall to your mind that once you were lost . . . . . . but God!
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