In our Sunday School class this week, we talked through Ephesians 2:1-5, and we brought out the fact that Paul never stepped away from the desperation of the human condition. If you look through that passage, you find some really descriptive words about our common hopelessness.
Objects of wrath.
Not a good state of affairs. In fact, a hopeless state of affairs. To me, this is not a description of someone drowning in a sea of sin, looking desperately for a way out. Then suddenly a life preserver gets tossed our way and with the last of our strength we reach up and grab onto it and God hauls us out.
To me, it’s far worse than that. We are a collection of corpses, floating face down in the ocean. And God reaches down and makes alive again with the same power He used to raise Christ from the dead. So in our group, I raised the question of what good can come from revisiting this condition. I mean, that was the past, and now we’re alive with Christ. So why look back to the way we were? The answer came back from our perceptive and intelligent class – it gives us hope.
Looking back to our hopeless condition gives us hope because no matter what situation we encounter, no matter what happens in the economic markets, no matter how bad the diagnosis, no matter how desperate the job situation, no matter how bad the persecution, we will never, ever, ever find ourselves in a situation more desperate and absolutely devoid of hope than we have already been in. Ever.
And it was in that situation, that situation of certain loss and death, that God brought life. He did it once, and He’s still doing it. Therefore, we can walk into anything life throws at us with a sense of hope.