The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 88 of 138
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alienation of mind, for it includes the promise, "I will put My laws into their mind"
(Heb. 8: 10). When we realize the compelling force of desire and will, and then further
have revealed that behind all the activities of this world there is the spirit that energizeth
the sons of disobedience, we may well exclaim, "By grace are ye saved"! Nothing but
the power that raises the dead could suffice to deliver us from this authority of darkness.
That authority still constitutes our enemy, but thanks be to God we are more than
conquerors in Him who is raised far above all.
Rich Mercy and Riches of Grace (Eph. 2: 4-7).
pp. 177 - 180
Our study of verses 2 and 3 left us with a sense of the utter impossibility for the flesh,
energized as it is by a wicked spirit, and environed in a world that is the enemy of God,
of doing anything to bring about its own deliverance. The first words of verse 4 are the
only words under circumstances that could be uttered, if the whole race were not to
perish. "But God": great as the opposition may be, impossible as the task may appear,
God is always the One and true turning point, with God all things are possible; Abraham
and Sarah, as good as dead, shall have a seed as multitudinous as the stars of heaven and
the sand on the sea shore, for He is the God of resurrection: did He stop short of that, all
the promises and threatenings of law, all the rigours of Egypt or the blessings of a land
flowing with milk and honey, would still leave the human heart untouched and
Rom. 5: 8 is another instance of the introduction of the words, "but God"; so also are
I Cor. i.27, 2: 10, 3: 6, where in each case the inability and failure of the flesh are
exchanged for power and wisdom by the God of resurrection. Before the passage in
Eph. 2: proceeds to tell us the wondrous works of God, it stays for a moment to tell us
what He is--"but God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us".
He is rich in mercy. Dr. Bullinger in his Greek Concordance and Lexicon explains eleos
to mean, "a feeling of sympathy with misery, active compassion, the desire of relieving
the miserable". Mercy differs from grace, in that it considers misery with pity, whereas
grace considers the guilt and unworthiness of the object of its care. This is noticeable in
the epistle to the Romans; the great word of Rom. 1:-8: is grace, and mercy does not
occur until the dispensational and practical sections are reached in chapters 9:-16:
God is rich in this blessed quality. The riches of His goodness, the riches of His glory,
the riches both of His wisdom and knowledge, the riches, yea the exceeding riches of His
grace (Rom. i.4; 9: 23; 11: 3; Eph. 1: 7, 18; 2: 7; 3: 16; Phil. 4: 19) are all lavished
upon the undeserving children of wrath, accomplishing every step of their way from the
initial repentance, brought about by the inheritance of the saints, and all summed up in
the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3: 8).