Because of the distractions faced in the world, we tend not to be in tune with our sinfulness. We are also inclined to forget the grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ that is by faith. These necessary meditations fall from the consciousness of our minds everyday. Yet, our sin is still evident; and, God’s grace still reigns. Therefore, the repentance that concludes God’s conviction of a Christ-follower’s heart is missing; the joy that is experienced through the awareness of God’s grace is absent.
Ephesians 2:1-7 provides an explicit picture of our sinfulness and God’s grace. Verse one says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” To understand our spiritual deadness prior to God’s work of grace in our lives requires much contemplation of Scripture as well as prayerful reflection. Once the reality of spiritual deadness is realized through conviction from God, the only result for a Christ-follower is repentance—turning, by faith, from sin to Christ.
The actuality of repentance in a Christ-follower exists because of God’s grace. God has taken what was lifeless and spiritually barren, and He has made it alive.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
As the fullness of the truth of God’s grace—the grace that took that which was dead and made it alive—becomes intimate to us, we rejoice. That which we had longed for but could never acquire was made sufficiently true in our lives. Therefore, we rejoice! The joy of being dug out of a spiritual grave and being filled with the breath of life exceeds all expectations. It is like a blind man seeing the setting sun; it is like a deaf woman hearing the waters of a stream or the birds of the air; it is like a paralytic boy running through the woods. The joy of what God has done overwhelms the heart and moves us toward a life that follows Christ.