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Ephesians 2:4

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But God, who is rich in mercy - As they were corrupt in their nature, and sinful in their practice, they could possess no merit, nor have any claim upon God; and it required much mercy to remove so much misery, and to pardon such transgressions.

His great love - God's infinite love is the groundwork of our salvation; in reference to us that love assumes the form of mercy, and that mercy provides the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore the apostle adds, Ephesians 2:5; : By grace ye are saved - it is by God's free mercy in Christ that ye are brought into this state of salvation. See on Ephesians 2:8; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But God, who is rich in mercy - On the use of the word “rich” by Paul, see the notes at Ephesians 1:7. It is a beautiful expression. “God is ‹rich‘ in mercy;” overflowing, abundant. Mercy is the riches or the wealth of God. People are often rich in gold, and silver, and diamonds, and they pride themselves in these possessions; but God is “rich in mercy.” In that he abounds and he is so rich in it that he is wilting to impart it to others; so rich that he can make all blessed.

For his great love - That is, his great love was the reason why he had compassion upon us. It is not that we had any claim or deserved his favor; but it is, that God had for man original and eternal love, and that love led to the gift of a Saviour, and to the bestowment of salvation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses and sins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon a corpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is now fled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man. But if we viewed things aright, we should be far more affected by the thought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin is a state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves to Satan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition which there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men. From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been most prone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, being naturally children of disobedience, are also by nature children of wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly for that grace which will make them, of children of wrath, children of God and heirs of glory! God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God: he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust; sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above this world, by Christ's grace. The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power. It was his purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our good conversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can from Scripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency to evil. All who do so, are without excuse.
Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 275.2

What will the human agent do to have the privilege of cooperating with God? Will he forsake all that he has rather than forsake Christ? ... Will he suffer persecution for the truth's sake? Reproach and persecution have separated many souls from heaven, but never a soul from the love of Christ. Never yet did persecution drive the soul who was indeed a lover of Jesus Christ away from Him. The love of Jesus in the soul is all-absorbing, for that great love wherewith God hath loved us, revealed in giving Christ to us, is beyond a parallel. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” ... TMK 275.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 91.4

Christ came to redeem humanity. He is interested in all our actions. He desires to mold and fashion us after the divine similitude. Not until every case is decided will Christ be at rest. I have been permitted to behold His solicitude, and the great love wherewith He has loved us. I have not a doubt in regard to the past leadings of His providence in the history of our cause. I should be as guilty as the children of Israel could I not learn lessons from the reproofs that God gave them. Disobedience must and will be punished unless men and women turn from transgression and sin and make their weakest points their strongest through continual watchcare. Darkness will become light through obedience.... TDG 91.4

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 122.6

Let your mind dwell on the goodness of God, on the great love wherewith He has loved you. If He did not love you, He would not have given Jesus to die for you. His everlasting arms are underneath you. In all your afflictions He is afflicted. “Strong is the strength that God supplies, through His eternal Son.”—Letter 69, April 23, 1903, to a young man suffering affliction. TDG 122.6

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 37.5

It is our privilege to rest in an active, living faith in Christ as the Life-giver. It is our privilege to comprehend with all saints, what is the length and depth and height, and to know the love of God which passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the fullness of God. Let us contemplate Christ as the One in whom all fullness dwells. Beholding Him as our personal Saviour, we shall appreciate the value of His saving grace. We should think about Jesus more than we do. We should let His praise be in our hearts. We should speak of the love that has been so abundantly expressed for us. We certainly have every reason to praise God with heart and soul and voice, saying, I will praise the Lord for His great love wherewith He hath loved me.... UL 37.5

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