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Ephesians 2:4

King James Version (KJV)
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.
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).

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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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 314

Christ in the Heart—Discourses that have little of Christ and His righteousness in them are given in the desk. They are Christless sermons. To preach in the demonstration of the Spirit is completely beyond the power of those who are without Christ. They are feeble, empty, and without nourishment. They have no Christ to carry with them in private life. They are full of boasting, of pride, of self-esteem, speaking evil of things of which they have no real knowledge. They manifest an impatience of everything that does not follow in their line. They will even scoff and mock at sacred things, because they do not see that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. They degrade themselves by perverting and falsifying truth.—Manuscript 15, 1886. VSS 314.1

The Spirit's Power—Merely to speak to beautiful things that please the ear and attract attention should not be our purpose. We are to present Christ and Him crucified, that souls who are dead in trespasses and sins may be alarmed and quickened. Those who seek to teach others need to be converted to Christ; they need to plead with God that He will imbue them with His Holy Spirit before they can lift up Christ as the sinner's only hope. Flowery speeches, pleasing tales, anecdotes, and stories do not convict the sinner. Men listen to such words as they would listen to a pleasant song, and the laborers gather but few sheaves into the garner. The message the sinner should hear is, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16]. And the truth will subdue and tender the soul of the teacher because he feels its practical utility.—Manuscript 12, 1891. VSS 314.2

Life-Healing Balm From the Cross—The cross, the cross of Calvary presented again and again, plainly dwelt upon in every discourse, will prove the life-healing balm, will reveal the beauty and excellence of virtue. Those who quibble over the authenticity of the Scriptures and question the authority of revelation will not be influenced.—Manuscript 20, 1893. VSS 315.1

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 207.1

Eloquence of God's Love—The most persuasive eloquence is the word that is spoken in love and sympathy. Such words will bring light to confused minds and hope to the discouraged, brightening the prospect before them. The time in which we live calls for vital, sanctified energy; for earnestness, zeal, and the tenderest sympathy and love; for words that will not increase misery, but will inspire faith and hope. We are homeward bound, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. Instead of speaking words which will rankle in the breasts of those that hear, shall we not speak of the love wherewith God hath loved us? Shall we not try to lighten the hearts of those around us by words of Christlike sympathy? Shall we not tell of the prospective rest in store for the people of God? “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—The Review and Herald, February 16, 1897. VSS 207.1

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 335.3

Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption. If He did not love us, and consider us of value, then this great sacrifice would not have been made. He is beneficent in mercy and in grace. Let your heart and mind be at rest, like a tired child in the arms of its mother. His everlasting arms are beneath you. In all your afflictions Jesus is afflicted. What a privilege it is for you, now afflicted, to find a refuge in Jesus. UL 335.3

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