When the Apostle Paul wants to lead us to rejoicing, he makes a really, really, really important point in the second chapter of Ephesians. Twice. In the first half of the chapter, he paints a dire picture of the gravity of our condition outside of Christ with four stunning words: “And you were dead” (Ephesians 2:1). After explaining a bit more of what “dead” means, he then draws our attention to the glory of our Savior with two history-changing words: “But God” (Ephesians 2:4). He then goes on to rejoicing over just how glorious Jesus is.
In the second half of the chapter, Paul again paints a dire picture of the gravity of our condition in verses 11-12. He says “Therefore remember that formerly you were separate… you were excluded… you were foreigners… and you were without hope and without God in the world.”
And then, just like earlier in the chapter, he draws out attention to the glories of Jesus beginning with two words: “But now” (Ephesians 2:13).
Remember … But God!
Remember … But now.
Notice the pattern here?
How Remembering Leads to Rejoicing
Remember the gravity of your condition and rejoice in the glories of your Savior.
A heart that is not warmed to worship Jesus is a heart that has been made cold by forgetfulness. There is a direct correlation between a lack of worship and a lack of remembering.
Think about the day – in the future – long, long in the future – when the Washington Redskins – someday – win the super bowl. Why will we so fervently celebrate their decisive victory over the Dallas Cowboys? Because we know the gravity of their condition.
I need to hear this reminder every day. Before I became the pastor, my official job title at my church was “Director of Worship and Arts.” I am literally paid to worship Jesus. But I forget. And when I forget the gravity, I’m not captivated by God’s grace
King David got this. David knew this reality. That’s why David wrote in Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and FORGET NOT all his benefits.” He had to literally tell his own soul: “Don’t forget!” He forgives all your iniquity. He heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the pit.
Don’t forget that he redeemed your life from the pit. Look back at the pit – then look up to Jesus – and rejoice. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
There’s no rejoicing without first remembering. When we remember the gravity of our condition, we are all the more ready to rejoice in the glories of our Savior.
This article on Remembering and Rejoicing originally appeared here, and is used by permission.