This is what God gave me today in his word:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– (Ephesians 2:1-5)
I really love that little, “But God,” Paul puts in there. You were dead in your sin, no chance of escape. But God… Saved you, made you a new creation and just in general smashed the clay that was you and me into a new shape. Comprendo?
You can just stick that saying, “But God” or, “But Jesus” onto just about everything: We were Spiritually dead, but God brought us back to life through Jesus! The church was going to split, but God kept it together by letting us realize we shouldn’t argue, but instead should be focusing around the Gospel! We were going to divorce, but God brought us back together by fellowship around Jesus! Someone else was going to get elected, but God got Newt elected! And so forth. But is it really like that? After all, Christians divorce everyday, church’s split everyday, and people still resist salvation. So is “But God” still a valid thing, or was it just back then in Paul’s day?
Let me answer that question with a (couple of) question(s): did Christ die? Yes he did, he was clearly portrayed as crucified. Does Jesus’ death mean we are saved? Yes it does; by his death our sins were washed away. Thus we can assume that every, “but God” can be true because of Jesus’ death. Let’s return to the, “our church was going to split” example:
“The church was going to split, but God kept it together by letting use realize we shouldn’t argue, but instead should be focusing around the Gospel!”
It’s true churches split daily. That’s because those churches were focusing on the wrong thing. Or it was because not everyone was focusing on the right thing. That “right thing” being; the Gospel. — In Jesus, every “but God” can be fulfilled:
Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee. (Deuteronomy 23:5)
That “but God” finds it’s fulfillment at the cross, where God turned our curse into a blessing by putting our curse onto Jesus.
And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. (1 Samuel 23:14)
The devil may search us out, but Jesus by dying for us, kept and is keeping us safe.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psalm 73:26)
When our hearts grow weak of fighting, and when we feel we must give in to our flesh, then Jesus’ grace and mercy at the cross, when he saved us, becomes even more clear. As God said to Paul when he asked to have the Spiritual thorn in his side removed, “my grace is sufficient for you.”. God’s grace in Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient to save us and keep us from the devil.
The point being this: Every ‘but God’ is fulfilled in Jesus’ death on the cross.
You are Loved!