"But God, who is rich in mercy..." (Ephesians 2:4).
This message to the Ephesians was to a group of Believers in Christ, as its very first verse shows. In the first chapter, we are told of how many blessing are ours in Him, and we find that we have been chosen in Christ before the world's foundation, for a purpose-- "that we should be holy and without blame before Him." We learn further that our acceptance before God is "in the Beloved," and not through any merit in ourselves, and that our redemption is made possible because of the blood of Christ which was shed for us.
In the second chapter the method of our salvation is written. We were dead in trespasses and sins, every one of us-- that is our past. We have been made alive in Christ-- that is our present state. In the ages to come God will show "the exceeding riches of His grace" in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus-- that is our future. But we are particularly interested at this writing in that which carried us from death in sins to life in Christ. The answer is found in two words: "but God" (Ephesians 2:4).
"But God!"-- Here is the Bridge of Mercy. Look back over man's history. Our first parents sinned, and fled from the presence of the Lord. "But God" sought them out, and in mercy covered them with coats of skins, provided by the slaying of animals, by the shedding of blood. Again, God's Chosen People were captive in Egypt, oppressed and without hope. "But God" provided a way of escape, through judgment upon Egypt. Death came upon the land that night, either the death of the Passover Lamb whose blood was placed upon the doorposts, or the death of the firstborn of every home. Elijah was in the wilderness, hungry-- "But God" fed him by the mouths of ravens. Daniel was cast in the lions den-- "but God" closed their mouths.
It is the same glorious Bridge of Mercy to which we owe our salvation. We were dead in trespasses and sins. They were habitual with us. We walked according to the course of this world, according to Satan's will. "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins hath made us alive." It is all His doing. For He loved us to such a degree, to such an endless degree, that He gave His only Begotten Son, to pour out His life's blood on Calvary's Cross, that whosoever believeth in Him should not die in their sins, but have life everlasting.
We were sinners, but God loved us. We were lost, but Christ redeemed us. We were weak but the Spirit strengthens us. Thank God for the Bridge of Mercy.