"But God " these two words have great meaning. The word "but" in this verse is defined in Strong's as, "nevertheless" or "therefore." We can assume then that God here is holding out another chance or option. Another option from what? Consider verses two and three of this passage, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." These verses depict the fallen nature of man. This is how man looks when he takes his own way. Not only are we in bondage to sin, but are headed for the wrath of God, judgment and ultimate destruction in hell fire. Certainly a person should look for an alternative to such a fate.
"But God " God steps into the picture and sends His only Son into this wicked world not to "...condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved." God who is rich in mercy freely offers salvation to mankind bound in sin. Through Christ's death, God's wrath is averted; the slave is freed from bondage! The second word is just as important as the first no, more so! It is God or nothing! Our friends cannot save us from sin. Our money cannot save us from sin. Our good works cannot save us from sin. It is God, who offers salvation. Acts 4:12 says, "...Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
But is this provision automatic? Since God offers an alternative are all saved? Certainly not. God still graciously offers man a choice. The songwriter says, "What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be." We have to decide what we will do with Jesus. It may seem an obvious choice and indeed it is. But many have failed to make the important choice. They would rather try to ignore their condition and their fate than cry out to God for His alternative. Has Christ died for all men? Certainly. Is He not even now interceding for us? Certainly. But what good does any of this do without placing our faith in Christ? Nothing! Our text verse says, "God who is rich in mercy ," but Psalm 75:7 reminds us, "God is the judge " You are already condemned. Will you accept the mercy?
Friends today, are you interested in the glorious alternative that has cost God so much to provide: God as your father, acceptance into His presence, at His right hand pleasures forevermore, those welcome words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"? Grasp it by faith and step out into God's service for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Then you can look forward to His glorious appearing when He shall come to this world to offer the eternal solution to the needs of mankind and usher us into heaven itself. "Even so come, Lord Jesus."
- Pensacola FL