Read Ephesians 2: 1-7 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 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: 3 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. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together , and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Let’s start this morning with a little history. Some of it is ancient history, and some of it is more current. Most of it is rather unpleasant history, as it happens. Have you ever heard of Carthage? It was a city-state in North Africa, in what is now Tunisia. It was founded around 800 BC by Phoenicians, from the city of Tyre, which if you look at the maps in the back of your Bible, is located just north of Israel. Much as Rome was a city state, that we know best as leading a massive empire, so Carthage also had a considerable empire. The proximity of Carthage and Rome lead inevitably to war between the two empires, as happens when empires grow and interact. There were three wars between Rome and Carthage, Rome winning each one, until finally they destroyed the city of Carthage entirely. If you have ever heard of Hannibal, who brought elephants through the Alps into Italy, he was a leading Carthaginian general, and that was part of one of those wars. Continue reading Depth of Mercy