Ephesians 2:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 2:4, NIV: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,"

Ephesians 2:4, ESV: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,"

Ephesians 2:4, KJV: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,"

Ephesians 2:4, NASB: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,"

Ephesians 2:4, NLT: "But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,"

Ephesians 2:4, CSB: "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,"

What does Ephesians 2:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse begins Paul's contrast between the lives of unbelievers, including Christians before they have been saved, and the lives of born-again believers in Christ (John 3:3). The difference between these two groups of people is God, not us. Paul does not say, "but then we did…" He only refers to the power of God.

Two reasons are given for God's change in our lives. First, Paul mentions God's mercy. God is associated with mercy throughout Scripture, particularly in Romans in which Paul offers his most extensive teachings on salvation (Romans 9:15, 16, 18, 23; 11:30, 31, 32; 12:8; 15:9).

Second, Paul mentions God's great love for us. God both has love and gives love to us. God is love and expresses love by saving people from sin (1 John 4:8; Romans 5:8). The difference between our unsaved and saved conditions is clearly not based on human effort (Ephesians 2:8–9), but according to God's mercy and love in our lives. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5), not even express the faith to accept His gift of salvation (John 6:44).