Walking out the Christian life is like taking the dirt roads to a vacation spot instead of taking the highway. We don’t typically choose the roughest roads to travel when heading to our vacation spot. We choose the quickest and smoothest routes because we want to get there quick.


There will always be potholes behind us and potholes ahead of us and sometimes potholes under us but what counts the most is the direction we are headed in, the person we are becoming and the person we are headed to. That pothole in the past may have knocked us off course for a moment. It may have knocked the wind out of our sails. It may have knocked the breathe out of us. But that pothole doesn’t dictate or control the long term direction or the end destination of our journey. The potholes of the past do not dictate the direction or the destination of our journey.

Ephesians 2:11 – 13

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


#1: Paul says remember when… (11 – 12)

Memories are powerful motivators. The memory of a tasty meal can motivate me to get up and make an awesome dinner and consume it with joy. The memory of a loved one’s death can still motivate me in some very powerful and emotional ways. Memories are powerful motivators. And that’s why Paul says Remember When. His use of this phrase is meant to cause us to remember when we weren’t Christians so that we can rest assured in our present position as a Christian. As Paul draws our attention to the memories of the days when we weren’t Christians, he does it with five distinct memories.

Paul instructs us: 1) To remember when we were in the flesh; 2) To remember when we lived in shame: 3) To remember when we were separated from Christ; 4) To remember when we were alienated from the promise of God, and 5) To remember when we had no hope in God. Do you remember when you weren’t a Christian? Which one of these five memories is the most distinct for you? Which one is the most current for you?


#2: Paul says but now… (13)

It’s easier to live in the past than it is to live in the present. All of us struggle with living in the past. We become trapped by the past. We put our big kid boots on and we trudge through the present but the reality is that we all struggle with our past and our past can oftentimes be a debilitating force for destructive sinfulness in the present. Paul wants to help us rest assured in the truth of who and whose we are right now in the present.

Your past doesn’t define you. Your past doesn’t dictate who you are. Your past can’t give you a name that God hasn’t given you. We call ourselves all sorts of names based on our past but what Paul wants us to see here is that we’ve been given a new name that trumps the name that our past once gave us.

Our past actions, our past desires, our past thoughts and our past wounds do not give us a name that sticks. Your current name defines who you are and your current position is what your name is rooted in. Your current position is like a three-legged stool. The place you are seated, the person you are, the new identity you’ve been given, just like a three legged stool, is held up by three unbreakable legs. 1) But now you are in Christ Jesus; 2) But now you are close to God and 3) But now you are covered in the blood of Christ.



Paul has just taken us on a walk down memory lane. He reminded of when we weren’t Christians and then he made the stunning transition to the three legs under the stool of our identity. That was then. But now you are in Christ Jesus, now you are close to God and now you are covered in the blood of Christ. Now you have a new name, a new identity, a new position and a new title. You are a new person in Christ Jesus.

Your past doesn’t define you and it doesn’t dictate who you are. Your past cannot give you a different name other than the name that God has given you in the present. You used to be an orphan that was named by sin, guilt and shame but now your name is Christian. The potholes of the past do not dictate the direction or the destination of your journey. If you remember when you weren’t a Christian but now you have a new name that your past and your future cannot dictate or erase… If your name is Christian… Then you’re headed to be with the King!