There are events and expressions which we like to remember. There are also people whom we like to keep in mind. But what we often desire to forget is that which we should remember, even though it hurts our souls to remember it.
Paul writes that way to the Gentile believers in Ephesus. He says in verse 11 of chapter 2 of his epistle to the Ephesians: "Wherefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands." But now in verse 12 he writes the awesome truth, "That at that time we were without Christ, being aliens from the common wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and with out God in the world."
What a frightening thing to be without Christ! For that word "without" means "apart from." Thus it is a hopeless situation. Not only will being in the desert where there is no water make you thirsty, but staying there will mean death is not far away from you. Being apart from Christ (that is, not under His care and in His church) may bring carnal joy for a short time. But those who are such are on the way to hellish agony that is without end. To die apart from Christ means being apart from all that is truly good. It means to suffer endlessly God's holy wrath in hell!
Aliens in the sense of not being in God's church is an awful thing. Being in God's church means that we are members of the body of Christ, and we are going to be with Him in heavenly glory in the new Jerusalem. It means that all our sins are blotted out completely; all the punishment of sin has been brought to an end by Christ and His cross.
Be thankful, then, if in His grace God created you in Christ Jesus and in Him created you unto good works which for you He ordained. Indeed, we are saved by grace, and not because of our works.
Read: Matthew 25:14-30 .
“Faith in election and faith in creation hang inexorably together, and by nothing so much as by letting go one’s hold on the Creation is the faith in God’s election undermined.” -- Abraham Kuyper