“A mighty adversative” – that is John R.W. Stott’s description of the first two words of Ephesians 2:4: “But God . . . .”
“Verse 4 begins with a mighty adversative: But God . . . These two monosyllables set against the desperate condition of fallen mankind the gracious initiative and sovereign action of God. We were the objects of his wrath, but God, out of the great love with which he loved us had mercy upon us. We were dead, and dead men do not rise, but God has raised us with Christ. We were slaves, in a situation of dishonour and powerlessness, but God has raised us with Christ and set us at his own right hand, in a position of honour and power. Thus God has taken action to reverse our condition in sin.” (The Message of Ephesians, p.79-80)
No wonder some have said that the words “But God . . .” are the two most important words in Scripture!