Ephesians 2 – But God
January 10, 2010
§ Last week we started our discussion on Ephesians and dealt with the Riches of God and the Power of God.
§ The key text of this book to me is Ephesians 1:3-4 (HCSB)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ;
4 for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.
§ That is the definition of salvation – God chose us & we received His gift. Not because we deserved it, not because we were the best looking, most desirable, or because God looked down through history and saw that we would follow Him.
§ No God just chose us – what a wonderful thought this morning for those of us in the body of Christ. The Creator of all things, the Name above all Names, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords chose you. That makes you special, that makes you blessed, that makes you loved, that makes you have purpose, that makes you holy & blameless.
§ Paul then goes on to show us how marvelous this reality is because God, in His greatness, chose us when we were at our worst. He shows us how great, wonderful, and holy God is as compared to what we are. Let’s look at Paul’s comparison and see why we are so amazed that God could love us so much.
The Greatness of God
Ephesians 1:17-23 (HCSB)
17 ⌊I pray⌋ that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
18 ⌊I pray⌋ that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,
19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. (Paul says - let me explain this strength)
20 He demonstrated ⌊this power⌋ in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens—
21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22 And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.
What We Were Before Christ (without God)
Ephesians 2:1-10 (HCSB)
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins
2 in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.
- If there is one thing I know- it is that I am a sinner. Man I have made so many stupid mistakes. I know that I have disappointed God because I have disappointed myself, my parents, my spouse, my children, teachers, leaders, bosses, etc.
- Don’t you remember some of those terrible moments in time when you were caught in the act. Mom or dad called you into their room, the teacher calls you out into the hall, or your boss calls you into their office. Oh man, the regret, the remorse, the pain that sin & disobedience causes. It hurts our earthly relationships but it totally alienates us from a Holy God – we are His enemy.
- Galatians 5:19-21 (HCSB)
19 Now the works of the flesh (our dead state) are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- Yet people today what to ask questions like “don’t you think all people will eventually end up in heaven”? No – according to Paul without Christ we are zombies, the night of the living dead, we are under God’s wrath, under a curse, and I don’t know how much clearer it could be than the words from Galations “those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
- Paul does not say that anyone who has committed those acts will not be in heaven but those who practice those things – still under their old nature – they do that because that is who they are.
- Getting drunk does not make us a sinner, sexual immorality doesn’t make us a sinner, being jealous does not make us a sinner. They are mearly the fruit of our heart. We get drunk because we are unholy, dead to the things of God, we have immoral sex because that’s who we are, we lie, cheat, steal because it is the outworking of our soul.
- Sin does not cause us to become sinners. Sin is the result of being a sinner – we are living out our lost-ness. Did you ever wonder why the world acts the way it does? How can people be so cruel and hurt each other and live such lives of debauchery? It is because they are lost, living out what they were born with – a sin nature – living like Satan – following the spirit of disobedience.
- Romans 3:10-18 (HCSB)
10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
- Romans 3:23 (HCSB)
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Everyone alive today has a sin nature, they are living out their destiny, they are enemies of God – under His wrath and headed for an awful place called hell. And if that were the end of the story how sad that would be.
- God’s greatness / holiness compared to our filth/rebellion/sinfulness. We have a problem and we are so blind in our walking death that we don’t even care! (read vs 4)
What We Are In Christ
4 But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,
5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!
Romans 5:6-10 (HCSB)
6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die.
8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!
9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.
10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, ⌊then how⌋ much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
What We Will Be In Christ
6 He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in ⌊His⌋ kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
§ Salvation is God coming to me in my death, decay, rebellion and giving me His life, liberty, and His riches.
§ The Bible states that we must accept this gift – God is not forcing us but He is drawing us with His immeasurable love, riches, grace, and forgiveness.
§ Why would anyone say no to that? Why would anyone reject Jesus? Why would anyone want to walk around in death rather than life, in darkness rather than light, under wrath instead of love?
§ I don’t know why some of you still reject Jesus but it is why we offer an invitation every Sunday. Hoping one – hoping you will finally say yes to Jesus. How about you this morning? Are you tired of being alone, hopeless, and helpless? The hymn writer says, “O soul are you weary and troubled, no light in the darkness you see. There is light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus – look full into His wonderful face – and the things of earth will grow strangely dim – in the light of His glory and grace.”