Text: Eph. 2: 1–10
Intro: History of all Gentiles & Fallen Jews
I. The chaos, or original state.
a. It is a state of death, implying previous life, but present insensibility and helplessness. The element of death is “trespasses and sins”—their killing power.
b. Yet a state of unholy activity,
i. in respect of the objects pursued—“the course of this world;”
ii. the authority obeyed—“prince of the power of the air;”
iii. the companions accepted—“the sons of disobedience.”
c. A state of unholy indulgence; seeking the fulfilment
1. of the lusts of the flesh, the lowest part of our nature;
2. the lusts of the mind, a little higher, but still most unworthy to be the chief aim.
d. A state of condemnation; “by nature,” by our very constitution, we are children of wrath. And this true of all.
II. The dawn. “But.” Force of contrast. “The darkest hour precedes the dawn.”
a. God’s work. God says, “Let there be light, and there is light.”
i. The source of light and order—God, not man.
ii. The attributes giving birth to the new creation:
1. his mercy; (b) his love.
2. The fulness and intensity of these attributes: he is “rich” in mercy and his love is “great.”
3. Our condition when visited by mercy and love: “even when dead in sins.”
4. Results of God’s interposition.
a. (1) “He hath quickened us with Christ.”
b. (2) “Raised us up together.”
c. (3) Seated us with Christ in heavenly places.
5. Purpose of God in this process—to “show the exceeding riches of his grace.”
III. The new creation, or salvation by grace.
a. The great change. “Ye are saved.”
b. How effected.
i. On the part of God, salvation is “by grace.”
ii. On the part of man, salvation is “through faith.” God offers it, and faith receives it, as a free gift.
iii. Relation of salvation to works.
1. Works do not procure salvation; for then boasting would come in.
2. (2) Works are the product of God working in us; “We are his workmanship.”
3. (3) Works are the result of a Divine foreordination
4. (4) We are not only to do good works, but walk (habitually) in them.
Grandeur of this work.
Creation was grand; new creation is grander.
To bring a world out of nothing was great; to restore a world from chaos is greater.
At the first creation, God saw all that he had made, and it was good. At the new creation, he experiences even a deeper emotion of joy.
Imperfection of the new creation in this life in human souls.
Let us seek that in us it may become continually more complete and more glorious.
It is not that we are called to work, but rather to allow God to work—to have all within us open and unobstructed for the full and free exercise of God’s almighty renewing power.