Worship ServiceNovember 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AMIf you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Parkland-First-Baptist-Church-113576415341539
Online WorshipNovember 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AMIf you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Parkland-First-Baptist-Church-113576415341539
- But God Ephesians 2:1-10Continuing in our study of Ephesians where we are discovering God’s grace in the church.Today we are moving into Chapter 2.Another paragraph made of 2 long sentences.Having described our spiritual possessions in Christ in chapter one, Paul turns to a complementary truth: our spiritual position in Christ.These verses have been referred to “the gospel in ten verses.”If someone handed you a couple of pills and said, “Swallow these,” would you do it?However, if you were in a medical office and the person speaking was a doctor who had just told you that you would die unless you took the pills, you would be more likely to do so.Sometimes you have to know how bad the bad news is before you can appreciate the good news.Paul tells us how bad the bad news is then he’ll tell us how good the good news is.Let’s read the passage
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, 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 we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 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 through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace 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 workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.Apart From Christ We Are Dead Verse 1-3The first words of this passage are quite blunt: “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.”That’s in your face bluntness.No dressing it up.Just wham, you were dead.What does that mean?Physically deadWhen Adam and Eve rejected God’s kindness and spurned his authority (Gen. 3), one result was physical, bodily death.Of course, that death was not immediate.A result of their sin is a curse upon the world whereby physical death became inevitable.Everybody or everything dies.We all will die eventually physically.Eternally dead.Our sin makes us “children of wrath” (v. 3) who deserve God’s punishment in hell forever.Our condition means we deserve a fate of eternal death in the lake of fire.By calling hell eternal death, this doesn’t mean those who go there will be snuffed out eternally and will cease to exist.Rather, the experience of hell will be a process and agony of death forever, without ever having the release of actually finishing the process.We deserve to experience death eternally.Spiritually dead.Because of our sins, and before God’s intervention on our behalf, we were spiritually dead—dead to a relationship with God; dead to godly desires; and dead to any ability to please God.This means that when it comes to thinking, feeling, and reasoning rightly about God, we are utterly incapacitated apart from Christ.This deadness is demonstrated by the fact that even our faith must be given as “the gift of God” (v. 8), and by the reality that any good works we perform are actually the product of God’s “workmanship” in our souls (v. 10).Without God’s mercy we would be unable to serve God, love Him, walk with Him, or even to believe on his name!That is what it means to be spiritually dead.What does “In trespasses and sins” mean?Trespasses draws attention to acts of sin.We crossed the boundary between good and evil.We were disobedient to God like Adam and Eve were.We followed three evil forces.We followed the worldThe unsaved person is controlled by the world’s influences, by the values of the age, which are contrary to God’s values.These attitudes, habits, and lifestyles of the culture all reflect what John calls the “Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle.”We followed SatanVerse 2 tells that we followed the “ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient.”Satan in described as the ruler of demons, ruler of this world, and god of this age.He is now working on unbelievers, they are not completely possessed by Satan, but they do live in the world of darkness which he controls.We followed our sinful desires.Paul calls these “fleshly desires” and “the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts” (v. 3).These passions are associated elsewhere with sins like anger, sexual immorality, idolatry, sorcery, jealousy, strife, dissension, and drunkenness.The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah put it this way: “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9).We just can’t please God.We Were Doomed. Verse 3bOur spiritual status could not be more tragic or hopeless.We were justly under the judgment of God.He is right to condemn us in our sins (cf. Eph 5:6).God is holy, and He will not sweep sin under the rug.God will act in a righteous manner, not in unrighteous revenge or in an outburst of anger.He will punish sin and sinners justly.Paul wants us to see the depth of our depravity in order to magnify the mercy and grace of God in saving us, like a black cloth on which a beautiful diamond sits.And Paul gives us the diamond of the gospel with two of the sweetest words in the Bible: “But God.”With Christ, We Are Spiritually Alive Eph. 2:4-7“But God” are two of the sweetest words in all of the Bible.We deserve hell and God’s wrath because of our “trespasses and sins.”We were dead in our sins, “but God.”But God made us “alive.”Physically alive.We were under the curse of physical death with our bodies destined to die.Our bodies will die.“But God,” someday, will make those bodies alive once more!When Jesus returns to this earth, God will bring all the molecules together, and the dead in Christ will rise with new physical bodies!In verse 6, Paul implies that reconstitution of our bodies is as good as already done.Speaking as though these things have already happened, Paul writes that God has “raised us up … and seated us with [Jesus] in the heavenly places.”Eternally alive.When we are “raised” (v. 6), we are brought to “the heavenly places,” with bodies that will be “imperishable.”We will have “eternal life” (John 3:16).If God has “made us alive together with Christ,” then even when our bodies die and are temporarily laid in the grave, our souls will be—immediately and eternally—with Jesus in paradise!Spiritually alive.Remember we were so spiritually dead, that we could not move one inch toward God ourselves.Even our faith had to come to us as “the gift of God” (v. 8).The Bible, elsewhere, calls it being “born again.”We were “by nature children of wrath” (v. 3)—totally incapable of knowing God, loving him, trusting him, or willingly serving his purposes—but God made us alive!God gave us new capacities to believe in his name, to walk with him, and to do his will!God has made us alive, spiritually!To truly capture what Paul is saying in these verses, we could put it like this: You have been saved (past tense), you are being saved (present tense), and you will be saved (future tense).In Christ, We Are God’s Workmanship Verse 8-10Paul now begins to elaborate in these verses about God’s gracious gift of salvation.First he emphasizes how salvation is a giftThen how true salvation results in good works.Salvation is a giftFor by grace you are saved.God’s great salvation has rescued us from death to life as we have enumerated already.Paul says that grace comes through faith.This is the human response: belief.How do we appropriate what He has just been said?Faith. Faith is the instrument by which we lay hold of Christ.But faith is not a work. It is a gift.The grammar indicates that the whole of salvation is to be viewed as a gift.Grace is a gift. Faith is a gift. Salvation is a gift.We should never think of salvation as a transaction in which God provides grace and we provide faithWe were not saved because we were smarter than others, prettier than others, or more gifted than others.Our salvation was the work of God.God showed us astonishing grace.He put forth His Son as our substitute, and He granted us the faith to believe in the Savior.No one can boastThere is only one who should be exalted in this salvation, and that is God.We have done nothing to receive, therefore we cannot boast about it.The glory goes only to God and Him alone.Salvation results in Good Works verse 10Paul does not want us to think that works are unimportant.He states that works simply are not the root of our salvation.They are the fruit of salvation.The Reformers used to say, “It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone.”We are not saved by faith plus works but by a faith that does work. We have a living faith, a functioning faith!Now that we belong to God, God is working on us and in us so that He might work through us.Paul says, “we are his workmanship”.This word for “workmanship” (poiema) may be where the word poem comes from.The word was used to refer to any work of art, such as a statue, a song, architecture, a painting, or a poem.Because we are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, people should see our works and say, “That’s a work of God.”Do You Know This Grace?If not, now is the time to discover it through faith in Jesus.If you do, If so, you can identify with John Newton, the author of “Amazing Grace,” who said,“I am not what I ought to be—ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be—I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be—soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”Pray
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