Faithlife Sermons

From Death to Life Together with Christ

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:39
0 ratings
· 61 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

The first time I went to church I thought you were strange.
used words I didn’t understand
people got excited about things I didn’t understand
I thought Christians were people who were not allowed to have fun, and were kind of stuck up and judgmental.
A group of people who could’t get along themselves, yet judged others.
You talked about going to heaven, which I though was decided by your behaviour. If you were a good person, you went to heaven.
This Chapter in Ephesians Changed my Thinking.
Once I found out that we all come from the same place, a place of sin, separated from God. I became interested in the concept of salvation, and the cross.
I felt like I found common ground, we have all sinned and all fallen short.
Chapter 2 begins with the words “As for you” or literally “And you”, indicating that the flow of what Paul opened with continues without a real break from chapter 1
Paul is using the same tone of grateful worship, these verses expand on the claim in 1:19 that the power that raised Christ is for us.
Paul in chapter 2 is giving us the explanation of salvation, why God needs to save us, and how God goes about saving us.
This entire concept of salvation often seems strange to those outside of the church. Most people have no idea what we are talking about, being saved, from what? most will ask.
Paul explains all of this in this chapter.
Ephesians 2:1–10 NIV
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The Walking Dead (2:1-3)

Ephesians 2:2 NIV
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
Under the Control of an Evil Power.
These first three verses are in a language familiar to Jewish readers, they describe humanity in rebellion against God.
Life apart from God is a living death.
When Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden, we as human beings have been separated from God.
We are sinners being oppressed by evil, yet we don’t even know it. We need to be saved.
The “spirit of the air” keeps us away from knowing God, convincing us we can find life within ourselves, within our own lives and ambitions.
Yet we are never fulfilled, always seeking a new thing to fill the void we find in our hearts.
We are not capable as fallen human beings to please God.
Romans 8:5–8 NIV
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
The Spirit pushes us toward God. Once this happens it opens the door.
Living without God, living within our own power means we stay focused on the flesh, but if we believe and give our lives to Christ, we have a changed view of things, we can now see God’s desires.
God reaches to us, and His Spirit pushes us to reach out to Him.
The flesh will never please God. Our natural fallen disposition is the flesh.
But the Spirit begins to nudge us toward the things of God.

The Merciful & Loving God (2:4-7)

Made Alive Together with Christ.
Ephesians 2:5–6 NIV
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
In Christ a merciful & gracious God liberates rebellious humans to do the right thing.
We have the option to live, to be made alive through Christ.
Romans 8:9 NIV
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
When we place our trust in Jesus Christ we are empowered by His Spirit to live in the realm of the Spirit.
Without the Spirit there is no way to belong to Christ, and without Christ there is no pathway to God.

Saved by Grace Through Faith (2:8-10)

For Good Works.
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Basis of Salvation is Grace.
Purpose of Salvation is Good Works.
Grace is when we are given something we don’t deserve, something not earned.
It is faith that activates grace, which in turn activates the Spirit in our hearts. We become a new creation, alive in the Spirit, instead of dead in our sins.
But this remains a constant battle, a battle between two Kingdoms.
Grace is the vehicle that drives us toward the good works of obedience.
Our Good Works are a sign of obedience, good works that show love in action. Paul gives us in Romans a wonderful contrast of how our good works show obedience through love.
Love in Action
Romans 12:16–18 NIV
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:21 NIV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Love Fulfills the Law
Romans 13:8–10 NIV
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
The first fruit of the Spirit is love, love is the perfect ingredient to a life of freedom, a life lived by the Spirit. It is love that overcomes evil.
But we are only capable to love this way through the power of the cross, Christ who died for us, and saves us by His Grace.
When we receive the grace of God through Christ, we are capable of living free, and loving others as Christ loves us.
Big Idea: It is God’s saving grace that allows us to see the ways of God. His Spirit opens our eyes to God, and pulls us toward a life of obedience to the ways of God. Our obedience (good works) are bathed in love for others (our neighbour) through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We become Christ in this world.
Related Media
Related Sermons