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Ephesians 2:1-10

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Ephesians 2:1–10 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This passage we are going to dive into today, is regarded by some as the most important passage in all of scripture.
Its the litmus test if you understand what the gospel is all about. In many ways it is Pauls explanation of why we needed to be saved and how God did it.
in this passage, paul is going to dispel 2 deeply ingrained myths our culture believes about evil
1. the main problem is other people
2. that we aren’t really that bad, we are really good people who are just weak and little confused.
Karl Rodgers, psychologist “in our hearts we are basically good but we have just lost touch with our inner goodness, societal structures have obscured it.”
Paul blows that up in the first sentence of eph 2
Ephesians 2:1 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
you were dead in your trespasses and sins.. YOU
not other people but you , we all recognize that some people are bad but the main problem is somebody out there, but the bible cuts through that and says you were the problem. There is only one category of people, sinner.
Sin is an incurable disease that dwells in the heart of every person that has ever been born. sin has spiritually killed us all equally.
that is the second word that challenges our culture.
Dead you were dead in your trespasses and sins. most people prefer to think of their sins as a bad action. stealing, adultery, racial injustice or something, but the word dead shows us something that sin is not an action but a condition of our heart, its not that we do bad things and that makes us bad. its that we do bad things because we are bad. its not that we steal and cheat and therefore that makes us greedy. we steal and cheat bc by nature we are greedy were not sinners because we sin we sin bc were sinners.
in verse 3 he gives us the core attitude of sin
Ephesians 2:3 ESV
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
our bodily desires rather than god became the lord and controller over our actions, our body says have sex and we obey it, it says spend a bunch of money on me and we say ok, our body says live a life of luxury no matter how stingy you have to be or who we have to hurt and we do what our body tells us. furthermore we don’t want anybody or anything to make the rules and control us.
simple way to understand sin is simply by its middle letter. I s-i-n. Sin is the big I problem. I want to be in control rather than God. I want to call the shots. My desires is more important that the will of God. My glory is more important than his.
I know we hear this and we think “DEAD?” I know people who don’t even believe in God and they still do a lot of Good things. we all know the story of the soldier who threw himself on the grenade to save his buddies. isn’t that a good thing even if he’s not a christian, sure. in light of our biggest sin of not loving God and not surrendering all things to glorify him. even our good things don’t seem that good.
our cosmic treason against God is so evil its hard to even call our goodness good. before we move on to verse 4. I want us to let that sink in. You and I deserve the wrath of God. Our blasphemy against God deserves the eternal punishment of hell. According to the bible hell is not one degree worse than we deserve. now i know thats alot of bad news.
verse 4 probably contains the largest conjunction ever uttered. BUT GOD, let the force of that hit you for a min.
you and i were dead in our sins. DEAD, no life, helpless, helpless but not hopeless. Why? BUT GOD. there was nothing that man could do to save himself.
Ephesians 2:4 ESV
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
Many christians and theologians talk about salvation so coldly and mechanically like its a formula, God birthed our salvation with tender love, and Jesus bathed it with broken hearted tears. Because of His great love
Ephesians 2:5 ESV
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
where there was nothing but death, now there is life, we used to be a graveyard, and now we are growing flourishing garden. notice that all this by the way is past tense because it is a reference to what Jesus did on the cross. on the cross jesus died the death we were supposed to die. You see God in the very first chapters of the bible (gen 2:17) that whomever sins was sentenced to die. God cannot go back on his word so Christ died in our place. he absorbed that curse. and when you accept the death and resurrection as your own you escape the curse of death on you and you get to live again through him.
Paul continues
Ephesians 2:6 ESV
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
again notice past tense. not will seat us but has seated us with him in the heavenly places. you see in God’s eyes im already seated with christ at the place of honor around God’s throne. I couldn’t be in a higher place in heaven, closer to God, I’m in Jesus’ seat. and I am as spiritually safe as if I am already there. Do you know what kind of confidence that can give you? i am as sure of heaven as jesus himself is because jesus himself became my salvation. When i say i’m as sure of heaven it can be perceived by some people as arrogance, you think you are really that good? that righteous, that you can be that sure? jesus was that righteous and he paid my sin debt in its entirety we traded places and I’m going to heaven on his account not mine, and even now when I pray I know that God hears me as if I were Jesus because I am praying in His name from his seat based on his record not mine.
you see the gospel isn’t God hears me based on the life i lived or the week I had. the gospel is how God hears me based on how jesus lived in my place.
verse 8 it pauls great summary of the Gospel
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
4 crucial things to understand about salvation from this verse and the ones right after it.
the Cause
the means
the affects
the promise
the Cause
Grace, grace means that God did it all. You see that word This in verse 8? the word this is placed there and applies to both faith and salvation. both the salvation and the faith to receive it are both gifts of God. God woke us up god restored us god gave us the ability to believe.
the means
Faith, by grace we are save through faith. Faith is the hand that takes hold of and receives Gods salvation for itself, what Jesus did becomes yours. What does that mean we are saved by faith? Faith is not just a feeling or a religious virtue. Faith is the belief that christ accomplished all he said he did, and simply resting in that truth. God has already declared that he has accepted jesus as full payment for our sin. when you believe in that and trust in it, his work of salvation, suddenly all at once becomes yours. what it means to be saved is that Jesus has done it all. it is to simply say I believe that and I receive it as my own, and you rest in it.
the affects
the affects
good works.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
eph 2:10
salvation is by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone. the bible says that there is no way that jesus can come into our lives, there is no way we could experience the force of his grace and it not flow out of us in good works. you see we are not saved by good works our faith if validated, its proved by good works. saving faith always produces good works. When God saves you he makes you alive, which means he changes your desires. and if that has not happened to you then you are not really saved.
the promise
what God started he promises he will finish.
workmanship=poema, god has started writing a poem with your life. he is composing your life into a beautiful song that glorifies him, and what God has started he is going to finish.
vs 10 “good works which god prepared beforehand” god has already preplanned these works for you to do. he has created the opportunity for them, and the power for you to do them, all you have to do is yield yourself to jesus to let him do those good works through you. you see Christianity is not you doing anything for God but letting Christ do everything through you God does all the work in you. Hes the one who started this whole process in you, and what he started he is going to take responsibility to finish.
I feel so dirty and weak. Of course you do, the Gospel is that God doesn’t accept you based on how clean or strong you make yourself. he accepts you based on what Jesus did in your place.
so here is the question have you ever recieved this offer of salvation personally, for yourself, have you accepted Christ on your own. claim it it rest in sit down and receive it and that settles it. make that decision and recieve chrsit for yourself today.
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