Faithlife Sermons

More Than Established

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:32
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The Christian life is about more than just being established in Christ. It is about growing in Christ, becoming more like Jesus Christ. When we remember how our lives have changed by coming to Christ we can stay focused on growing in Christ.

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EPHESIANS 2.11-13 MORE THAN ESTABLISHED WHEN WE SET A FENCE POST •WE HAVE ESTABLISHED IT. •FROM THAT POINT ON IT IS SET AS A FENCE POST… •WHEN WE PLANT A TREE… IT BEGINS TO GROW… •IT WILL CHANGE TO BECOME MORE THAN WHAT WE PLANTED… THERE WAS AN OLD FARMER •WHO, WHEN WAS ASKED BY HIS PASTOR TO DESCRIBE HIS GROWTH IN CHRIST. •ALWAYS SAID: "WELL, I'M NOT MAKING MUCH PROGRESS, •BUT I'M ESTABLISHED." •ONE DAY WHEN THE FARMER WAS TAKING SOME PRODUCE TO THE MARKET HIS WAGON GOT STUCK IN THE MUD, •AND HE COULD NOT GET OUT. •AS HE SAT IN THE WAGON LOOKING AT HIS SITUATION, •THE PASTOR CAME BY… •GOT OUT OF HIS WAGON TO HELP AND SAID…. "WELL, I SEE YOU ARE NOT •MAKING MUCH PROGRESS, BUT YOU'RE ESTABLISHED." •IF WE PLANT A TREE, IT BEGINS TO GROW; •IF WE SET A POST, IT BEGINS TO DECAY. •BEING ESTABLISHED IS NOT ALL ITS CRACKED UP TO BE… THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT •SO MUCH ABOUT BEING “ESTABLISHED” •AS IT IS ABOUT MAKING PROGRESS… •MATURING IN IN OUR CHRISTIAN WALK… •GROWING TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS… •WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS.. CHRISTIAN GROWTH IS A MAJOR •FOCUS IN THIS BOOK… •TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER…. •IF WE FAIL TO REMEMBER THESE THINGS •WE MIGHT END UP ESTABLISHED •BUT NOT MAKING ANY PROGRESS TURN TO EPHESIANS 2:11 •PAUL TOLD HIS READERS SALVATION IS BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH… •THEY WERE SAVED TO WALK IN GOOD WORKS PREPARED BY GOD.. •NOW PAUL GIVES AN INSTRUCTION BASED ON OUR SALVATION BY GRACE.. EPHESIANS 2:11 THEREFORE REMEMBER THAT FORMERLY YOU, THE GENTILES IN THE FLESH, WHO ARE CALLED “UNCIRCUMCISION” BY THE SO-CALLED “CIRCUMCISION,” WHICH IS PERFORMED IN THE FLESH BY HUMAN HANDS— REMEMBER BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN SAVED •WHEN PAUL INSTRUCTS HIS READERS TO REMEMBER… •WE NEED TO NOTICE THE REASON THEY ARE TO REMEMBER… •HE SAYS…THEREFORE REMEMBER •THAT WORD THEREFORE POINTS BACK •TO WHAT PAUL HAD JUST TALKED ABOUT…. AS A RESULT OF SALVATION •BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH… •AND GOD HAVING PREPARED GOOD WORKS FOR US TO WALK IN… •WE SHOULD REMEMBER… •AND THIS WORD REMEMBER MEANS SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC… PAUL USES A WORD THAT MEANS •MORE THAN JUST BRINGING SOMETHING TO MIND THAT FORGOT… •THIS WORD MEANS CAREFUL REFLECTION AND TAKING ACTION… •IT MEANS TO MEDITATE ON SOMETHING AND CHANGE HOW YOU LIVE… •SO PAUL IS INSTRUCTING THEM, AND BY EXTENSION US… WE ARE TO THINK DEEPLY ABOUT SOMETHING •AND CHANGE HOW WE LIVE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GRACE TO WALK IN GOOD WORKS… •WOW… WHATEVER PAUL IS GONNA TELLS US TO REMEMBER MUST BE BIG… •IT MUST BE PRETTY IMPORTANT… •IF WE ARE CALLED TO CHANGE OUR LIVES OVER IT.. WELL REALLY…. THERE IS MORE •THAN ONE THING PAUL IS INSTRUCTING US TO REMEMBER… •TWO OF THESE HAVE TO DO WITH WHO WE WERE… •AND ONE HAS TO DO WITH WHO WE ARE NOW… •FIRST PAUL TELLS US TO REMEMBER OUR DIFFERENCES •ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY •IS THE DIVERSITY FOUND IN IT… •FOR THE LAST 2000 YEARS.. •FOLKS OF EVERY NATIONALITY… •EVERY CULTURAL BACKGROUND… •EVERY ECONOMIC STATUS.. HAVE TRUSTED IN JESUS CHRIST… •IN MANY OTHER FAITHS THIS IS JUST NOT THE CASE… •AS AWESOME AS THIS DIVERSITY IS… •IT HAS CAUSED SOME TENSION IN THE CHURCH… •IN THE EARLY CHURCH… THE CHURCH PAUL IS WRITING TO… THERE WAS SOME TENSION BETWEEN •TWO GROUPS OF BELIEVERS… •PAUL MENTIONS THESE TWO GROUPS WHEN HE WRITES.. •THE GENTILES IN THE FLESH, WHO ARE CALLED “UNCIRCUMCISION” BY THE SOCALLED “CIRCUMCISION,” •GENTILES IS JUST A WAY OF SAYING ANYBODY WHO IS NOT JEWISH… •AND PAUL POINTS OUT THAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE “THE CIRCUMCISION” •CALLED THESE GENTILES.. •“UNCIRCUMCISION”… WHICH IS REALLY A PRETTY HARSH NAME TO CALL SOMEONE.. •IT LITERALLY MEANS… THE FLESHLY ONES... •BUT TO MAKE SURE THE JEWISH BELIEVERS DON’T GET TO THINKING TO HIGHLY OF THEMSELVES… •PAUL COMMENTS ON THEIR CIRCUMCISION, SAYING IT •IS PERFORMED IN THE FLESH BY HUMAN HANDS— THROUGHOUT THIS LETTER •PAUL WILL KEEP COMING BACK •TO THE TENSION BETWEEN THE JEWS AND THE GENTILES… •AND HIS POINT IS VERY CLEAR… •THEY WERE SEPARATE GROUPS BEFORE CHRIST… •BUT THEY ARE UNITED IN CHRIST… EPHESIANS 2:14 FOR HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE, WHO MADE BOTH GROUPS INTO ONE AND BROKE DOWN THE BARRIER OF THE DIVIDING WALL, THIS SAME CONCEPT OF •DIVISION BEFORE CHRIST AND UNITY IN CHRIST •IS CRITICAL FOR US TODAY… •BEFORE WE CAME TO CHRIST, WE CAME FROM MANY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS… •DIFFERENT ECONOMIC SITUATIONS… WE HAVE CHRISTIANS OF EVERY •NATIONALITY, LEVEL OF EDUCATION… •EVERY AGE… •IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND OUR PAST DIFFERENCES… •BUT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND OUR PRESENT UNITY… •I READ ARTICLES ALL THE TIME ABOUT “DIVERSE” CHURCHES… •BUT, IF THESE CHURCHES ARE FILLED WITH CHRISTIANS… •THEY ARE NOT DIVERSE.. •THEY MAY HAVE PEOPLE OF DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS.. BUT ONCE WE TRUST IN CHRIST.. •WE ARE ALL CITIZENS OF HEAVEN… •CHILDREN OF GOD… •WE ARE UNITED IN CHRIST… •OUR PAST MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIVERSE... •BUT OUR FUTURE IS UNIFIED… OUR DIVERSE PAST •CAN MAKE OUR PRESENT UNITY A CHALLENGE… •BUT WHEN WE KEEP FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT EVERY ONE OF US •WAS SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH… •UNITY IS POSSIBLE BY WAY OF THAT SAME GRACE… IN ONE OF MARK TWAIN'S •"TALL TALES" •HE TOLD OF HOW HE WAS CONCERNED •THAT GOD'S CREATURES DID NOT SEEM TO BE ABLE TO GET ALONG TOGETHER, •SO HE SAID: "I BUILT A CAGE, AND IN IT •I PUT A DOG AND A CAT. •AND AFTER A LITTLE TRAINING, •I GOT THE DOG AND CAT TO THE POINT WHERE THEY LIVED PEACEABLY TOGETHER. •THEN I INTRODUCED A PIG, A GOAT, A KANGAROO, SOME BIRDS AND A MONKEY. •AND, AFTER A FEW ADJUSTMENTS, THEY LEARNED TO LIVE IN HARMONY. •SO ENCOURAGED WAS I BY SUCH SUCCESSES •THAT I ADDED AN CATHOLIC, A PRESBYTERIAN, A METHODIST, •ALONG WITH A BAPTIST MISSIONARY ... AND IN A VERY SHORT WHILE •THERE WASN'T A SINGLE LIVING THING LEFT IN THE CAGE." •LIVING TOGETHER IN GOD’S CHURCH CAN SOMETIMES FEEL •LIKE BEING IN A CAGE WITH A BUNCHA ANIMALS… •WE MAKE UNITY WORK BY GIVING EACH OTHER GRACE.. BY FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER… •REMEMBERING THAT WE ALL COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS •IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THAT FORGIVENESS, GRACE… •THAT UNITY… •EQUALLY IMPORTANT IS REMEMBERING HOW FAR WE WERE FROM GOD.. EPHESIANS 2:12 REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE AT THAT TIME SEPARATE FROM CHRIST, EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, AND STRANGERS TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE, HAVING NO HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. REMEMBER OUR PAST SEPARATION •PAUL IS GOING TO LIST 5 THINGS ABOUT THE GENTILES… •PAUL PILES UP THESE 5 THINGS TO MAKE ONE POINT… •BEFORE TRUSTING IN CHRIST… THE GENTILES HAD NO CONNECTION WITH GOD. THESE 5 THINGS ARE ALL PART •OF THE INSTRUCTION TO REMEMBER.. •THE FIRST THING THE GENTILES WERE COMMANDED TO REMEMBER •IS THAT THEY WERE •AT THAT TIME SEPARATE FROM CHRIST, •AT THAT TIME MEANS BEFORE TRUSTING IN JESUS FOR SALVATION… IT MIGHT SEEM KINDA OBVIOUS •THAT THEY WERE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST BEFORE THEY TRUSTED IN HIM... •BUT, PAUL IS ACTUALLY COMPARING THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS •TO THE GENTILE CHRISTIANS… •SEE THE JEWS HAD A CONNECTION TO CHRIST↓ EVEN BEFORE THEY BELIEVED… •THE HEBREW BIBLE WAS FULL OF PROPHESIES AND PROMISES… •ABOUT THE COMING MESSIAH, THE CHRIST OF GOD… •FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS THEY HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR THE MESSIAH.. •THEY WERE JUST AS LOST↓ AS THE GENTILES… •BUT THEY KNEW GOD WOULD SEND A SAVIOR… •FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF GENTILES… •THEY HAD KNOW IDEA THAT A SAVIOR EVEN EXISTED… •IN FACT, FOR THE MOST PART, THEY HAD NO IDEA THEY NEEDED A SAVIOR… THIS WAS TRUE OF GENTILES •IN PAUL’S DAY… •AND IT IS TRUE OF MOST OF THE WORLD TODAY… •IN TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT GOD… •I HAVE RUN INTO A GREAT MANY •THAT HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA GOD HAS PROVIDED A SAVIOR… AND MANY MORE •THAT CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THAT WE NEED SALVATION… •THE WORLD IS FILLED WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST •IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THE GENTILES IN EPHESUS HAD BEEN. PAUL CALLS FOR US TO REMEMBER •HOW WE WERE ONCE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST… •HE WANTS US TO CAREFULLY REFLECT ON THIS… •HE WANTS US TO TAKE ACTION… •TO MEDITATE ON THIS AND CHANGE HOW WE LIVE… BUT WE WERE NOT JUST SEPARATED •FROM CHRIST… •MANY OF THOSE WHO COME TO CHRIST ALSO HAD NO CONNECTION •TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD…. •WE DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE TO WALK WITH GOD… REMEMBER OUR EXCLUSION •THE NEXT THING PAUL TELLS THEM TO REMEMBER •IS THEIR DISCONNECTION FROM GOD’S PEOPLE…. •THEY WERE EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, •THIS MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A BIG DEAL TO US.. BUT THE PEOPLE OF EPHESUS •UNDERSTOOD EXACTLY WHAT THIS MEANS •TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH… •MEANS TO NOT BE A CITIZEN… TO NOT RECEIVE ANY OF THE PROTECTIONS OR BENEFITS… REMEMBER ROMAN CITIZENS •HAD ALL KIND OF SPECIAL PROTECTIONS AND BENEFITS… •IT WAS MUCH SAFER IN THE ANCIENT WORLD IF YOU A CITIZEN OF A POWERFUL NATION… •TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL MEANS TO BE CUT OFF •FROM GOD’S PEOPLE… CUT OFF FROM GOD’S PROTECTION… •IT IS A WAY OF SAYING THAT BEFORE THEY CAME TO CHRIST… •THEY WERE ALONE IN THE WORLD… •WITHOUT ANY PROTECTION… JUST LIKE IT WAS IMPORTANT •FOR THE EPHESIANS TO REMEMBER THEIR EXCLUSION… •WE NEED TO REMEMBER OURS.. •WE ARE NOW CITIZENS OF HEAVEN… •WE HAVE THE GREATEST PROTECTION POSSIBLE… WE ARE NOW INCLUDED IN •THE COMMONWEALTH OF GOD… •WE RECEIVE FULL RIGHTS AND BENEFITS… •THIS IS PART OF OUR ADOPTION AS CHILDREN OF GOD… •AND WE WILL BE FAR MORE GRATEFUL... •AND CHERISH OUR CURRENT INCLUSION↓ AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN FAR MORE…. •IF WE REMEMBER OUR PAST EXCLUSION… •WE WILL BE MORE INCLINED TO GROW IN CHRIST… •WHEN WE UNDERSTAND JUST HOW MUCH OUR SITUATION HAS CHANGED… REMEMBER WE HAD NO PROMISE •PAUL JUST KEEPS STACKING UP THESE THINGS WE NEED TO REMEMBER… •FIRST, HE SAID WE WERE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST… •THEN HE SAID WE WERE EXCLUDED FROM CITIZENSHIP…. NOW HE SAYS WE WERE •STRANGERS TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE, •THE JEWS WHO HAD BECOME CHRISTIANS •HAD PARTICIPATED IN GOD’S COVENANTS… •GOD’S COVENANT WITH MOSES… •GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM…. THE JEWISH PEOPLE HAD BEEN IN A •COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD FOR MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS… •SEE, THAT’S WHAT A COVENANT IS… •IT IS BINDING AND PERMANENT RELATIONSHIP… BUT THE GENTILES WHO CAME TO CHRIST •HAD BEEN STRANGERS… ALIENS… TO THESE COVENANTS… •THEY MAY HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A FALSE GOD.. •THEY MAY HAVE SERVED FALSE GODS… •OR SACRIFICED TO FALSE GODS BUT THEY HAD NEVER HAD •ANY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ONE TRUE GOD… •THE CREATOR SUSTAINER OF THE UNIVERSE.. •THEY HAD NO IDEA WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… •THIS IS ALSO TRUE FOR NEW BELIEVERS TODAY… MAYBE THEY WERE SPIRITUAL •OR EVEN RELIGIOUS… •BUT THEY NEVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… •THEY WERE STRANGERS TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE… AND SO WERE WE… •WE NEED TO REMEMBER WE HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD BEFORE CHRIST.. REMEMBERING WHAT IT WAS LIKE •TO BE A STRANGER TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE •HELPS US TO SEE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD MORE CLEARLY… •TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW AMAZING IT IS TO KNOW THE ONE TRUE GOD… •TO HAVE A SECURE AND CERTAIN FUTURE… REMEMBER WE HAD NO HOPE •OF ALL THE THINGS PAUL TELLS THEM TO REMEMBER THIS ONE HITS HOME WITH ME THE MOST… •I VERY CLEARLY REMEMBER •HAVING NO HOPE •NOW WE CAN KINDA MISS SOMETHING HERE IF WE ARE NOT LOOKING CLOSE… THE WAY PAUL WORDS THIS MEANS •THAT THEY WERE WITHOUT HOPE… •BECAUSE THEY WERE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST… •EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMON WEALTH… •AND STRANGERS TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE I WAS… •I KNEW THERE WAS A GOD… •BUT I WAS CERTAIN I DID NOT NEED A SAVIOR… •I DID NOT EVEN KNOW CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN WAS AN OPTION… •BUT IF SOMEONE EXPLAINED IT TO ME, I WOULD HAVE REJECTED IT… I WAS VERY “SPIRITUAL” •BUT HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… •AND AS A RESULT OF ALL THIS I WAS UTTERLY WITHOUT HOPE… •AND THAT IS REALLY WHAT PAUL IS TALKING ABOUT HERE… •WHEN HE SAYS WE WERE WITHOUT HOPE… UTTERLY LACKING ANY HOPE IN ANYTHING.. •AND WHEN WE ENCOUNTER SOMEONE TODAY THAT HAS NOT TRUSTED IN CHRIST… •THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE… •WITHOUT HOPE… OF ANY KIND… •AND THEY ARE HOPELESS BECAUSE THEY ARE GODLESS… REMEMBER WE HAD NO GOD •PAUL IS STACKING ALL THESE THINGS TO MAKE ONE POINT… •AND HE MAKES HIS POINT RIGHT HERE… •HE SAYS THAT BEFORE CHRIST THE GENTILES WERE •WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. THIS IS REALLY THE SUM •OF ALL THE OTHER THINGS HE HAS SAID… •TO BE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST…IS TO BE WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD.. •TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH… IS TO BE WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD… •TO BE STRANGERS TO THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE… IS TO BE WITHOUT GOD •AND TO BE WITHOUT GOD IS TO HAVE NO HOPE… •WHEN PAUL SAYS WE ARE WITHOUT GOD… •HE USES A WORD THAT WE ONLY FIND ONCE IN OUR BIBLES… •THIS WORD IS VERY UNUSUAL… •IT DESCRIBE SOMEONE WHO IS DISCONNECTED FROM GOD… •SOMEONE WHO HAS NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… •AND GOD HAS NO RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM… THIS IS WHAT PAUL INSTRUCTING •US TO REMEMBER…. •BEFORE CHRIST…. WE HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD…. •AND GOD HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH US… •I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND.. JUST HOW COMPLETELY TERRIFYING •THAT REALLY IS…HONESTLY… •I AM GLAD I DID NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW LOST I WAS… •I AM NOT SURE I COULD HAVE HANDLED IT… •REMEMBERING OUR SITUATION BEFORE CHRIST IS A POWERFUL WAY TO HELP US GROW IN CHRIST… BUT THE KEY IS FOR US •TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW OUR SITUATION HAS CHANGED… •HOW TRUSTING IN CHRIST HAS BROUGHT US INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD •WE HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD EPHESIANS 2:13 BUT NOW IN CHRIST JESUS YOU WHO FORMERLY WERE FAR OFF HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. THIS IS STILL PART OF PAUL’S LIST •OF THINGS WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO REMEMBER… •AND PAUL MAKES THE CONTRAST CLEAR… •AT THAT TIME… IS CONTRASTED WITH NOW… •SEPARATION, EXCLUSION, HOPELESSNESS IS CONTRASTED WITH BEING IN CHRIST… REMEMBER WE ARE NOW IN CHRIST •OUR SITUATIONS HAS CHANGED… WE WERE WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD.. •BUT NOW WE ARE IN CHRIST JESUS •THIS WAS TRUE OF THE GENTILES AT EPHESUS… •AND IT IS JUST AS TRUE OF EVERY ONE OF US WHO HAS TRUSTED IN CHRIST… OUR SEPARATION… OUR EXCLUSION… •OUR HOPELESSNESS IS GONE… •WE ARE ADOPTED SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD… •WE ARE CITIZENS OF HEAVEN… •OUR ETERNAL SALVATION IS SECURE… •WE HAVE BEEN SEALED WITH A PROMISE… WE ARE ESTABLISHED…. •HOWEVER, WE SHOULD NOT REST IN BEING ESTABLISHED… •WE NEED TO GROW IN CHRIST.. •WE NEED TO MATURE AS CHRISTIANS… •AND ONE THING THAT REALLY HELPS US GROW •IT TO REMEMBER THE CONTRAST↓ BETWEEN OUR PAST SITUATION AND •OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES… •IN VERSES 1-7 OF THIS CHAPTER… •PAUL HAD EXPLAINED THE CONTRAST BETWEEN WHO WE USED TO BE AND WHO WE ARE NOW.. •WE WERE DEAD IN OUR SINS AND TRESPASSES WE WALKED ACCORDING TO SATAN •BUT GOD RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST •AND SEATED US WITH HIM… •WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH… •IN THESE VERSES WE SEE THE CONTRAST IN OUR PAST SITUATION •AND OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES. WE WERE SEPARATED FROM CHRIST •EXCLUDED FROM CITIZENSHIP… •STRANGERS TO THE PROMISES OF GOD… •WE HAD NO HOPE… WE WERE WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD… •BUT NOW WE ARE IN CHRIST… •WE WERE FAR FROM GOD… •BUT WE DID NOT STAY FAR… REMEMBER WE WERE BROUGHT NEAR •IT IS CERTAINLY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER HOW OUR SITUATION CHANGED… •BUT, IT IS VITAL THAT WE REMEMBER WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THAT CHANGE… •THE FINAL THING PAUL WANTS US TO REMEMBER IS THAT WE… WHO FORMERLY WERE FAR OFF •HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. •THIS WAS TRUE OF THE GENTILES IN EPHESUS… •THEY WERE FAR FROM GOD… •AND SO WERE WE…. •AND SO IS EVERYONE OUT THERE WHO↓ HAS NOT TRUSTED IN CHRIST… •THE GENTILES PAUL IS WRITING TO WERE BROUGHT NEAR TO GOD… •THE VERY SAME WAY WE WERE BROUGHT NEAR TO GOD… •EVERYONE IS BROUGHT NEAR TO GOD THE SAME WAY… •WE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST… WE TRUST THAT HIS DEATH •ON THE CROSS PAID FOR OUR SINS… •THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT PAUL MEANS WHEN HE SAYS •BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH AND THAT FAITH IS IN JESUS CHRIST •AND HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS… •WE WERE NOT BROUGHT NEAR BY OUR WORKS… •WE DID NOT EARN… OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… •WE MOVED FROM BEING FAR FROM GOD… BEING WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD… •BEING SEPARATED FROM GOD… •TO BEING IN CHRIST… CHILDREN OF GOD…CITIZENS OF HEAVEN… •AND IT WAS CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS… HIS BLOOD…. •THAT PROVIDED A WAY FOR OUR SITUATION TO CHANGE…. PAUL WROTE THESE WORDS •TO A CHURCH WITH BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES… •PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS… •PEOPLE WHO HAD COME TO CHRIST BY DIFFERENT ROUTES… •PAUL GOES ON TO EXPLAIN↓ HOW THESE TWO GROUPS •HAD BEEN MADE INTO ONE GROUP IN CHRIST… •JOINED TOGETHER AND RECONCILING BOTH GROUPS TO GOD… •THAT IS STILL GOD’S GOAL TODAY… •THAT ALL THE PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS MIGHT BE MADE ONE IN CHRIST… BILLY GRAHAM ONCE SAID •"WE'RE SUFFERING FROM ONLY •ONE DISEASE IN THE WORLD. •OUR BASIC PROBLEM IS NOT A RACE PROBLEM. •OUR BASIC PROBLEM IS NOT A POVERTY PROBLEM. •OUR BASIC PROBLEM IS NOT A WAR PROBLEM. OUR BASIC PROBLEM IS A HEART PROBLEM. •WE NEED TO GET THE HEART CHANGED, THE HEART TRANSFORMED." •THIS HEART CHANGE BEGINS WHEN WE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST… •BUT IT DOES NOT END THERE… •OUR SALVATION… OUR BEING BROUGHT NEAR TO GOD IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.. BEING SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH •ESTABLISHES US AS CHRISTIANS… CHILDREN OF GOD… •BUT IF WE DON’T WANT TO JUST BE ESTABLISHED… •IF WE WANT TO PROGRESS… •TO GROW….TO MATURE AS CHRISTIANS.. •WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW FAR WE WERE FROM GOD… JUST HOW LOST WE WERE… •WE NEED TO KNOW THAT WE ARE NO LONGER FAR FROM GOD… •WE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST… •IF THERE IS ANYONE HERE WHO HAS NOT TRUSTED IN JESUS CHRIST… •THAT HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS PAID FOR YOUR SINS.. IN A MOMENT…
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