As we read the bible, we have this wonderful opportunity to learn about God, and to learn about ourselves. This week we are heading into our second week of studying the book of Ephesians - and as we discussed last week - the first half of this book essentially discusses who WE are in Christ. We are continuing that thought process today as we unpack part of Ephesians, chapter 2.
I want to encourage you - Read Ephesians this month. Seek to understand it. Read Colossians too. We need substance in our lives. We need the word of God.
SO lets turn tin our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 2. and read this together - we will read
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 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. 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. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
One of my favorite things about scripture - is the opportunities we have to learn not only about God, but about ourselves. Chapter two of this wonderful book of Ephesians, starts with this explaination of what I am going to call the human condition.
This is how you could be described, outside of relationship with the Lord.
This is who we are born to be. From the beginning of our lives.
Most of us here know what it is like to have little ones around.. one of the things that suprised me the most about raising children was just how often you take them to the doctor. That first few years, even if they are healthy, you are there all the time. The same is true as we get older. Doctors appointments, every few months instead of every few years. And what do they do at the doctor? They look you over, they evaluate The check your height and weight.. they check your ears and eyes. They check your reflexes. Vital signs. They get the full measure of who you are physically. And then they tell you what they think. Hey everything checks out. You are within the normal parameters.
The apostle Paul gives here an evaluation, and really almost establishing what those normal parameters are. Even from birth, they could just add this extra box at the bottom of your chart, and check for these things too - because these things are normal for mankind.
The Human condition is this:
1 . dead in trespasses and sins
Immediately, he talks about our eternity. That is the big thing, right? When you go to the doctor, you don’t want to know about your cholesterol if your dying of a headwound. So Paul jumps right into that. You are dead in sin. Dead dead dead. Dead.
2. following the course of the world - awe, you have your mothers eyes. You look just like them. Everyone else. they are dead, and so are you.
3. following the prince of the power of the air - the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.. And look at that - just like your father - the devil.
4. carrying out the desires of the body and the mind children of wrath - Part of our condition, is that we have a tendency to go through life just doing whatever you want. Chasing after wealth, or lust, or whatever. It is as much fact about us as our height and weight.
That is who we are in the world. Then we get to verse 4, and everything changes.
Let’s read it together.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
But statements are usually a bad thing. I’m sorry I treated you that way, but you deserved it.
I would help you with that, but I can’t today.
We think you are qualified but we decided to go a different direction.
But - is never a good thing.
Unless it is followed by God.
But God - changes everything. But God - gives us hope. But God - is our promise of eternity.
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
Noah and his family were told to get on the ark.. And God told him that he would establish covenant with him.. but then came the waters. The rain for days and nights. Genesis 7 ends by saying the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
Half of a year they were in there.
think of everything we have felt in the last year. being stuck inside our homes. Not seeing the people that we love.
Then add to that - a storm.
But God. Remembered Noah. There’s more.
David then stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him.
In this case, God kept David safe from the wrath of Saul. Saul was king, and was using all of the resources of a king to search for and kill David. David was running. Hiding.
And Saul almost found him. In fact, on one occasion, Saul was in the same cave as David. Saul came in, to relieve himself. In the cave where David was hiding.
But God did not hand David over to Saul.
In Acts 7 - Stephen explains that Joseph was in danger - but God was with him.
“The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt, but God was with him
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
But God makes all the difference. Lets go back to our scripture in Ephesians, and read it again. This time, really be thinking about what is being said here.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Verses 1-3, we have this description of us, dead - fallen to the world, then in 4-5 we have a beautiful description of God.
God, is rich in mercy. What is mercy - compassion - forgiveness. God has this in abundance. Ready and willing to give it away. This is who He is.
God, has great love, and loves us. So as much as God is full of mercy - He is also full of Love. And love for us, of all things. Both of those things are incredible. And necessary.
God, is fully aware of who we are. It says EVEN when we were Dead. Listen, he was looking right at us, and saw our entire chart, knew everything about us. And Knowing that - He decided to do the thing.
This is really a beautiful description of salvation. The rest of this passage reminds us that it is not anything that we could do on our own. That our Salvation is based completely on the Grace of God through faith. And that is something that we need to understand. It isn’t that I suddenly became good enough, it isn’t that I suddenly made myself worthy… it was because God decided to have Grace.
Adam was dead in sin, walking in the world. Following my own desires. Carrying those out. Doing whatever. Just Dead.
But God. I’d like to have the worship team come.
God made all of the difference.
As we go about our lives, attempting to live like Jesus - We should remember that we were lost, but God.
We should remember that we deserved death, but God.
We should remember that we once walked on
This year we have a focus on sharing the gospel.
We are going to receive communion here in a moment, and celebrate this very thing. As we do that, think about times in your life,
- As we share the Gospel - But God statements are a wonderful place to start.