Faithlife Sermons

God's Power for the Church

The Faith-Filled Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Introduction: For more than 20 years, Professor Edwin Keedy of the Pennsylvania Law School used to start his first class by putting two figures on the board: 4 and 2. He would then ask, “What’s the solution?” One student would call out, “Six.” Another would say, “Two.” Then a few shouted, “Eight.” But Keedy would shake his head and point out their fundamental error. “All of you failed to ask the key question. What is the problem? Gentlemen, unless you know what the problem is, you cannot possibly find the answer.”
How much more true could we say that of the world? We hear it all the time about the problems we face. The question goes out, how do we solve _________ (racism, global warming, the fact that certain aspects of history are offensive)? Man has always been trying to solve the problems we face, but, as a whole, we have entirely failed to ask the most basic question. What is the problem? Well, according to the Bible, the fundamental problem we face (as one preacher put it), “is not being out of harmony with [our] heritage or [our] environment but being out of harmony with [our] Creator.”
And that is what Paul draws our attention to in Ephesians 2:1-3. And once we recognize man’s most fundamental problem, then and only then can the magnificent solution be given as it is given here in Ephesians 2:4-10.
And it was important for the Ephesians to know (and for us to know) that God’s magnificent solution to man’s problem was not just a one-time judicial act from God. It is also the same power God continually gives to the believer to live the Christian life. Some in the church today believe that salvation is nothing more than a fire escape from hell, but God wants us to know that there is much more to the story of your salvation. Not only did God save you from hell, but he is also at work in you.
And that is Paul’s point in this passage this morning. God wants us to know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that raised you from the dead, and you are called to the same purpose as Jesus.
Now that is a humbling reality. That God would take sinners like all of us and call us as His body to represent Him to a lost and dying world.
Note: A moment of recognizing inadequacy
Ephesians 2:1–10 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
This morning we will consider the great work of salvation which is the power to deliver us from death, to resurrect us to life in Christ, and to live a new life for Christ.

The Former Power of Death (2:1-3)

Ephesians 2:1–3 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Note: Explain Paul’s windup to this point from Ephesians 1:15.
And you were dead...
What do you mean dead?
In trespasses and sins (contrast to in Christ)
(cause) trespasses - to violate the will and law of God
(effect) sin - to miss the mark
Genesis 1:26-28 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.””
We all have missed the mark of appropriately bearing the image of God.
But I do good things! I can’t possibly face the same condemnation as terrorists and adulterers, can I?
Notice that Paul is not saying that every person is as evil as they could be, he is saying they are all dead.
Luke 6:33 “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”
Example: A trip to the Grand Canyon.
You walked according to the course of this world
αἰών - a figurative extension for throne
Luke 20:35 “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;”
used to describe God’s eternal kingdom
here used to describe the throne of this world
You walked according to the will of Satan
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
You were focused on fulfilling your lusts
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
You were a by nature child of wrath
John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.””
The over-arching problem
John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Transition: Right after Paul describes mankind’s initial state of hopelessness, he presents to us the power of God to resurrect us from this spiritual death.

God’s Power to Resurrect Us to Life in Christ (2:4-7)

Ephesians 2:4–7 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Why would God choose to resurrect rebels against Him?
1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Resurrected by Love (v. 4)

Example: A man who carelessly hit and killed a child could never reconcile with the parents of that child. Only the parents can offer forgiveness. It is up to the parents to bring reconciliation. (John McArthur)

Resurrected into Life (v. 5)

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Resurrected for a Purpose (Vv. 6-7)

Revelation 7:10-12 “and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.””
Transition: However, after our resurrection in Christ, God does not leave us here pointlessly. He has resurrected us to life to empower us to live our new life for Christ.

God’s Power to Enable Us to Live Our New Life in Christ (2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:8–10 NKJV
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
What is my responsibility in salvation?
respond in faith

Our New Life Through Faith (Vv. 8-9)

Illustration: Man who came late to a church service.

Our New Life for Good Works (v. 10)

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
John 14:9 “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
Conclusion: With our new life in Christ, we have the privilege to live a new life for the glory of God. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that raised you from the dead, and now you are called to a life of good works. You are called to be the workmanship he always intended you to be, which is to live a life showing the world who he is.
Related Media
Related Sermons