Last week we set the foundation of the series but walking through the reality that Judgment and wrath are true realities. God will judge one day, and as was seen in both Ps. 52 and Luke 12 that day is unknown to us, but it is a reality, and for those apart from Christ it is not a peaceful reality. Whether their sin be vilest that humanity has to offer (Doeg was pretty bad) or more passive and common such as the rich man’s.
God will enter in the picture in time and judgment will be rendered…..
So for most the reality of week one is not a happy experience, but it is so important for us to understand the stark reality of where sin leads, and what Is true of wickedness. So we we can see the Glory of God in a fuller and more glorious picture.
And one of the best scriptures to see the beauty of God’s intercession in our lives is in Ephesians 2.
In this Passage we will feel the reality …..But God Saves.
I. God Saves….Dead rebels (1-3)
Ephesians 2:1–3 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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— 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.
A. Walking willfully in Sin (1-2a)
(not Princess Brides Mostly Dead)
-There is a reality in this text that we have to see, apart from the work of christ there is only one moral state of being….Dead
-We are the walking dead (literally) while the outside may move in act The spiritual reality is one of death
-We have trespassed against God (which is the legal reality that we have rejected in part)
-We have sinned which is open rebellion against God
B. Servants of the World (2b-3a)
-The course or Age of this world is the driving force for all of us apart from Christ
-Everyone wants to believe they are their own person that forms their own opinions and actions, but in reality we are shaped molded and packaged by the world around us, is almost everyday. especially without the reality of christ driving us to think deeply about the ways of the world.
No One in Germany in the 1930 would have believed the events that would transpire in their homeland over the next 15 years, and yet their desire for respect, economic power, and security would lead to some of the most heinous actions in world history, not most. the prince of the power of the air lead them quickly to destruction, and those who once prided themselves in the church of Germany for their heritage of the reformation went along as well, for they lost sight of the gospel, Because they were slowly influenced by the world.
-Our day and age: sexuality, materialism, success, pride, anger, brutality, belittling, divisiveness
-So without Christ the way of the world is the natural inclination of man’s hearts.-Without Christ personal happiness and satisfaction is the only goal , and when it seems impossible the end results are catastrophic.
-What’s key in this text is as we see everyone is in view both the Jew and Greek. The morally religious and the sensual philosophers
-they both influenced by different aspects of the age, but both those influences lead to the same places, leaving them in the same state: depravity.
-This is the state of the world today (but here Paul is key to go this was you)
(we were as bad off as we could be, not as evil as we could be)
-This is key to our understanding our status before God is not based on the things we did or do, it was based on our birth we were children of wrath born into a world of hostility to God, serving the natural order of sin and death. It is equally God’s mercy that the world isn’t a state of total depravity (even if you think it is, there is much worse it could be)
-So our lives use to be solely focus on ourselves, our desires our pleasure our future success. Even those who have children in some cases live then through their children
-Morally depravity was our state of being, (again not a measure of how evil we were but how desperate our state was)
-the morally self righteous and the most vile of sinners the Dali llama to Isis and everyone in between apart from Christ are equal in their nature for they are under the wrath of God apart from Christ
So we remember that we were
C. Children of Wrath (3b)
-The wrath of God was upon us
-this is probably one of the most hated scriptures in our age (so much so even church change lyrics to avoid it)
-yet by nature we long for justice-We just prefer to be the executioners
-We want an escape clause
-But only the God of the universes sets the scales and the measure is holiness, and that was never our aim apart from him.
So the first 3 verses set a gloom and scary picture of what our state was apart from him we were not in a good place, we were incapable of seeking him, we were blinded to his truth.We did not have ears to hear or eyes to see.However, the greatness of God is further revealed in that verse 3 is not the end of the book, it is not the end of the Story. No verse 3 sets the stage for the true subject to be reveled: God Himself.
With the Two Greatest combined words in the English Language: But God Paul wants the Ephesians to remember (but also in this moment he needs them to know there was nothing they could do, So when you look at a sinful world and think morality will make it better or bring people to God it won’t; you are replacing one false age for another age) only the Work of God is the cure
Verse 4 reminds of us that in the midst of the bleakness of our nature, in the heart of our darkness God stepped in… We must Know that He is the one who Saves, By Himself
II. By Himself (4)
Ephesians 2:4 ESV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
A. Because of His Merciful Nature
But God…In this case Paul focuses on the mercy of God that brought life to our dead bones. this was his mercy displayed. Now I want you to be aware of a reality of God’s mercy that at times has been lost through our own explanations: God’s mercy is not undue favor rather it is “God’s favor despite human demerit”
If you look at 1-3 what part of that person should be given life, however because of the overflow of a merciful God we have been given life that was not only undeserved it was openly rebelled against
He wins us (this verse kills any dualistic identity because God’s mercy wins)
-Who we were is not how we are coming because God’s mercy has changed the equation
B. Because of His Great Love
Yet it was this mercy that is seen in the framework of Love (again love is not an emotional term but a covenantal one)while we were dead his love was on those he had called and would set free. (this is where the epistle began)
Ephesians 1:3–10 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
I think it is key though that he goes back to who they were that they don’t get an inflated ego with who they now are:“There But for the Grace of God Go I”
It was God’s work not theirs, and it’s not yours. It was his love that Christ came, it was from his love that Christ died, it was for mercy that he called us and set us free, not because of how awesome you think you are or were you were a rotting corpseHe loved those rotting corpses and breathed life into them, just as he breathed life into the dry bones in Ezekiel through the word they heard and were changed by his spirits work And it is in this reality that we understand that we are saved through Christ( we couldn’t save ourselves he had to do it)
III. But God Saves….To Bring Life (5-10)
Ephesians 2:5–10 ESV
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
A. In Christ
Paul in this text shows that not only did he save us he joined us to Christ. So that what is said about the son of God can be said about the redeemed. No longer Sons of wrath but sons of God
There is another But God statement Paul uses to reinforce this same Idea in the book of Romans:
Romans 5:6–11 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
God’ Saved us to bring us to live in Christ. Not only has he saved us in Christ our life is joined to His.
We have been made alive
We Have been raised
We have been seated
(And we did nothing to accomplish that achievement, Christ did it, He reconciled us to God and gave us this new life)
Our Life is a gift, not a payment. The Faith Given to us by God was His design and purpose not my own volitional action
There is no room for us to Boast for there is nothing we brought to the table but our dead rebellious corpses bent on sinful destruction
B. For Good Works
-We are not Saved by the mercy and Love of God for no purpose…..
Colossians 3:1–3 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
-We have been brought to Life so that We may life for Him in the World
We are His Masterpiece……describe the beauty of a Poem…..A Work of Art, Ect…..
Part of this masterful work is seen I our lives being lived or as the text of Ephesians focuses on how we walk…..
Ephesians 4:1 ESV
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
Ephesians 5:2 ESV
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:8 ESV
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Ephesians 5:15 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Saved from works by the work of Christ to be Christ to the lost and dying world that they may see him and repent and believe.