Wow! Week four of Ephesians: True Identity is power-packed with truth about God’s great grace! Pastor Chris shows how, in chapter two, the Apostle Paul refreshes the church in Ephesus, and us, with the themes of redemption and rescue.
Three central questions arise from this passage of scripture about salvation. The answers are there, too, and throughout the bible. Pastor Chris helps us breakdown this Q & A so that we can live life with a godly attitude and godly actions in light of God’s saving grace.
Three Questions about God’s Design for Saving His People
1. Saved from what? 1 And you were (a.) dead in the (b.) trespasses and sins (c.) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, (d.) following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 (e.) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, (f.) and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. -Eph. 2:1-3 (ESV)
a. Death b. Trespasses and Sins c. Following the course of this world d. Prince of the power of the air e. We all once lived f. By nature children of wrath
Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. -James 4:4 (NLT)
Supporting Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, Romans 12:2, Psalm 37:4,
“It is God’s personal, righteous, constant hostility to evil, his settled refusal to compromise with it, and his resolve instead to condemn it.” -John Stott
Contrast what God’s unmerited favor, grace, for us means. We are:
· Saved from death to life.
· Saved from identity of sinner to identity of saint.
· Saved from worldly living to holy living.
· Saved from Satan to the Holy Spirit.
· Saved from the old nature to the new nature.
· Saved from children of wrath to children of God.
2. Saved by what?
Grace. 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—….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. Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9 (ESV)
“Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving.”(B.B. Warfield)
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.”(John Stott)
3. Saved for what?
Good Works. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:6–10 (ESV)
4 Things about Good works:
1. All works by God’s grace for God’s glory are good works.
2. There is no such thing as sacred and secular work for Christians.
3. Some of you need to discover the good works God has set before you.
4. Some of you don’t need new works, but to infuse your current works with grace.
Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
1. Do you know a good rescue story? Maybe it happened to you or someone you know? What were some of the thoughts and/or feelings shared by the person, or people, being rescued?
2. How does this passage in Eph. 2 reveal that we are rescued by God? In what ways has he rescued us, when we accept Him as Lord?
3. God’s Grace. That is what the Apostle Paul emphasizes throughout his letters to the churches. Why do you think he wrote so much about grace?
What does it mean to you to receive God’s unmerited favor? Why do you suppose Christians struggle with living in God’s Grace?
4. In Eph. 2:10 it is clear that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared…” Read the supporting passage in Titus 2:11-14.
Have you ever thought some of your work is secular and some sacred? What do you think now, in light of this truth?