Bible Topics In The Christian Library
 
OUR SALVATION: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
Ephesians 2:1-10




INTRODUCTION: Legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was virtually unknown when he painted his famous portrait of American writer Gertrude Stein in 1906. Picasso gave the portrait to Miss Stein since, as the artist himself recalled with a smile, at that time in his career "the difference between a gift and a sale was negligible." Some years later, the portrait attracted the interest of millionaire art collector Dr. Albert Barnes, who asked Miss Stein how much she had paid Picasso for it. "Nothing," she replied. "Naturally, he gave it to me." Dr. Barnes was incredulous that such a priceless work of art could have been a gift. 

Isnít that the way it is about our salvation. It is priceless, yet has been given to us as a gift.
 
 

BODY
 
 

I. WHAT WE WERE - WE WERE DEAD SPIRITUALLY (verses 1-3).

A. We were "dead in trespasses and sins"
1. We can be dead spiritually while still alive physically.
a. 1 Timothy 5:6 - But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

b. Revelation 3:1 - "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

c. It can also mean that those outside of Christ can be like "spiritual zombies" who are dead but not even aware of their dead spiritual state.

2. We were cut off from God in our lost sinful state.
a. Isaiah 59:1 - Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 - But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
3. There is no true living outside of a relationship with God. We are cut off from that which we desire, that which we need to make us truly happy, that which we need to have true satisfaction for our souls.

4. This passage shows that a person is dead spiritually because of their sins, not the sins of another.

a. Ezekiel 18:20 - "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
B. We "walked according to the course of this world."
1. Before becoming Christians we lived our lives according to the practices of the world. We were influenced by the world, and followed its pattern.

2. To walk is to show a regular practice.

3. When we become Christians we walk a different pathway.

a. Ephesians 4:17-19
b. Ephesians 5:8-9 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 - (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)"
4. The world has come to be dominated by the power of the Devil. He controls the world (the people of the world).
C. We "conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind."
1. We lived responsive to our fleshly appetites.

2. Paul says that the Ephesian Christians fulfilled the desire of their flesh and also developed a sinful mind.

3. Satan has always taken fleshly desires which were lawful when channeled in the proper direction and turned them into sinful pursuits.

D. We "were by nature children of wrath."
1. "By nature" here does not mean that sinners are born that way, i.e. that it is a natural condition. Literally means, "by long habitual practice."
II. WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US - SAVED US FROM OUR SINS (verses 4-9).
A. God is "rich in His mercy" toward us.
1. Because of the serious nature of sin, how we have rebelled against God, how we have sought to fulfill our sinful desires instead of seeking Him, Godís mercy is especially shown.

2. This mercy, in light of how sinful we were outside of Christ (verses 1-3) and how we have been saved from sin, shows how God extended mercy to us based on His sovereignty, not what we deserve.

a. Romans 9:15 - For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."

b. Titus 3:5 - not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

c. Micah 7:18 - Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

B. God loved us greatly.
1. Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2. 1 John 4:9 - In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

3. John 3:16

C. The expression of Godís love for us is salvation by grace.
1. Grace - unmerited favor

2. Romans 3:24 - being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

3. Grace means that God provides salvation of a sinner without the sinner meriting salvation.

D. While God has provided the means of grace (Jesus) man has a part in that salvation - Faith.
1. Salvation by faith simply means accepting what God has told us to do concerning salvation and obeying Him.
a. Matthew 7:21

b. Hebrews 5:8-9

2. What is the expression of that faith?
a. Verse 6 tells us. It is when we are "raised up together." That certainly is a reference to baptism into Christ.

b. Romans 6:3-5

III. WHAT WE SHOULD DO FOR GOD - WORK FOR THE LORD (verse 10).
A. We are created for the purpose of good works.
1. Titus 2:14 - who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
B. God wants us to be active in good works.
1. Colossians 1:10 - that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

2. Titus 2:7 - in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,

3. Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

C. We will be judged according to our works (continued obedience).
1. Romans 2:6-9

2. 2 Corinthians 5:10

CONCLUSION: A new product called "Disposable Guilt Bags" appeared in the marketplace. It consisted of a set of ten ordinary brown bags on which were printed the following instructions: "Place the bag securely over your mouth, take a deep breath and blow all your guilt out, then dispose of the bag immediately." The wonder of this is that the Associated Press reported that 2500 kits had been quickly sold at $2.50 per kit. Would that we could dispose of our guilt so easily. There is nothing on this earth powerful enough in itself to dispose of our guilt. We cannot fix ourselves, which is what many of us are trying to do. That which makes it possible to be forgiven, to be cleansed, to be healed, that which makes it possible for us to receive our life back again, fresh and clean and new, is the power of God's Grace in the Cross of Jesus Christ. 
 
 

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.


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