Sunday, September 12 2021
What is it like being dead, spiritually lifeless and separated from God? Life is empty without God and we feel despair when we can’t find something more to distract us. The apostle Paul wrote to the faithful in Ephesus, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1 ESV). The good news is that this death in trespasses and sins was in the past. However, the apostle uses this state of lifelessness in sin to remind the Ephesian church of where they once were and how they once lived. Paul noted, “You once walked, following the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2).
Why do we so easily listen to the world and ignore God? In the past and now, many believers listen to the world, the media, and the “experts” over God’s Word. When people follow the world, they are following the ruler and spirit that works in the descendants of disobedience to God (Ephesians 2:2). This is the life of living in “the passions of the flesh” and “the desires of the body and mind” (Ephesians 2:3). The apostle Paul revealed that those living by the way of the world were “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). They were not going to escape justice by God's judgment. No one can escape and release oneself completely from this death without some powerful life-giving influence.
What does the Creator of everything have to give to humanity? God is abundant in mercy because of His great love for humankind (Ephesians 2:4). God makes those who trust in Him “alive together with Christ” when we were once “dead in our trespasses” (2:5). This is salvation by grace. In other words, God rescues the faithful because He favors those who believe and trust in Him (2:5). In this life, God raises the faithful from death in sin to life with Christ (2:6). This is an enactment of Christ’s resurrection in hope of the coming resurrection on the last day (Romans 6:3–7; cf. John 5:28–29; 6:40). Furthermore, God gives us this blessing as we are with Christ who is in God’s heavenly dwelling (Ephesians 2:6). This was all a part of God’s plan to demonstrate “the immeasurable riches of His grace” (2:7). God’s kindness is to make us alive despite the death that we brought upon ourselves.
Of all of God's riches, what has He given us? Paul declared, “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). In other words, the faithful are saved now and God’s salvation is His gift to those who trust in Him. The apostle noted that this is not the doing of works of anyone, but salvation is the gift of God (2:8–9). Because salvation is not from our works, no one can boast. Furthermore, God’s grace has made the faithful into God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” and so the faithful walk in those good works (2:10).
The grace of God changes those who believe and accept it through repentance and baptism (Romans 6:3–7). The apostle Paul taught more about the good works that are based on God’s grace and Christ’s salvation from death (Ephesians 4:17–6:9). God’s mission for the church is to do good works and make the gospel known as Paul taught throughout his letter to the Ephesians (3:9–10). Thank God for His salvation through Christ so that we now live to do good works giving glory to God.
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Every Wednesday night 7-8 PM, we have Bible lessons, crafts, games, and snacks for grades K-6.