Grace

Ephesians 2:1-10

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.

LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST

  • A life of death

The basic meaning of death (nekros) is separation.  Physical death is when a person is separated from their body.  Spiritual death is when a person is separated from God. 

1 John 5:12 – “He who has the Son has life; and he does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 Romans 8:6 – “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

  • A life of trespasses and sin

Trespasses (paraptoma) means to fall, slip, blunder, deviate, wander away. 

Sins (hamartia) means to miss the mark. 

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

  • A life lived with the disobedient.
  • A life under God’s 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.”

Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Hebrews 2:2-3 – “For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”

LIFE WITH CHRSIT

  • Made “Alive”
  • Why?  Because of his love.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Love (agapao) means unconditional love, love by choice and by an act of the will.  It is the world for God’s unconditional love.  It does not depend on “feelings” or “chemistry.” 

  • Why?  Because of His mercy.

Mercy (eleei) means feelings of pity, compassion, kindness.  It is a desire to comfort, to care for. 

  • When?  When we were His enemies.

Romans 5:6, 8, 10 – “For when we were still without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

  • Together with Christ
  • In His resurrection
  • In His ascension
  • In His present rule at God’s right hand

Romans 8:11 – ‘If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Romans 8:17-18 – “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Philippians 3:21 – “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

Colossians 3:4 – “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

GOD’S GREAT PURPOSE

  • We were created for God’s glory.

Col 1:16 – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.”

  • God’s grace will take all eternity to show off.

Whatever we may experience of God’s goodness here, there is much more to come – it will take all of eternity for us to comprehend and show proper appreciation for all God has done for us through Jesus Christ.   

GRACE OF GOD

            God’s

            Riches

            At

            Christ’s

            Expense

  • Grace is giving – giving to people who do not deserve it. 

Romans 5:6-10 – “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  This portion of Scripture shows that God died for us when we were:

  • without strength
  • ungodly
  • sinners
  • enemies
  • God’s saving grace is free (for us – it cost Jesus His very life).        
  • We cannot save ourselves. 

Romans 3:20, 27 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin; Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith”

Galatians 2:16 – “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

 Titus 3:4-5 – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 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.”

GOD’S GRACE MEANS WE CAN WALK RIGHT

  • We are God’s “work of art.” 

Workmanship (poiema) means that which is manufactured, a design produced by an artist.  (This is where we get our words “poetry” and “poem.”)  We are God’s poem. 

  • We are designed to do good works.

Not as a duty – but as a part of our new nature.  If a man has been created in Christ, he does good works.  He is not perfect.  He fails, gets up and starts again.  But he keeps coming back to God and allows God to use him to do God’s work on earth.

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

Col. 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.”

 Titus 3:8 – “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

James 2:17-18 – “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

 1 Peter 2:12 – “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

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