C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ephesisans 2 - How Do You See Yourself?

Ephesians 2

God’s involvement in sending Christ and working in mankind for our redemption reconciles us in our relationship with Him and each other.

(vs. 1) And you hath he quickened - to make alive

1. So, the first question is: Have you been quickened, made alive?

You say, made alive from what? (vs. 1) Being dead in trespasses and sins
• Just as Christ was dead and resurrected to life – so are we dead spiritually have a need to be made alive.

Before Conversion (spiritually dead)
(vs. 2-3) Scripture makes reference to our natural state before being quickened.

1. Walked according to the course of this world (is the world in unison or contrast to God?)

2. Walked according to the prince of the power of the air
a. (2 Corinthians 4:4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

3. Conversation in the lusts of our flesh, and fulfilled the desires of the flesh and mind
a. 1 John 2:16: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life
i. Genesis 3: saw tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, make one wise
ii. Satan: saw God, desired His position, wished to ascend over God

4. Were by nature the children of wrath

Change of Conversion (spiritually alive)
(vs. 4-7) BUT GOD!
1. God’s mercy
2. God’s love
3. God’s grace

God has given us mercy, love, and grace (through Jesus Christ) – not because He saw something good in us, for we were by nature the children of wrath fulfilling our own desires – BUT in spite of our sin!

Why? That the riches of His grace through Christ may be shown to others.

(vs. 8-9) Salvation is ALL grace through faith in Christ Jesus! WITHOUT works!

Purpose of Conversion (spiritually active)
Though we as Baptist often quote Ephesians 2:8-9 as to our beliefs that one is saved by grace through faith in Christ without works, we seldom quote Ephesians 2:10 to get ourselves out of the pew and into the work.

(vs. 10) We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (ordain = to decree, establish, predestine before hand)

2. So, the second question is: What are you doing for God, as the result of salvation not to gain salvation?

(vs. 11-12) Scripture reminds us Gentiles who we are in the flesh.
1. Gentiles (Uncircumcised)
1. Without Christ
2. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
3. Strangers from the covenants of promise
4. Having no hope
5. Without God in the world

Not only were we (1) dead spiritually, we were (2) without hope in the flesh.

To be alien from God and without Christ, is to be without redemption!

(vs. 13-19) BUT NOW
We have been grafted into Christ by the circumcision made without hands (Colossians 2:9-13); the separation of our sinful flesh, and our quickened spirit.
1. Once being dead in sin, we have been quickened by Christ and the Spirit of God.
2. Once being uncircumcised in the flesh, we have been forgiven of sin and reconciled to God.

We have a double reconciliation through Christ:
1. Satisfying the demands of justice, reconciled the Jew and Gentile to God.
2. Abolishing the Mosaic institutions, reconciled the Jew and Gentile into the unity of one body.

1. Abolished the enmity between us and God
a) Sin always causes enmity (a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred)
 "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed" (Genesis 3:15).
 The friendship of the world is "enmity with God" (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15, 16).
• 1 Jn. 2:16: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life
 The "carnal mind" is "enmity against God" (Romans 8:7).
• 2 Cor. 10:5-6: Cast down imaginations and bring into captivity every thought unto God.

3. So, the third question is: Do you have enmity (hostility or hatred) between the flesh, the world*, and the devil, or do you have enmity between you and God?
* the system of beliefs and lusts against God, not individuals.

The Jews bragged they were the children of Abraham, God’s chosen people, were the carriers of the truth – yet they chose idols, men, and lustful desires over God and His Word. Are you doing the same?

2. Abolished the enmity between the Jew and Gentile
a) Reconciled both to God
b) Made twain at peace in one body (body of Christ, the Church)
c) Though once ‘a far off’, we have been made ‘nigh’ to God
 To the Jew, God dwelt in the temple where Gentiles could not go.
 To the saint, God dwells in our temple, our body.
• 1 Cor. 6:19: Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you.
• 1 Cor. 3:16: Ye are the temple of God.
d) Access by one Spirit unto the Father
 (Ephesians 4:4-6) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. *not multiple ways*
e) No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and household of God
 1 Cor. 10:32 mentions the Jew, the Gentile, then the Church of God.
 Being in the church, we are one body, neither Jew nor Gentile – we are saints!
 I pray you are in the church of God, more so than looking at yourselves as Jew, Gentile, or even Baptists!

4. So, the fourth question is: Are you doing as the Jews in keeping God to yourselves within the local church building, or are you sharing the light of the gospel with the strangers to bring them into the household of God?

Pride and race seemed to affect the relationship between the Jew and the Gentile; does it affect your ability or inability to share the gospel with people?

(vs. 20-22) Christ laid our foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), and is the cornerstone of all that we are:
1. In our becoming one body
2. In our indwelling of the Spirit
3. In our habitation for God

5. So, the fifth question is: Are you building on the foundation of Christ, merely sitting idle, or tearing down the household of God, the body of Christ? Or trying to build your own building in the flesh?

Read Colossians 3:8-17
But now… (10-12) And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Galatians 5:14 says, For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. That love includes sharing the gospel with the diversity of people.

1. Can you see and feel God’s involvement in your life?
2. Is it changing your relationship with God and with man; making it better?

Christ lived and died calling unto men to repent and believe, to have their sins forgiven and to be reconciled unto to God. What are you doing?

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.