30
Jan
2014

EPHESIANS 2:4-10 BUT GOD, WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US

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Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 God’s Work for Us (4-10)

The focus of attention now is on God, not on sinful man. “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

We are reminded of five activities that God performed on behalf of sinners to save them from the consequences of their sins.

  1. He Loved Us

                 By nature, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

  1. He Made Us Alive

This means He made us alive, even when we were dead in sins. He accomplished this spiritual resurrection by the power of the Spirit, using the Word

·       Even when dead in trespasses

·       By His grace we have been saved

·       v6 God raised us with Christ - He exalted us

 This describes our spiritual, not physical experience.

Made to sit with Him in heavenly places (to enjoy his fellowship)

The Purpose of Salvation  

·       v7 He keeps us

·       Note that verses 1-3 describe what we were in the past, verses 4-6 what we are in the present, and verse 7 what we shall be in the future.

 3. v8 He gives us Salvation - Saved by grace through faith - God’s riches at Christ’s expense

a.    Not of ourselves, it is the gift of God

Grace means that God does it all for Jesus’ sake!

Salvation is a gift of God. It does not find its source in man. Furthermore, this salvation is not “out of a source of works.” This explains salvation by grace. It is not produced by man nor earned by him. It is a gift from God with no strings tied to it. Paul presents the same truth in Ro 4:4 -6

V9 Not of works, lest any man should boast

No one will be able to boast that he or she has done something that earned him or her salvation. All the glory will go to God for accomplishing salvation.

"Since we have not been saved by our good works, we cannot be lost by our bad works."

Sin worked against us and God worked for us, but the great work of conversion is just the beginning.

v10 We are God's workmanship – God Works In Us

Here Paul gave the reason salvation is not from man or by works. Rather than salvation being a masterpiece that we have produced, regenerated believers are a masterpiece that God has produced. "Workmanship" (Gr. poieme, from which we get the word "poem"; cf. Rom. 1:20) means a work of art, a masterpiece. The Jerusalem Bible translated it "work of art" here.

·       Created in Christ Jesus to walk in good works,

As a master worker, God has created us in Christ Jesus. The word translated "created" here (Gr. ktizo) describes only God's activity and denotes something He alone can produce.

Good works are not the roots from which salvation grows but the fruit God intends it to bear. God has not saved us because of our works (vv. 8- 9), but He has saved us to do good works (v. 10). which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

". . . God has prepared a path of good works for believers which He will perform in and through them as they walk by faith. This does not mean doing a work for God; instead, it is God's performing His work in and through believers.

To walk is to regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s self, to order one’s behavior.”

·       Which God prepared beforehand

In other words, our conversion is not the end; it is the beginning. We are a part of God’s “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), and God continues to work in us to make us what He wants us to be. His purpose is to make us more like Christ (Rom. 8:29).

But how does God work in us? Through His Holy Spirit, “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Christ finished His work of redemption on the cross, but He arose from the dead and returned to heaven. There He carries on His unfinished work of perfecting His church (Eph. 4:7–16; Heb. 13:20–21).

Christ is equipping us for our walk and our work here on earth. To do this, He uses three special tools: the Word of God (1 Thes. 2:13), prayer (Eph. 3:20–21), and suffering (1 Peter 4:11–14). As we read God’s Word, understand it, meditate on it, and feed on it, the Word goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release power. And as we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. Suffering drives us back to the Word and prayer, and the cycle is repeated.

Too many Christians think that conversion is the only important experience, and that nothing follows.

We are perfected by the Word, Prayer, and Suffering

Moses 40 years to prepare him for 40 years of desert wanderings

At the beginning of his ministry, Moses was impetuous and depended on his own strength. He killed an Egyptian and had to flee Egypt, hardly a successful way to start a ministry. But during those 40 years as a humble shepherd in the desert, Moses experienced God’s working in his life, a working that prepared him for forty more years of magnificent service.

Joseph 13 years to prepare him for the throne of Egypt second to Pharaoh

David many years in exile to prepare him for the throne of Israel

Paul 3 years in the desert of Arabia to prepare him for Ministry

 God has to work in us before He can work through us;

Mt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Our good works show that Christ lives in us.

Lessons

1.    We were Sinners, but God is our Savior

2.    We were made into a new creation

3.    We were saved not by works, but because God wanted to show His glory through His Mercy and grace

4.    We are His Masterpiece

5.    He made us to do good works after our salvation, works are the fruit of salvation, not the cause or root of it.