06 June 9, 2013, Created For Good Works, Ephesians 2:1-10


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06 June 9, 2013, Created For Good Works, Ephesians 2:1-10

  2. 2. JUNE MEMORY VERSEMatthew 28:19-20“Go, therefore, and makedisciples of all nations,baptizing them in thename of the Father and of
  3. 3. the Son and of the HolySpirit, teaching them toobserve everything I havecommanded you. Andremember, I am with youalways to the end of theage.” Matthew 28:19-20
  4. 4. The date for our next SSclass luncheon willbe Sunday, June 23.  It will be in theChapel Dining Room.The cost will be $6.00 perperson.
  5. 5. LET FREEDOMRING CONCERTSunday, June 30th6:00 p.m.After the concert, we willhave a Block Party onPresident Street. 
  6. 6. The Capital City StageBand will be with us andwe will have inflatablesfor the children to playin. We will be serving“Homemade Ice Cream!”
  7. 7. There is a sign up sheet inour Sunday School roll book for people tovolunteer. The sign-up  sheet willalso be in our record bookon June 16 and 23.
  8. 8. A follow up message  willbe mailed out with detailsabout where to bring theice cream. 
  9. 9. WHAT’S THE#1 THING?
  11. 11. Matthew 5:16 NASB16 Let your light shinebefore men in such a waythat they may see yourgood works, and glorifyyour Father Who is inHeaven.
  12. 12. CREATED FORGOOD WORKSEphesians 2:1-10
  13. 13. Wiersbes ExpositoryOutlines on the NewTestament. Copyright ©1992 by Chariot VictorPublishing, an imprint ofCook CommunicationMinistries.
  14. 14. The MacArthur NewTestament Commentary,Copyright © Moody PressJohn MacArthur, Jr.1983-2007.
  15. 15. Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB1 And you were dead inyour trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerlywalked according tothe course of this world,
  16. 16. according to the prince ofthe power of the air, of thespirit that is now workingin the sons ofdisobedience.
  17. 17. 3 Among them we tooall formerly lived in thelusts of our flesh,indulging the desires ofthe flesh and of the mind,and were by naturechildren of wrath, even as
  18. 18. the rest. 4 But God, being rich inmercy, because of Hisgreat love with which Heloved us, 5 even when wewere dead in ourtransgressions, made us
  19. 19. alive together with Christ(by grace you have beensaved), 6 and raised us up withHim, and seated us withHim in the heavenlyplaces in Christ Jesus,
  20. 20. 7 so that in the ages tocome He might show thesurpassing riches of Hisgrace in kindness towardus in Christ Jesus.
  21. 21. 8 For by grace you havebeen saved through faith;and that not of yourselves,it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works,so that no one may boast.
  22. 22. 10 For we are Hisworkmanship, createdin Christ Jesus for goodworks, which Godprepared beforehand sothat we would walk inthem. Ephesians 2:1-10
  23. 23. Wiersbe divides thisEphesians 2 passage into:What we were (vv. 1-3).What God did (vv. 4-9).What we are now (v. 10).
  24. 24. Ephesians, chapter 2:What we were (vv. 1-3).What God did (vv. 4-9).What we are now (v. 10).
  25. 25. Ephesians 2:1 NASB1 And you were dead inyour trespasses and sins,
  26. 26. What we were (vv. 1-3).What a picture of the lostsinner!To begin with, lost peopleare dead spiritually; thatis, the inner man is deadto spiritual things.
  27. 27. In Luke and John we seethe resurrections of threepeople that Jesus raisedfrom the dead:
  28. 28. (1) a twelve-year-old girl,Luke 8:49-55;(2) a young man,Luke 7:12-15; and(3) an older man, Lazarus,in John 11. Jesus said,“you will see God’sglory”
  29. 29. *Each of them was dead;the only difference wastheir state ofdecomposition.*Lazarus had been buriedfor four days (John 11:39)and had begun to smell!
  30. 30. All lost sinners are dead,regardless of age; the onlydifference between theunsaved church memberand the vagrant on skidrow is the state of decay.
  31. 31. Lost sinners are not onlydead, they are enslavedby the world and live forits pleasures and fashions.
  32. 32. Tell them that this worldis under thecondemnation of God andis passing away, and theywill laugh at you.
  33. 33. *They are also enslavedby Satan, who is at workin the lives of unsavedpeople.*This does not mean thathe necessarily makesthem drunkards or
  34. 34. murderers; his usual tacticis to give people falsesecurity through self-righteousness.
  35. 35. Jesus called the self-righteous Pharisees"children of the devil"(John 8:44), yet they werereligious, upstandingcitizens.
  36. 36. We are born by naturechildren of wrath; whenwe reject Christknowingly after reachingan age of accountability,we become children ofdisobedience by choice.
  37. 37. But when we trust JesusChrist, we becomechildren of God.
  38. 38. Ephesians, chapter 2:What we were (vv. 1-3).What God did (vv. 4-9).What we are now (v. 10).
  39. 39. Ephesians 2:4 NASB4 But God, being  rich in mercy, becauseof His great love withwhich He loved us,
  40. 40. What God did (vv. 4-9)."But God!"These words are amongthe greatest in the Bible.
  41. 41. God could have allowedus to go on in sin and liveeternally with the devil inhell, but instead He choseto save us. (Romans 5:8)
  42. 42. Romans 5:8 NASB8 But God demonstratesHis own love toward us,in that while we were yetsinners, Christ died for us.
  43. 43. He gave us life, raised usfrom the grave of sin, andtook us out of thegraveyard!More than that, He madeus members of Christ!
  44. 44. We have been quickenedtogether, raised together,and we sit together in theheavenlies.God did this because Heis rich in mercy and greatin love.
  45. 45. Justice is God giving mewhat I deserve (death).Mercy means that Goddoes not give me what Ideserve (death); but gracemeans that He gives mewhat I dont deserve.
  46. 46. Ephesians, chapter 2:What we were (vv. 1-3).What God did (vv. 4-9).What we are now (v. 10).
  47. 47. What we are now (v. 10).We are His workmanship,His new creation(2 Corinthians 5:17).
  48. 48. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB 17 Therefore if anyoneis in Christ, he is a newcreature; the old thingspassed away; behold, newthings have come.
  49. 49. Also read Philippians2:12-13 and dare tobelieve that God works inyou!
  50. 50. 12b  work out yoursalvation with fear andtrembling; 13 for it is God Who is atwork in you, both to willand to work for His goodpleasure. Philippians 2
  51. 51. What does the futurehold?We do not know, but wedo know Who holds thefuture.
  52. 52. The same loving Fatherthat chose us, called us,and saved us has alsomarked out wonderfulplans for our lives!
  53. 53. Ephesians 2:10For we are Hisworkmanship, created inChrist Jesus for goodworks, which Godprepared beforehand, thatwe should walk in them.
  54. 54. Although they have nopart in gaining salvation,good works have a greatdeal to do with living outsalvation.
  55. 55. No good works canproduce salvation, butmany good works areproduced by salvation.
  56. 56. "By this is My Fatherglorified," Jesus said, "thatyou bear much fruit, andso prove to be Mydisciples" (John 15:8).
  57. 57. Don’t coast!
  58. 58. *Good works do not bringdiscipleship, but theyprove it is genuine.*When Gods people dogood deeds they bear fruitfor His kingdom andbring glory to His name.
  59. 59. WHAT’S THE#1 THING?
  61. 61. The Bible has much to sayabout works.It speaks of the works ofthe law, which are goodbut cannot save a person(Galatians 2:16).
  62. 62. Galatians 2:16 NASB16 nevertheless knowingthat a man is not justifiedby the works of the Lawbut through faith in ChristJesus, even we have
  63. 63. believed in Christ Jesus,so that we may bejustified by faith in Christand not by the worksof the Law; since by theworks of the Law no fleshwill be justified. Gal. 2:16
  64. 64. It speaks of dead works(Hebrews 6:1) and ofworks, or deeds, ofdarkness and of the flesh,all of which are inherentlyevil (Romans 13:12;Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:11).
  65. 65. Hebrews 6:1 NASB1 Therefore leaving theelementary teachingabout the Christ, let uspress on to maturity, notlaying again a foundation
  66. 66. of repentance from deadworks and of faith towardGod,Hebrews 6:1 NASB 
  67. 67. *All of those works aredone in mans ownstrength and have nothingto do with salvation.*They will not survive thefire!
  68. 68. What three things will bein Heaven that are onearth right now?
  69. 69. (1) All of God’s Word(2) Some people(3) Some of your works
  70. 70. Before we can do anygood work for the Lord,He has to do His goodwork in us.
  71. 71. By Gods grace, madeeffective through faith, webecome Hisworkmanship, created inChrist Jesus for goodworks.
  72. 72. God has ordained that wethen live lives of goodworks, works done in Hispower and for His glory.“The righteous acts of thesaints” (Revelation 19:8).
  73. 73. Revelation 19:8 NASB8 It was given to her toclothe herself in fine linen,bright and clean; for thefine linen is the righteousacts of the saints.
  74. 74. John 15:1-8“I am the true Vine, andMy Father is theVinedresser. Every branchin Me that does not bearfruit, He takes away; andevery branch that bears
  75. 75. fruit, He prunes it, that itmay bear more fruit. Youare already clean becauseof the word which I havespoken to you. Abide inMe, and I in you. As thebranch cannot bear fruit
  76. 76. of itself, unless it abides inthe Vine, so neither canyou, unless you abide inMe. I am the Vine, you arethe branches; he whoabides in Me, and I inhim, he bears much fruit;
  77. 77. for apart from Me you cando nothing. If anyonedoes not abide in Me, heis thrown away as abranch, and dries up; andthey gather them, and castthem into the fire, and
  78. 78. they are burned. If youabide in Me, and Mywords abide in you, askwhatever you wish, and itshall be done for you. Bythis is My Father glorified,that you bear much fruit,
  79. 79. and so prove to be Mydisciples.”John 15:1-8
  80. 80. The same power thatcreated us in Christ Jesusempowers us to do thegood works for which Hehas redeemed us.These are the, verifiers oftrue salvation.
  81. 81. Righteous attitudes andrighteous acts proceedfrom the transformed lifenow living in theheavenlies.
  82. 82. To the Corinthians Paulsaid there was in them"an abundance for everygood deed" (2 Cor 9:8).
  83. 83. To Timothy he instructedthat the believer is"equipped for everygood work”(2 Timothy 3:17).
  84. 84. 2 Peter 1:3 NIV3 His divine power hasgiven us everything weneed for a godly lifethrough our knowledge ofHim who called us by Hisown glory and goodness.
  85. 85. Christ died to bring toHimself a people "zealousfor good deeds"(Titus 2:14).
  86. 86. Even this is the work ofGod, as Paul says: "workout your salvation.., it isGod Who is at work inyou, both to will and towork for His goodpleasure" (Phil 2:12-13).
  87. 87. 1 Corinthians 3:6-15NASB6 I planted, Apolloswatered, but God wascausing the growth. 
  88. 88. 7 So then neither the onewho plants nor the onewho waters is anything,but God Who causes thegrowth.
  89. 89. 8 Now he who plants andhe who waters are one;but each will receive hisown reward according tohis own labor.
  90. 90. 9 For we are God’s fellowworkers; you are God’sfield, God’s building.10 According to the graceof God which was givento me, like a wise masterbuilder I laid a
  91. 91. foundation, and another isbuilding on it. But eachman must be careful howhe builds on it.
  92. 92. 11 For no man can laya foundation other thanthe one which is laid,which is Jesus Christ.
  93. 93. 12 Now if any man buildson the foundation withgold, silver, preciousstones, wood, hay, straw,
  94. 94. 13 each man’s work willbecome evident; for theday will show it because itis to be revealed with fire,and the fire itself willtest the quality of eachman’s work.
  95. 95. 14 If any man’s workwhich he has built on itremains, he will receive areward.
  96. 96. 15 If any man’s work isburned up, he will sufferloss; but he himself willbe saved, yet so asthrough fire.1 Corinthians 3:6-15NASB
  97. 97. Pauls primary messagehere is to believers, manyof whom had experiencedsalvation years earlier.
  98. 98. He is not showing themhow to be saved, but howthey were saved, in orderto convince them that thepower that saved them isthe same power thatkeeps them.
  99. 99. Just as they already hadbeen given everythingnecessary for salvation,they also had been giveneverything necessary forfaithfully living the savedlife.
  100. 100. The greatest proof of aChristians divineempowerment is his ownsalvation and theresulting good works thatGod produces in andthrough him (cf. John 15).
  101. 101. These good works areexpected because Godprepared beforehand, thatwe should walk in them,and that is why Jamessays faith is illegitimate ifworks are not present
  102. 102. (James 2:17-26).
  103. 103. It is from poiema(workmanship) that weget our word “poem”,a piece of literaryworkmanship.
  104. 104. Before time began, Goddesigned us to beconformed to the image ofHis Son, Jesus Christ(Romans 8:29).
  105. 105. Paul could therefore sayto the Philippians, "For Iam confident of this verything, that He Who begana good work in you willperfect it until the day ofChrist Jesus" (1:6).
  106. 106. The story is often told ofthe rowdy, disruptiveyoung boy in a Sundayschool class whocontinually frustrated histeacher.
  107. 107. One morning the teacherasked him, "Why do youact like that? Dont youknow who made you?"To which the boy replied,"God did, but He aintthrough with me yet."
  108. 108. All of us are stillimperfect, uncutdiamonds being finishedby the divine MasterCraftsman.PBPGINFWMY
  109. 109. PBPGINFWMYPlease Be Patient,God Is Not FinishedWith Me Yet
  110. 110. He is not finished with usyet, but His work will notcease until He has madeus into the perfect likenessof His Son (1 John 3:2).
  111. 111. 1 John 3:2 NASB2 Beloved, now we arechildren of God, and ithas not appeared as yetwhat we will be. Weknow that when Heappears,
  112. 112. we will be like Him,because we will see Himjust as He is.1 John 3:2 NASB
  113. 113. A famous actor was oncethe guest of honor at asocial gathering where hereceived many requests torecite favorite excerptsfrom various literaryworks.
  114. 114. An old preacher whohappened to be thereasked the actor to recitethe Twenty-third Psalm.
  115. 115. The actor agreed on thecondition that thepreacher would also reciteit.
  116. 116. The actors recitation wasbeautifully intoned withgreat dramatic emphasis,for which he receivedlengthy applause.
  117. 117. The preachers voice wasrough and broken frommany years of preaching,and his diction wasanything but polished.
  118. 118. But when he finishedthere was not a dry eye inthe room.
  119. 119. When someone asked theactor what made thedifference, he replied, "Iknow the psalm, but heknows the Shepherd."
  120. 120. Salvation does not comefrom knowing about thetruth of Jesus Christ butfrom intimately knowingChrist Himself.
  121. 121. WHAT’S THE#1 THING?
  122. 122. BRING GLORY TOGOD!
  123. 123. End of McArthur
  124. 124. SALVATION ISTHROUGH FAITHEphesians 2:8-9 NASB8 For by grace you havebeen saved through faith;and that not ofyourselves,
  125. 125. it is the gift of God;9 not as a result of works,that no one should boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
  126. 126. Our response in salvationis faith, but even that isnot of ourselves but is thegift of God (Romans 12:3).Faith is nothing that wedo in our own power orby our own resources.
  127. 127. The following commentsare from John Pipers: A Godward LifeBook Twopp.327-332
  128. 128. This truth has profoundimpact on how we pray.Jesus gives us the examplein Luke 22:31-32.Before Peter denies himthree times, Jesus says tohim, "Simon, Simon,
  129. 129. behold, Satan hasdemanded to sift you likewheat, but I have prayed foryou, that you faith may notfail; and you, when onceyou have turned again,strengthen your brothers."
  130. 130. Jesus prays for Peters faithto be sustained eventhrough sin, because heknows that God is the onewho sustains faith.
  131. 131. So we should pray forourselves and others inthis way.Thus the man with theepileptic boy cried out,"I do believe; help myunbelief" (Mark 9:24).
  132. 132. This is a good prayer. Itacknowledges thatwithout God we cannotbelieve as we ought tobelieve.
  133. 133. Similarly the apostlespray to Jesus, "Increaseour faith!" (Luke 17:5).They pray this waybecause Jesus is the OneWho can do that.
  134. 134. This teaching about faithbeing a gift of God raisesmany questions.God has answers for all ofthem, even if we dont.
  135. 135. Let us seek to put theteaching into practicalBiblical use, namely thehumbling of our prideand the stimulation of ourprayers.
  136. 136. In other words, let us praydaily:"O Lord, thank you formy faith. Sustain it,Strengthen it. Deepen it.Dont let it fail. Make itthe power of my life,
  137. 137. so that in everything I doyou get the glory as thegreat Giver.AMEN.
  138. 138. We know it is unbiblicalbecause right there in thetext the whole point ofRomans 12:6-8 is to exhortChristians in just theopposite way, namely, todo something.
  139. 139. "Since we have gifts thatdiffer according to thegrace given to us, each ofus is to exercize themaccordingly; if prophesy,according to theproportion of his faith;
  140. 140. if service, in his serving;or he who teaches, in histeaching; or he whoexhorts, in hisexhortation; he who gives,with liberality; he wholeads, with diligence;
  141. 141. he who shows mercy,with cheerfulness."(emphasis added).In other words, exercizeyour gift.Dont let it lie dormant.
  142. 142. Take hold of it by faithand use it.FAN IT INTO FLAMESSO YOU WON’TQUENCH THE SPIRIT
  143. 143. Resist passivity and lookto God and say:"Lord I know that youhave given me a gift forsome kind of ministry.I am tired and I amanxious that I will not do
  144. 144. a good job. But, Lord, Itrust You, not me and mygift. I trust Your enablinggrace, In fact, I trust Youeven to help me trust Youbecause You said thatfaith is Your gift.
  145. 145. And I go to my ministry(say my small groupleadership) tonight in thestrength that You supplyso that in everything Youmay get the glory."
  146. 146. Thats the point of 1 Peter4:11, RSV (emphasisadded), "Whoever rendersservice, let him do so asone who renders it by thestrength which God supplies;in order that in everything
  147. 147. God may be glorifiedthrough Jesus Christ."The gift of faith doesntreplace service, it trusts inpower to do service.
  148. 148. We also know thatpassivity is unbiblicalbecause of Pauls owntestimony in1 Corinthians 15:10,"By the grace of God I amwhat I am, and His grace
  149. 149. toward me did not provevain; but I labored evenmore than all of them, yetnot I, but the grace of Godwith me."He labored more than allof them!
  150. 150. That is not passivity!But look at the convictionbeneath it:"Nevertheless it was not I,but the grace of God withme."
  151. 151. The great words,"Not I, but grace" are notenergy destroying words,but energy producingwords.
  152. 152. Listen to Paul again fromColossians 1:28-29,"We proclaim Christ,admonishing every manand teaching every manwith all wisdom, so thatwe may present every
  153. 153. man complete in Christ.For this purpose alsoI labor, striving accordingto His power, whichworks mightily withinme" (emphasis added).Paul labors, Paul strives.
  154. 154. But it is the mighty powerof Christ that works inhim, enabling him.DON’T COAST!GEORGE BLANDALOUIS GUY
  155. 155. The point is this:God does not will insteadof our willing; He wills inand through our willing.God does not workinstead of our working,but through our working.
  156. 156. God does not energizeinstead of our havingenergy; He energizes ourenergy.Therefore it is unbiblicaland irrational to say thatbecause the grace of God
  157. 157. produces an active trust inGod, we dont need toexert an active trust inGod.
  158. 158. At the end of your life,after decades of lovingministry, however Goduses you to stir up theobedience of faith inothers, what are yougoing to say about the
  159. 159. grace of God and yourlifelong labors?Are you going to boast?No. You are going to usethe words of Paul inRomans 15:18,"For I will not presume to
  160. 160. speak of anything acceptwhat Christ hasaccomplished throughme, resulting in theobedience of the Gentiles.You will say somethinglike a paraphrase of
  161. 161. 1 Corinthians 4:7,"What did I have that Idid not receive?If then I received it, whyshould I boast as if it werenot a gift.?"
  162. 162. The Lord gives spiritualgifts to every Christian,including the faith to usethem.Let us pray that He willmeasure out to us mightymeasures of faith.
  163. 163. Find your gift.Embrace it by faith.Use it in the strength Godsupplies so that God willget the glory and you(and those you love) willget the joy.
  164. 164. Heb 12:2 "Let us fix oureyes on Jesus, the authorand perfecter of ourfaith"
  165. 165. From John Pipers AGodward Life Book Twopp.327-332GOD GIVES USENOUGH EVIDENCE TOBASE OUR FAITH ON(JOB)
  166. 166. This coming alive can beaccomplished by thepower of God because ofHis love and mercy.
  167. 167. “All have sinned and fallshort of the glory of God"(Romans 3:23).Sin is falling short ofGods glory, and fallingshort of Gods glory is sin.
  168. 168. As Paul had explainedtwo chapters earlier inRomans, in its most basicsense sin is failing toglorify God.
  169. 169. Although fallen mankind"knew God, they did nothonor Him as God"(Romans 1:21).
  170. 170. Of all the epitaphs thatcould have been writtenfor Herod, the words ofActs 12:23 are the mostappropriate:
  171. 171. "An angel of the Lordstruck him because he didnot give God the glory,and he was eaten byworms and died."Acts 12:23 NASB
  172. 172. Mans common state ofsin has often beencompared to a diversegroup of people standingon the bank of theMississippi River (over amile wide).
  173. 173. Each of them is trying tojump to the other side.The little children and oldpeople can jump only afew feet.
  174. 174. The larger children andagile adults can jumpseveral times that far.A few athletes can jumpseveral times farther still.But none of them getsnear the other side.
  175. 175. Their degrees of successvary only in relation toeach other.In relation to achievingthe goal they are equalfailures.They all fall short!
  176. 176. Jesus said,"If you do good to thosewho do good to you, whatcredit is that to you? Foreven sinners do the same"(Luke 6:33).
  177. 177. On another occasion Hesaid,"You then, being evil,nevertheless know how togive good gifts to yourchildren" (Luke 11:13).
  178. 178. A person apart from Godcan only do humanlygood things.But as the Lord points outin both of thosestatements, the person isstill a sinner, still evil by
  179. 179. nature, and still operatingon a motive less than thatof glorifying God.
  180. 180. When Paul and the otherswere shipwrecked on theisland of Malta, Lukereports that "the nativesshowed us extraordinarykindness" (Acts 28:2); yetthose natives remained
  181. 181. superstitious pagans (v 6).A sinners doing good isgood, but it cannot changehis nature or his basicsphere of existence, and itcannot reconcile him toGod.
  182. 182. Ephesians 2:1-2 NASB1 And you were dead inyour trespasses and sins,2 in which you formerlywalked according tothe course of this world,according to the
  183. 183. prince of the power of theair, of the spirit that isnow working in the sonsof disobedience.Ephesians 2:1-2 NASB
  184. 184. What we often call "thespirit of the times" reflectsthe wider course of thisworld, a course in whichlost men are in agreementabout what is right andwrong, valuable and
  185. 185. worthless, important andunimportant.Sinful men have manydifferent ideas andstandards, but they are intotal agreement that thenetwork of things in this
  186. 186. world is more importantthan the divineperspective of God.In this most basic worldoutlook they are of onemind.
  187. 187. They resolutely work tofulfill the goals and valuesof their system, though itdefies God and alwaysself-destructs.
  188. 188. Sinners are persistent intheir rejection, and theworse their system is, themore they try to justify itand condemn those whospeak the Word of Godagainst it.
  189. 189. Ephesians 2:6 NASB6 and raised us up withHim, and seated us withHim in the heavenlyplaces in Christ Jesus,
  190. 190. The Greek verb behindseated emphasizes theabsoluteness of thispromise by speaking of itas if it had already fullytaken place.
  191. 191. Even though we are notyet inheritors of all thatGod has for us in Christ,to be in the heavenlyplaces is to be in Godsdomain instead of Satans,to be in the sphere of
  192. 192. spiritual life instead of thesphere of spiritual death.That is where ourblessings are and wherewe have fellowship withthe Father, the Son, theHoly Spirit, and with all
  193. 193. the saints who have gonebefore us and will go afterus.That is where all ourcommands come fromand where all our praiseand petitions go.
  194. 194. And some day we willreceive the "inheritancewhich is imperishable andundefiled and will notfade away, reserved inHeaven for us"(1 Peter 1:4).
  195. 195. Ephesians 2:7 NASB7 so that in the ages tocome He might show thesurpassing riches of Hisgrace in kindness towardus in Christ Jesus.
  196. 196. The phrase “so that” (“inorder that” in the NIV)indicates that the purposeof our being exalted to thesupernatural sphere ofGods preserve and poweris that we may forever be
  197. 197. blessed.But it is not only for ourbenefit and glory.Gods greater purpose insalvation is for His ownsake, in order that in theages to come He might
  198. 198. show the surpassingriches of His grace inkindness toward us inChrist Jesus.
  199. 199. That, too, is obviously forour benefit, but it is firstof all for Gods, because itdisplays for all eternitythe surpassing riches ofHis grace(Ephesians 3:10).
  200. 200. Through His endlesskindness toward us inChrist Jesus the Fatherglorifies Himself even asHe blesses us.
  201. 201. From the moment ofsalvation throughout theages to come we neverstop receiving the graceand kindness of God.
  202. 202. The ages to come isdifferent from the age tocome in 1:21 and refers toeternity.
  203. 203. He glorifies Himself byeternally blessing us with"every spiritual blessingin the heavenly places inChrist" (1:3) and bybestowing on us Hisendless and limitless
  204. 204. grace and kindness.The whole of heaven willglorify Him because ofwhat He has done for us(Revelation 7:10-12).
  205. 205. SALVATION ISTHROUGH FAITHEphesians 2:8-9 NASB8 For by grace you havebeen saved through faith;and that not ofyourselves,
  206. 206. it is the gift of God;9 not as a result of works,that no one should boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
  207. 207. Our response in salvationis faith, but even that isnot of ourselves but is thegift of God (Romans 12:3).Faith is nothing that wedo in our own power orby our own resources.
  208. 208. In the first place we donot have adequate poweror resources.More than that, Godwould not want us to relyon them even if we hadthem.
  209. 209. Otherwise salvationwould be in part by ourown works, and wewould have some groundto boast in ourselves.
  210. 210. Paul intends to emphasizethat even faith is not fromus apart from Godsgiving it.
  211. 211. If salvation is of grace, ithas to be an undeservedgift of God.Faith is presented as a giftfrom God in 2 Peter 1:1;Phil 1:29, and Acts 3:16.
  212. 212. 2 Peter 1:1 NASB1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle ofJesus Christ, to those whohave received a faith ofthe same kind as ours,
  213. 213. by the righteousnessof our God and Savior,Jesus Christ:2 Peter 1:1 NASB
  214. 214. Every person lives byfaith.When we open a can offood or drink a glass ofwater we trust that it isnot contaminated.
  215. 215. When we go across abridge we trust it tosupport us.When we put our moneyin the bank we trust it willbe safe. Life is a constantseries of acts of faith.
  216. 216. No human being, nomatter how skeptical andself-reliant, could live aday without exercisingfaith.
  217. 217. Church membership,baptism, giving to charity,and being a goodneighbor have no powerto bring salvation.
  218. 218. Nor does takingCommunion, keeping theTen Commandments, orliving by the Sermon onthe Mount.
  219. 219. The only thing a personcan do that will have anypart in salvation is toexercise faith in whatJesus Christ has done forhim.
  220. 220. When we accept thefinished work of Christ onour behalf, we act by thefaith supplied by Godsgrace.
  221. 221. That is the supreme act ofhuman faith, the actwhich, though it is ours, isprimarily Gods — Hisgift to us out of His grace.
  222. 222. When a person chokes ordrowns and stopsbreathing, there is nothinghe can do.If he ever breathes again itwill be because someoneelse starts him breathing.
  223. 223. A person who isspiritually dead cannoteven make a decision offaith unless God firstbreathes into him thebreath of spiritual life.
  224. 224. Faith is simply breathingthe breath that Godsgrace supplies.Yet, the paradox is thatwe must exercise it andbear the responsibility ifwe do not (cf. John 5:40).
  225. 225. John 5:40 NASB40 and you are unwillingto come to Me so that youmay have life.
  226. 226. Obviously, if it is true thatsalvation is all by Godsgrace, it is therefore not asa result of works.Human effort has nothingto do with it(Rom 3:20; Galatians 2:16).
  227. 227. Galatians 2:16 NASB16 nevertheless knowingthat a man is not justifiedby the works of the Lawbut through faith in ChristJesus, even we have
  228. 228. believed in Christ Jesus,so that we may bejustified by faith in Christand not by the works ofthe Law; since by theworks of the Law no fleshwill be justified. (Gal 2:16)
  229. 229. And thus, no one shouldboast, as if he had anypart.All boasting is eliminatedin salvation (Romans 3:27;4:5; 1 Corinthians 1:31).
  230. 230. Nevertheless, good workshave an important place,as Paul is quick to affirm.
  231. 231. John MacArthur, Jr.,
  232. 232. RAY STEDMAN
  233. 233. The first four letters of the New Testament---Romans, First and Second Corinthians, andGalatians---are the development of the phrase,"Christ in you," teaching us what theindwelling life of Christ is intended to do. Butbeginning with the letter to the church atEphesus, we are to learn and understand whatit means for us to be in Christ and to share thebody life of the Lord Jesus Christ---"you inChrist." Here is the great theme of this letter---the believer in Christ, or the nature of theChurch.
  234. 234. There are many who take the phrase, "theheavenly places," which appears several timesin this letter, as a reference to heaven after wedie, but if you do this, you will miss the wholeimport of Pauls letter. While it does talk aboutgoing to heaven some day, it is talkingprimarily about the life you live right now.The heavenly places are not off in some distantreach of space or on some planet or star; theyare simply the realm of invisible reality inwhich the Christian lives now, in contact withGod, and in the conflict with the devil inwhich we are all daily engaged.
  235. 235. The heavenly places are theseat of Christs power andglory. In chapter two, versesix we are told,God raised us up with Him,and made us sit with Him inthe heavenly places in ChristJesus.
  236. 236. But in chapter three we learn that here also are theheadquarters of the principalities and powers of evil:...that through the church the manifold wisdom ofGod might now be made known to the principalitiesand powers in the heavenly places.The conflict that occurs is set forth in chapter six:For we are not contending against flesh and blood,but against principalities, against the powers,against the world rulers of this present darkness,against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in theheavenly places.
  237. 237. So you can see that this is not a reference to heaven atall, but to earth. It is to the invisible realm of earth---notto that which you can see, hear, taste, or feel---but to thatspiritual kingdom which surrounds us on all sides andwhich constantly influences and affects us, whether forgood or evil, depending upon our willful choice and ourrelationship to these invisible powers. Those are theheavenly places. In this realm, in which everyone of uslives, the apostle declares that God has already blessedus with every spiritual blessing. That is, he has given usall that it takes to live in our present circumstances andrelationships. Peter says the same thing in his secondletter: His divine power has granted to us all things thatpertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)
  238. 238. That means that when you receive Jesus Christ asyour Lord, you have already received all thatGod ever intends to give you. Is that notremarkable? The weakest believer holds in hishands all that is ever possessed by the mightiestsaint of God. We already have everything,because we have Christ, and in Him is everyspiritual blessing and all that pertains to life andgodliness. Thus we have what it takes to live lifeas God intended. Any failure, therefore, is notbecause we are lacking anything, but because wehave not appropriated what is already ours.
  239. 239. We all have the tendency to think ofourselves as somewhat remote from theChurch. Every now and then someonecomes to me and says, "The Church oughtto do so-and-so." I reply, "Well, you are theChurch; go to it." The fact that they are theChurch seems to strike them with a degreeof amazement. Someone said to me not longago, "The Church ought to be morefriendly." I said, "All right, you and I are theChurch, lets be more friendly."
  240. 240. The Church is people. Every believer is amember of the Body of Christ---the Church---so I would prefer to go through this letterusing not the word "church," but "Christian,"because every believer is a small replica of thewhole Church. If we understand that Godlives within the Church we see that he alsolives within each believer. Each one of us, as abeliever in Jesus Christ, is a microcosm of thewhole body. We can, therefore, go throughthis whole epistle relating what Paul says notto the Church, but to each one of us, asindividual believers.
  241. 241. In the first figure, the apostle refers to the Church as a body:...and he has put all things under his feet and has made him thehead over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulnessof him who fills all in all. (1:22)The first chapter is entirely devoted to the wonder andamazement that we normal, ordinary, sin-possessed humanbeings should be called by God in a most amazing way---reachingback even to before the foundation of the earth---to becomemembers of that body. It is a tremendous declaration. The ApostlePaul never got over his amazement that he---bowlegged,baldheaded, despised by many, regarded with contempt in manycircles---was nevertheless a member of the Body of Jesus Christ,and was called of God before the foundation of the earth andgiven such tremendous blessings that he was equipped foreverything that life could demand of him. That is what it means tobelong to the Body of Christ.
  242. 242. Now what is the purpose of the Body? It is to be "the fulness ofhim who fills all in all." In other words, it is the expression of thehead. That is what your body is for. It is intended to express andperform the desires of the head. The only time that a healthyhuman body does not do that is when some secondary nervouscenter is artificially stimulated.You know, for instance, that if you hit your knee in the right placewith a hammer, your leg will kick up in the air without your evenwilling it. Even if you choose not to kick, it will still react. Isometimes wonder if some of the activity of the Church can beascribed to a sort of reflex movement---the body acting on its ownwithout direction from the head. At any rate, the function of thebody is to express "the fulness of him who fills all in all." What amighty phrase that is! Do you ever think of yourself that way? Doyou ever dare think of yourself the way God thinks of you---as abody to be wholly filled and flooded with God himself?
  243. 243. Next, Paul refers to the Church as a temple:...in whom the whole structure is joined together and growsinto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are builtinto it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (2:21, 22)Here is a holy temple. One of the greatest things taking placein the world today is the growth of this building that Godhas been erecting through the ages. When all the worthlessproducts of human endeavor have crumbled into dust; whenall the institutions and organizations that we have built havelong been forgotten, the temple which God is erecting will bethe central focus of attention through all eternity. That iswhat the passage implies. Furthermore, he is building itnow, using human building-blocks; shaping them, edgingthem, sandpapering them, preparing them just as he desires,putting human beings into this temple where he wants them.
  244. 244. Why? What is his purpose for you, and his purpose for thewhole temple? It is as Paul says---to be the home of God, thedwelling place of God. That envisions and includeseverything which we understand by the word "home." Whenmy family and I come back from a long trip, as soon as weget home, we take off our coats, stretch out, and makeourselves at home. We all say how great it is to be home.But what is it about our home that makes us feel that way?Isnt it than at home we can relax and be ourselves? Thatdoes not mean that when we are away from home we aresomething other than ourselves, but we are alwayssomewhat restrained. While at home, we can be all that wewant to be---just relaxed and ourselves. That is what God isbuilding the Church for---to be the place where he can bewhat he wants to be in you, fully relaxed and all that he is, inyou. That is why he is calling you and building you.
  245. 245. This new man in each of us has been given a gift that wenever had before we became a Christian. Our job, our reasonfor existence---the reason Jesus Christ put us here on earthand leaves us here---is that we might discover and exercisethat gift. I do not know of anything more important thanthis. The reason why the Church has flagged and faltered,failed and lost, is that Christians have lost this great truthwhich each one receives directly from the Lord. Thatincludes us all, from the youngest to oldest, who know JesusChrist. The risen Lord has given a gift to you, just as the manin the parable gave the talents to each of his servants,entrusting them with his property until his return. Andwhen he comes back, his judgment will be based on whatyou did with the gift he gave to you. That is the exercise ofthe new man.
  246. 246. The last picture of the Church in this epistle is as a soldier:Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand inthe evil day, and having done all, to stand. (6:13)What is the purpose of a soldier? It is to fight battles, and that is what God isdoing in us now. He has given us the great privilege of being the battlefieldupon which his great victories are won.That is the essence of the story of Job. This dear man was struck withoutwarning by a series of tragedies. All in one day he lost his possessions one byone. Finally he lost his entire family, except his wife. He didnt understandwhat was happening, but God had chosen Job to be the battlefield of a conflictwith Satan.God allowed Satan to go to the utmost limit in afflicting Jobs physical body. Inaddition, his mind was troubled; he could not understand what washappening. But when the battle was over God greatly blessed Job, and has usedhim mightily to teach the people of God in all ages that trials and difficultiesare not always for the sufferer alone, but are a means by which God winsmighty victories against the unseen powers. We are called to be soldiers whohave learned how to fight.
  247. 247. In his first letter John writes to his youngChristian friends,I write to you, young men, because you arestrong, and the word of God abides in you, andyou have overcome the evil one. (I John 2:14)That is, you have learned how to fight---how tomove out, how to throw off the confusingrestraints of the world, how not to be conformedto the age in which you live---and to moveagainst the tide, against the current, thus greatlyglorifying God.
  248. 248. I love the story of Daniel who, as a teenager, was a prisonerin a foreign land. He was exposed to a pagan environmentand had to fight the battle day by day, counting time aftertime upon Gods faithfulness to keep him when everythingwas against him. The pressures brought to bear upon himwere almost incredible. But again and again Daniel and hisfriends met the tests and won the battles and carried on.Toward the close of the book Daniel was sent a visitor, theangel Michael, who told him some tremendous things.Daniel was allowed to see down the stream of time wellbeyond our own day. Yet when the angel first appeared tohim, Daniel was greatly troubled. He fell upon his face, hisknees shook, and he was fearful and afraid of his holyvisitor. But the angel said to him, "O Daniel, man greatlybeloved...fear not." (Dan. 10:11, 12) Why was he beloved?Because he was a faithful soldier.
  249. 249. This is the privilege to which God is callingus in this day of world unrest and distress.God is calling us to be soldiers, to walk inthe steps of those who have won the battlebefore us, having been faithful unto death ifnecessary. This is the privilege of those whoare called and equipped with everyspiritual blessing, so that there might be abody, a temple, a mystery, a new man, abride, and a soldier for Jesus Christ. That isquite a calling.
  250. 250. The exhortation, then, of this letter iscontained in just one verse, in which Paulsays,I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, [writingthis letter from prison] beg you to lead a lifeworthy of the calling to which you havebeen called. (4:1)Do not lose sight of what God is doing. Theworld cannot see it. It has no idea what istaking place. But you know, and you cansee it, so do not lose heart.
  251. 251. Copyright (C) 1995Discovery Publishing, aministry of PeninsulaBible Church.
  252. 252. 1. Chuck Smith
  253. 253. 1. Have you ever taken just one piece of a puzzle and tried tofigure how it fits into the whole picture? It is next to impossible, ifyou have just started to work the puzzle and you do not have thepicture on the box before you. But if the whole puzzle has beenput together and this is the next to last piece, there is no problemin seeing where it fits. God is putting together the pieces of thepuzzle in your life it may be that you cant understand the presentpiece that He has put in.a. You may have even been complaining about your presentcircumstances because you cant see how the pieces fit.b. You wonder why God hasnt listened to your prayers to removethe piece.c. It is hard to see how all things are working together for good tothose who love God and are called according to His purpose.d. In your mind you may have even challenged God by asking,"What good can possibly come from this?"
  254. 254. 2. There are many advantages to coming to the stage in life that I have arrivedat where most of the pieces of the puzzle have been put together and thepicture is becoming quite clear.a. I frankly confess that there were many of the pieces of the puzzle that Icomplained loudly about as God was preparing me for the work that He hadbefore ordained that He wanted me to accomplish for Him.b. There were many a time when I thought God had forsaken me.c. Things that at the time I looked on as a curse, but have now discovered thatthey were great blessings. They were necessary preparation.3. Those lessons where God is teaching us trust, and faith are not easy lessons.It is not easy at 4:00 in the afternoon not to know where the evening meal iscoming from. It is not easy when your kids come and show you their socksshowing through the holes in the soles of their tennis shoes, and you do nothave the money to buy a new pair of shoes which you know they will have tohave before they go to school tomorrow.a. Through all of these experiences God was teaching us of His faithfulness toprovide for our every need just as He promised.b. He was teaching us that He had resources that we knew nothing about.
  255. 255. 4. It is not easy to discover you are nothing when you thought youwere something. To realize that you were not doing God a favorwhen you offered to Him your services.5. Not easy to give it your best fleshly efforts and see them fail.6. Not easy to give the best 17 years of your life to something thatseems to produce so little fruit.a. As I see it now, it was all a part of the necessary preparation forthe work that God had in mind for me to accomplish for Hisglory. Had the success come earlier I would have been tempted totake the glory.b. Through all of the difficult experiences he was teaching meimportant lessons of who He is, and how He wanted His workdone.c. Lessons that I would one day be able to teach others so theycould perhaps escape some of the pitfalls I had to strugglethrough.d. I think of the words of Paul to those of Galatia, "Be not weary inwell doing, for in due season, you will reap, if you faint not."
  256. 256. Cite This Page:(explanation of citations)Smith, Chuck. "Ephesians2:10." The Word forToday. Blue Letter Bible. 1May 2005. 2013. 5 Jun2013.
  257. 257. Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB8 For by grace you havebeen saved through faith;and that not of yourselves,it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works,so that no one may boast.
  258. 258. 10 For we are Hisworkmanship, createdin Christ Jesus for goodworks, which Godprepared beforehand sothat we would walk inthem. Ephesians 2:8-10
  259. 259. 6b Bring My sons from afarand My daughters fromthe ends of the earth,7a Everyone who is calledby My name, and whom Ihave created for My glory,Isaiah 43:6b-7a NASB
  260. 260. The Work of Christ BARCLAY(Eph 2:4-10)2:4-10 Although we were all like that, I say, God, because he is rich in mercyand because of his great love with which he has loved us, made us alive inJesus Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses (it is by grace you havebeen saved), and raised us up with Christ, and gave us a seat in the heavenlyplaces with Christ, because of what Christ Jesus did for us. This he did so thatin the age to come the surpassing riches of his grace in his kindness to us inChrist Jesus might be demonstrated. For it is by grace appropriated by faiththat you have been saved. You had nothing to do with this. It was Gods gift toyou. It was not the result of works, for it was Gods design that no one shouldbe able to boast. For we are his work, created in Christ Jesus for good works,works which God prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.Paul had begun by saying that, as we are, we are dead in sins and trespasses;now he says that God in his love and mercy has made us alive in Jesus Christ.What exactly did he mean by that? We saw that there were three thingsinvolved in being dead in sins and trespasses. Jesus has something to do abouteach of them.(i) We saw that sin kills innocence. Not even Jesus can give a man back his lostinnocence, for not even Jesus can put back the clock; but what he can do is takeaway the sense of guilt which the lost innocence necessarily brings with it.
  261. 261. The first thing sin does is create a feeling of estrangement between usand God. Whenever a man realizes that he has sinned, he is oppressedwith the feeling that he dare not approach God. When Isaiah receivedhis vision of God, his first reaction was to say: "Woe is me! for I am lost;for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people ofunclean lips" (Isa 6:5). When Peter realized who Jesus was, his firstreaction was: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Lk 5:8).Jesus begins by taking that sense of estrangement away. He came to tellus that no matter what we are like the door is open to the presence ofGod. Suppose there was a son who did some shameful thing and thenran away, because he was sure that there was no use in going home,because the door was bound to be shut. Then suppose someone camewith the news that the door was still open and a welcome was waitingat home. What a difference that news would make! It was just that kindof news that Jesus brought. He came to take away the sense ofestrangement and of guilt, by telling us that God wants us just as weare.(ii) We saw that sin killed the ideals by which men live. Jesus reawakensthe ideal in the heart of man.
  262. 262. The story is told of a negro engineer in a river ferry-boat in America. Hisboat was old and he did not worry over much about it; the engines werebegrimed and ill-cared for. This engineer was soundly converted. Thefirst thing he did was to go back to his ferry-boat and polish his enginesuntil every part of the machinery shone like a mirror. One of the regularpassengers commented on the change. "What have you been up to?" heasked the engineer. "What set you cleaning and polishing these oldengines of yours?" "Sir," answered the engineer, "Ive got a glory." Thatis what Christ does for a man. He gives him a glory.It is told that in the congregation in Edinburgh to which GeorgeMatheson came there was an old woman who lived in a cellar in filthyconditions. After some months of Mathesons ministry, communiontime came round. When the elder called at this old womans cellar withthe cards, he found that she had gone. He tracked her down. He foundher in an attic room. She was very poor and there were no luxuries, butthe attic was as light and airy and clean as the cellar had been dark anddismal and dirty. "I see youve changed your house," he said to her."Ay," she said, "I have. You canna hear George Matheson preach andlive in a cellar." The Christian message had rekindled the ideal.
  263. 263. As the old hymn has it:"Deep in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,Feelings lie buried that grace can restore."The grace of Jesus Christ rekindles the ideals which repeated failing to sin hasextinguished. And by that very rekindling, life is set climbing again.(iii) Greater than anything else, Jesus Christ revives and restores the lost will.We saw that the deadly thing about sin was that it slowly but surely destroyeda mans will and that the indulgence which had begun as a pleasure became anecessity. Jesus recreates the will.That in fact is always what love does. The effect of a great love is always acleansing thing. When a person really and truly falls in love, his love compelshim to goodness. He loves the loved one so much that the love of his sins isbroken.That is what Christ does for us. When we love him, that love recreates andrestores our will towards goodness. As the hymn has it:"He breaks the power of cancelled sin,He sets the prisoner free."—Barclays Daily Study Bible (NT)