But God


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"But God" Ephesians 1:22-23-2:1-10, Based on an outline by Steve Higginbotham

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But God

  1. 1. But GodEphesians 1:22-23-2:1-10 <br />Based on an outline by<br />Steve Higginbotham<br />http://preachinghelp.org/sermons/But%20God.pdf<br />
  2. 2. Paul begins writing to the Christians in Ephesus by reminding them of the great things God The Father had done for them through Jesus, <br />The Christ, <br />God The Son.<br />Christ is Over All<br />
  3. 3. In the last couple verses of the first chapter of his letter he reaches a pinnacle and writes: And God put all things under Christ&apos;s feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22- 23 NET<br />
  4. 4. Reflect on Former Corruption<br />Now the letter’s tone changes as Paul reminds Christians of the terrible shape people are in before they allowed God to do great things through Christ.<br />
  5. 5. Ephesians 2:1 NETAnd although you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you formerly lived according to this world&apos;s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, 3among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…<br />
  6. 6. As they were corrupt in their nature, and sinful in their practice, they could possess no merit, nor have any claim upon God. (Clarke)<br />Before accepting God’s Gift of Grace through Jesus people are in terrible shape! They are essentially walking dead people! This means when death overtakes the physical body without their acknowledging Jesus as God’s Christ they will be headed for the second death…HELL!<br />
  7. 7. But God Is Rich In Mercy<br />4But God,(here we get our lesson’s title)being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, <br />On the use of the word “rich” by Paul, it is a beautiful expression. “Godis ‘rich’ in mercy;” overflowing, abundant. Mercy is the riches or the wealth of God. <br />
  8. 8. People are often rich in gold, and silver, and diamonds, and they pride themselves in these possessions; but God is “rich in mercy.” In that he abounds and he is so rich in it that he is willing to impart it to others; so rich that he can make all blessed.<br />
  9. 9. “because of his great love with which he loved us” That is, his great love was the reason why he had compassion upon us. It is not that we had any claim or deserved his favor; but it is, that God had for man original and eternal love, and that love led to the gift of a Savior, and to the bestowment of salvation. (Barnes)<br />
  10. 10. His Saving Grace Makes Us Alive Together With Christ<br />5even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you are saved! — dead in transgressions<br />&quot;This describes the existing state from which we were made <br />alive with Christ.&quot;<br />
  11. 11. The same thought is in <br />Romans 5:10 NETFor if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?<br />In this Paul referred to salvation from past sins and induction into the kingdom of Christ. The apostle Peter mentioned this as salvation from one&apos;s &quot;past sins.&quot; <br />
  12. 12. 2 Peter 1:9 NETBut concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.<br />As Lipscomb said: We are already saved from our past sins, but we must continue faithful to the end; for the Saviour says, Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself.<br />Revelation 2:10dNET<br />
  13. 13. Paul&apos;s reference to salvation in the past perfect tense as something done and accomplished already has no reference to final destiny but to the primary obedience that makes a true child of God. (Coffman)<br />
  14. 14. 6and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, <br />Paul was speaking of obeying the gospel in the preceding verse, of being saved from “past sins,” of becoming a part of Christ, being made “alive…with Christ,” etc.<br />
  15. 15. In that light, this clause is a plain categorical reference to Christian baptism, the same being the means by which God makes the penitent believer to be &quot;in Christ.&quot; <br />How astounding are the comments which would make &quot;raised up with&quot; Christ in this place to mean: &quot;the resurrection of believers at the last day,&quot; &quot;a spiritual transformation,&quot; <br />
  16. 16. &quot;believers are viewed (here) as already seated there (in heaven) with Christ,&quot; &quot;in spirit already, and ere long our bodies too will be raised&quot; - but the true meaning is given by Paul himself thus: Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.Romans 6:4 NET<br />
  17. 17. Colossians 2:12 NETHaving been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead. 13And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions.<br />
  18. 18. The full meaning of this verse is that Christians who have been baptized into Christ, therein being &quot;made alive together with Christ&quot; and being &quot;raised up with him,&quot; are partakers of the full rights and privileges of the heavenly kingdom. People have removed baptism from their own theology, but they have not removed it from that of Paul. (Coffman)<br />
  19. 19. 7to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. <br />The apostle Paul did not anticipate the end of the world in a few days, or a few weeks, or in his lifetime, but on the other hand considered that God&apos;s grace would be available in the salvation of sinful men for <br />&quot;ages to come.&quot;<br />
  20. 20. This is only one of a very great many such texts and intimations in the New Testament which demonstrate the perverse error, both of those who charge all of the sacred writers with expecting the Second Coming any minute and those who refer this to &quot;the ages that will follow Christ&apos;s Parousia.” (Greek, Second Coming)<br />
  21. 21. surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness The marvelous tenderness and consideration of God for his erring human children must ever inspire with admiration, wonder and awe the soul that becomes conscious of the fullness and glory of such wonderful love. <br />
  22. 22. in Christ Jesus Like a constant drumbeat, this Pauline concept is hammered into every line of his writings. The love, the goodness, the hope, the forgiveness, the joy, the salvation - everything is in Christ. (Coffman)<br />
  23. 23. Salvation Through Faith<br />8For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; For by grace are ye saved through faith. Lest they might forget the doctrine that he ever preached, he reminds them that works of the law never saved them; that they were saved by God&apos;s grace shown in the gospel; that this salvation was obtained through the faith.<br />
  24. 24. The definite article is found before faith in the Greek, showing that the faith, or the gospel, is meant. <br />It is the gift of God. The salvation is not due to ourselves, but is God&apos;s gift. The grammatical construction of the Greek does not allow us to make &quot;faith&quot; the subject of the last clause. It is not &quot;faith,&quot; but salvation through the faith, which is the gift of God. So says John Wesley in his Notes: &quot;This refers to the previous clause, That you are saved, etc.&quot; (PNT)<br />
  25. 25. Christian Works are Vital<br />9it is not from works, so that no one can boast. This refers to works of the Law of Moses, to nothing else; and the expression itself had become a kind of proverb in Paul&apos;s writings during those long years of his struggles against Judaizing teachers. It is simply outrageous that a scholar will ignore this and apply this verse (9) to mean that &quot;God rejects every work of man.&quot;<br />
  26. 26. Paul never taught anything like that. He said continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence,Philippians 2:12d NET<br />He also praised the Thessalonians for their &quot; work of faith &quot; <br />1 Thessalonians 1:3 NETbecause we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.<br />
  27. 27. If God rejects &quot;every work of man,&quot; Paul never heard of it! Alfred Barry caught the true meaning here perfectly, thus: In this verse we have the echo of the past Judaizing controversy; it sums up briefly the whole argument of keeping the law vs. faith. Romans 3:27 NETWhere, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith!<br />to Romans 4:25 NETHe was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.<br />
  28. 28. Much of this instruction of works versus faith is spent taking about Abraham. A key verse is: Romans 4:3 NETFor what does the scripture say? &quot;Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.&quot;This is a quote of Genesis 15:6 NETAbram believed the LORD, and the LORD considered his response of faith as proof of genuine loyalty.<br />
  29. 29. Paul goes on to make an important point. Romans 4:9 NETIs this blessedness then for the circumcision or also for the uncircumcision? For we say, &quot;faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.&quot; 10How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised!<br />
  30. 30. I believe this & following verses point out exactly what Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia. Galatians 3:6 NETJust as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, 7so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham.<br />There you have it! You do not have to be of Hebrew decent to be a child of Abraham. The Law of Moses had no effect on Abraham. He lived & died far before Moses ever drew a breath. <br />It was his belief & faith in God!<br />
  31. 31. There is another reminiscence, but more distinct and detached in Philippians 3:2 NETBeware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials 4— though mine too are significant.<br />
  32. 32. If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 5I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 6In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless.<br />
  33. 33. 7But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. 8More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things — indeed, I regard them as dung!<br />
  34. 34. — that I may gain Christ, 9and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ&apos;s faithfulness — a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ&apos;s faithfulness.(Coffman) <br />Paul himself states flat out he couldn’t rely on his keeping the Law. He knew the only thing he could rely on was Christ’s love & faithfulness.<br />
  35. 35. He Has Given Us Purpose<br />10For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.<br />So far is this salvation from being our own work, or granted for our own works’ sake, that we are ourselves not only the creatures of God, but our new creation was produced by his power; for we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works.<br />
  36. 36. He has saved us that we may show forth the virtues of Him who called us from darkness into his marvelous light. For though we are not saved for our good works, yet we are saved that we may perform good works, to the glory of God and the benefit of man. (Clarke)<br />
  37. 37. One who is a Christian works under the same imperative compulsion as that which rested upon the Christ who said, We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me as long as it is daytime. Night is coming when no one can work.John 9:4 NET<br />Any theory which divorces the works a Christian must do from having any connection with his salvation is a false theory.<br />
  38. 38. It is true, to be sure, that even the good works of Christians are in no sense adequate grounds of God&apos;s justification lavished upon them in Christ; but they are conditions antecedent to eternal life, which may indeed, for cause, be waived by the Father in love, but which may not, under any circumstances, be rejected with impunity by arrogant man who simply decide they will do it <br />&quot;by faith alone.&quot;<br />
  39. 39. Most of the commentators who advocate the &quot;faith only&quot; heresy are very broadminded (!) in dealing with this verse. They say: &quot;The essential quality of the new life is good works.&quot; &quot;If we are not living a life of good works, we have no reason to believe that we have been saved by grace.&quot; &quot;Paul reminds us that works have a place in God&apos;s salvation.&quot; Etc., etc. Well, what is that place? <br />Paul spelled it out, thus: <br />
  40. 40. Romans 2:6 NETHe will rewardeach one according to his works: (Psa 62:12; Pro 24:12; Mat 16:27)7eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 8 but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness. 9There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. <br />
  41. 41. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NETFor we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil. (Coffman)<br />10cGod prepared beforehand so that we may do them<br />Before the devil began to control our walk in sin and among sinful people, God had already planned good works for us to do. (NET notes)<br />
  42. 42. Judged According To Our Works<br />1 Peter 1:14 NETLike obedient children, do not comply with the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance, 15 but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, 16 for it is written, &quot;You shall be holy, because I am holy.” (Lev 19:2) <br />
  43. 43. Like obedient children&quot;Despite its emphasis on Christian freedom, obedience is one of the cardinal virtues of the New Testament.&quot; Here is another metaphor. Obedience is represented as the mother of Christians. <br />
  44. 44. do not comply with the evil urges A noble principle is in view here. Through the practice of wickedness, people fashion themselves in the likeness of the sins they commit; and thus they become &quot;sons of disobedience&quot; <br />(Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6), the very opposite of what Peter required for Christians here. <br />
  45. 45. you used to follow in your ignorance, The very nature of the Christ-less life is that it is controlled by lust, grounded in ignorance, and destined to end in futility. <br />15but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, Hunter properly discerned that the requirement here is about the same as that of Matt. 5:48, namely, perfection.<br />
  46. 46. Isaiah referred to the Father as &quot;the Holy One of Israel&quot; (Isaiah 30:15); and the great premise here is that children of such a God must themselves be holy &quot;in all manner of living.&quot; The writer of Hebrews likewise admonished to &quot;Follow ... holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.&quot; (Hebrews 12:14)<br />
  47. 47. 17And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one&apos;s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence. 18You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed — not by perishable things like silver or gold, 19but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ.<br />
  48. 48. if you address as Father This does not imply any doubt of their calling upon the Father, being like Jesus&apos; words, “If I go and prepare a place for you, etc.” (John 14:3) Peter&apos;s familiarity with Jesus&apos; instructions with reference to God as Father is reflected in this; but his admonition seems to be that, Although you familiarly address God as Father, do not overlook the fact that he is also the Judge of every man: “one who impartially judges according to each one&apos;s work.” <br />
  49. 49. judges according to each one&apos;s work This teaching is not peculiar to Peter; Paul declared that &quot;God will render to every man according to his works.&quot; (Romans 2:6) The notion that being under the grace of God, and being saved by grace through faith, nullifies Scriptures such as these is extremely erroneous. <br />
  50. 50. live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence...Another strand of the epistle&apos;s thought surfaces again here, as in 1 Peter 1:1. Some have alleged a contradiction between this and John&apos;s words, &quot;Perfect love casteth out fear;&quot; (1 John 4:18) but, as Caffin pointed out: The fear which both Peter and Paul (Philippians 2:12) commended is holy fear, the fear of a son for a loving father, the fear of displeasing God before whom we walk, the very God who gave his blessed Son to die for us, and will judge us at the last. <br />
  51. 51. your empty way of life... Inherent in all redemption is the state from which we are redeemed, namely, a state of sin. Peter here notes that the Christians were redeemed from “your empty way of life”; and this is in every way consonant with what the angel said to Joseph, speaking of Christ, “It is he that shall save his people from their sins.” The vanity, futility, lustfulness and ignorance of the Christless life are pointedly stressed in this chapter. <br />
  52. 52. inherited from your ancestors... Ah, here is the secret of most of the error on earth. &quot;In general, the strongest argument for false religions, as well as for errors in the true, is that men have received them from their fathers.&quot; <br />you were ransomed... This is one of the great ransom passages of the New Testament, along with Mark 10:45; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Tim. 2:5, Rev. 1:5, and many others.<br />
  53. 53. not by perishable things like silver or gold... These are some of the corruptible things cited as examples; nothing of earthly value or merit made up the purchase price of Christians, but only the blood of Christ. <br />Again, Peter appropriates the corresponding Old Testament figure in describing the glorious redemption of the Christians.<br />
  54. 54. As Polkinghorne said: The Passover lamb (Exodus), as the sacrifice whereby Israel was delivered from bondage and separated to the Lord, is richly significant in context, as is also the lamb ofIsaiah 53, the passage so largely quoted in1 Peter 2:22-25.<br />
  55. 55. but by precious blood... This passage, with the preceding verse, sets forth Christ as the paschal lamb for Christians and describes the nature of the ransom price. Christ&apos;s purpose of redeeming people was the great motivation of coming into the world. (Coffman)<br />
  56. 56. To dwell further on this idea of works being of utmost importance in our walk with Christ I’m drawn to the root reason we have the Scriptures, God’s Word, in our hand today.<br />2 Timothy 3:16 NET Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.<br />
  57. 57. The study of the Scriptures trains a man in righteousness until he is equipped for every good work. Here is the essential conclusion. The study of the Scriptures must never be selfish, never simply for the good of a man&apos;s own soul. Any conversion which makes a man think of nothing but the fact that he has been saved is no true conversion. He must study the Scriptures to make himself useful to God and to his fellow-men. No man is saved unless he is on fire to save his fellow-men. <br />-Barclay&apos;s Daily Study Bible (NT)<br />
  58. 58. Revelation 20:12 NETAnd I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened — the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds.<br />
  59. 59. All of the sacred writers make it clear that people shall be judged according to their works. Modern theology is very uncomfortable in the light of this truth; but the record of every person&apos;s deeds will surely enter into the judgment which he shall receive. <br />(Alexander Campbell)<br />
  60. 60. Christ is Over All<br />Reflect on former Corruption<br />But God Is Rich In Mercy<br />His Saving Grace Makes Us Alive Together With Christ<br />Salvation Through Faith<br />Christian Works are Vital<br />He Has Given Us Purpose<br />Judged According To Our Works<br />Recap Today’s Lesson<br />
  61. 61. God has done great things through His Son Jesus. Before accepting Jesus’ offer of redemption we are corrupt, walking dead people. BUT GOD loved us so much His Rich Mercy is shown in His Grace, making us Alive Together With Christ. We could do nothing on our own to enter into His Grace. But, through faithful obedience we gain salvation.<br />
  62. 62. It is then we have the resources & expectation to do Good Works that God had previously prepared for us to do. This is His purpose for us. When Jesus returns and we’re before the judgment seat He will review our works and judgment will be declared.<br />
  63. 63. How are we doing? <br />Are we producing <br />Good Works? <br />If Judgment Day is tomorrow what will our record show?<br />