Friday, February 22, 2013

Lesson 4 Ephesians 2:1-10~Key to Salvation

Ephesians 2:1-10~Key to Salvation 2-21-12
Dr. Dobson wrote in his book, the Strong Willed Child:  In graduate school I was told a story about a medical student who was required as part of his training to spend a few weeks working in a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, he was given little orientation to the nature of mental illness, and he mistakenly thought he could reason his patients back to a world of reality. One schizophrenic inmate was of particular interest to him, because the man believed himself to be dead.
"Yeah, it's true," the patient would tell anyone who asked. "I'm dead. Been dead for years."
The intern couldn't resist trying to talk the schizophrenic out of his delusion. He sat down with the patient and said, "I understand you think you're dead. Is that right?"
"Sure is," replied the man. "I'm deader than a doornail."
The intern continued, "Well, answer me this: Do dead men bleed?"
"No, of course not," replied the patient, sounding perfectly sane.
The intern then took the patient's hand in his own and stuck a needle into the fleshy part of his thumb. As the blood oozed from the puncture, the patient gasped and exclaimed, "Well, what do you know! Dead men do bleed!"
Dr. Dobson used this illustration to show the irrationality when dealing with teenagers.
A story is told of “Healing House,” a home established for the healing and rehabilitation of prostitutes through the Gospel. One Christmas the women who were living in the home were taking gift baskets of food to those who still lived on the streets.
As the house van pulled in for some gas, a couple policemen looked through the window and recognized some of the women from their former time on the streets.
The policeman exclaimed, “What are you doing here? We thought you were dead!”
He called his partner over and showed him the women saying, "They're alive!" And in truth, they once were dead, dead in their sins. But now they are saved by grace through faith and are now alive in Jesus. Pray
Ephesians 2:1-10 The Key to Salvation
·        Consider your past vv. 1-3
·        Celebrate your present vv. 4-10
·        Rejoice in your future vv. 6,7

1.     Consider your past-
Ephesians 2:
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
Paul tells that we were “dead” in our sin. As I chat with the ladies in the shelter, one lady knew the bible as well as I did. She had been in Christian rehab for six months. Later she was literally picked up off the streets and carried back to spend three more months in rehab. She readily admitted she was an addict and would be until the day she died. Her prayer was for strength each day to stay clean. She recognized that she was dead in her sins.
How many of us would admit we were once dead in our trespasses? How many members of churches across this city refuse to see they are dead? It is easy to look down on some members of society, indeed members of our own family, and see the sin in their life. Matthew 7:1-5
Before Christ came into our lives we were dead in our sins, by our very nature, like the rest of world.
It has been credited that Billy Graham said, “Before you can get a man saved, you got to get Him lost!” Paraphrased by Ann, “Before you can be alive, you have to realize you were dead in sin.”
I searched for a graphic to illustrate sin, (by the way, my eyes are still burning from the result on one search engine.) On Google, you can set options for a safe search. If you have children in the house, you really need to do this. Back on track, I found an image and went to the page to check for copyright restrictions. It led me to a personal blog of a young man, who questions whether the church needs to abandon the word “sin” and find another way to talk about our problems.
His family was discussing a “friend who is very curious about Christianity and Jesus but always gets hung up “on the sin thing.”  You hear all the time that many people love the idea of Jesus, but they hate the church that represents him. Or that Christians are hypocrites because they always talk about sin in the world, sin in people’s lives, etc. while turning a blind eye to their own shortcomings.”
”A personal aside DAVE stated: people hate when you say “hate the sin, love the sinner” and it’s a personal pet peeve to trivialize deeply significant issues with such a trite phrase.
As a word, sin has lost its meaning and theological gravity. In our culture’s vernacular, we talk about chocolate cake being sinfully good. We call one of our favorite getaways Sin City.”
Well, you can imagine I shared much of my teaching in the comments area. Sin is sin-whether it is murder or gossip. But the young man does have a point of in the way we treat the word SIN as insignificant. Referring to the verses on the screen, our response should always reflect the scriptures instead of our personal opinion.
Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Romans 5:12 -Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, (Adam) and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
1 John 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Everyone who believes in Jesus as LORD can be saved by grace through faith.
2.     Celebrate your present
God formulated a plan to resolve this issue of Sin from the beginning of creation. When Moses was given the Ten Commandments, it was no surprise that the people of Israel could not keep the law.
Our Holy God by His very nature cannot look upon sin. The penalty for sin is death and the debt must be paid. A ritual of sacrifices was prescribed to “compensate” for man’s sin.
Hebrews 9:22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
BUT GOD made a way.
Have you been saved by grace through faith and are now alive in Jesus?
Celebrate your present-You are redeemed
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
Romans 3: 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

Propitiation has away been a hard word for me to explain. Josh McDowell does it well in a set of clips on YouTube. The word means “God’s wrath appeased.”
Propitiation Understood— the removal of our guilt and sin, our forgiveness granted by the shedding of Jesus blood on the cross once and for all, thereby satisfying our holy God’s wrath.
SLIDE 13 Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. PAID IN FULL by Jesus precious blood.
Our Commentary states “an attitude of self-righteousness shuts the door in the face of free grace.” Pride is probably a Christian’s biggest sin, one that God hates. We can ever stack up enough good works to buy our way to heaven. We must receive it as a free gift, but remember … cost Jesus everything.
Please read with me ladies, John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Grace is not a process. Paul says you have been saved, not you will be saved. Your salvation is fully completed and totally paid for at Calvary.
We are not saved by our works, but we are saved to do good words.  Our sanctification, setting apart for service to God, is a process that will continue until we see Jesus.  If we claim to be Christians, bearing His name, we should look like Jesus to the World.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Jefferson Bethke a bold young man who publicly professes Jesus to all the world wrote.  “Jesus isn’t after people “accepting Him into their hearts” He is after people boldly giving up all they have and following Him by faith, death, and suffering.
Nothing makes me tremble more at night then knowing there are millions of people (most likely in churches) who don’t know Jesus at all, and are being led to hell under the pretense that they are “good to go” because they prayed a prayer. In fact the main reason they stay distant from Jesus is that they think they’ve already “taken care of that.”
The truth is, if a boulder dropped on top of you, you’d look different after the fact. Why is it then that supposedly when the most glorious, holy, amazing, and beautiful infinite God of the universe “drops” on us we don’t look any different? You are saved by grace, but real grace changes you.”
Let’s glorify His name in our everyday lives: at home, in the grocery store, to strangers we meet.
We are saved by grace through faith and can share Jesus with the world.
 3-Rejoice in your future
Ephesians 2: 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ladies, we don’t have to wait to enjoy the immeasurable riches.
Day Three questioned: What purpose does God have in mind for your future?
John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. To the full
Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
GRACE unmerited favor; great riches at Christ's expense. It is a gift. You can't buy it, you can't work for it, you can't even lose it. Will you accept this wonderful treasure that God has reserved for His children?
Close you eyes now. Open your hands, palms up and accept the gift He is offering to you freely given, but at great cost to Jesus Christ, our redeemer , our Savior, our co-heir of all the riches available to you now! Joy, peace, love, grace, and unbounded mercy.
Will you choose to live the life that God has planned for you- the life Jesus purchased for you with His life's blood?
Sing with me, eyes still closed, hands still open. Chorus of I surrender all. Pray