May 15, 2016
Chapter 2, Part 1
Being Made Alive in Christ
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
We don’t have the luxury of not being affected by Jesus' sacrifice, because before him we were dead. The gospel is not a message of good to great. Jesus didn't die because you were rough around the edges or you didn't live to your full potential. Jesus died because you were dead in your sin, and he wanted to bring you life.
Also, Satan is working to pull you into disobedience. John 12:31 and 14:30 call him the “prince of this world." Satan is not all powerful, he’s not omnipotent or omniscient, but he’s not an idiot either. At one point, Satan talked you into willingly being dead in sin.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Then he has a new thought that he finished this section with:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Salvation comes from God’s grace. Through our faith in that sacrifice, we are saved. This verse reminds us that this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
People can easily clump these two ideas together to try and make it mean one of two incorrect things:
1. Salvation is through our works, because Christ created us to do good works (meaning we need to earn our salvation).
2. Because salvation is solely through grace, we don't need to do good works after salvation (meaning salvation is a get out of Hell free card and you don't need to DO anything).
Both are very wrong
The truth is, we are saved through His grace, which compels us to do good works ourselves.
It is absolutely crazy that we look at His sacrifice for us, and then ask him the question, how close can I get to sin before it becomes sin? Or, what I think is even more ridiculous than that is when God tells us to do something and we don’t follow him because we would call that “legalism.”
Legalism: Following the direction of God to make yourself look holy or to earn the love of God.
Obedience: Following the direction of God to serve Him, because he is worthy of that service.
Obedience is not legalism... With the right heart, it's working out our salvation.
Here’s the heart behind obedience: Just because you cant pay the price doesnt mean you don’t live like you owe him everything. Even if we will never fully pay it back, we can live like we owe Him our lives.
We were once DEAD in our transgressions now we are ALIVE through his grace and mercy. The least we can do is be obedient, and give him everything we have!
-I will start living like I’m no longer dead, but alive!
-I will confess my sin to a trusted friend or life group leader this week and will start being obedient to God.
-I will read through Ephesians once this week.
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Indianapolis, IN 46222
2120 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222