This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on the September 20th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here
What do we understand about being saved? We think we chose Jesus, then we realise he chose us.
Ephesians 2 highlights 6 aspects of salvation that Paul outlines. Ephesians 1 shows us how God planned our salvation in eternity past.
1. We were saved FROM SIN:
Q. What was our condition before being saved?
a) Dead in our sins: We were sinners, dead in our sins. We were saved from our sins. The Bible does not sugar coat it. What do you do for someone who is dead? As a follower of Jesus, this is your past. If you are not a follower of Jesus, this is your present condition. The main problem is that we try to solve it with education, finance, etc.
What do we mean by dead? It means spiritually dead. Ephesians 4:18 explains this- “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts”. They cannot or are unable to respond to the things of God. It is not that a corpse does not, but it cannot respond to any stimuli.
b) We are hostile to the things of God. Romans 8:7- “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so”. So we were not neutral.
In Matthew 8:22 Jesus uses this term as well- “let the dead bury their dead”. We are dead, not because of sin. It is because we are dead that we sin. Romans 3:23 says- “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Sin means missing the mark. It’s not that we do bad things, but that we are incapable of living upto God’s standards.
Salvation is saving us from this condition.
Q. What about the kind, generous people in the world?
In Luke 6:33 Jesus acknowledge that even sinners do good. In Luke 11:13 says “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children...” Fathers who give good gifts can also be evil.
Apart from Jesus, we are dead- we are sinners and evil because we miss the mark of God’s standard.
c) World systems opposing God: Not only were we hostile to God, but there is a whole world system ruled by the prince of the air, which is contrary to God. 1 John 2:15 says, do not love the world. In the world system, there are 3 things:
i. Humanism: Man is the highest and decides what’s right and wrong.
ii. Materialism: today we are spoilt for choice and are easily dissatisfied with what we have.
iii. Sex: everything is sold using sex.
2. We were saved from sin, BY LOVE:
Ephesians 2:4- But God, because of his great love...
Salvation is based on love. God did not save us because of anything in us or anything we have done. It’s just his love and we need to value that. There is a difference between grace and mercy. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Love and grace is getting something even though we don’t deserve it. That is God’s love. He adopts us into his family, makes us co-heirs and gives us everything.
3. We were saved from sin, by love, INTO LIFE:
Ephesians 2:5- ...made us alive in Christ.
This is what has happened to us. We were hostile but God poured out of his life into ours and spiritual life has come into us.
Q. What does it mean that we have spiritual life?
i. We are sensitive to God
ii. We are able to understand the Word.
iii. We long to be with our brothers and sisters.
4. We were saved from sin, by love, into life, WITH PURPOSE:
Ephesians 2:6 says “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”.
God did not just make us alive, but seated us in the heavenly realms, so that in the coming age he might show us the riches of his grace and kindness towards us for all eternity. We often have a wrong view of God- as a strict headmaster. When we do something wrong, we don’t look forward to facing God, but he chose us so that he can show us kindness. He wants to express his kindness to us. Let’s then change our view of God. We were not saved just to get us out of hell but because he wants to show us his kindness.
5. We were saved from sin, by love, into life, with purpose, THROUGH FAITH:
Ephesians 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith”.
The way to enter into these great purposes of God is by faith in Jesus. All we can do us believe. Romans 10: 9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.
6. We were saved from sin, by love, into life, with purpose, through faith, TO DO GOOD WORKS which God prepared in advance:
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
This spiritually dead person has been saved so that you may do good works. In John 15:8 Jesus says bear much fruit showing yourself to be my disciples. Sin was missing the mark, but bearing fruit glorifies Jesus. Now we live for his glory. We do this by bearing fruit.
In this verse “workmanship” means masterpiece- no two are alike. You are God’s masterpiece and you have a purpose i.e. to do good works. This is one goal of your salvation.
Q. What are these good works?
a) Make disciples- Matthew 28:18-20. This involves evangelism and training.
b) Matthew 25:35 highlights a number of these good works- are we a people who do this- hospitality, praying, visiting the sick, etc. When you do this, God is glorified.
How are we living this morning? Are we living to bear much fruit for Jesus? Are we joined together in community, in serving each other, etc.?
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.