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Ephesians– overview of 2:7-10; Saved with an end in mind, part 2.

EPHESIANS-1-1905030
length: 66:32 - taught on May, 30 2019
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Class Outline:

Thursday May 30, 2019

 

EPH 2:7-10 - Saved with an end in mind.

 

There is an enormous, yawning chasm between man’s idea of what he can achieve and the infinitely precious achievement that God has offered mankind. What human beings, independent of God, have been trying to achieve throughout their history is inadequate to the point of being farcical. What God achieved through love is of infinite value.

 

Over this chasm there lays, as it were, a cable-bridge, frail, swaying, but passable. It’s not that God has made it hard to pass, in fact He has made it simple. The hard part for man is leaving behind the side he treads upon.

 

“This bridge, this reconciliation between the black despair of lying bound and gagged in the tiny dungeon of the ego, and soaring upwards into the white radiance of God’s universal love - this bridge is the Incarnation, whose truth expresses that of the desperate need it meets. Because of our physical hunger we know there is bread; because of our spiritual hunger we know there is a Christ.” [Muggeridge]

 

EPH 2:7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

Jesus didn’t come into the world to make bad people good, but to make dead people live.

 

If Jesus had preached a greater obedience to the Law of Moses, with true devotion, and not only outward behavior, it would have been the “greater righteousness” the people in Israel would have cheered for. It would not have guaranteed that they would do it, but it is what everyone knew that they should have. But Jesus lost this chance when He said, “Don’t do your righteousness to be seen by men.”

 

He also said, “Let your light shine before men,” How do these reconcile?

 

MAT 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

 

MAT 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 

 

MAT 5:15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.   

 

MAT 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

 

MAT 6:16 "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

 

MAT 6:17 "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face  

 

MAT 6:18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 

 

If we let our light shine, it is obvious that we want others to see it. If we are careful not to perform our righteousness to be seen by men, then who are we hiding it from? Ourselves.

 

We are not calculating the doing of our righteousness for a particular day. We are being righteous because we are righteous men. If I am an adult, I will act like an adult. I don’t plan adult things and activities throughout my day in order to show that I am adult. I’m not a child pretending. I’m a new man in Christ.

 

It is important that we grab hold of this in order to avoid a wasted and pointless life. Human beings, as Pascal points out, are peculiar in that they avidly pursue ends they know will bring them no satisfaction; gorge themselves with food which cannot nourish and with pleasures that cannot please.

 

God has given us an earthly life of great production of His kind and crop. His enemies scream at us that it is dull, a waste of time, and not happiness. We must fight and thirst to live it.

 

EPH 2:7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

Paul sees every age after his own as marveling at the surpassing riches of the grace of God; throughout the church and onto the coming dispensations.

 

EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

We recognize the Paul of Romans and Galatians, the dialect and accent of the apostle of salvation by faith. But scarcely anywhere do we find this wonder-working grace so affluently described.

 

Salvation cannot be a result of works when it is described as mercy, love, kindness, grace, and as being a gift granted through the vehicle of our faith.

 

Last time we saw that the holiness and power of God brings terror to fallen man, as it did to Israel at Sinai. Yet then God tells them, and through them, all mankind that He is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy and truth, keeping mercy for thousands.

 

Man has been delivered from sin and so will be made alive through Christ if they believe upon Him, but for those who refuse to believe, the wrath of God must abide upon them.

 

ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

 

ROM 5:10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

 

ROM 5:11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

 

Wrath comes upon sin, and God, in His infinite love, decided to pour that wrath out upon His Son. That act freed the mercy of God to express itself as He desired, justice satisfied. But for those who reject the gospel, wrath and judgment must come upon them as they have consciously chosen it.

 

The Lake of Fire is God’s hated of sin. He is as rich in mercy as He is terrible in wrath, and He supplied the way of escape for all men.

 

Grace and kindness are love’s executive. Grace is love in administration. To the confused Nicodemus, Jesus said that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Love counteracts sin and seeks our salvation.

 

Christ is the embodiment of grace and the cross its supreme expression and it fuels the gospel to mankind, and Paul himself is the trophy of God’s grace, the once church-killing Pharisee.

 

Paul sees future generations gazing with wonder at the grace of God.

 

ROM 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

 

ROM 5:21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

[back to]

EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

Grace is at the head of the sentence and so it is emphasized.

 

We sinners are a proud race, and our pride is oftentimes the worst of our sins. Therefore, God humbles us by His compassion. He makes to us a free gift of His righteousness, and excludes every contribution from our store of merit; for if we could supply anything, we should inevitably boast as though all were our own. We must be content to receive mercy, love, grace, kindness - everything, without deserving the least fraction of the immense sum. How it strips our vanity; how it crushes us to the dust with the weight of pardoning love.

 

“you have been saved” - perfect passive of sozo. Here is Paul’s doctrine of assurance.

 

It is a repetition of our Lord’s doctrine of assurance when He said, “He who believes on the Son of God has eternal life.”

 

Eternal security has given stability to the church like nothing else can. Believers have known they are saved.

 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

 

With his foundation secure, the house of life in the believer’s soul can be steadily built up. There are no fears or worries about the foundation.

 

Without eternal security, every believer would have quit on the plan of God at some point. Either they quit or they water down the requirements of holiness. With a firm foundation, the believer is not afraid to seek the perfection that He is called to. And God will not help us on any other path than the path of perfection.

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