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Ephesians– overview of 2:7-10; Saved with an end in mind, part 6. 2:11-13 The near and the far.

EPHESIANS-1-190606
length: 60:40 - taught on Jun, 6 2019
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Class Outline:

Thursday June 6, 2019

 

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

 

“You are saved!” cries the apostle; not forgetting that his readers have their battle to fight, and many hazards yet to run.

 

The objective truth Paul presents is that we are saved, raised, and seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This is also unfolded in the sister epistle to this one.

 

COL 3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

 

COL 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

 

COL 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

 

COL 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

 

In Col 3 we are invited to seek the life we have been raised to.

 

It is significant that this is written. If we have to seek it then the function of it is not automatic. Our life hidden with Christ in God, which doesn’t mean it’s hidden from us but that it is hidden from the world being in Him, will not be fully discovered without making the self-determinate choice to pursue it. And, it is not as if God is making us work for it or is hiding it, but rather it is clear that if we didn’t pursue it then it is not dear to us. And if the life of Christ isn’t dear to us then we know nothing about it.  

 

We live in two worlds at once. In our hearts is heaven and everything we love is there; our treasure is there, our Lord is there, our hope is there. We love our loved ones here on earth, but it is heaven within them that we ultimately love. We love all men because the love of God is in us, and their salvation is the goal of that love. Love gives and sacrifices. We love God’s creation, but we do not love the corruption that has descended upon man and the earth, “according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (EPH 2:2)

 

Our physical lives are on earth, but our Lord is in us and with us and will never leave us. He will see us to the end, accomplishing whatever it is that the Father desires, and then He will safely see us home.

 

So, should we create a commune and all get behind its walls and talk scripture to one another until the Rapture? Our lives are eternal, our home heaven, our Master in heaven, yet we are not to isolate ourselves from the world. We have work to do in the world. Our Father’s work.

 

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.

 

We don’t always understand how the work God has given us to do will impact the world or the people in it. Faith is again the battle cry. We follow the Lord, follow His commands, and we see where He leads us, who He puts in our path, and into what circumstances He drops us. If you are a clear thinker, you realize that you have determined almost nothing in your life, if anything at all. God orchestrates as a perfect maestro the details of your life, without violating your choice, and doing all for His ultimate pleasure and your ultimate good. It’s not so much “Let go and let God” as it is: “Let go of your own self-will. You can’t determine anything anyway. Let God lead you, but not passively as blind and unknowing, but as wise and intelligent in His will and mystery, willfully walking the path He has revealed to you.”

 

And in verse ten, Paul brings us from heaven to earth for the doing of that will that God the Father has determined for each of us.

 

The heavenly life has its goal in earthly works of God.

 

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.

 

This is truly the end goal of our salvation during our lives on earth - that we do His will. No one loses their salvation, that is our foundation, and as new creatures, as sons, we perform the righteous works that God has prepared for us.

 

Man’s doings must be the fruit and not the root of his salvation. Work must be God’s work and not our own idea of it. These good works are sought in God’s way and order.

 

Not “of works” but “for works” were believers chosen.

 

Some Christians seek excuses and self-justifying causes for laziness, idleness, and sinfulness, even to the extent of ignorantly claiming grace as their rightful cause. It is grace that maintains us as sons, redeemed and forgiven, no matter what we do, but that is no cause to justify disobedience. All believers must accept disobedience for what it is, and it should grieve every one of them. We know that grief over disobedience does not purchase or earn anything from God. It is only a manifestation of our love for His will. Yet in our grief or sorrow, grace remains, surrounding us so as to prove that we are not condemned nor judged, and that we can, without back payment, determine to walk in the warm light of God’s truth, righteousness, and goodness.

 

God has not raised us up to sit idly in the heavenly places lost in contemplation, or to be the useless pensioners of grace. He sends us forth, as His redeemed sons to do His work.

 

MAT 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, 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 do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, 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.

 

To cast the church from the earth is to destroy its only light and its very life.

 

We must be heavenly minded, but we must not only think of heaven while neglecting our earthy tasks. Bound to Jesus, He then bids us to look to the earth as its salt and light.

 

It might seem right to isolate ourselves from the world, and to some who claim to be Christians, Christianity is isolation. But our light cannot shine under a basket.

 

And a few words about motivation. We are motivated to follow God’s will because of our love for Him as well as our understanding that it is our only life, and that it is THE only life. However, that doesn’t mean that we will always desire to do His will. If we conclude that it is only okay to do God’s will when we feel we are properly motivated, we will become even more disobedient. Paul said that he buffeted his body. Why did he have to do that? Does a person have to beat down his bodily instincts because he is fully motivated and energetic to do God’s will alone? No. Paul didn’t “feel” like doing certain things, but he told his body, “We’re doing them anyway, and you can kick and scream the whole way if you want, but this is getting done.” There’s something else in that besides motivation, something that overrules motivation, and that is discipline.

 

Discipline to do God’s will no matter how we feel, or how much we lack motivation is the fruit of self-control.

 

So often, we will not find a good motivation for certain ways in our lives until after we witness the fruit that results from forcing ourselves to do God’s will in those ways with consistency.

 

If you don’t feel Christlike or virtuous, it’s better to pretend that you do and do what is necessary for goodness than to sin against God with the usual self-justifying excuses. And by the way, you’re never actually pretending, since God made your position to be in Christ, you are in His image, and will be so in heaven. Perhaps we might see our pretending to be like Christ as telling our rebellious minds and flesh that they are going to act like Him whether they like it or agree with it or not.

 

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