Monday, July 04, 2011


Ephesians Sermons

This is an old series of sermons I preached at the Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle.

I put them here as a sample of outlines I have found useful in sharing Christ and developing a church spiritually.

Ephesians 1:7 Meeting This Generation With The Relevant Gospel

At the close of the 20th century, the church faces the challenge of evangelizing a generation of people who harbor no guilt in wanting something for nothing -- and they want it now. The post-baby boomers, or "Generation X" as they are called, are looking for meaningful relationships denied to them, at least in part, as children of massive divorce. They're homesick for a home they've never had.

Three is a way of thinking that says… everything can be evaluated and measured and quantified. This is called Modernism. It leads to a way of thinking that says there are perimeters and there is knowledge and something is basically right or wrong. The evaluation of what is right and wrong is is in the hands of the expert in whatever field is being discussed.

There is a newer way of thinking that takes in the concepts of the New Age movement. It says truth is soooo out there soooo big so many faceted that no one could say something is right or wrong. Truth is what is true for you or I. Truth is something experienced rather than thought about with the mind. This has led to a way of thinking too. This way of thinking says “Well all that’s important is existing. This is called Postmodernism.

But the postmodern culture in which all truth is relative holds Christianity -- now a minority group -- in contempt. In that respect Our world is much more like the first century than it is the 1800s.

This post modern culture or way of thinking corresponds to the what has been called Generation X.

Isn’t it amazing how we can have so many names for generations? I think the originator of the idea of labelling generations was the advertising director for a soft drink company who spoke of “the Pepsi Generation.”

Listen to how one study describes the differences between the current 20’s generation, and the previous generation.

They have as many names as their Generation X "elders," generally defined as the 44.6 million Americans born between 1965 and 1976. And while they mirror Xers in some ways, Americans born in the last two decades are different in others:

-- Unlike many Xers neglected or abused during the chaotic '60s and '70s, Gen Y as a group is more wanted, cherished and protected -- sometimes overprotected -- by its parents. But they fear drugs, crime, being shot at their school bus stop.

-- Millennials know technology. Personal computers are their pencil and paper. Nearly 60 percent of households with children age 7 or under have PCs. Any year now, typical term papers will feature PC-based, full-motion video. Gen Ys talk to people all over the world on the Internet, bringing many cultures home.

-- Raised and schooled among varied races and cultures, Millennials are shedding old racial prejudices and stereotypes. They expect to see a nonwhite U.S. president elected in their lifetime.

-- Nine out of 10 college freshmen have specific goals for the next five years. Three out of four have done volunteer work in the last year. Two out of three say a career helping others is more important than making lots of money.

-- Millennials trust older people more than Xers and boomers did as teens. People they admire most: Mom and Dad, in that order. Least: Xers. Most admired virtues: honesty and integrity. They're "good scouts," says social historian Frank Gregorsky. "Teenagers aren't as angry as they used to be, and the generation right behind them shows much less hostility and nihilism."

-- One study describes Gen Y as "spontaneous, realistic, action-oriented, alternative, responsive, aggressive, humorous, spirited, passionate." Another calls today's youth "globally conscious, environmentally aware, spiritually sensitive, and hands-on."

(Sources: Wall Street Journal, Baptist Press, Louis Harris poll, LifeWay Christian Resources, Biola University.)

Where does that leave us? Is the gospel of Christ irrelevant? How do we handle the different ways folks think?

Ephesians 1:7 "What God Has To Offer"

This lost X generation is searching for 5 things:

1) Meaningful Relationships

2) Immediate Gratification

3) Something For Nothing

4) Guilt-Free Living

5) Prosperity

Athenagoras (175-180 A.D.), who defended the New Testament believers against charges of atheism, cannibalism and incest. Blount reminded participants that Athenagoras' audience misunderstood the believers -- as does today's contemporary culture. Athenagoras did not argue the truth of the faith nor should Christians today.

We live in a postmodern culture that does not care much about truth. Arguments are not going to do a lot of good. What will go far is the beauty of the faith as seen in the lives of the believers. Still, God's Word remains the answer for a postmodern world thirsting for prosperity and immediate gratification.

1. The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who God Is And What HE Has Done

2. The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who Man Is And What He wants And Needs

You see the fact is that God Is. God has worked for our Salvation.

1. The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who God Is And What HE Has Done

Eph. 1:1-14 God Is A Holy Trinity. It is comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here we are told of three important ways God has interacted with our society: 

I. The Plan of The Sovereign (vv.3-6)

Here we have the eternal work of the Father in making us His children.

A. His appointing us to be children (v.4)

1. Election looks backward and tells us when and where we were chosen.

2. Predestination looks forward and tells us why we were chosen.

B. His adopting us as children (v.5)

Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into His family and have all the rights and privileges as sons.

C. His accepting us as children (v.6)

No man can be accepted of Holy God who is devoid of righteousness (Isa. 64:6). This acceptance comes us entirely as a work of God’s grace.

II. The Purchase of the Son (vv.7-12)

Here we have an eternal work of Jesus the Son of God in our behalf. It is a work totally outside of us.

A. His redemption for us (v.7)

Redemption means to "buy back", or to "release by ransom."

1. Released from the curse of the law (Gal.3)

2. Redeemed from the death penalty due to our guilt

3. Redeemed from the slavery of inherited bondage through heredity and depravity. (Rom. 8:1,33,34 ; Gal. 3:13)

B. His remission for us (v.7) We are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

C. His revelation to us (v.9) (Matt.11:27)

D. His riches to us (v. 11)

III. The Performance of the Spirit (vv.13-14)

Here we have the internal work of the Spirit bringing about the Father’s plan and the Son’s purchase in our personal experiences.

A. The Spirit pursues us (v.13)

Trusting Christ presupposes:

1. The heralding of the Gospel

2. The hearing of the Gospel

3. The heeding of the Gospel

B. The Spirit’s presence in us (v.13)

He is the seal:

1. Seal speaks of identity

2. Seal speaks of authority

3. Seal speaks of reality

4. Seal speaks of security

C. The Spirit’s pledge to us (v.14)

"The earnest of the Spirit"

You've got something to offer people that's personal, that's present, that's provided in him. And you know the irony of the whole thing, the very things for which they are looking and searching -- we have the answer for. It's in the Word of God. But contrary to segments of the popular church-growth marketing philosophy, God's Word must not be compromised or watered down to make church attractive. You don't find that in Scripture. You don't find them marketing the church. You find them churching the market. You find them finding a place and going out, not to meet the wants of the people, but the needs of the people. The lost man doesn't know his need.

2. The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who Man Is And What He wants And Needs

This lost X generation is searching for 5 things: 1) Meaningful Relationships 2) Immediate Gratification 3) Something For Nothing 4) Guilt-Free Living 5) Prosperity

All of these things can be found in Ephesians 1:7.

First, for those who are searching for a Meaningful Relationship, the Lord offers something that is:

I. PERSONAL ("In Whom")

You see, the Christian life is not about religion, but it is about a relationship. A relationship that is personal, in Jesus Christ. In Him we have redemption through His blood. In Him we have salvation. As Acts 4:12 tells us, there is no "salvation in any other".

Secondly, for those who need Immediate Gratification, the Lord offers something that is:

II. PRESENT ("We Have")

We don't hope for it, we don't wish for it, we don't think about it, we don't wait on it, but it says, "we have" it! "...we have redemption through His blood...".

Thirdly, for those who are looking for something that is Free, the Lord has something to offer that is:

III. PROVIDED ("Through His Blood")

What Christ has to offer this lost generation cannot be purchased, because it is provided. It is paid for by Him. He has purchased us with His precious blood. It was a great price that He paid to set us free from sin. If there is one subject that is ignored in churches, today, it is the blood of Jesus Christ. But we need to be clear that it is "through His blood" that "we have redemption....the forgiveness of sins". Spurgeon once said, "The true test of whether a man is preaching the gospel or not is the emphasis he makes on the blood of Jesus Christ". William Cowper: "There is a fountain filled with blood - Drawn from Immanuel's veins, And sinners plunged beneath that flood - Lose all their guilty stains; The dying thief rejoiced to see - That fountain in his day, And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away; Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood - Shall never lose its pow'r, Till all the ransomed Church of God - Be saved to sin no more".

Fourthly, for those who desire Guilt-Free Living, Christ offers that which is:

IV. PROFITABLE ("The Forgiveness of Sins")

You see, what the Lord offers this lost world is freedom from guilt. As Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."

When you come to Jesus, and receive His free gift of eternal life, you have these words written across your life. It truly is a profitable life, when you know God's forgiveness in your life.

Last of all, Christ has something to offer that is:

V. PURPOSEFUL ("According to the Riches of His Grace")

Jesus Christ is the only One who can fill the void in people's lives. Power can't do it, Prestige can't do it, Prosperity can't do it, and People can't do it. Only Jesus can satisfy that longing in your soul. Nothing can compare to the riches of God's grace.

Someone has said that GRACE is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. He paid the price to give us eternal life. It is a purposeful life. It is according to the riches of His grace. (Eph 2:8-9)

People are searching for SOMETHING in this world, but what they really need is SOMEONE! When you get down to the last search in your life, you'll just see one word: JESUS! He's all you need today








Ephesians 1:15- Four Incredible Priorities And Privileges

How is your Christian life? Are you spiritually healthy? With all this jazz about the RAAF reserve chaplaincy I have had to concentrate on my weight problem and do some exercise. It has been beneficial. You can see…..not! But how are you faring spiritually? And how can you assess yourself as to how you are faring?

Paul’s prayer, written here inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells you how you ought top be developing spiritually. The things mentioned were not just Paul's desire for his readers, but the desire of God for your life right now! This is where god intends for you to be developing.


TO "KNOW" GOD IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE...Could there be any more important theme of study? To know God is far more important than human wisdom, glory, or might - Jer 9:23 Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

Augustine said that our Hearts are not at rest until they find their rest in God. This is because God has created us and desires us to know Him, so he has put in our hearts a thirst to experience Him.

Intellectual understanding of Christ is not enough. Alfred North Whitehead once commented that "a merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on God's earth." We need more than intellectual understanding. We need to really see. We need to see because we need hope in a hopeless world. We need resources for our spiritual poverty. We need power to live. These things are all found in Christ. And we must see that with our hearts if we would truly see.

Jeremiah 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 32 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

It is eternal life itself! - Jn 17: 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Of course, we are speaking here of knowledge that comes through close and personal association, not casual awareness

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Phil 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

John Calvin said in 1536 “The sum of sacred doctrine is contained in 2 parts, the Knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves.

Martin Luther said “Religion is a matter of personal pronounces… when we call God, My God, and He calls us My Child.”


A. There Is The Apprehension of God Through his Word. Revelation

We can describe God theologically. We can list His attributes, and describe His work in creation and redemption. But unless we experience God ourselves, we will never truly know Him. "Taste and see that the Lord is good," says Psalm 34:8. This is what we need. This is what Paul calls us to in this passage.

B. There IS The Application of Himself to us

Colonel Hariland Sanders was a religious man. Few realise that He tithed all his income from when he was a boy right through to the end of his life. As a religious man, everyone thought the world of Colonel Sanders. Kentucky Fried chicken had become a world wide franchise. But at the age of 78, the Lord spoke to Colonel Sanders, and he came to a real knowledge of God as his Saviour. He discovered that for all his head knowledge of God, he had never come to a real knowledge of God as his Saviour, and at the age of 78 he found the Lord Jesus Christ as His saviour. He could testify to the necessity of a real knowledge of Christ. He became a Christian at age 78, inspite of being a good upright church member for so many years.

There Is The Adoration Of God which is the Appropriate Response of Knowing God.

I guess the characteristic that sets apart the person who truly knows Good is a reverence for Him in all things. When you hear the name of the Lord blasphemed, does it make you cringe? Not because you are fearful of judgement, but because the Saviour you have grown to love is so dear to your heart? Do you delight to adore Him? The word “Adore” has the concept of a deep, personal, love attachment and devotion to God. The more you know of Him the less you’ll think of you and the more important it will be to you that he be honoured in each and every area of your life. We love Him because He first loved us. This adoration of God becomes prominent in our lifestyles; The Lord Jesus said,

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

Do you "know" God? Many people know "about" God, but it is God's will that we come to know "Him". Through the Word of God as we have it today, you can allow the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" to give you that "saving knowledge" of God Himself!

We now observe that Paul's concern for the Ephesians included their "eyes being opened"...] He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Did you know your heart had eyes? It does. Unless you learn to see with the eyes of your heart, you will never really see Jesus as you should. Until now, Paul has been describing who we are and what we possess in Christ. From verse 3 through 14, we have a 203 word sentence. It is as if Paul began to describe the richness found in Christ and could find nowhere to stop. He piles word upon word in an attempt to do justice to the richness of Christ's grace. And now we come to a place where he launches forth in a prayer that we might see what he's been describing. It is as if he somehow knows that mere human language can never describe adequately the glory of Christ. He knows we really need to see these truths. And he knows that all that we need is found in Jesus Christ. Already he has told us that Christ is the sum of all things. And now he prays that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. To accomplish this, he prays that we might experience a revelation that will bring us to a deep and intimate knowledge of Him. He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. He desires that the light of God's revelation may shine on your souls so that you may know all that God has done for you, in you, and through you.




Paul prays that we know what is the hope of His calling. It should be apparent that we do need hope in a hopeless world. A number of years ago, off the coast of Massachusetts, a ship rammed an S-4, submarine. The submarine sank before anyone could escape. The entire crew was trapped. Ships rushed to the scene of the disaster, but there was nothing any of them could do. They were forced to watch and wait. Divers were sent down to evaluate the tragic situation. One man put his helmeted ear against the vessel and listened for any sounds. What he heard was someone tapping in Morse code. Because he knew Morse code he could decipher the message. It was this: "Is - there - any - hope?" To those people trapped in that submarine that question had become an eternal question. But for all of us, it really is an eternal question. We need hope. At times life looks so completely dark and bleak that we virtually despair of hope.

Some people have no hope. Vincent Donovan was a missionary among the nomadic Masai people of East Africa. The Masai were victims of intense cruelty at the hands of Arab slave-traders and their European backers. The last stop on the mainland before they were carried abroad for slavery was given a name by this proud people. They called it Bagamoyo. Bagamoyo comes from two words: bwaga, which means "to throw or put down," and moyo, which means "heart." As these people were captured far inland, they were then driven to the coast toward Zanzibar. They sailed from Bagamoyo, where they "put down their hearts" - with no hope for freedom. Donovan also discovered that the Masai language has no future tense. [4] For people without hope, there's no need to think of the future. Why think of the future when there's no hope for change. The Masai are not the only people who have felt totally hopeless. But Christians need never feel that way. For us there is hope. For us there is a bright tomorrow. God in Christ has assured us of it.

Everyone needs hope. During WW2 a prisoner of war was led to believe that he’d be released if he was a model prisoner. After 1 year of being a model prisoner, serving waiting, cringing at the right times, he lost hope. He realised that neither he nor anyone else was going to be released. Very quickly he died of natural causes. Really he died of a loss of hope. God is not an ogre. He is loving, therefore you and I can hope.

We do not need to despair of hope. We have a hope in Christ. It is the hope of His calling. What is His calling? It is who we are in Christ. The Bible teaches us that He has called us with a high-calling (Philippians 3:14), a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9), and a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). It is the calling described in Romans 8:28-30: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." In other words, God has called us to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is who we are in Christ. This is who we are becoming in Christ. We are being changed to be like Christ, because He lives in us. It is a calling which is sure. In fact, Romans 11:29 says that this calling cannot be changed: "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." God began the work in us and God will carry it on to completion. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." In Philippians 1:6 we read, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." In Christ we are secure. The future is full of hope for the believer, because we have been called by a God who will not let anything deter Him from bringing us fully mature into the image of Christ.


This "calling" occurred through the preaching of the gospel –Ephesians 1:4

2. God is "calling" us into His own kingdom and glory - 1 Th 2:12

B. PAUL'S DESIRE IS THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE "HOPE" OF THIS CALLING... The word "hope" means "desire with expectation". Paul has already revealed some of this hope in verses 4-5

1) To be holy and without blame

2) To be adopted as sons

In addition to their knowing the "hope of His calling", Paul prays...





God wants us to know of the riches of His inheritance. Some people only measure riches in terms of material possessions. I heard of a pastor who said, "My car is so rusty, I need a tetanus shot to drive it." But true riches are not material.

God has not only shown us who we are in Christ, He has also shown us what we possess in Christ. We possess "all spiritual blessings" in Christ (v. 3). We possess "an inheritance" in Christ (vv. 11-12). Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have all co-operated in this effort. The Father has chosen us and predestined us. The Son has redeemed us by His blood and forgiven us. The Spirit has sealed us and guaranteed us an inheritance. We are already rich indeed in Christ.

William Randolph Hearst desired to acquire a valuable piece of art. It seems he had read about this piece of art and determined he had to have it. He sent his agent to scour the world to find this art. After the agent had searched for months, he finally reported that he had found the treasure. It was in a warehouse owned by Mr. Hearst. It was already his! Had he taken the time to read a list of the treasures he owned, he would have found that he already possessed what he wanted. We must begin to experience the inheritance we already have in Christ.

But not only has God given us an inheritance, He has made us an inheritance. Our text talks about His inheritance in the saints. The verse is not about how many riches you have laid up in heaven. No it is about how rich God considers Himself to be because you are in His family. We usually think only of our inheritance in God, but Paul wants the Ephesians to understand that they are so precious to God that He considers them His own inheritance. Each person is of great value to God. We must be of great value-why else would He give His Son? We are His and He is Ours. His home, His glory, His reputation, His treasures-Do you know what you have in Christ? Do you know that the greatest thing you have is that He has you? You are so precious that you are guarded.

John 10: 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

God has given Christ to us, and us to Christ. We are His people. We are His treasure. We are precious to Him. He delights in us as we reach out our hands to minister in His name. A hospital visitor once saw a nurse tending to the sores of a leprosy patient, and said, "I'd never do that for a million dollars!" The nurse replied, "Neither would I. But I do it for Jesus for nothing." Only the riches of the grace of God enables ministry like that. That is riches money can't buy.

I counted all my dollars while God counted crosses; I counted gains while he counted losses; I counted my worth by the things gained in store, But he sized me up by the scars that I bore. I coveted honors and sought for degrees; He wept as He counted the hours on my knees. I never knew till one day by a grave How vain are the things that we spend life to save. I did not know till a friend went above That richest is he who is rich in God's love.






His Power is assured through the resurrection of Christ.(v.20), which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms." For Paul, the supreme proof of God's power was the resurrection. It is the mighty power that raised Jesus to the heavenlies after His resurrection, raising Him above all demonic foes and every potential enemy of all time - this same power is for those who believe! Satan tempted Jesus by taking him to the pinnacle of the temple and offering Him his kingdom if he would bow in worship. But God lifted Jesus up, though he was piled high with the weight of the sins of the whole world to the pinnacle of glory-at his own right hand. This resurrection-demonstrated power is a measure of what God can and will do for us! Since God has the power to exalt Christ to His right hand, there is no problem in God's ability and willingness to bless us "in Christ" with all His spiritual blessings.

His Power is asserted in the position Christ has today.vv.21-22

Where this great power has placed Jesus "21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet." In Paul's day people strongly believed in demons and angels. And these words (rule, authority, power and dominion) described different orders and levels of angels. We may simply refer to them as the "powers"-the "powers" of the spiritual world. Especially the powers of darkness, mystery religions, magic, Satan.

His Preeminent Position. "above all rule and authority"

His Prominent Name. "every title-- and every name that is named". Acts 4:12

His Predominant Power. "all things under His feet" This is why Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been give to me". How is all this seen today? It is to be seen through the church.

His Power is available in the Church today. v" 23 and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Our world stands today in complete disunity and division. There is disunity between Jew and Gentile. There is division between democrat and republican. There is disunity between male and female. There is disunity between man and God. Jesus Christ is the instrument of reconciliation. When the fullness of His life fills believers-there is a taste of heaven on earth.

If His power is available then...

"Do not pray for easy lives, Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, Pray for powers equal to your tasks." Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

*How is His Power seen in our lives? One way is when we pray for others. As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, your prayers for the spiritual growth and enlightenment of others can be life changing - and missed if they are not there. There's a holy, high vocation Needing workers everywhere,

'Tis the highest form of service, 'Tis the ministry of prayer.-Woodworth

The Apostle Paul prays that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened. He prays that we can see and hear and comprehend, the eyes of our souls being filled with light. He writes in 2Corinthians 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." God has illuminated our hearts. He has opened the eyes of our souls to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The great assignment of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten our inward souls. It is only the Holy Spirit who understands the things of God, and He takes those things of God and reveals them to us.

A natural man cannot understand like that. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2; 14 that the natural man. the unconverted man, cannot receive the things of God, neither can he know them because they are foolishness to him. A man has to be enlightened before he can see and comprehend the things of God. But the Holy Spirit can speak the tilings of God to us for He knows God and He understands God — He is God. He opens to view the things of God and shows us their meaning and their purpose. He fits together all of the providences of the Lord. He knows the mind of God, He illuminates us, and He places life and history before us in such a way that we can see purpose and reason.

What a Tragedy that there are so many whose eyes are closed, whose ears are stopped, and who cannot see and cannot understand. The Lord said in Matthew 13, "Because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith. By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear" (vv. 13-16). This is a gift of the Spirit of God. For a man can see and vet never see. He can hear and yet never hear. He must be illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, and when he is, he suddenly sees! He suddenly hears! He has found the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus Christ.

Have you found the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus Christ?

Have you begun the journey of growing in the knowledge of Him? Is your heart enlightened by the Spirit of God as you read His word? Will you pray to be a man or woman of God tonight?




Ephesians 2

1And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10 Have You Heard The News?

1. The Bad News – Man Is Lost Ephesians 2:1-3

a. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Dead

Dead Men Have No Appetite for the things of God, Awareness of their need,

nor Activity in their spiritual life.

b. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Depraved

He is dominated by the World, Satan (v.2) and by the flesh (v.3)

c. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Doomed

2. The Better News, God is Love. “But God..”

a. Love (v. 4). Here is the Motive For Salvation

b. Mercy (v. 4). Here is the Meaning Of Salvation

c. Grace (v. 5). Here is the Method Of Salvation.

d. Kindness (v. 7). Here Is the Management Of Salvation

3. The Best News Jesus Is Lord.

a. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual Regeneration

b. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual Resurrection

c. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual Reign



Ephesians 2:8-10 Amazing Grace

1. Salvation is A Present Of Grace

a. Apprehend The Character Of Grace

b. Appreciate The Cost Of Grace.

c. Embrace The Consequences Of Grace.

2. Salvation Is A Possession Of Faith

a. Experience the Channel of Grace

b. Ensure The Conferment Of Grace

3.Salvation Is The Power For Goodness

a. I honour Him as the artist

b. I humble myself as the clay

c. I Home-in on the Priorities




Ephesians 2:1-10 Have You Heard The News?

Because of the internet this question is now a complicated question. Have you heard the local news, the international news, the stock exchange news., the political news, the financial news, the medical news? You really need to evaluate every piece of news that comes in. You really can’t believe everything you read. A man preceded his wife down to Melbourne a few weeks ago. He went on business and arranged for wife to follow for a holiday. He emailed her the news of her safe arrival. Unfortunately he didn’t get the email address quite right and accidently it got delivered to a lady who had just lost her husband. It read, “Dearest wife, I have just got checked in and everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow, your Loving Husband. P.S. Sure is hot down here.” The Gospel is Good News. The Word Gospel actually means Good News. We have a translation of the Bible called the Good News Bible. Euangellion. This word had to do with anything that was good news. The Gospel is Good news about bad news that makes good news good.

1. The Bad News – Man Is Lost Ephesians 2:1

The bad news is that man is lost. This may be politically incorrect but it is true. Robert Schuller on the Hour of Power says that there is nothing so counterproductive to Christianity than to make people aware of their sinful spiritual condition. Paul was not ashamed to be making people aware about the lostness of man. For 30 years my dad has complained about the mirror at home. It doesn’t give a good reflection of the person looking into it. Now if you are thinking, “Well Steve when you look into it you better remember you can’t expect to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Let me tell you right now, God will get you! No, the image is badly faded on that mirror. What’s worse than having a five o’clock shadow? Having half a five o’clock shadow at 9 am. Paul doesn’t gild the lily. He gives it to us straight.

A. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Dead

Every person was born d.o.a. Farmer Smith was worried about his chickens. They were acting strangely. He decided to write to the Department of Agriculture and find out from one of these University trained agriculturalists what was wrong. “He wrote, “Something is wrong with my chickens. Some of them are lieing on the ground with their feet sticking up in the air.” After some months a reply was sent back from the agriculturalist with the department. “Dear sir, concerning those chickens lieing with their feet in the air, we are writing to inform you that after much research into the problem, our agriculturalists have determined the root cause of the problem. Mr. Smith, your chickens are dead.” You and I were born spiritually dead. We are as the movie of men on death row depicts “dead Men Walking” The Living Dead . There is a deadness in relationship towards God. How can you tell if you are spiritually dead?

Dead Men Have No Appetite for the things of God.

There is no appetite for the Word of God and prayer. There is no appetite to listen to God speaking to them or of having a real relationship with God. We are born just not on God’s wavelength. We don’t automatically hear from God. The reason for us not being on God’s wavelength is because your antanea is down. Innately, although we are aware there is a God, from our birth we are alienated from Him and cannot get close to Him by our own means. Our antanea is down and we do not pick up the signals.

Dead Men Have No Awareness of their need

Dead Men Have No Activity in their spiritual life.

b. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Depraved

Paul is indicating that our minds are touched by sin. Not only are we unaware of God, but our thinking is away from God. Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

1. He is dominated by the World (v.2) This is to say that there is a way of viewing things in our world that is dominated by a worldly sense of thinking. Homosexuality…. Why is the world saying its ok? Well it fits with the idea that you have to please yourself. There are two ways to live in this world, according to the world’s view of things or according to the Word.

i.e. Abortion. The world says its free choice, the Word says its murder.

i.e. Sex The world says its to be safe sex , the Word says its sacred.

i.e. Hell The world says it’s a joke, the Word says its Judgement.

2.He is dominated by Satan (v.2) (Jn. 8:44; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim.2:26) The world teaches you to sin, the devil tempts you to sin. Look around and you can see his handiwork everywhere these days. If we don’t take into account that the source of many problems in our society is a mind wiser than ours attempting to orchestrate antichristian values and beliefs into our culture, we are not correctly evaluating the problems of our society. The greatest need is not education, legislation or rehabilitation, the greatest need is salvation from the devil and his works.

3. He is dominated by the flesh (v.3) (Rom.8:5) You would still sin, even if there was no devil in the world. Its like the little boy who got in trouble for fighting with his older sister. “Why did you do that?” I heard his pastor dad say. “And don’t you say the devil made me do it!” “Well the devil told me to kick her , but pulling her hair was all my idea.” You are not just a sinner by choice or practice, you are a sinner by nature. We have in our nature the seeds of our own doom.

c. He was saying that anyone with out Christ Is Spiritually Doomed

The Wrath of God may not be a popular concept, but the bible clearly portrays it as a real problem. Since man is wicked by nature, and God is holy by nature, can there be any other result but the wrath of God for those so opposed to his rule and government?

A scorpion and a duck were talking. The scorpion wanted to hitch a lift across the lake on the duck’s back. The duck objected to the idea. “How can I know you won’t sting me and your poison will kill me and I’ll die?” The scorpion replied, “don’t be silly. It would be unreasonable for me to sting you. If I am on your back and you are flying me across the lake and I sting you, then I will most certainly die when you die, for I can’t fly without you.” Persuaded by this reasoning the duck allowed the scorpion to cling to its back as it flew across the lake. Half way across the scorpion stung the duck. “Now we’ll both die” said the duck, “Why did you sting me?” “I can’t help it, it is just my nature to sting.” We were children of wrath by nature, even if we tried hard not to sin, because we still do. The Bad News, Man Is Lost.

2. The Better News, God is Love. “But God..”

The two most beautiful words in the English language. Here is the mess you were in, “But God!”

Like the phone call late at night, “Dad, I’ve crashed the car….But I’m OK!”

Like the Doctor after an operation; “It really was cancer, …but we got the whole lot.”

Like my wife “My husband has lost his mind, ……but it wasn’t a huge loss.”

But God! Here is where the beauty and wonder of the Christian gospel comes in. We were hopelessly lost in wickedness. But God has intervened to save us, and he has saved us by intervening sovereignly and righteously in each of these areas.

Those words, “But God” reveal the character of God. He is Our Saviour God. He saves us from that BAD, BAD news because of what He is like. Why did God do all that Paul and these other passages tell us he has done? There is only one answer: grace. He has done this because it has pleased him to do it. I say "one answer." Yet, strictly speaking, Paul expresses the thought not with one but with four words.

1. Love (v. 4). God has done this, Paul says, "because of his great love for us..” Here is the Motive For Salvation Some say love is blind. God’s love is not blind. He loved us when He saw us in our sins. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth His own love towards us in this, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” A world that rejected Him… a world that ignored Him, a world that had no time for God… yet He loved it and gave Himself for it.

He reached out to me and took hold of me inspite of my folly, my failures, my foibles and my faults.

He chose to love you and I. That is powerful stuff.

2. Mercy (v. 4). Here is the Meaning Of Salvation

Mercy is related to love; it flows from it. But mercy has the sense of favor being shown to those who deserve the precise opposite. If nothing but a proper code of rewards and retribution were followed, sinners would receive God's wrath. That some do not is because God is merciful. Instead of condemning them, as he had every right to do, he reached out and saved them through the death of Jesus Christ. He didn’t give us what we do deserve.

3. Grace (v. 5). This is The Method Of Salvation.

This is the word that seems chiefly to have been on Paul's mind, for he repeats it in an almost identical sentence in verse 8. In Verse 5 it says, "It is by grace you have been saved."

Verses 8 and 9 say similarly, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." Grace means that there is no cause in us why God should have acted as he did. A woman sought mercy for her sin. He was condemned to death for twice running from the field of combat and leaving his fellow soldiers to defenseless to die. She caught Napoleon as he rode by, and implored him to pardon her son. Napoleon replied, “ And for the second offense, Justice demands he die!” She replied, “I didn’t come for Justice I came for mercy.” “he doesn’t deserve mercy”, was Napoleon’s reply. “I don’t think you understand, He doesn’t deserve mercy. If he deserved it then it isn’t mercy!” Mercy is us not getting what we do deserve. We think God owes us something. Even after we become Christians we often find ourselves thinking in these terms. "Certainly God owes everyone at least a chance," we say. Or when God fails to do something we think he should do, we say, "It just isn't fair." So long as we think that way we do not understand grace. Grace is God's favor to the utterly undeserving.

4. Kindness (v. 7). This Is The Management Of Salvation. Have you noticed that after you become a Christian you still do sin? Kindness means much in our daily living as believers. In the course of our lives we often sin grievously and foolishly. But God does not strike us down when we do. He manages our continuation on this world with abundant lovingkindness.

3. The Best News Jesus Is Lord.

Notice how this works out. We were dead in sins, but God "made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions" (v. 5). We were dead to any godly influence. But God can awaken the dead, and that is what he has done for us. Like Lazarus, we have heard the Lord calling us to "come out" (John 11:43); his voice brought forth life in us, and we have responded, emerging wonderfully from our spiritual tomb.

The key word here is “with” . The moment you believed on the Lord Jesus as your Saviour a miracle took place. You were united with the Lord Jesus. That is the word there rendered in English “together” You were united to Christ for some real spiritual experiences. Now life is no longer as it was. Life is itself new. John R. W. Stott puts it like this: "These two monosyllables ['but God']

set against the desperate condition of fallen mankind the gracious initiative and sovereign action of God. We were the objects of his wrath, but God out of the great love with which he loved us had mercy upon us. We were dead, and dead men do not rise, but God made us alive with Christ. We were slaves, in a situation of dishonour and powerlessness, but God has raised us with Christ and set us at his own right hand, in a position of honour and power. Thus God has taken action to reverse our condition in sin."

A. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual Regeneration

Now life is no longer as it was. Life is itself new. He hath quickened us together with Christ. This means that He has given us new life. The doctrine of regeneration, that is, of a second birth, is plainly set forth in the Word of God. In the first chapter of John we read, "As many as received Him, to them gave He power (the right) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name." Then, the Word continued, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God." The new birth is also set forth in the third chapter of John, where Christ said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Again Christ said, "Ye must be born again." The Apostle Paul speaks of the new birth in Ephesians, and he calls it the "new man." He says that after God, "it is created in righteousness and true holiness." The saddest picture in the world is that of an unsaved man or woman trying to live a Christian life. The Christian life is not an effort, it is a result. We have become a new man; that man loves the light, and therefore he cometh to the light. If we have been quickened we will find that old things have passed away, and all things have become new.

B. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual resurrection

Again, not only were we dead in our sins, we were also enslaved by them. Even though we might have desired to do better, we could not. Instead our struggles to escape only drew us down, plunging us deeper and deeper into sin's quicksand. But God! God has not only called us back to life; he has also, Paul writes, "raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (v. 6). There are no slaves in heaven. So if we have been raised up with Christ and been made to sit in the heavenly realms in him, it is as free men and women. Sin's shackles have been broken, and we are freed to act righteously and serve God effectively in this world. He hath raised us up together. This is the picture of our release from the old graveyard where we once "lay" dead in decay, and shame. He hath raised us up out of the old life. How does the verse read? "He rook me up out of the miry clay, and put my feet on a rock." The Lord Jesus doesn't want those of us who are saved to be living in the old way, talking the old conversation. He tells us that whatsoever things are pure, and holy, and true, that we must think on these things. He speaks to us about our new life, and says, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection," etc., etc. He says, "Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Certainly,' God has called us out of the past. We are not any longer subjects of sin, that we should be in bondage to the flesh. I do not know how it is with you, individually; but I know, beloved, that your chief joy is not in the things of the earth, in carnal things. Paul said that he counted all things but refuse, that he might win Christ. Thank God, that we can have Heaven come down to us on the one hand, and we can be lifted up and made to take our seat in Heaven on the other hand.

C. Because He was Raised from the Dead, You can have Spiritual Reign

Third, God has dealt with the wrath question. In our sins we are indeed "objects of wrath" (v. 3). But since Jesus has suffered in our place for our sin and we have been delivered from it, we are no longer under wrath. Instead we are objects of "the incomparable riches of [God's] grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (v. 7). This means we are no longer enemies of God, but friends. We reign with Him in life.

The words "but God" show what God has done. Besides, they draw our thoughts to God and encourage us to trust him in all things.

Am I ignorant of God? Indeed, I am. " 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit" (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

Am I tempted to sin? Indeed, I am. "Temptation ... is common to man:

but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13, kjv).

Am I foolish, weak, ignoble? Yes, that too. "But God chose the foolish

things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (1Cor. 1:27-29).

Have I been the victim of other people's sin and ill will? Probably, or at least I will be sooner or later. Still I will be able to say, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done" (Gen. 50:20). May I put it quite simply? If you understand those two words—"but God"—they will save your soul. If you recall them daily and live by them, they will transform your life completely.

Have you experienced these words in your life? Is it true for you? Have you experienced being made alive from Spiritual death? Have you experienced God’s ongoing kindness to yourself? Are you sure that God has worked the miracle of the new birth in you? If you have any doubt whatsoever that god has done this for you and these experiences are yours, you must seek Him today as your Saviour and Lord. If you’ll seek that He be your saviour and Lord, you’ll discover your interest in Christ, you’ll discover the reality of a spiritual regeneration, a spiritual resurrection, a spiritual reign with Christ. You will discover God’s grace. Make it yours today! Come to Him, He will never cast you out.


8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Can a person earn his way to heaven? This is a question that has caused immense turmoil down through many, many centuries. Is there anything that a person can do to contribute to their salvation? Lorelle’s sister and her family had just gone to see their relatives in Tamworth. It was the first time they had really been in the country and they had a marvellous opportunity to see a cow giving birth. Not wanting to get into an extensive chat about the birds and bees with their precocious 6 year old son, they just let him watch as the farmer tied a rope around the protruding legs of the calf. Their son then piped up, “How fast was the calf running when it hit that cow?” He had it backwards. In salvation most people have it backwards. There are three words, prepositions, in this passage that will help us not to get this great matter of salvation backwards. The prepositions are the words “ BY” “THROUGH” and “FOR”

1. Salvation is A Present Of Grace

The term grace covers a wide range of meanings. But the common tone that resonates in them all is that of pleasantness. Grace describes the coordination and fluidity of a dancer or an athlete, a ballerina as well as a quarterback. Grace can describe a person's manners and gentility. Grace is the soothing balm that gives comfort to the downtrodden. Beautiful words are said to be words of grace. And it is upon this great theological word that our eternal destiny hangs, for the undeserved favor of God is our only hope of being accepted by Him.

a. Apprehend The Character Of Grace

The Bible is filled with examples of God's grace, not only in the New Testament but also in the Old.

The idea of grace more than any other idea binds the two Testaments together into a complete whole, for the Bible is the story of the saving work of God, that is, of the grace of God. Without grace, there would never have been any chosen people, any story to tell at all. Snaith “Grace” A Theological Wordbook”

When we think of the Old Testament, we think more about the justice of God than we do about His mercy. The images we conjure up are ones of fire and brimstone falling on Sodom and Gomorrah, rather than sweet manna falling from heaven to feed the children of Israel in the wilderness. And yet, the first time the term grace appears is in Genesis 6:8. Here the Hebrew word chen is rendered "favor." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

In many of the Old Testament stories grace is so central to the drama that it resounds in every scene like a strong musical score. Consider Joseph's treatment of his jealous and ruthless brothers in Genesis 42-50, especially 45:1-15. Reflect on the gracious way that God dealt with the Hebrews on their way from Egypt to Canaan in the books of Exodus and Numbers. Meditate on the deliverance God repeatedly offered the Hebrews throughout their cycles of rebellion in Judges. Remember David's gracious treatment of his adversary Saul, even when he had a golden opportunity for revenge in 1 Samuel 26. Add to that David's bounteous grace in dealing with Mephibosheth, Saul's relative in 2 Samuel 9. And then there is God's gracious deliverance of the recalcitrant prophet Jonah from drowning in Jonah 1:17 and 2:10. Not to mention the grace He showed in the face of the prophet's anger in chapter 4.

The Hebrew term is chen, meaning "to bend or stoop." It came to mean "condescending favor." It is the kindness "shown by a superior to an inferior, and there is no obligation on the part of the superior to show this kindness." This meaning is illustrated in God's speaking to Moses about Israel's inheritance of the Promised Land in Exodus 33:14-19.

And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Then he said to Him, "If Thy presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Thy sight, I and Thy people? Is it not by Thy going with us, so that we, I and Thy people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?" And the Lord said to Moses, "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name." Then Moses said, "I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!" And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."

As this passage indicates, grace is favor that is undeserved and unearned. It is extended fully and freely to those who won't ever be able to repay it.

Interestingly, Jesus never used the term grace. Instead of mouthing the word, He modeled the reality.

(John 1:14, 16). For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ, (v. 17)

In Christ we see grace incarnate. In every sermon He preached, in every person He healed, we see the different nuances of this glorious word grace. The best definition of grace doesn't come from a dictionary, but from the pages of His own life. Grace seeps through the text of the woman caught in adultery. It can be read between every line of every story He told. From the Good Samaritan to the story of the Prodigal Son, grace can be rubbed off the pages like newspaper ink. Even in His rebukes, grace softens every word. When He tells Martha that she is worried and bothered about so many things, we can hear the plaintive tone of tenderness in His voice (Luke 10:41). Matthew 9:10-12, And it happened that as He was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" But when He heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick."

Grace is God stooping toward us in kindness when we deserved eternal punishment and hell. We were dead in our sins-why did He even look upon us in the first place? Paul said, "In my flesh dwells no good thing". Before God I have nothing to commend me-"All our righteousness is as filthy rags". This means that it is all of God and none of us. "You have been saved". Did you notice that word “saved” is in the past tense? This indicates that it is a done deal. Imagine if God started saving us and then left the work unfinished-and I was to arrive in hell. What glee the devil would have. It cannot happen. If you have been born again, then you cannot be damned because God has done this by His grace. The character of Grace is the very character of God.

b. Appreciate The Cost Of Grace. "not of yourselves-gift of God, not of works" First Paul states the truth in a positive way and now a negative way. Salvation is not of yourselves-never has been and never will be. cf. Rom. 4:1-5 (Abraham). "Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling". The gospel makes paupers of us all. Our money is no good. Our efforts do not succeed. Eg-going to a friend's house for a delicious meal. As you prepare to leave you reach in your pocket and say "Now, how much do I owe you?" What an insult! Yet this world is running over with people who think there's something they must do to pay God back. Salvation is something he paid for and prepared and offered to us. (grace)

During the last century, in the worse slum district of London, there was a social worker whose name was Henry Moorehouse. One evening as he was walking along the street he saw a little girl come out of a basement store carrying a pitcher of milk. She was taking it home. But when she was a few yards from Moorehouse she suddenly slipped and fell. Her hands relaxed their grip on the pitcher and it fell on the sidewalk and broke. The milk ran into the gutter, and the little girl began to cry as if her little heart would break. Moorehouse quickly stepped up to see if she was hurt. He helped her to her feet, saying, "Don't cry, little girl." But there was no stopping her tears. She kept repeating, "My mommy'll whip me; my mommy'll whip me."

Moorehouse said, "No, little girl, your mother won't whip you. I'll see to that. Look, the pitcher isn't broken in many pieces." As he stooped down 'side her, picked up the pieces, and began to work as if he were putting the pitcher back together, the little girl stopped crying. She had hope. She came from a family in which pitchers had been mended before often. Maybe this stranger could repair the damage. She watched as Moorehouse fitted several of the pieces together until, working too roughly, he knocked it apart again. Once more she began to cry, and

Moorehouse had to repeat, "Don't cry, little girl. I promise you that your mother won't whip you."

Once more they began the task of restoration, this time getting it all together except for the handle. Moorehouse gave it to the little girl, and she tried to attach it. But, naturally, all she did was knock it down again. This time there was no stopping her tears. She would not even look at the broken pieces lying on the sidewalk. Finally Moorehouse picked the little girl up in his arms, carried her down the street to a shop that sold crockery, and bought her a new pitcher. Then, still carrying her, he went back to where the girl had bought the milk and had the new pitcher filled. He asked her where she lived. When he was told he carried her to the house, set her down on the step, and placed the full pitcher of milk in her hands. Then he opened the door for her. As she stepped in, he asked one more question, "Now, do you think your mother will whip you?" He was rewarded for his trouble by a bright smile as she said to him, "Oh, no, sir, because it's a lot better pitcher than we had before.

Here is an illustration of the grace of God in salvation. The Bible teaches that men and women were created in the image of God. But when our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned by disobeying God's righteous law, that image was broken beyond repair. This does not mean that there is no value at all to human nature. Even a broken pitcher is not without value. Archaeologists use pieces of broken pottery to date civilizations uncovered by their digs. I have seen bits of pottery used as ashtrays or even some on which pictures have been printed. Broken pottery is not worthless. But it is worthless so far as carrying milk is concerned. In the same way, human nature in its broken state is useless for pleasing God or earning heaven. The Bible says, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Rom. 3:10-12).

Yet men keep trying to please God by their character. Like Moorehouse in his first attempts to help the little girl, they keep trying to put the pieces of their broken righteousness back together. They cannot achieve God's perfect standards of righteousness, but they see parts of their character that are good from their perspective, and they try to work with those. The result is a patchwork of shards, which God condemns. But here is where the grace of God comes in. The Lord Jesus Christ came to this world, which was weeping in its failure and sin, and he became the means by which an utterly hopeless situation was transformed. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Jesus ever attempted to patch up fallen human nature. He did not come to assist us or reform us. He came to recreate us. He said, "You must be born again" (John 3:7). Instead of trying to piece together the broken pieces of our fallen nature, Jesus gives us a new nature: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). And to paraphrase the words of the little girl, "It's a lot better nature than we had before.”

c. Embrace the Consequences Of Grace. "no one should boast" The fact that you are a Christian gives you no basis for boasting-because you didn't do it! If it was all of grace, which it was-then what credit can I take? But we tend to boast-of the good way we live, the good deeds we do, the religious activities and church services we attend etc. Is this in anyway what makes me a Christian? 50%? 25% 10%--0% El-zippo! Nada! Zilch!

2. Salvation Is A Possession Of Faith

Experience the channel of grace. "through faith". Even our faith is a gift of God; we cannot believe in Jesus unless God does a prior work in us, for we are blinded by our own deadness and by the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). The channel of faith was provided so that grace could flow into our lives. Both grace and faith are gifts. Grace is the water of life and the river in which it flows is faith. You provide neither-God does. If it is my belief that saves me then I have saved myself-Faith also is a gift of God. We must be careful not to say-it is my faith that saves me. My faith is not the cause of salvation, Jesus Christ is; faith is the channel through which it is given to me.

The point is that we have absolutely no right or access to salvation. It is not something we deserve. But God offers it to us and we must accept His kindness by believing Him. We don't even know we need it. Review verses 1-3 again-and ask Does a child of wrath by nature and behaviour deserve anything from God?

God’s grace does not come to us by religion

God’s grace does not come to us by activity

God’s grace does not come to us by intelligence ( or every member of a Baptist church would be ruled out automatically).

b. Ensure The Conferment Of Grace

What faith is.

Illustration of Bullet-proof vest.

3. Salvation Is The Power For Goodness

“for Good works” WHAT IS MY RESPONSE TO THE GRACE OF GOD? v.10 If we're not careful we can spend all our time looking back and asking "How did we receive it?" Instead we need to look ahead and declare "Grace is ours-let's live it!" Many believe they become Christians because of the good works they do-but Paul says it is exactly the other way around. "We are His workmanship..." It is not us who have done something worth crowing about-it is God! We are His workmanship! Not our works-His work! Please don’t get it backwards.

What is my response to the grace of God when I see that I am the result of His design? "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" A Christian is a person in whom God has worked and is working. What kind of a work is it? It is a creation-a special design. God saves us not merely to rescue us from the wrath we rightly deserve; but also to make something beautiful of us; we are His workmanship, His poiema, His beautiful poem; His "work of art". "He is the potter and I am the clay".

What is my response to the grace of God when I honor Him as the artist? When grace is our only claim, who gets the glory? I am what I am by the grace of God. He is molding into me the divine nature of Jesus Christ. He is shaping me into his likeness. Place you hand on your chest and say with me "I am God's workmanship". He is the one who is actively working in me. The Bible is a record of God's activity from beginning to end. God is the One who is fashioning me. There is nothing more wonderful than this. What God does, he does well.

What is my response to the grace of God when I humble myself as the clay. What is a Christian? A good man or a good woman. Someone who is a little bit better than others. No-He is like Christ! The potter is conforming us to the image of His Son. No dead clay can make himself a beautiful vase-no dead person can raise himself to life. So we yield ourselves to Him and put ourselves into His hands. We trust Him with our lives. So He takes hold of this shapeless mass of clay. He begins to round it off and get rid of the jagged edges. As I think of my life, I must stop thinking in terms of what I do but instead start thinking in terms of what God is doing to me. That I am in the hands of a loving Creator and He is working on me. His work is a process!

I Home-in on the Priorities "for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." The way to look at good works is explained right here. God makes us Christians in order that we may do good works. It is not that good works lead to Christianity-but that Christianity leads to good works.. When my spiritual eyes are opened and I understand that my salvation is because God is rich in mercy and grace then a solid foundation has been poured in my life. From that basis I know that God already knows what he wants me to do. "prepared in advance" Phil.2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing". "The greatest service you can render God is to fulfill your destiny"(O. Chambers)

Longfellow could take a worthless piece of paper, write a poem on it, and instantly make it worth thousands of dollars -- and it's called genius. Rockefeller could sign his name to a piece of paper and make it worth millions of dollars -- and it's called riches. A mechanic can take material worth only five dollars and make it worth five hundred -- and it's called skill. An artist can take a fifty-cent piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth thousands of dollars -- and it's called art. Jesus Christ can take a worthless, sinful life, wash it in His blood, put His Spirit in it, and make it valuable to God -- and that's called a wonder of grace.. The Lord is in the business of taking rough, raw material and using it -- transforming us by His power to be the extension of His work in the world. Are you a wonder of grace?

I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help him. I ended up by asking him to do his work through me.

"When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ And He shows me His plan for me,
The plan of my life as it might have been Had He had His way, and I see
How I blocked Him here, and I checked Him there, And I would not yield my will-
Will there be grief in my Savior's eyes, Grief, though He loves me still?
He would have me rich and I stand there poor, Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs like a hunted thing Down the paths I cannot retrace.
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break With the tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands, I shall bow my uncrowned head...
Lord of the years that are left to me, I give them to Your hand;
Take me and break me, mold me to The pattern You have planned.

Martha Snell Nicholson

Harry Ironside was a Bible teacher, later pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. On this occasion he was riding on a train in southern California on the way to a speaking engagement. While he was sitting in the passenger car a gypsy came down the aisle offering to tell people's fortunes. She stopped at Ironside's seat, saying, "Cross my palm with a silver quarter, and I will tell your past, present, and future." Ironside asked in an amused tone if she was sure she could do that, pointing out that he was of Scottish ancestry and did not want to part with a quarter unless he was sure he would get his money's worth. But she was very earnest. "Oh yes, sir," she said. "Cross my palm with a quarter, and I will tell you all."

Ironside told her this was not necessary because he already had his past, present, and future written down in a book. The gypsy was amazed. "In a book?" she queried. "Yes," Ironside replied. "I have it with me." He pulled out his Bible and turned to these verses. "Here is my past," he said,

reading Ephesians 2:1-3: "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 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. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath."

The gypsy did not want to hear this. She began to pull away. "Wait," said Ironside. "That is only my past. You haven't heard my present. Here it is." He began to read verses 4-6: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus."

At this point the gypsy was literally struggling to get away because Ironside had put his hand on her arm to hang onto her. "No more," she said. "I do not need to hear more." But the preacher was not ready to quit. "You must hear my future too," he continued. He read verses 7-10: "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.... For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. By now the gypsy was heading rapidly down the aisle muttering , “I took the wrong man.”

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