Friday, April 05, 2013


Ephesians 2 sermons

Ephesians 2:1-10

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.

2. 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 caner, …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. . 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.

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 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 Godhas 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 inEphesians, 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 miryclay, 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. The vast majority of this world today has salvation totally backwards. Many believe that their performance, their character, their position, or oddly enough, their pedigree will earn them a ticket to heaven. Some even tend to reason that God is in the consumer credit business. If they make their timely installments of being a good person, treating others respectfully, paying their taxes, going to church, raising their kids right, and supporting their family, these events will instantaneously deliver them into heaven. Make no mistake — the only reason why God allows us to enter heaven is because of His compassion and the cross of Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, the apostle Paul proclaims, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Grace is not a blue-eyed blonde; grace is not just a short prayer you express before you eat. God could have dealt with us and handed down the justice we deserved, but instead, He gave us grace — giving us something we did not deserve.

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”

2. 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!

Not only did God give us something we did not deserve, He gave it to us absolutely free. That’s right, there are no strings attached. You might be saying to yourself, "Nothing in this life is ever free." Well my dear friend, you just came upon the opportunity of a lifetime. Once again, salvation is not earned by works - "…not of works, lest anyone should boast." Jesus paid the price of salvation through His death on the cross just for you. "When He was on the cross, I was on His mind".

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.

Think about this for a moment — if the Bible said that you are saved by grace through intelligence - some of us would have been too dumb ( or every member of a Baptist church would be ruled out automatically).. If we were saved by grace through looks, some of us would have been too ugly. If we were saved by grace through money some of us would have been too poor. All that is necessary for you to be saved is simply faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I think the reason why a lot of people reject the idea of salvation by grace through faith is because it is so simple. It’s incredible how we try everything in our power to complicate the matter of salvation, when God has done everything in His power to simplify it.

b. Ensure The Conferment Of Grace

A Police officer pulled over a speeding driver. Unknown to the officer, he had just robbed a bank. The robber shot the policeman at point blank range, hurling him 7 feet backwards. “I am shot,” the policeman said, stood up and fired into the car, shooting the crook in the leg. He then handcuffed the crook in the car. The crook said, “I shot you, who are you? Superman?” This police officer knew the value of a bullet proof vest.

Three months later, another officer, Ray Hicks, who also knew the value of a bullet proof vest was serving a summons, was shot in the chest in the exact same spot . He died in 30 seconds leaving a wife and three young children. And a bullet proof vest in the car 30’ away. Both policemen believed in bullet proof vests but only one put it on.

When I talk about faith, please understand that I am not talking about an intellectual acknowledgement of something in your head. It’s not just enough to believe that a man named Jesus Christ lived two thousand years ago, nor even to believe He was born of a virgin. It’s not even enough to believe that He performed miracles or that He died on the cross and that He was raised from the dead. Faith is more than that. Faith is trusting with your heart and accepting Christ as Lord and Savior over your life. It’s turning over what you have made of your life yourself, and allowing Him to take your life and use it to accomplish His purpose.

3. Salvation Is The Power For Goodness “for Good works”

There is a place in salvation for "good works", character, and integrity. Once you truly give your heart to Christ, you desire to live a life that exemplifies these very qualities for they are the fruit of salvation. Works follow faith just like heat follows fire. Works are not the price of salvation, they are the proof of salvation. God has already acquitted us at the cross. All that’s left is for you to accept it and give your heart to Him.

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.”


11Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

[1]*Breaking down walls & Tearing down Fences…

Its amazing what divides people. A story is told of two unmarried sisters who had so bitter a fight that they stopped speaking to each other. Unable or unwilling to leave their small home, they continued to use the same rooms and sleep in the same bedroom. A chalk line divided the sleeping area into two halves, separating doorway and fireplace, so that each could come and go and get her own meals without trespassing on her sister's domain. In the black of night each could hear the breathing of the foe. For years they coexisted in grinding silence. Neither was willing to take the first step to reconciliation.

To dwell above with saints we love, That will be grace and glory. To dwell below with the saints we know; well, that's another story!

Perhaps the greatest barrier that has ever existed between people existed between Jews and Gentiles (the rest of the nations-"Haggoyim"-"ta ethne"). The barrier was huge and seemingly impenetrable. Barclay says "If a Jew married a gentile-a funeral for the Jew was carried out. Such contact with a Gentile was the equivalent of death; even to go into a Gentile house rendered a Jew unclean". The Jew thought God loved only Israel of all the nations He had made. The greatest barrier was with God. Sin separated us from God. But the second barrier was between Jew and Gentile.

As Paul writes to the ethnic people of Ephesus, He wants them to know the desperate condition they were in before the coming of Christ.

1. THE GREATEST DIVISION WAS BEFORE THE CROSS. Why are people so divided? vv.11-12 "Therefore remember, Don't forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were called "the uncircumcised ones" by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts…"

In the ancient world the external symbol that divided Jew and Gentile was the mark of circumcision. Circumcision was a sign that you believed in the Covenant God made with Abraham. It was very important to a Jew. Instead of being a mark that reminded the Jew of their calling to reveal the One True Living God to the world, they used it as a barrier of separation. God did not create Israel to have nothing to do with the rest of the nations, but that through them He might speak to the whole world. It is a fact of history that the Jewish people have been an instrument in God's hand. How easy it is to misunderstand our differences and develop a false sense of values. Instead of building windows we build walls. The prevailing attitude was, if he is circumcised then he is one of God's people-if not then they were wrong and needed to be avoided. Cf. Rom. 2:28-29.

Think of something "in the flesh" that divides people. The way we do things in our denomination; the particular manner in which we dress; the ceremonies that have become meaningful to me. Before Christ the barriers were up; after Christ the barriers came down. The key word is relationship. Four nails were in our coffin that prevented us from a relationship with God and God's people.

1. Separated from the Messiah. They were without Christ. The word Christos is not primarily a proper name (though it has become one), it is an adjective meaning "the anointed one" Kings were anointed on their coronation day. Prophets and priests were anointed for the ministry that God had called them to. The Messiah was the "anointed one of God" who would come as Prophet, priest and king. The Jews always looked for the promise that someday the expected deliverer would come…but if you were not Jewish you had no such expectation. For the Jew history was always going somewhere. No matter how dark the present the future would be gloriously bright. But for Gentiles-the future was pessimistic and dark.

2. Excluded from the Kingdom (the commonwealth of Israel). To be an Israelite was to have a citizenship where God ruled over you. When you live with a destiny and an identity like that-life is different for you. The Gentile nations had no citizenship rights (politeia) in God's kingdom. They were cut off by reason of their birth. It was felt that the only way you could be a part of God's plan was to be born or married into the right family-and that was Jewish. Today because of the Messiah-I qualify-and you can too. I have born into His family (new birth) and am married to Jesus a Jew as the bride of Christ.

3. Strangers to "the" Promises. The covenants, promises of God, gave His people hope. Every time you read the OT-look for the promises of God. Let me refer to four unconditional (not dependent on you) contracts God made with His people. Covenant with Noah-never destroy the earth again with a flood. Covenant with Abraham-promised a people and a land and a blessing to all the nations. Covenant with David-that David would have a son Jesus Christ who would reign forever. New Covenant-Some day a new heart, a new spirit-take sins away by blood. What a terrible thing to pick up the Bible and read God's promise and yet not know God is speaking to you. It is foreign, strange. "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" (but only) in Christ."

4. Without hope and without God. If there is no future kingdom and no promises about that coming king and if you are not special and if there is no responsibility for you then it doesn't matter whether you live or die. You may be ignorant of God today but let me assure you, God has not forsaken you. That's why all religions apart from Jesus Christ are pessimistic. The only comfort they give you is that you can escape from this world some time. Without God it's all emptiness. There are millions living today without the help, peace, joy and hope that comes from knowing God.

That's a picture of your heritage if Jesus had never come. Mega division! Quickly now Paul turns from the tragedy of the Ephesians former desolation to the joy of their reconciliation in Christ. "But now…"

2. THE GREATEST MERGER WAS BECAUSE OF THE CROSS. vv.13-18 "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ…"

A. The DESCRIPTION of a new POWER. "in Christ…"

The picture of DISTANCE away from God "brought near" .v.13 Those who were once far off have been brought near. The prodigal son took his inheritance and went to a "far country" but he finally came home. When the Rabbis spoke about someone converting to Judaism-they said that he had been brought near. I.e.-The Jewish Rabbinical writers tell how a Gentile woman came to Rabbi Eliezer-She confessed that she was a sinner and asked to be admitted to the Jewish faith. "Rabbi," she said, "bring me near." The Rabbi refused. The door was shut in her face; but now the door was open.

No matter how far away a person is from God, God has the power to draw Him back to Himself. Far off or near? Where are you? Are you outside the door or inside the door? We are brought near not by law keeping or by coming through Israel as such, but by the work of Jesus on the cross.

The picture of DESTRUCTION of a major barrier. "broke down" -v.14-"For He Himself…" Intensive-Christ and no other has the power to solve the problems of our relationships with God and man.

Paul paints another vivid picture. "broke down the barrier of the dividing wall"-a fence. Symbol was the "sorek"-divisions in the Temple. There was a series of courts in the temple each one higher and closer to the presence of God. First there was the court of the Gentiles, then the woman, then the Israelites; then the Court of the Priests, and finally the Holy Place itself. Only into the first one could Gentiles come. It was the outermost court-the one farthest away from God. There was a wall/screen, which had placards on it every so often that basically said, if a Gentile went any further he was in danger of instant death.

Paul was, at the time of this writing, under house arrest in Rome, awaiting trial because he was (falsely) accused by the Jews of taking a Gentile into the temple past the wall dividing Jew and Gentile - Paul makes it clear that in Jesus, there is no more wall!

How did Jesus break down the wall that separated them? 15 "by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances". The source of contention between Jew and Gentile was the fact that the Gentile did not keep the law. So Jesus got rid of it! How? He put to death the source of contention. Scripture says Jesus rendered it inoperative by His death -made it of none effect. He fulfilled it-He satisfied and completed the law of God.

Heb. 10:19-21 Today His work on the cross is the common ground of salvation for both Jew and Gentile, so there is no longer any dividing wall between Jew and Gentile - the powerful Saviour Jesus has broken it down!

B. The DEVELOPMENT of a new POSITION.vv.16-18 The two are Jew and Gentile-The gentile is the one far off and the Jews who had the OT promises were near. We have a new relationship-because we have a new position.

He created peace-v.15b "the two into one new man…" Jesus Himself is our peace; Jesus hasn't simply made peace…; He is our peace.

Jesus is one ambassador that can do more than just ease tensions-He can stop the war and create peace. How? "In Himself" A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it. So when you find the Lord you won't have to seek for peace, for he himself is your peace.

Although it was not part of his plan, at Calvary rebellious man constructed a bridge. In crucifying the Son of God, man had a part in building the "new and living way" to God. Now all of us, whether we are Greek or Jew, can walk together across that bridge.

When we walk that bridge Christ makes us into one new man. New. The word "kainos" means new in point of quality. This is what Paul says. He says that Jesus brings together Jew and Gentile and from them both produces a new kind of person.

Chrysostom explained, it is "as if one should melt down one statue of silver and another of lead, and the two together should come out gold." Jesus doesn't blot out the differences we bear-He makes people from all nations into Christians.

He reconciled both together to God-v.16 "and might reconcile them both into one body". Reconcile=used of bringing together friends who have been estranged. The work of Jesus not only removes the barriers between God and man, it also removes the barriers between groups of people. Since now God can be our friend therefore we must be friends with each other. We can find common ground in the Lordship of Jesus! If the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not greater than any difference you have with others-be it political, racial, economic, language, geography or whatever, then you have not fully understood what it means to be under the Lordship of Jesus.

Laws can and should penalize things such as racial discrimination, but they cannot change the heart of the racist - only Jesus can. The wall is only broken down by Jesus!

Recently one of the leaders of the Klu Klu Klan was converted in an Oklahoma jail cell. The first thing he did was to call the father of the Negro man he had murdered and beg forgiveness. The wonder of the grace of God was the graciousness of the the father of the victim. This man had become a Baptist pastor, and he fully forgave the murderer and began t visit him regularly to encourage him and assist him.

He provided access to the Father "through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father…" Each person of the Triune God is mentioned here. The great object of salvation is to bring us into the presence of God. This word means "bringing and introducing". "Prosagoge." Used for bringing a sacrifice to God. It was used for introducing a person into the presence of a king. In the Persian royal court there was an official called the prosagogeus whose function was to introduce people who desired an audience with the king. Providing a way to come to God. Christ did that!

You may think-Big deal! Yes it is. In the Old Testament, there is the picture of the High Priest with the bells and pomegranates on the bottom of his robe. Why? It is a staggering thing to go into the "holiest" of all-into the presence of God. Will He come out alive? So they tied a rope around his waist. That way if he died-they could pull him out without having to go there themselves. How thrilled they were to hear the jingling of the bells-God had accepted the sacrifice.

What a priceless thing this access really is-to have the privilege to break in on Him at any time-to take our troubles, our loneliness, and our sadness to him. Are you exercising your privilege? Are you going to God? If not-I would imagine that your level of peace is fairly low. Phil. 4:6-7 You must exercise your right. Because of what Christ has done-we need not wait to get to heaven to enjoy God, for we can do that here and now. In fact the Father is waiting for you to come to Him!

3. THE GREATEST BUILDING IS SINCE THE CROSS. Vv.19-22 19 "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household."

A. It involves a new POSITION for all.

*No longer away from home. "no longer strangers and foreigners" A foreigner is one who comes from another country but not a citizen-living alongside of but not in. An alien is one who must exist on a visa or a passport and not a birth certificate. Which is that you have?

*Fellow citizens with the saints. We are people who are bound together by our allegiance to a common ruler and authority. Both are saints and thus they are a part of …

*God's household. "Belonging to God's house". Our new relationship of being in a family with God as our Father.

B. It involves a new PURPOSE for all. …having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets… One of the greatest things taking place in the world today is the construction of this building that God has been erecting through the ages. When all the worthless products of human endeavour have crumbled into dust; when all the institutions and organizations that we have built have long been forgotten, the temple which God is erecting will be the central focus of attention through all eternity. That is what the passage implies. Furthermore, he is building it now, using human building-blocks; shaping them, edging them, sand papering them, preparing them just as he desires, putting human beings into this temple where he wants them. This building is…

*Founded on the apostles and prophets. Whole superstructure rests on them. But the more important truth is that the church is based on what the Apostles and Prophets believed and taught. "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” ). A building is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is laid. Too many pastors are trying to build a skyscraper church on a chicken coop foundation. If you try to build a church on anything except the Lord Jesus Christ, it is destined to fall. A church stands on the Lord Jesus Christ or it does not stand at all. Jesus once said to Simon Peter, “l also say to you that you are Peter [petros), little pebble], and on this rock [petra, large boulder] I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18) The petra, was the confession the apostle Peter made, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The church is founded upon nothing other than the Person of Jesus Christ and His shed blood. That’s how you build a church. You can’t build a church on the personality of a pastor. You can’t build a church on gimmicks and programs either. The church that is founded and grounded on the Lord Jesus Christ is the church that is destined to stand until the Lord Jesus Himself comes again.

*Framed around the corner stone. Cornerstone literally means at the tip of the angle. Provides the angles and straightedge for the rest of the building. It is set in place in order to be seen by all. This provides the example. It refers to the capstone or binding stone that holds the whole structure together . . . often the royal name was inscribed on it. It is the most important stone in the structure, the one on which its stability depended.

*Fitted together to grow. "being fitted together is growing" You must first be related to the cornerstone…and then you must be related to one another. "rubbed together until you fit" A force outside ourselves is working and shaping us together.

*Filled with God the Spirit.

“In whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22). That’s how the building is filled. You have to put the building on a foundation, you have to frame the building correctly, and when that is done, then the Bible says the building becomes a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. In Exodus 40, when all the pieces of the tabernacle were properly in place, then “the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34). When you build a church on Jesus and on the things that edify, the glory of God comes down in that church. That’s the inward ministry of a church.

God’s purpose for you in the local church is to be the home of God, the dwelling place of God. The purpose of this building is that it might be inhabited. "temple"-"dwelling place of God". 'The Lord is in His holy temple". Every true Christian is a part of this building.

It took a lot to get you there. It was "through the cross". This unity didn't just happen-it was a hard fought accomplishment. If you are in Christ His power produces people who make friends with each other because they are friends with God. It produces people who are one because they meet in the presence of God to whom they all have access. When conflict arises between Christians-they are forgetting that they are saved by the same gospel, are headed to the same destination, and have the same access to God.

*Is He at home in you? When my family comes back from a long trip, as soon as we get home, we take off our coats, stretch out, and make ourselves at home. We all say how great it is to be home. But what is it about our home that makes us feel that way? Isn't it that at home we can relax and be ourselves? That does not mean that when we are away from home we are something other than ourselves, but we are always somewhat restrained. While at home, we can be all that we want to be---just relax and be ourselves. That is what God is building the Church for---to be the place where he can be what he wants to be in you, fully relaxed and all that he is, in you. That is why he is calling you and building you. This is what the church should be like. Its unity does not come from organization or denominational authority, or ritual. It comes from Christ. Do you know Him?


11Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


A. Separated from the Messiah.

B. Excluded from the Kingdom

C. Strangers to "the" Promises.

D. Without hope and without God.


A. The DESCRIPTION of a new POWER. "in Christ…"

B. The DEVELOPMENT of a new POSITION.vv.16-18

He created peace-v.15b

He reconciled both together to God-v.16

He provided access to the Father


A. It involves a new POSITION for all.

B. It involves a new PURPOSE for all.

*Founded on the apostles and prophets.

*Framed around the corner stone.

*Fitted together to grow.

*Filled with God the Spirit.

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