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BUT GOD

(30)

Sermon shared by Warren Napier

November 2004
Summary: NO MATTER WHAT CONDITION YOU FIND YOURSELF IN GOD CAN CHANGE THE SITUATION.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
BUT GOD
EPHESIANS 2:1-4

IN THIS SECOND CHAPTER OF EPHESIANS THE INSPIRED WRITER SETS BEFORE US A MARVELOUS CONSTRAST. IN THE FIRST THREE VERSES HE DESCRIBES OUR WRETCHED STATE APART FROM THE GRACE OF GOD. HE PILES ONE PHRASE UPON ANOTHER TO PICTURE OUR LOST AND UNDONE CONDITION. WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS. WE WALKED ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR. THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.

WE HAD OUR CONVERSATIONS IN THE TIMES PAST IN THE LUST OF THE FLESH. FULFILLING THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND THE MIND. WE WERE BY NATURE THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, EVEN AS OTHERS.

NOW,IF THE WRITER HAD STOPPED THERE, IF NO MORE COULD BE SAID, IF WE WERE LEFT SHUT UP IN THOSE DISMAL PHRASES, THEN LIFE WOULD BE BUT ANOTHER NAME FOR DEATH AND EARTH AND THE ANTERROOM TO HELL. BUT VERSE FOUR OPENS WITH TWO WORDS THAT SPELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, BETWEEN SIN AND SALVATION, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL....BUT GOD.

SIN WAS BLACK, BUT GOD CAME IN AND GOD IS LIGHT. SATAN WAS POWERFUL, BUT GOD CAME IN, AND GOD IS ALMIGHTY. MAN WAS LOST, BUT GOD CAME IN AND GOD FOUND MAN. MAN WAS UNDER WRATH, BUT GOD CAME IN AND GOD IS LOVE.

THE COURSE OF HISTORY REVOLVES AROUND THESE PRECIOUS WORDS. THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE WICKEDNESS OF MAN WAS GREAT IN THE EARTH AND EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART WAS ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY, BUT GOD CHOSE NOAH AND GAVE THE RACE A NEW START.

THERE WAS A DAY WHEN MEN FORGOT GOD AND WALKED BY SIGHT, BUT GOD CALLED ABRAHAM TO SET OUT NOT KNOWING WHITHER HE WENT, LOOKING FOR A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATION, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD. THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE CHOSEN PEOPLE LANGUISHED UNDER EGYPTIAN BONDAGE, BUT GOD CALLED MOSES TO ENDURE AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE.

THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE BACK SLIDDING PEOPLE HUNG THEIR HARPS ON WILLOWS IN FOREIGN EXILE. BUT GOD RAISED UP EXEKIEL AND DANIEL. THERE WAS A DAY WHEN IT SEEMED THAT HEAVEN HAD CEASED SPEAKING TO EARTH, BUT GOD RETURNED ON THE BANKS OF THE JORDAN TO THUNDER THROUGH THE VOICE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.

AND THERE WAS THE DAY OF ALL DAYS WHEN MAN WALLOWED IN SIN WITHOUT A SAVIOR, GROPED IN DARKNESS WITHOUT LIGHT, STRUGGLED IN BONDAGE WITHOUT REDEMPTION, BUT GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON TO LIVE AND DIE AND LIVE AGAIN. THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST, THE SINLESS FOR THE SINNERS, GOD FOR MAN.

EVERY SINCE THAT DAY, NO MATTER HOW LOW THE CLOUDS HAVE HUNG EVERYTHING HAS SEEMED HOPELESS. HISTORY HAS ALWAYS TURNED A CORNER WITH THOSE BLESSED WORDS...BUT GOD.

THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE EARLY CHURCH SEEMED TO FACE AN INPENETRABLE GENTIL WORLD. BUT GOD STRUCK DOWN A REBEL ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD TO MAKE SAUL OF TAURUS THE SPEARHEAD OF WORLD EVANGELISM.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE BIBLE WAS CHAINED, AND SUPERSTITION TOOK THE PLACE OF THE GOSPEL, BUT GOD CALLED A WYCLIFFE AND TYNDALE TO LOOSEN HIS WORD IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE COMMON PEOPLE. THERE CAME A DAY WHEN ECCLESIASTICISM THREATENED TO CHOKE THE CHURCH AND WHEN IGNORANCE BOUND MILLIONS IN THE CHURCH OF THE LAW. BUT GOD TOUCHED A MISERABLE MONK, WORN OUT WITH TRYING TO EARN HIS OWN SALVATION, AND MARTIN LUTHER ROSE IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD TO DECLARE, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.

AGAIN, THERE CAME A TIME WHEN THE NOTES OF THE FREE GRACE WERE LOST IN AN AGE OF WORLDLINESS AND THE CHURCH HAD LOST THE SPIRIT OF POWER IN THE LAP
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