Summary: A sermon on what we were like before Christ (BC) and after our decision (AD)
B. C. A. D.
How many of you are still trying to figure out the title of the sermon?
How many of you think you have it?
BEAT CAROLINA ALL DAY
BEAT CLEMSON AT DEATH VALLEY
BROMENTHUS CANTHUS ALIGARTUS DEBACULUM
“We hope they both lose”
Actually none of those are correct…
does this help?
It stands for B. C and A. D.
Before Christ and After Decision
Paul is talking to the Ephesians about their life BEFORE Christ and how different their life was SINCE they made the decision to accept Christ.
He paints a bleak, black, hopeless picture of our life before Christ…
Then… one promise at a time he transforms the blackness into light… HOPE
As he spoke of things that were and should be true for them… we can learn what is and should be true of us
Let’s look at our life BEFORE Christ
The first thing Paul says about us BEFORE CHRIST is that we were
Paul says we were DEAD in our transgression and sins.
We were dead because we were lifeless… having no eternal life
We were dead because we were unresponsive… to God
We were dead because we were
Next Paul says of our life BEFORE CHRIST that we
FOLLOWED the ways of the world
We followed after self… pleasure… lust…
We reasoned like the world… what is in it for ME?
Pleasing the flesh
What is easiest
And the ways of the world led us farther and farther from God
And because of our transgressions and sins… and because we followed the ways of the world…
Paul says of our life BEFORE CHRIST that we were…
OBJECTS OF WRATH… that God would have to pour out His wrath on us.
In his letter to the Romans, chapter 1, Paul says “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”
This is the dark side of the gospel… the wrath, punishment and purity of God
In 2:5-6 Paul warned…5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath , when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”
God’s wrath is not His hatred… it is the natural consequences of His purity and righteousness… sin must be punished
If we are connected to the sin… the wrath that is poured out on our sins will be poured out on us.
We are thus… the objects that receive His wrath
Because of that sin that brings the wrath of God we are …
SEPARATED FROM GOD v12
Our sin is a deep uncrossable chasm between us and God
That sin cuts us off from God’s LOVE
In this world we are cut off from the benefits
In eternity we are cut off from hope of ever having those benefits
Paul also uses a much stronger word that separate…
EXCLUDED!!! V 12
Before Christ we no only did not have the benefits of fellowship and relationship to God…
We were black-balled… prohibited… barred from ever having those benefits
We were on the DO NOT HELP list…. Like being on the BAD CHECK list
And Paul says in the same verse that we were…
Foreigners have NO RIGHTS… no legal standing… they do not belong
It means we are bound to feel excluded, unwanted, no belonging
It is only natural for us to be objects of wrath
Separated from God
Because we are FOREIGNERS
And because we are foreigners… we are also…
Without hope of being received
Without hope of being loved
Without hope of being helped
Without hope of being heard
We are in a cold, dark terrible and forboding place
And there is NO HOPE
And there is no hope because there is NO GOD
There is nothing in the whole world as hopeless as a person with NO GOD
When there is no God… there is only you… only humans
And we all know how helpless we are
SO… Paul has taken any notion of hope in this world… apart from god… and exposed it for the hopelessness it truly is
NOW… LETS WATCH AS HE BRINGS BACK THE HOPE AS HE DESCRIBES OUT LIFE AFTER DECISION
THOUGH WE WERE DEAD… NOW WE ARE ALIVE
WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
WE HAVE ABUNDANT LIFE
Though we formerly followed the ways of the world… NOW WE ARE SAVED
SAVED = DELIVERED
We are delivered from the old path… the ways of the world and we are set on a new path… the will of God
God did not just deliver us from hell… but from the old nature… the old stinking thinking… the old ways