Summary: To establish the truth, “by grace ye are saved” is not through faith only - but through “the obedience to the faith”- that is – “the gospel of the grace of God.”
1. Man’s Condition before His Call by Grace
2. Man’s Condition during His Call into Grace
3. Man’s Condition after His Call to Grace
1. This lesson is presented to answer the question is salvation by grace through the faith; - or by grace ONLY? Or is the recipient of this grace required to exercise true faith and obedience to obtain the grace of God? I will not be discussing the preparatory work of the Godhead in man’s redemption before the foundation of the world. This lesson will deals entirely with man’s response to the gift of God’s grace and mercy at the time of his call through the gospel. This lesson will establish the position, the point in time, and the Person who grants “salvation by grace” to the believer at the moment of conversion. This will be a two part lesson; first two points this morning, and the last point tonight. How many plan to be here tonight? Thank God for you and your family’s interest in this lesson on grace.
2. First, in our lesson text Paul addresses man’s condition before his call by grace. He describes him as “being dead in trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1. Man, being unable to save himself and unworthy of the grace of God. Man, being incapable of obtaining God’s favor through any human works of goodness or righteousness. Notice Paul: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye 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:…even as others,” Ephesians 2:1-3. Surely, we were in a pitiful state: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” See Romans 7:24.
3. Secondly, Paul addresses man’s condition during his call into grace. He affirms that at that time when we, “were dead in trespasses and sins” we were, “united with Christ; quickened or made alive, and saved by grace.” Notice: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved),” Ephesians 2:4-5. The Apostle Paul indicates here and in other writings that the sinner is “united with Christ; quickened or made alive; and then saved by grace.” The question for us today is, where and when did this occur? And, does this imply we are saved by grace only? Or, does the sinner’s acts of faith and obedience – allow him to have “access by faith into this grace?” See Romans 5:1-2. Paul again on our condition: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” Colossians 2:13. Here, Paul affirms that God has forgiveness all trespasses and sins when we were “quickened together with him (Christ).”
4. Finally, the beloved Apostle Paul states man’s condition after his call to grace. Notice, speaking now of our redeemed state: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:6-7. Then, he affirms again that “by grace ye are saved.” Notice: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9. Then, finally, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10. Paul affirms that God’s grace is granted through faith. Not by belief or faith only; but through the “system of religious (gospel) truth itself;” as opposed to the system of works through the law (Strong’s Definitions of G4102). We are saved “by grace through the faith.” It is not, “by grace are ye saved” through faith ONLY! It is not, through our righteousness, but rather: “it is the gift of God.” The preaching of “Jesus Christ, according to the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began…But now…made known to all nations for the obedience of faith,” Romans 16:25-26. With this introduction, let’s consider our first point: “man’s condition before his call by grace.”
BODY OF LESSON
I MAN’S CONDITION BEFORE HIS CALL BY GRACE
A. Once dead, now alive with Christ, Ephesians 2:1 10. Before conversion, we were dead through trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1-3. Notice: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” Colossians 2:13. Is it possible for one to be dead and still walk in the world? Paul states the widow who lives in pleasures: “Is dead while she liveth,” 1 Timothy 5:6. Illustrate: The forbidden fruit, Genesis 3:17.