Summary: Everyday we have a choice as Christians to live as God changed us (seated in the heavenly realms with Christ) or live like the way we used to as enemies of God.
This morning, we are to worship God with songs, prayer, His Word, our offerings, and with our fellowship. For Christians, to be in church on a Sunday morning is the thing to do; But, what about later today or tomorrow? How will we really live? We live our lives without really asking that question, don’t we? Yes we do some planning and we need to plan our lives, but many of us live our days without making a decision how we are going to live!
I believe this is the challenge for us who are saints of God, from Ephesians 2. Everyday, we should make a decision on how we are really going to live. There are two forces at work against each other in a Christian life.
Ephesians 2, which is the Word of God, tells us what Christians were like before believing in Christ, who Christians are now, and how they became that way.
Please open your Bibles to Ephesians 2. As Peg Hamby comes forward to read for us this morning, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word……..
What were Believers like before Christ?
v1: were dead in transgressions and sins
Non-believers of Christ are dead people walking! You know, this is why many non-Christians like Halloween, the celebration of death. How do you treat Halloween? Or are you tricked by the devil?
v2: Before accepting Christ, non-believers followed the ways of this world and the devil
v3a: gratified the cravings of our sinful nature, following its desires and thoughts
v3b: by nature objects of wrath
v12a: separate from Christ
v12b: without hope and without God
You see, non-believers are enemies of God! And before you became a Christian, you were an enemy of God.
Let us note; those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord are still the way they are as described before Christ, enemies of God! If your relative, neighbor, or friend is not a believer of Jesus Christ, they are still dead in transgressions and sins, they are still following the ways of this world and the devil, they are still gratifying the cravings of their sinful nature, they are still by nature objects of wrath, they are separated from Christ, they are without hope and without God! They are enemies of God. They may think they are not enemies of God but they are fooling themselves. If someone tells you that they are not enemies of God then ask them to believe in Jesus Christ! How can one be a friend of God when they refuse to believe in the Son of God?
Let’s pause for a moment to pray. If you are a Christian, give thanks to God. If you are not a Believer of Christ, will you pray to Christ and accept Him as your only Savior and God? And finally, let us pray for our relatives and friends who are not Christians that they would seek Jesus Christ.
And so, there are only two types of people in the world at any point in time, those who are separated from God and are living the way of the world and the other people are Christians. What makes a Christian different from the other type of people in the world? According to Ephesians 2, who are Christians?
v5: not dead but alive with Christ
Are you seeing yourself alive with Christ? In other words, is Christ really part of your life? If Christ is not really part of your life, I encourage you to really think about your belief in Christ; because maybe, you are still dead in your sins.
And according to v6: Christians are raised up with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms!
v13: brought near to God through the blood of Christ.
v18: have access to the Father by one Spirit.
v19: fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household
v22: being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit
Now, it is important for all of us to know How Christians became who they are?
Look again at v4-5………..
God is loving, merciful, and gracious!
Just taking a quick look at the original Greek words for love, mercy, and grace, gives us the wonders of God!
Agape is the Greek word for love; meaning a self-sacrificial love! God is agape love who is always thinking the best for you!
Eleos is the Greek word for mercy; meaning compassion to one in need or helpless distress, or in debt and without claim to favorable treatment! God is compassionate to you!
Charis is the Greek word for grace; meaning undeserved favor! God has given us favor without any work from us.
Christians become who they are because this is how God is; a loving, merciful, gracious God!