Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the "Accounting" series from the Book of Ephesians.
Series: Accounting [#6]
Paul began the Book of Ephesians with a song of praise; continued with a powerful prayer; and then began preaching a sermon. He began his sermon with a picture of the human condition- The sinner is dead in their sins; deluded, disobedient, defiled, and doomed. Paul then continues with what God did and an explanation of why God did it. We are rescued from death; rescued by love; rescued for life; and rescued for a reason.
As we continue in our series, “Accounting”, I want you to see how generous God is. While, this may seem like a basic sermon on salvation, (and it is); I want you to realize how blessed and rich you are in Christ.
Ephesians 2:8a (NIV)
“For it is by grace you have been saved.”
1. By grace.
Grace is receiving something you do not deserve. This is at the core of what we believe. Never lose sight of this fact- Salvation has nothing to do with how good you are. It is only possible through the grace of God.
Ephesians 2:8b (NIV)
“Through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
2. Through faith.
Faith is believing in something that your senses do not pick up on. When people ask, “How do you know that there is a God”; the true answer is, “Through faith”. When Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again, Nicodemus was confused. How could a person go back into the womb and be born again? Jesus’ explanation is found in this statement, “How do you know that the wind is blowing”? Although you cannot see the wind, you can see and hear the affects of the wind.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:9 (NIV)
“Not by works, so that no one can boast.”
3. Not by works.
There are many religions and cults out there that tell us that you have to earn your salvation. Others will say, “That you have to keep trying really hard, and eventually you might discover salvation”. There is not 1 thing that you can do to earn your salvation.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
4. For good works.
Now, I know what I just said. You cannot work yourself into salvation; but when you are saved, you become a new creation. There should be an outward evidence of your faith in Christ. You were created in Christ to do good works. In fact, God has already prepared in advance what you are supposed to be doing.
I must admit, that as I prepared this sermon; my 1st thought was, “They have already heard this sermon many times recently”. While this is true, there is no more important message that the fact that Jesus saves. We have nothing without Christ.