Summary: God’s plan for us, based on Ephesians chapter 2


Ephesians – Riches in Christ

Ephesians 2:1-10

Turn your bibles to Eph ch. 2

A newspaper recently surveyed personnel directors of the nation’s largest companies for their most unusual experiences when they were interviewing people for jobs.

Here’s some actual things that happened in job interviews.

One job applicant challenged the interviewer to arm wrestle.

Another job candidate said the reason he had never finished high school was because he had been kidnapped and kept in a closet in Mexico.

A balding candidate excused himself, then returned wearing a full hairpiece.

One candidate wore earphones to the interview and, when asked to remove them, explained that she could listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.

A candidate said she didn’t have time for lunch, then started to eat a hamburger and fries in the interviewer’s office.

One applicant interrupted the questioning to phone her therapist for advice.

One candidate dozed off during the interview.

One candidate asked, "Would it be a problem if I’m angry most of the time?"

These people sound pretty much like losers, don’t they?

But you know what?

Though we certainly don’t think of ourselves that way,

the Bible says

that’s how we all were, to start with.

We were all losers,

we were all rebellious and disobedient and deceived,

but God loved us anyway,

so he helped us out.

We’re in a series of messages on the book of Ephesians,

and today we’re starting chapter 2.

The apostle Paul writes this to the church in Ephesus ---

Ephesians 2:1-10 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

This is a great section of scripture,

because God tells us here what His plan is, for our lives,

past, present and future.

And God shows us 4 ways to respond,

so that we can be in the middle of his plan.

That’s what I want to look at today,

the 4 things God wants us to do,

to be in the middle of his plan,

or his will for our lives.

The first thing God wants me to do, is

Bury the past

Verse 1

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins

Why do we bury the past?

Because we were dead,

and when something is dead,

you usually bury it.

Now that’s not always the case.

I read about an English guy named Jeremy Bentham.

He was really rich,

and when he died in London, on June 6 1832, He left all of his money to University College, London under one condition.

The university was required to embalm his dead body,

dress him in his formal suit, place him in a chair, and keep him at the university permanently.

And at every board meeting of the university,

they’re required to carry his body in on the chair,

and let him sit in the board meetings.

Whenever a vote is taken,

someone says, Jeremy Bentham, present but not voting.

The rest of the time he is stored in a cabinet in a hallway of the main building of University College He’s still there today, after 170 years.

Now, in Verse 1,

Paul is not speaking about physical death. But he’s saying that people who don’t know Jesus,

are absolutely and completely spiritually dead.

They’re not in danger of spiritual death,

they are dead.

They’re not sick,

they don’t need to be revived,

they’re dead.

They’re like zombies,

walking around but spiritually dead.

They’re like Jeremy Bentham.

He may sit in the board meeting, but he’s not voting.

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