Summary: Who we are meant to be as shown by the book of Ephesians.
I Am Rescued
Series: Becoming Who We Are (Engaging Ephesians)
January 26, 2014 - Brad Bailey
My mother-in-law...has become immersed in the whole process of rescuing dogs. She works night and day to identify dogs in shelters and then to find owners before they face another fate.
As a result... at times we get pictures like this. [Sad faces of dogs at shelters]
And sometimes we get to see how the stories end...like this. [Dogs happily with smiling owners]
There is no story that draws us more than that of a dramatic rescue.
It's been this way through the history of human story telling. Whether someone faces the fate of the wild...the princess needing rescue... rescue by soldiers... saving the world from destruction.
When firefighters go into a building and they come out with children, we cheer.
It’s why when some person is ruling over others in a horrendous way and the soldiers show up to liberate, we cheer.
> Someone is in trouble...and their future depends on someone rescuing them from their fate.
What I hope we will grasp today...is that these are all just reflections of the ultimate rescue.
As we continue in our series in which we are engaging the Biblical book of Ephesians... a series entitled becoming Who We Are...we are letting God speak into who we are and how we can live accordingly. That is what the Apostle Paul was writing about. We've heard of how we are blessed by God by receiving he blessing which Christ shared with us. Last week we heard how we are grounded in the hope of our destiny. Today... we must hear where it begins...with being rescued. For our rescue is more powerful and profound than any rescue on earth.
Let's hear of our own rescue...
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)
1 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.
Paul begins, " As for you, you were dead." A rather strong statement. It may strike you in different ways depending on your personality. Some of you may like those who "tell it like it is"...aren't afraid of speaking the truth blatantly.... and so you can appreciate this bold description. Others might find this a little harsh. The truth is that there are times we must deal with the truth.
How we feel about such truth can be similar to how we feel about doctors. Some want to go often...know anything that may be going on related to their health. Some of us don't like going to doctors...in part because we just don't want bad news. such truth have different feelings about doctors. We may avoid wanting to know what the state of our condition is....but of course we are just avoiding a truth that we need.
So Paul tells us the truth.
Here it is: Apart from some outside rescue...You are dead.
That may sound a little surprising or extreme...but it's far from being a new truth. It's what we read in the very first book of the Scriptures.
Genesis 2:17 (NIV)
...you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
This was the beginning of man’s spiritual death—his disobedience to the will of God. God said, if you seek your own life apart from me... the separation will bring death....the consequences will be a separation from life. And what did the spiritual enemy say... depicted as a serpent? Surely you will NOT DIE. (Gen. 3:4) That is the choice in which we live. God declares the tragedy of our separation from life...an eternal separation...and an enemy tells us to believe it's not true.
Paul says we must grasp the truth of how it has been. As the Scriptures state again in... Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death"
So to understand who I are... begins with understanding that...
1. I am rescued FROM death
Like many rescue stories...we may not even realize the extent of jeopardy we are in.
Many of us may have a sense that we need God to just fix up our lives...to recover from some tragic losses...to do a spiritual makeover perhaps. Not only are these all true...likely more than we know. God has restoration beyond what we can imagine. God can revolutionize your life. I can look back at the trajectory of posture and practice...I have seen it. But there is something much more fundamental at hand.