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Summary: From what do you get your identity? Is it in your career? Your Spouse? Your Looks? Maybe it is even something such as Your Ministry or how much you Read The Bible. In this message Pastor Matt Smith shows us through scripture that our primary identity

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Identity [Ephesians 2:1-10]

*Pastor’s Note: All of my sermons are transcribed by the amazing saints at Barabbas Road Church. The sermons will have minor spelling, gramatical and contextual errors. If you wish to listen or view a sermon from Barabbas Road Church please visit our website at www.barabbasroadchurch.com. Thank you for reading.

Welcome, welcome to Barabbas Road Church. If this is your first time at this church, glad to have you, hopefully you’ll come back. We are going to be in the Bible so we’ll have people handing the Bible out to you. It’s a very big theme of the day here. So it’s good to be able to follow along with what we go over today in the word of God because that is our authority. And so God willing, we’re going to be able to see where we’re getting everything from, from that book, so, I’m pretty excited about that.

As we begin, let’s pray.

God, thank you so much for everybody today in this room that you sovereignly brought. Thank you so much for Ephesians chapter two and I thank you God for what you taught me from this book. I pray Father that those of us that are struggling with various issues today would be willing to hear what you have to say and will actually believe it. I pray God first for the people that don’t know you. I pray Father that they recognize their condition today and that they see their need for you and that they receive you today as Lord and Saviour. I pray for us that have actually done that very thing that we would actually really realize who we are in you God. We praise you so much for that. In Jesus name, amen.

As we get started today, we’re going to be in Ephesians 2. My first slide got erased I believe, so it’s black, but that’s actually appropriate. The message in Ephesians 2 is where we get this doctrine called “total depravity” from. It’s an important doctrine as we begin, but I want to put the whole thing in context for you. So you see, the power of this book that you hold in front of you is unlocked, so to speak, when you let it speak in its own context. And that means that there’s an argument in place. So oftentimes we go to the Bible looking for a verse here or a doctrine there or “how can I find this teaching about that?”, but what you find in the Bible that’s going to give you the most out of it, I believe (and you might find this yourself) is trying to find the argument that’s being made by the biblical author and trying to trace that argument out. That means that there’s usually a theme of a book or a letter, rather. And there’s usually a theme broken down in these paragraphs. And if we can capture that just a little bit, we might see what Paul was actually saying to the original hearers. And it will keep us from going off track on all the various sort of red herrings…these little distractions and rabbit holes we can go into. This Ephesians passage in particular has a few where I’ve heard people preach on it and they’ve talked all about these little red herrings and these distractions and missed the theme of what Paul is saying.

Let me make something very clear at the offset. Ephesians is about God’s sovereignty. It’s about his control. He is the actor. We are the recipients of salvation. Ephesians is describing the great things God has done for us and because of that, some of these great themes of his “election” and “predestination” and his choosing us before the foundation of the earth are in this text, but they are not put there to be controversial. They are put there to be accepted and comforting of you. That’s what they’re there to do.

As we begin in Ephesians two, we’re going to be starting off talking about you and me and people in general. It’s anthropology if you will. There are basically three chapters in Ephesians in the beginning that talk about this doctrinal teaching and he’s going to turn a corner and talk about application. These first three chapters this is how I’ve broken it up and I think you’ll find it appropriate. Chapter one, which we talked about last week, Paul is describing the great things God has done for his glory and his purposes in bringing people to Jesus Christ and saving them and choosing them to be saved and ordering their steps that they’d be saved and doing all these things and he ends that chapter making the bold proclamation that we must know this Christ. We have to know this and he prays that the Ephesians would know who God is.

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