Summary: God recreated us in Christ for good works. We are individually new creations.
“New Life Individually,” Ephesians 2:1-10
a. CIT: God recreated us in Christ for good works.
b. CIS: We are individually new creations.
a. The Chaos. (v.1-3)
i. Humanity lost in its inheritance from Adam.
ii. Humans individually lost in spiritual darkness.
iii. The Enemy of our souls.
iv. Serving the flesh (base sinful desires)
v. Serving the mind (higher pride-driven desires & motives)
b. The Change. (v.4-7)
i. Grace through faith.
ii. Grace brought us back to life spiritually.
1. Dead men don’t respond. (The futility of preaching without the Holy Spirit)
2. Dean men don’t know they are dead. (The futility of moralizing unsaved people)
c. The Response. (v.8-9)
i. Not boasting.
ii. Personal accountability.
1. Alcoholic’s Anonymous, step 9.
iii. Grace is not license.
1. In our misunderstanding Free Grace as Cheap Grace, we neglect the biblical doctrine of repentance.
d. The Result. (v.10)
i. James 2:17, 26, faith without works is dead.
ii. Philippians 2:12, salvation must be lived. When new life is present it will produce growing evidence.
“New Life Individually,” Ephesians 2:1-10
It’s funny how certain traits and happens of people seem to be somehow “built in” to all of us, even from early childhood without even having been taught them. Of late it doesn’t really matter what you confront my soon to be 4 year old son Ephram with, his sister did it. “Hey Ephram, who drew with markers all over the couch?” “Oh, Felicity did that dad. I’ll tell her not to do that next time she tries to do it. Don’t worry Dad, I’ll keep my eye on her.” It seems to be built in, inherent to the human condition, to pass the buck, not take responsibility even for our own actions, and to deny or push away individual personal accountability. However, if we would see the glory of Christ reign in our lives we must first put in the hard work of taking a personal inventory, yielding to God in repentance, and putting the words of our faith into action.
CIT: God recreated us in Christ for good works. CIS: We are individually accountable to God who transforms and empowers. Repentance is both the gift and the requirement of God. New life is both the blessing and the joy believers. God created us individually for good works and He alone empowers us for the journey and gives us guides, markers, and direction as to which way is most beneficial in the traversing of that journey.
The Chaos. (v.1-3) The opening section in the text describes the believers condition before the power of God came into their lives and transformed them.
The text begins with the words “and you” or “as for you.” The writer is making a profoundly personal statement, even though it is a plural, to his audience. Paul is addressing his readers directly as the Holy Spirit addresses us personally now.
Humanity is lost in its inheritance from Adam. Before God took action in Christ on behalf of humanity all was lost. And remember, Christ was slain before the foundation of the earth, we discussed last week. All who are saved in the Old Testament or New Testament dispensations or eras of human history are saved in Jesus Christ. We look back to the Cross. The faithful Old Testament believer looked forward to God’s salvation though unaware of its instrument – the Cross.
The writer says that though we were alive physically, before Christ our spiritual condition was just like the physical condition of Lazarus, whom Jesus called forth from a tomb where death had reined for four days. Jesus called the dead man to life. That is what happens at conversion through repentance through faith in God according to the grace of God. We, who were dead, come back to life.
Salvation is not assent to right religious creed, dogma, or doctrine. It is not merely turning from base lusts and desires. Nor is it an intellectual pursuit.
Humans individually, personally the writer says, are all personally lost in spiritual darkness; groping around in the gloom. The Enemy of our souls, Satan, has enslaved us personally through our own turning and locking of the key as we are busy serving the flesh (our base sinful desires) and serving the mind (higher pride-driven desires & motives).
We look around and we see chaos. Among the greatest evidences of the veracity (truth) of the Bible is how perfectly accurate it is in its diagnosis of the human condition. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 NIV84)
“The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.” (Ezekiel 18:20 NIV84)