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Summary: Made Alive in Christ. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Ephesians chapter 2 verses 1-10.

Ill:

Grace. A word used in a variety of ways.

• It is a word that has been used as an alternative term for prayer.

• e.g. “Would you say grace?”

• It has been used to describe the way a person moves.

• e.g. “Did you see how she danced? She has so much grace in her steps”.

• It has also been used by many parents to name their daughters.

• e.g. All of probably know someone who is called Grace.

When talking about God’s Grace we mean something completely different to those descriptions:

Quote: Church Pastor and author A. W. Tozer said:

“Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.”

Quote: The late Reformed scholar Louis Berkhof is more to the point when he says:

“Grace is “the unmerited operation of God in the heart of man, effected through the agency of the Holy Spirit”.

• I guess the key word in what both these great minds have said is this,

• “Unmerited” – grace, is a quality that is completely undeserved;

• Therefore it leads to the obvious conclusion;

• That grace is in essence a free gift given to us by God through Jesus Christ.

Quote:

• Someone has said,

• “Grace is everything for nothing to those who don’t deserve anything.”

Ill:

• I have never really gotten into computer games;

• Partly because if I enjoyed them then I know I would get addicted to them.

• But both Kathy and Arlo have a number of computer games.

• The great thing with computer games is this.

• No matter how bad you are!

• No matter how many times you fail in trying to complete a task!

• No matter how many times you might lose your life in the game.

• The greatest thing about computer games is that the game always restores you.

• No matter what happens, you can always start all over again.

• The game always puts you back together again;

• And places you on the starting line ready to try once again.

• To me that is a great picture of God’s grace.

• God always restores us – he puts us back together again;

• And places us on the starting line ready to try once again.

• “God’s grace is everything for nothing to those who don’t deserve anything.”

Notice:

• That chapter 2 follows on from chapter 1.

• Although that is an obvious statement –

• I want to point out that there is a correlation of thought between chapter 1 and chapter 2.

Note: The correlation:

Ephesians 1 gives us the past, present and future of God's great plan of salvation.

Ephesians 2 gives us the past present and future of the people whom God saves.

Ephesians 1 gives us God's perspective.

Ephesians 2 gives us our perspective.

Ephesians 1 starts with God's election prior to the creation.

Ephesians 2 starts with our lost condition prior to salvation.

Ephesians 1 ends with all things in subjection to Christ.

Ephesians 2 ends with the church being built up into a dwelling of God.

Now in chapter 2,

• Paul is going to focus upon God's plan of salvation from OUR perspective.

• To do this, he begins by going back to look at a time when we were lost.

• We were outside of Christ.

• ill: Pilgrims Progress ‘Christian’s’ original name was ‘Graceless’.

Now I ought to give you a warning:

• The picture painted in chapter 2 of unconverted human beings is not a pretty one.

• But it is honest and it is true!

• I guess Paul paints this uncomfortable picture for us;

• Because you can never fully appreciate the salvation that God has provided;

• Until you see the hopeless condition out of which you were delivered.

• If you ever forget where you WERE,

• Then you will not be able to appreciate where you ARE.

• In verses 1-3 the apostle Paul describes the way we were;

• And there are four aspects to this description.

(1). We were DEAD:

• Verse 1:

• “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins”.

• This is speaking of spiritual death.

• Notice that death does not indicate inactivity, but separation.

• You may have been very active in your spiritual death - most unbelievers are.

• But you were spiritually dead.

• In other words there was nothing in you that was connected to God.

• Too many times we think of unbelievers as being spiritually sick.

• Give them a "spiritual pill" and they'll get better.

• But the Biblical picture of mankind's condition is much worse than that.

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