Summary: Salvation comes by faith alone in Christ alone!
I. The Plight of Man (1-3)
A. You were Dead
B. You were Deceived (2a)
C. You were Disobedient (2b)
D. You were Depraved
E. You were Doomed (3c)
II. The Plan of God (4-9)
A. "But God" Resurrected us (5)
B. "But God" Reconciled us
C. "But God" Reveals His riches through us (4, 7)
D. "But God" Regenerates us (8, 9)
A man named Smith was sitting on his roof during a flood, and the water was up to his feet. Before long a fellow in a canoe paddled past and shouted, "Can I give you a lift to higher ground?" "No, thanks," said Smith. "I have faith in the Lord and he will save me." Soon the water rose to Smith’s waist. At this point a motorboat pulled up and someone called out, "Can I give you a lift to higher ground?" "No, thanks. I have faith in the Lord and he will save me." Later a helicopter flew by, and Smith was now standing on the roof with water up to his neck. "Grab the rope," yelled the pilot. "I’ll pull you up." "No, thanks," said Smith. "I have faith in the Lord and he will save me."
But after hours of treading water, poor, exhausted Smith drowned and went to his reward. As he arrived at the Pearly Gates, Smith met his maker and complained about this turn of events. "Tell me, Lord," he said, "I had such faith in you to save me and you let me down. What happened?" To which the Lord replied, "What do you want from me? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"
I. The Plight of Man
A. You were dead
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
When a man sets out to make something, he usually starts with the best possible materials—the purest clay, the finest marble, the choicest wood. But God goes to the refuse heap and selects materials that are worthless. He begins with people that are dead!
Its amazing what modern medicine can do for a patient. Doctors can remodel disfigured faces, transplant kidneys, implant lenses, bypass arteries—as long as the patient is alive. Once the person is dead, doctors can do nothing more than pull a sheet over the body and transfer the corpse to the morgue. But God begins with people who are dead.
The unbeliever is not sick; he is dead! He does not need resuscitation; he needs resurrection. All lost sinners are dead, and the only difference between one sinner and another is the state of decay. The lost derelict on skid row may be more decayed outwardly than the unsaved society leader, but both are dead in sin—and one corpse cannot be more dead than another! This means that our world is one vast graveyard, filled with people who are dead while they live (1 Tim. 5:6).
In 1992, a Los Angeles County parking control officer came upon a brown El Dorado Cadillac illegally parked next to the curb on street-sweeping day.
The officer dutifully wrote out a ticket. Ignoring the man seated at the driver’s wheel, the officer reached inside the open car window and placed the $30 citation on the dashboard.
The driver of the car made no excuses. No argument ensued—and with good reason. The driver of the car had been shot in the head ten to twelve hours before but was sitting up, stiff as a board, slumped slightly forward, with blood on his face. He was dead.
The officer, preoccupied with ticket-writing, was unaware of anything out of the ordinary. He got back in his car and drove away.
Many people around us are "dead in transgressions and sins." What should catch our attention most is their need, not their offenses. They don’t need a citation; they need a Savior.
—Greg Asimakoupoulos in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.
B. You were deceived (2a)
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Before we accepted Christ as Savior, our utter deadness to spiritual things was evident in our behavior. We walked according to "the course of this world." In other words, the spirit of the age held us in its iron grip.
The reference to "the prince of the power of the air" is deliberate and definitive. In our unregenerate state, we were completely deceived by Satan.
Many people think they just need more money to be happy. NO! People need the Lord!
One particular portion of Russell H. Conwell’s book "Acres of Diamonds," It was the story, historically true, of Ali Hafed, who, hearing about diamonds for the first time, determined that he wanted a mine of diamonds.