Summary: Salvation message: Persents the truth that we are sinners seperated from God, dead men and women. Yet, there is hope, there is the Rest of the Story. We are saved and raised up to be heavenly citizens.
When God was about to create man, according to a Jewish legend, He took into His counsel the angels that stood about his throne. “Create him not,” said the angel of Justice, “for if Thou dost he will commit all kinds of wickedness against his fellow men; he will be hard and cruel and dishonest and unrighteous.” “Create him not,” said the angel of Truth, “for he will be false and deceitful to his brother-man, and even to Thee.” “Create him not,” said the angel of Holiness, “he will follow that which is impure in Thy sight, and dishonor Thee to thy face.”
Then stepped forward the angel of Mercy (God’s best beloved) and said: “Create him, our Heavenly Father for when he sins and turns from the path of right and truth and holiness I will take him tenderly by the hand, and speak loving words to him, and then lead him back to Thee.”
I have just introduced you to one of my best friends in life, mercy. As we go on today I will introduce you to a couple more, for we are going on a journey together. And if you embark on this journey with me you will never be the same. Oh, I promise you this journey will be like none other that you have ever been on, this journey will not only save your life, but rescue your very soul.
Before we leave on this journey it is important to know where we are at present. If you leave on a journey, embark on an adventure, or head off on a great quest it is important that you prepare for the trip. With that said would you please turn to Ephesians 2:1-10 with me this morning?
This scripture not only tells us where we were or are, but it tells us where we are going, as well as how to get there. Ephesians 2:1-10
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 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. 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. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:1-10)
So who was the apostle Paul talking to in this passage? He says in the very first verse. Paul says he is talking to those who were dead. Now the people Paul was talking to were not some kind of freaky zombies or vampires. They were not the undead we would see in the horror movies, but those that were dead in sin. It was a spiritual death not a physical death for sinners are very much alive. Fact some sinners on the surface seem to have everything going for them. Paul was talking to those separated from God because of their sinful lives. If God was over here, these people were over here. (walk from one side of the stage to the other)
There was a chasm between God and these people. Sin literally separated these people from God. They could not cross over by themselves. Some of these people over here had it made in the world. They had it all, except for God. Some were seen by their friends and family members as outstanding people, yet they still had sin in their lives and were thus separated from God.
And some of these people were down right nasty. They might have been the worst of the worst, the pit of society. These may have been the people you would never invite home to meet your parents; they were evil in every way. Yet, they shared the same side of this chasm with those that seemed to have it all together.
You see sins is a tricky subject. It means you miss the target. Imagine with me that behind me is a big round red and white target. You have all seen targets like that. Right in the center is the bull’s-eye; it is God will, his desire. To sin means you hit the target somewhere else. Some arrows miss the target altogether and some may hit the target, yet without hitting the bulls eye, it is considered a sin. Sin is the failure to hit the bulls eye, it is the failure to hit the bulls eye of life, to do something that is outside of God’s will or outside of His desire.