Summary: This is the second in the series of seven called ’Firm foundations’ looking at Christian basics. This message looks at our trust/faith in God.
Firm foundations session 2. Trusting in God?
Ephesians 2. 1-10 In context. Key verses 8-9.
A fortnight ago we looked at the 1st in our series of firm foundations, which was ‘saved by God’, today we are looking at the 2nd in the series Trusting in God.
Where is our trust placed?
You may have heard that slightly less than true story of 4 men in a plane. That is about to crash over the Atlantic ocean with 4 men and 3 paracutes. The pilot, scientist, minister and a backpacker. The pilot jumps ou first with a parachute leaving the others to argue about the other two parachutes and the scientist jumps and it leaves the minister and the back packer.
The minister said to the Backpacker “I’ve lived a long and happy life why don’t you take the last one son?”
The young man interrupted the minister saying ‘its OK, theirs no need. You see that brilliant scientist just jumped out with my backpack!’
Its easy to assume that we have got the real thing when in fact you might have a poor substitute!
In case of everyday things it doesn’t really matter but in the realm of the Christian faith it is vital.
There are millions of religious people all over this world whose trust is misplaced. (Many individuals do it their own way.) Do-it yourself religion.
In this post modern and pluralistic world the message being propagated….
Message from the world is Frank Sinatra “I will do it my way.” Unfortunately doing things our own way is the problem not the solution, when it comes to being right with God
Paul in this chapter will reveal to us that our salvation is dependent upon God alone.That it is all of Gods grace and no merits of our own so he begins to by revealing to us ….
Eph2.1-3. What we were (past tense)
V1 you were dead in transgressions and sins. (Deliberate breach of law)
V2 you were disobedient in which you used to live, following the world
V3 you were damned at one time (gratifying and craving the sinful nature) by nature objects of wrath.
Eph2. 4-7. What we are (present tense)
V4 A big But because of God’s love and mercy towards us….
V5 you are alive! Christ has brought us to life when we were dead!
V6 you are accepted! Raised and seated with Christ.
V7 you are assured! Might show his riches and kindness towards us.
In these last 3 verses the apostle summarises what he has concluded from the first 7 verses and wants to drive home.
The purpose of these verses is to magnify and exalt the love mercy and grace of God towards us let us reflect upon them.
If this is what we were’ ‘this is what we are.’ How have we become what we are?”
1. A Christian has received mercy V4.
‘Mercy is simply not receiving what you deserve’
Children are often disobedient but how often we show mercy
Many secular humanists like R. Dawkins paint a picture of God as some vindictive being that loves punishing his creation, so when natural disasters, like tsunami strike this gives him great material to blame God for the situation. But how can they blame God?
This of course comes from a faulty understanding or no understanding of the Bible and the character of God. ‘So if you start from a faulty premise you will arrive at a faulty conclusion!’ (Romans 8; 18 – 23.)
Throughout the O.T God was merciful to Israel and they also understood that their God was merciful towards them.
Psalm 78. Lessons from history of the Jewish nation from slavery to David reign. Key verse v38-39 Key verses.
Also Sam 24.14 let us fall into the hands of the Lord for His mercy is great. King David after counting his fighting men.
Neh.9.31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
The people back in Jerusalem after Ezra had read the books of law. Jonah. Gods mercy shown to the Assyrians of Ninevah.
Ps145.9. General mercy, The Lord is God to all; He has compassion on all He has made.
We have sung the hymn Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. Do you really believe it or do you take your life for granted as though it’s owed to you?
Matt 5.45. Special mercy, he causes the sun to rise on the evil and good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Rom. 9.15-16. Particular mercy I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy.
What a wonderful truth that God is rich in mercy to all, but far greater for the individual is to encounter this particular undeserved mercy.