Summary: This sermon examines the change Christ makes in our life.
WHAT I WAS, WHAT GOD IS, WHAT I AM
Intro: Ephesians 1 is a treasure of Biblical truth. Vs. 3-4-He has chosen us; Vs. 5-He adopted us; Vs. 6-He accepted us; Vs. 7-He redeemed & forgave us; Vs.8-10-He revealed His will to us; Vs. 11-12- He has made us an inheritance; Vs. 13- He has sealed us (signifying ownership); Vs. 14- He has given us His Holy Spirit as a down payment (earnest) to assure us that He will finish the work He began in us & eventually bring us to Heaven. How can it get better than all of that? Then we move to chapter 2 & it got better. This chapter has meant so much to me…
The historical context Paul is dealing w/here, is Christ bringing redemption to the Gentiles; but there is more to it than that. This chapter is our testimony…I want to share my testimony—what God has done for me. These verses, as far as I’m concerned, are talking about me.
I. WHAT I WAS.
• W/O Life-Vs. 1, Dead…
I was spiritually dead to God. There was no response in my life to the pleas of God’s mercy. I was dead to God & spiritual things.
Someone who is spiritually dead is unable to understand and appreciate spiritual things. A physically dead person does not respond. He can’t see, hear, taste, smell or feel. A spiritually dead person does not respond to spiritual things. He can’t worship, pray, understand Scripture, have inner peace or know true joy and righteousness. To be carnally minded is death. Sin is death of the soul. Wherever there is sin, there is a lack of spiritual life. Sinners are in a dead state; cut off from God, the Fountain of Life.
Remember, this is what I was!
• W/O Direction-Vs. 2-3
The world is what influenced me. I was like a dead fish in a stream; I had no power of resistance. I was controlled by:
Vs. 2, …this world… I was conforming my life to the standards & values of this fallen world.
Vs.2, …the price of the power of the air…
Vs.3, …lusts of the flesh & desires of the mind Whatever I wanted to do, I did it w/o restraints.
Remember, this is what I was!
• W/O Christ- Vs. 12
• Aliens- I was separated from God. I was not His child…
• Strangers- 30,000 promises in the Bible & I couldn’t claim one of them because I was a stranger to God’s promises.
No hope- Nothing to hope for…no heaven…
• W/O God in this present world- Not only did I not have God in this world, but because I had no hope, I wouldn’t have God in eternity
Remember, this is what I was! ----Read Eph. 2:1-3, 12
Verse 4, But God…
II. WHAT GOD IS.
• GOD is…Mercy-Vs. 4
Titus 3:3-7, We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Psalm 86:5, For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
What is the difference between grace & mercy? Grace is God giving us something that we don’t deserve. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. I deserved hell…
• GOD is…Love- Vs. 4
There is really no reason why God had compassion on me. I had nothing to offer Him. I had nothing to give Him. My life was a wreck…vs. 5, Even when we were dead in sins…Not when I was good; perfect; had something to offer Him. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The only reason He showed compassion, grace, & mercy, is because of His love. He loves us w/an everlasting love. We are why He sent His son. It was His love for us that bound Him to that cross. It wasn’t the nails that held Him on the cross it was His love. It was His love that caused Him to drink from the bitter cup of suffering & death. No one else may care whether you live or die, but Jesus loves you.
• GOD is…Grace-Vs. 5; 7-8
Grace means we receive blessings from God we do not deserve. Grace means we receive salvation instead of damnation, God’s favor instead of His displeasure, He brings us in instead of casts us out, He gives us life instead of death, love instead of hate, pardon instead of judgment, peace instead of unrest, joy instead of sorrow, and heaven instead of hell. Grace means that God saves us simply because He wants to. We can’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. But he does it anyway.