Summary: Using Ephesians 2:1-10 this sermon explores what it means to be a Christian.
Who here has seen the movie Ice Age 2: The melt down.
In this movie there is a character called Ellie she’s a mammoth.
But she has a huge problem she believes she is a possum.
She has been adopted by some possums, hung out with possums and tries to do many things that possums do.
Like swing from trees…
Imagine for a moment me swinging upside down from a thin branch and you get the picture.
Later on the movie she becomes aware she is a mammoth then life make sense.
Her life is enhanced when she understands who she really is.
Likewise as we live our life in this world,
interacting with all sorts of people
and dealing with all sorts of situations.
Life will only make sense to us when we understand not just that we are Christians and what this really means.
And this is important if we are going to live as God calls us to live.
And our reading from Ephesians chapter 2 is a great help in this area.
It summarises some of the essential and foundational things about being a Christian.
The first thing Ephesians 2 reminds us is that God saves us so we can have a good future with Him in heaven.
From verse 4 we hear the following
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 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.
Can you imagine sitting at God’s right hand with Jesus.
With Jesus saying to the Father, I love this person next to me.
This is someone I died for.
And from John 3:16-17 we hear
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Think about what this means for you.
First of all God saving us shows his love for us.
Our relationship with God is one centred around love…
And as 1 John reminds us it is about God loving us first and we responding with love to him, love which he has given us.
It is a relationship where he desires to love you, not condemn you.
Now God doesn’t force us to love Him,
For those of you who have seen the movie Bruce Almighty there is a great scene in that movie that explains this.
Bruce has been given God’s power but not His wisdom.
And at one stage His girlfriend Grace will not love him back.
So He asks God, “How do I force someone to love me?”
And God’s reply, “Now you see my problem”
Scripture is so clear that God’s prime focus is to love and save us A Christian friend of mine says that his work colleagues view of Christianity and God
is far from that.
Usually it is them informing him he has done something wrong.
They believe that God is about only judging people and sending people to hell.
Do you know people like that?
People who only think God is about judging.
He is constantly looking at ways he can introduce them to God’s love.
And he has found the best way to do this is through His actions.
Secondly in God saving us for a future in heaven He gives us the opportunity to have a very long term view.
A long term view of life that goes beyond this life.
Ever experienced situations in dealing with others where you seem to be on a completely different path.
Often that is because you and the other person have a different view of life.
If you have a view of God saving you for a future with Him in heaven, this life is not the end but preparation for the future with Him in heaven.
Situations in dealing with others whose view is limited to what they can get out of this life.
And when you are dealing with people who see this life as all that there is, then they are likely to be trying to get the most of life for themselves as possible.
Often they see themselves as the most important thing in this world.
And so we will experience conflict….
Galatians 5:17 says
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.