Summary: We all have a testimony to share.
February 10, 2019
Text: Ephesians 2:1-10
Subject: Saved by Grace
Title: Your Testimony
Do you have a testimony? If you belong to Christ you do. The important thing about your testimony is that it is totally different than anyone else’s. We tend to think that the testimonies of those whose lives have been dramatically changed are so much more impactful than others. But I have to tell you, those of you who have been saved longer than you can remember and have continued with the Lord all these years – well, that in itself is a great testimony.
Is your testimony important? Paul must have thought it was important. He did it numerous times. Plus, the number of times that he shared what the Lord had done in him since the time he was saved.
So, your testimony is not only sharing what the Lord did for you at salvation, but also what He has continued to do in you since…
Three things to note about our personal conversion stories. 1) There is an account of Who you were before you were saved. In my case, many of the people I worked with before I was saved thought that I was a really good person. Of course, they were looking with human eyes… I reconnected with an old friend not too long ago and he told me that he always thought I would be a pastor. Now the last time I saw him was six years before I was saved. But he thought I was a pretty good guy. But I realized that I was pretty religious, but never had that relationship with Jesus I needed to have. 2) the account of who you are after you are saved. The truth is, after you have come to the Lord and asked Him to be in your life, you are changed at the most basic level. 3) There is a continual challenge as to what we can be “in Christ”.
We want to look at what Paul has to say to the church in Ephesus in chapter two.
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in 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. 3All 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. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I. Who Were You Before You Were Saved? I don’t know about you all, but I regularly go back and think of my life before I came to Christ. And I’m not proud of it. But I do glory in what God has done in me. And I can’t take any credit for it. 1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in 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. Don’t you know that most unsaved people think that they are all right with God because they are good people? But Paul clearly lays it out for us to understand. Before we were saved, whether we want to admit it or not, we lived for the devil… the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient… apeitheia (ap-ei'-thei-ah) n… disbelief (obstinate and rebellious) We know that it is only through the working of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives that they can come to be saved. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. It is the goal of the enemy to keep people blinded to the truth. But the Holy Spirit never ceases to work. 3All 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. Aren’t you glad that you are no longer subject to God’s wrath? The word wrath in the Greek is an interesting study. On one hand we know that it refers to the punishment God will ultimately inflict on all those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I t refers to a violent passion… But it also gives reference to God’s desire for us… a reaching out. The root word means, to stretch oneself, i.e. reach out after (long for). What a beautiful word picture it gives us of God’s love for us and how He desires that none should perish, but should come to repentance.