Sunday, September 4, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 4: Made Alive in Christ

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 4:
Made Alive in Christ
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


SERMON INTRODUCTION
In Paul’s 35 years of ministry, since his conversion in Damascus, we have recorded in the Holy Bible many of his epistles, or letters.

Paul’s first journey took place from 33AD (the year of his conversion), through 46AD, leaving Damascus in 38AD.

Paul’s 2nd journey began in 50AD, four years later; during this time he wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Galatians, with his second journey ending in 54AD.

Paul’s 3rd journey began in 55AD and lasted until 58AD where he found himself imprisoned in Judea from 58-60AD. During his 3rd journey Paul wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans. We have no record of writings from Paul during his prison time between 58-60AD in Judea.

After his release from Judea, Paul traveled on his voyage to Rome from 60-61AD, writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and finding himself in a Roman prison in 63AD.

Released soon after his incarceration, Paul then writes the epistles Hebrews, 1st Timothy, Titus and his final letter before his death 2 Timothy, which was written from a Roman prison he was placed in during 66-68AD.

Though the bible does not tell us when or how Paul died, it is believed by scholars that he was beheaded in 68AD in May or June.










SCRIPTURE REFERENCE 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 flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving 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 is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Paul’s Explanation of us being made alive in Christ

The message of this epistle to the church is “The Church, The Body of Christ”.

    I.      DEAD IN YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS AND SINS
a. In which you used to live
                                                                                  i. Transgression - an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense. (Not always a sin)

                                                                               ii. Sin - an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. (Always a transgression)

                                                                            iii. Following the ways of this world
1. Regardless if the world says something is moral, if God calls it immoral, it is immoral

                                                                              iv. And the ruler of the kingdom of the air
1. Satan still influences this world
2. This is how we live apart from God


b. The spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient
                                                                                  i. Everyone has a master
                                                                               ii. Even those who think they are free, serve a master
                                                                            iii. Satan heads up the system of the world
                                                                              iv. The spirit of Satan fills all unbelievers

c. All of us lived among them at one time
                                                                                  i. Gratifying the craving of our flesh
                                                                               ii. And following its desires and thoughts
                                                                            iii. We were all at one time serving a master other than God



II.      LIKE THE REST, WE DESERVE GOD’S WRATH
a. But because of God’s great love for us
                                                                                  i. Who is rich in mercy
                                                                               ii. So rich, He freely gives it
                                                                            iii. To any who will accept
                                                                              iv. A given gift MUST be received for it to be given


b. He made us live with Christ
                                                                                  i. Even though we were dead in transgressions
                                                                               ii. Symbolic of the coming resurrection we shall all experience


c. It is by Grace you have been saved



III.      GOD RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST
a. And seated us with Him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
                                                                                  i. In order that the coming ages (plural dispensations) He might show the incomparable riches of His Grace

1. The plural dispensations show God’s incomparable riches in this age (the church/grace) and the next…Judgment

a. Judgment seat of Christ is first - the judgment of the believer’s works,
b. Then the judgment of Israel (Dan 12:1)
c. The judgment of the living nations (Joel 3:1-2)
d. The judgment of fallen angels (Jude 6)
e. The judgment of unbelieving dead (Rev 20:12-15)

2. In all of the judgments after ours, they will all be witness to God’s incomparable riches, and His Grace, which was made available to all, yet, rejected by them who face judgment after the Judgment Seat of Christ.

                                                                               ii. Which is expressed through Christ Jesus


b. It is by His Grace you have been saved
                                                                                  i. Through faith (putting trust in)


c. This (Grace) is not from yourselves (anything you have done)
                                                                                  i. It is the free gift of God
                                                                               ii. Not by works (no one can earn, deserve)
                                                                            iii. So no one can boast
1. We are only allowed to boast in the Cross, and what Christ has done (Galatians 6:14)





CONCLUSION – WE ARE GOD’S HANDIWORK
           
Created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God has prepared for you Good Works (opportunities) to serve Him.

God knew in advance that you would one day submit yourself to Him, and serve Him obediently, and so, He set before you opportunities in your life to be Obedient, and serve Him!

This is how we show our love to the Lord, obedience.

And as long as we are living obedient lives, we are living righteously!




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