Passage: Ephesians 2:1–2:10
Reformation Background: Johann Tetzel and Indulgences
Central Question: How and when do we gain right standing before God? (Completely forgiven and no longer liable for punishment)
Justification: an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.
Sin’s Work Against Us (1-3)
2 Words To Describe Our Sin:
- Transgressions - Deviate, to go the wrong direction
- Sins - Missing the mark (bow and arrow)
Result: Death (Physical and Spiritual)
Clarification: That all people apart from God are sinful and dead doesn’t mean that everybody is equally wicked and corrupt.
Our greatest need is not to be Reformed, but to be Reborn
The Contributors of Spiritual Death:
- The World - Value system of this world
- The Devil - Satan seeks to influence and control us
- The Flesh - Not our bodies, sinful nature within us
Objects of wrath – Not an explosive burst of Anger, but a settled indignation
God’s Work For Us (4-9)
- Why? (4)
- Love - Compassion to those who do not deserve it
- Mercy - He does not give us what we deserve
- What? (5-7)
- Made us Alive with Christ!
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
This impacts our past, present and future!
- How? (8-9)
2 Key Phrases:
- By Grace - God’s part – unmerited favor
- Through Faith - Our part – Involves The:
- Mind - Believe the facts
- Will - Act of trust
It is a Gift! Not of ourselves, not as a result of our works
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
“yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
God’s Work Through Us (10)
God not only saved us From something, He saves us For something
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Works are not the Price of salvation, they are one of the Proofs of salvation
More Than A Head Knowledge
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12–13)
Believe + Recieve = Become
Making It Personal:
- How have I personally responded to the gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ?
- What does my life say about the reality of my relationship with Jesus Christ?
- Who can I share these truths with?