A. Our Unsaved Condition
2:5a even when we were dead in trespasses,
B. God’s Attitude Towards Unsaved Man
1. 2:4a But God, who is rich in mercy…
a. Rich-abounding, abundant. (Rich is a relative term; “compared to…”)
b. If I am merciful after you steal my $1, that isn’t “rich in mercy”
c. If I am merciful after you steal my life saving, that’s “rich in mercy”
d. Romans 9:22, 23 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called…
2. 2:4b because of His great love with which He loved us…
a. Love was the motivation with God. (great love– many, much, large)
b. Though God hates & must punish sin, He is abounding in mercy
c. God sought to satisfy his great love for us
i. Think about how you might try to find mercy for someone
d. He made a way to be merciful while punishing our sins in His Son
e. Love- agape- love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the one loved, willing to sacrifice self for the benefit of another
C. Our Salvation
1. 2:5b made us alive together with Christ (spiritually alive)
a. John 3:5-7 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water & the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
2. 2:5c by grace you have been saved
a. Grace– charis– undeserved favor, divine friendship
b. God saw you as precious, even when you were in your sins
c. Love caused grace to arise within God’s heart: undeserved favor
d. Grace was extended to you, offering you forgiveness
3. 2:8a For by grace you have been saved through faith,
a. Grace was extended to you, offering you forgiveness
b. By faith, one accepts this offer of salvation.
c. Salvation was made available by grace and taken ahold of by faith.
d. Salvation is of faith, because we don’t see grace w/our eyes, but it comes alive in our hearts by the work of God’s Spirit.
4. 2:8b and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
a. Salvation is a gift made available by the unmerited favor of God
b. Salvation does not find its origin or its source in man.
A. Raised From Spiritual Death To Spiritual Life
2:6a and raised us up together,
1. We were spiritually dead and have been born again into a newness of life.
2. John 5:24 “…he who hears My word & believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, & shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
3. When we were born-again, we went from spiritual death into spiritual life.
B. Raised Into Heavenly Places
1. 2:6b and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
a. made us sit together– enthroned us, seated us.
b. He has made us sharers with Him in dignity and dominion, so that even now, and in foretaste of our future exaltation, our life and thoughts are raised to the heavenlies where He reigns. We think & feel Heaven.
c. in Christ Jesus– this newness of life, and exalting to the heavenlies, happens because we are in Christ, identified with & in union with Him.
2.2:7a that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
a. that in the ages to come– speaks of unending age after age.
b. He might show the exceeding riches of His grace– as the ages pass, God will display the exceeding riches of his grace as all Heaven looks down upon the redeemed Christians.
c. Christians will forever be display as evidence of God’s incredible grace.
3. in Christ Jesus– again, all because we are united with Christ.
III. Our Response
A. We Ought Not Boast
1. 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
a. God placed the work of salvation beyond man’s ability to achieve it.
b. Salvation does not find its origin or source in the works of man.
c. Romans 4:4, 5 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
d. Works glorify man. Grace glorifies God. Man shouldn’t boast.
B. We Ought To Be What He Made Us To Be
1. 2:10a For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
a. workmanship– poiema-something that is made, poem
b. If we are God’s workmanship, we ought to be what He made us to be
2. On earth, Jesus was the expression of God.
a. John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
3. In the same way, as we become more and more conformed into the image of Christ, we become the revelation of God to the world around us.
a. The poem expresses the heart of the writer.
b. The building expresses the genius of the designer.
c. The music expresses the emotion and the creativity of the composer.
d. We are to bring glory to God through our lives. We get to bring Him glory.
e. They are good, beneficial works
4. 2:10b which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
a. The Christian life is not a randomly lived life
b. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives
c. God prepares us to do the works He prepared for us