SS 10-4-20 Ephesians 2 1-10 “The Back Story”
We know from Ephesians 1:4 that we have been chosen by God to be made holy and blameless in His sight. This happens through what we read in verses 5 and 6, which tell us that the framework of salvation was established through Jesus Christ before creation. We know that it is through the cross. The veil was ripped, thus marking an end to the old way of entering God’s presence (see Matthew 27:51). His subsequent burial and resurrection were all part of the process of Him proving He was Who He said He was. His resurrection inaugurates our resurrection! He is the firstfruits of those who rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20).
With this process in mind, let’s read Ephesians 2:1-3, 4-5.
- Who is the “As for you” in this sentence?
- Before you were saved, did you have any idea that you were following the ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, Satan? Do you realize it now? Doesn’t the next phrase lock it down?
- Who lived following our sinful desires?
- What did we deserve?
- Why did God save us? What motivated Him?
- What specifically did He do for us (v5)? How have we been saved?
Let’s read verses 6-7, 8-9.
- We were raised from the dead, but where else were we raised to be? What does THAT mean? Read Galatians 2:20. How do the two relate?
- Someone read verses 8 and 9 from the New Living Version.
- How much did we have to do with the act of salvation? Ask John-or someone- how much he had to do with his knee surgery.
Now for verse 10 from the NLV: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
- What other words are used in other translations instead of “masterpiece”?
- Let’s look as some other passages that deal with the word (renew):
- Matthew 19:28
- Romans 12:2
- 2 Corinthians 4:16
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Ephesians 4:23
- Do you still think that salvation is an isolated experience? A one-time event?
- When did God plan for these good works? How are we supposed to do them? For that answer, go to John 5:19-20. Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus?
In Two weeks, we discover that God has made one humanity out of two. Don’t miss!
- As we look back on our lives before Christ, we have many feelings. The one we are to focus on is gratefulness. In what ways are you grateful to the LORD?
- If I told you that our good works begin with finding out as much as we can about our heavenly Father, His Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, would you believe me? What is the best way for us to accomplish this task? What would be second? What would be third? Fourth?
- We are the “as for you.” He was talking to everyone who read the letter, or had it read to them.
- The phrase, “the spirit who is even now at work in those who are disobedient,” tells us that everyone who is disobedient is being led by Satan. The NLV says, “the spirit who is at work in those who refuse to obey God.” It is the spirit of rebellion, that “I’ll do what I want” attitude. Oh, still have it? Pray that He will get rid of it for you!
- We all lived to satisfy our sinful desires. That was the point of sin.
- According to verse 3, we all deserved death, the wrath of God. What is spiritual death? Separation from God. How can we be separated from One who is everywhere? It’s a separation of relationship. To stand in the presence of God in our sinful state would make us most miserable. Ask Isaiah, “Woe is me!” To be exiled from His goodness but to feel His righteous anger forever would, indeed, be hell.
- God saved us because of His great love for us. His motivation was His mercy, in which He is rich.
- Through Christ we are born again. He raised us spiritually and made us alive in Christ. We have been saved by His grace! Nothing on our part added except our consent.
- We were raised to heaven and seated with Christ around His throne. Evidently, there is a trade: We go there and the Holy Spirit comes and resides in our hearts. Christ lives in us even as we live with Christ.
- None. We give consent, just like a person having an operation. That’s all we do; the rest is up to the Surgeon, the Great Physician.
- Handiwork (NIV), of His making (CJB), workmanship (KJV)
- Salvation is like the three states of (H2O): Solid, liquid, and gas, which are ice, water, and steam or vapor. We are saved (a one-time event), we are being saved (sanctification), and we will be saved (glorification). The Blood of Christ is eternal and so are we.
- The Father planned these good works in Christ Jesus when He established our salvation in Christ Jesus: before the creation of the world (see 1:4). John 5:19-20 is about Jesus commenting that He does nothing by Himself, but with the Father. We are to do the same. It’s all about the relationship.