Ephesians Session 4-
A New Life
Click here to listen to the teaching Sue Blake brought to us from Ephesians 2:1-10
You can also look at the powerpoint she used to explore these issues by clicking here.
He Tore Down the Wall
2 1-6 It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.
We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!
We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Ephesians 2:1-10 Message)
As we have these 3 themes running through the heart of what we’re trying to do through our community groups, I thought it might be interesting to use these as a framework to look at these verses in Eph 2
Communion- Community- Mission-
It seems to me to be a natural kind of progression
We have a relationship with our heavenly father, which leads us to want to be with others who are in a relationship with Him, and reach out to others to share what we have, that they might also enjoy the same experience
Grace , not by works, so no man can boast
It is done…we can’t add anything to our salvation, but we seem hot wired into trying to.
There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more than he does
Because we want to please him and do our best to follow him, I think we’re in danger sometimes, of allowing an attitude of ‘justifying’….
If I Just…
if I just read my bible more,
if I just try harder,
if I just pray more,
God will be more pleased with me
We find it difficult to receive without doing something, we can’t believe that He would do this for us
BUT HE DID
We need to accept this truth…and know it’s release
God raised us up
This is part of clarifying who we are in Christ
In the spiritual sphere where Christ is supreme, believers are also established through union with him. I think this is an area where we need a revelation, so that we all might have a more secure view of who we are.
Its almost…. Unbelievable
The Ephesians view of things was that the heavenlies was the realm of both God and the location of the ungodly powers
Humans are affected by heaven and therefore either God or the ‘powers of the air’ work in people; those who are raised & exalted with Christ, sit with him in the highest heavens; they share Christ's ability over the powers…hence they are free not to sin and not to be divided. They can resist the powers because gods power is at work in them (Eph 3;20),
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
They possess Gods armour (6: 10-17) and can pray to God (6; 18)
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” to whom they have access in the Spirit
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 2:18
This works quite neatly………
Picture1; in my house, on the whole everything belongs to me, I can use, eat act how I want
Picture 2; a guest staying some where
Do we occupy the place that we’ve been given?
Believers…2 dimension alive on earth…alive in the heavenlies at the same time….participation in the heavenlies, in dependence on Christ, enables believers to resist the evil powers that influence people on earth
Unbelievers…dead spiritually, live 1 dimensional lives, just on earth
Helping each other…. Into our destiny’s.
Let’s encourage each other into our futures.
What do I mean by that?
Prophetically….wait and get God’s heart for someone in the church
Practically…get along side …all of us need someone to help us get over a difficulty, or sort something out, help us into greater freedom
Prayerfully…….asking that we might be responsive to the call of the spirit on our lives
Let’s help ourselves to walk forward by having a right image of ourselves and a right sense of God’s love for us
It’s our responsibility to follow his blueprint for our lives, responding to the impulses of his spirit as he prompts us to do his will.
We’re called together for purpose, and later in Ephesians we’ll see more about living in a certain way, fulfilling a role in the body of Christ etc.
Our message for others
1. No longer dead
There was a time when we were dead spiritually, one dimensional people,
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 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.”
A failure to meet the mark, a failure to hold to the right road, failure to make life what it was capable of becoming.
Living a black & white life, rather than full colour!
2. No longer facing Gods anger
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath”
Sin kills innocence, our ideals, it bring a tarnish, living a life by world standards and values. God is holy and the two don’t mix, like oil & water can’t mix!
We’re ‘made alive’- Jesus rose from the dead
We’re raised up- Jesus went into heaven
We’re seated with him- Jesus sits at the right hand
We were objects of gods anger-but God had mercy
We were dead in sin-but God made us alive
We were slaves-but God raised us up
Grace –kindness….has bought us freedom
We will not face his anger
BECAUSE OUR IDENTITY IS HID WITH CHRIST- Tim talked previously about us being in him
With him, we can be the best we can be-don’t let anything hold you back
Consider the world in which we live-competing for our attention; think about the introduction that Keith brought and how he showed us the mixed and cosmopolitan society of the Ephesians, how do we bring our message to others
A message of freedom, a message of forgiveness, and message of life
There is a sense of this being hidden with Christ in that last powerful scen from the film Spartacus. The Roman General calls on all the rebellious slaves to identify Spartacus from among them.
One by one they all stand crying...
I am Spartacus.
Each one of us will stand before God and he will look and see in each one of us the image of Jesus.
You are Jesus... He will say
(You can download the film clip below -but dont try running it from the website)