20230305-Ephesians2V4-18

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 5:28PM 48:41

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

verse, god, gentiles, faith, christ, sins, jews, salvation, grace, christ jesus, obeyed, chapter, isaac, flesh, jesus, abraham, saved, church, circumcised, offered

 

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Welcome once again to another radio broadcast of the Masons Church of Christ. We'd also like to you to, to come be with us this morning at 1020. We get finished here, this radio broadcast come down the the red roof building on highway 87, heading out to Fredericksburg and Mason, Texas, you can be with us. And we'll have a full worship service at 1020. This morning. When I say a full worship service that is we'll sing songs will say prayers will give back to God. We'll study from God's Word and we'll gather around the Lord's table. That's what the first century church did. And that's what we do here at the Mason Church of Christ, we'd love to have you come be with us.

 

So last time we left off, we're in the book of Ephesians. And we left off at Ephesians chapter two, verse four. And I want to I want to begin there at this time. And I want to, I want to look back to verse one of chapter two where it begins. And you might make a mention that in chapter two, when you see when you see u y o u. It's talking about the Gentiles. When you see the pronoun we it's the, it's the Jews. So, he says and you speaking of, of the Gentiles, he says, You were dead in your trespasses and sins. We we get that, don't we? That's, that's major doctrine. Sin separates us from God. Isaiah, chapter 59, verse two, Sin separates us from God. When, when we're born, we're we're made, we're born, made in the image and likeness of God. We are right with Him. And we stay right with Him until we reach an age where he holds us accountable. There's no, there's no number on it. God. God knows when that is. But there's a there's a time of maturity that we will eventually reach. When we will be held accountable, we will sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It's inevitable. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, it just means you've sinned. You've sinned just as everyone else has it. And at that moment, you were separated from God. dead spiritually. But we get down to verse four. And we see, it begins with but God and you were dead in your trespasses and sins, but God being rich in mercy but God, who is abundant in mercy, and you but God, you sinned, you were dead as a result, but God who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that he had for us wonderful have unbelievable of incredible love love this so much what? that He gave His only begotten he just incredible. Love and Mercy has offered mercy. So dead in trespasses and sins is where I find myself from, from my doings right from from that came from me. But God loved me so much. show that he's given me mercy.

 

So let's define, let's define Mercy. Mercy and Grace are similar. And he's gonna bring up grace in a moment. But he, he brings mercy and diverse for mercy would mean not getting something I do deserve. So dead in my trespasses and sins, the wages of sin is death, I deserve death. But through God's mercy, I cannot, I won't experience that not getting something I do deserve now we will we'll touch on Grace in a moment.

 

And it being kind of just the opposite of that, but similar in that would be getting something I don't deserve. I don't deserve salvation, but by the grace of God, I'm offered it. God who is abundant in mercy, because he loved us so much. And we can we could go Hold on, would you go a whole broadcast, talking about how much God loves us? The the, just the amazing, incredible love that he had for us and, and you see it in the sacrifice that was made. Giving his son as that offering to die that horrible death that took incredible love, right? I mean, he, he shows us, he shows us the what love is by his example. Because he loved us so much. So, but God who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that he had for us,

 

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made us alive. So, and you were dead in your trespasses and sins, right? We were dead because of our sins. But because of that abundant mercy, that great love has now made us alive. made us alive with the Messiah. Even though we were dead in trespasses he has made away through that mercy through His Son through that sacrifice. So he gave the son the Messiah. He gave him to be that sacrifice, that perfect sacrifice. God, God came down from heaven became flesh and dwelt among us. lived the perfect life so that he could shed perfect blood. So that although we were dead, because of our sins, we can now be made alive by God through the Messiah and then the statement is made. And I and I mentioned it earlier, because of his abundant mercy. Now he says by grace, you are saved. Once again, Mercy is not getting something I do deserve. Grace being getting something I don't deserve. By the grace of God. You are saved through that Messiah because of that Messiah because because of what was done because of what he did. All the the ramifications of that But through that Messiah, and again, don't miss the context here of the end you being the Gentiles, the the Gentiles are included also, who's a Gentile, everybody that's not a Jew.

 

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Gentiles had been offered the same thing that the Jews had, or thought they had. But salvation and it is through this Messiah. And again, it is only by grace. By the grace of God. His love has supplied the grace to save us. He's going to bring it up again. We'll, we'll touch on a moment in a few verses.

 

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But let's go into verse six. So we're in Ephesians, chapter two, verse six. He also raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him, in the heavens, in Christ Jesus. So when we obey the gospel, by believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized into Christ, Romans chapter six, verse three says, were baptized into Christ baptized into his death, to, to rise up out of that watery grave, to walk in newness of life. So raised up out of that water, were raised up to walk in newness of life. But big picture is that when he returns, we will be raised up just as He is, at the last day with the Father, on his throne, while we walk in newness of life, here on this Earth, our citizenship is in heaven. Our citizenship is in heaven, our Savior is in heaven.

 

Philippians chapter three, verse 20, our citizenship is in heaven, where we will one day be. The church is heavenly in origin. It's heavenly in character and, and in Destiny. And listen to verse seven, so that in the coming ages, he might display the immeasurable riches of His grace, in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. So it means this in the ages to come in the coming ages, he's referring to be beyond human history. In the future, God will show the exceeding riches of his grace, his his, his grace, his kindness toward men, in Christ Jesus, only through Christ as this happen. And again, as, as we've, as we've made, we've made this point all along heavily, all through chapter one. And now here again, in chapter two in Christ, is where all this takes place, in Christ is, is the only place that we can, that we can have this this promise, this promise of this future home, this promise of the exceeding riches of His grace and, and kindness.

 

And, and as we mentioned before, in the past, in Christ Jesus we're, we're, we're baptize baptized into Christ. That that that's where we come in contact with the with the cleansing blood of Christ. That's where we come into contact with his death. We, we died to sin, we were buried with him and baptism to rise and walk in newness of life. And this new life is in Christ in Christ Jesus, in all of these blessings, hear spoken of the immeasurable riches of his grace. That only happens in Christ Jesus. Don't, don't miss that. Just continue to understand that every time you every time you read that prepositional phrase in Christ Jesus is where this happens.

 

You verse eight. For by grace, you are saved through faith. So again, grace, grace is getting something I don't deserve God's God's part in salvation. The faith describes man's part in salvation. By the grace of God, he's he's offered salvation. It is by faith that I attain this salvation. Salvation is, it's not forced upon man. Salvation is offered. It's offered to man as a free gift.

 

Romans chapter six, verse 23. God has done everything necessary for man to be saved. For man who was unable to do this for himself. And man must accept that that gift of salvation that's done by faith. That faith is in Jesus Christ. This, this faith believes in Jesus as as his Savior, this faith, trust in Jesus as his Savior. This faith obeys Jesus as his Savior. For by grace, you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves. It is God's gift. God's free gift to man through his faith, to receive this salvation. Man cannot earn salvation. We we cannot do enough good to, to earn salvation to get salvation. That's the that. That's why grace is so important. The grace is so important because this is this is nothing that I can do on my own. I have to have God's part in this.

 

But the point also needs to be made here with verse eight, because verse eight gets abused. Folks want to throw out verse eight and and say this is the this is the end all be all. We are saved by grace through faith. It does not say faith alone. There's, there's another passage in scripture that says in First, in First Peter chapter three and verse 20, that baptism death also now save us. So it's not it's not faith alone. Jesus said except a man repent. He can't see salvation. Confession is made towards Salvation. All of those, all of those are correct statements. So, when we say we are saved by grace through faith, yes, that's the that's the basis. We're not by faith alone. There's nowhere in Scripture that speaks of faith alone salvation. And, and again, Ephesians chapter two, verse eight gets abused all the time for that. But we, we must understand that it is it is by the grace of God.

 

And it's, it's through my my faith in him my belief in Him, My my, in fact, my belief in in the scriptures that speak of him. That must be believed and obeyed. That I can receive this grace. This Grace has been offered. But then there's my part to this, to receive that grace.

 

Verse nine not from works, so that no man can boast. The works being spoken over here are our meritorious works. Men can earn salvation. We We can't. We can't earn this salvation. We can't earn this grace that God gives. We're, we're saved by the blood of Christ. Romans chapter Five Verse nine. We, we must obey and do the will of God. Matthew chapter seven, verse 21.were justified by faith Romans five one. That justification by faith excludes works, which merit salvation. justification by faith does not exclude the obedience of faith or the working of faith.

 

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If salvation were based on works men, men could boast of earning salvation. But But men men are justified today just just as Abraham was justified. That being by his faith, and obedient faith, right.

 

Let's refer back to Genesis 22. Where God tested Abraham 22 verse one says, Just as 22 verse one says, says, God, after these things, God tested Abraham. And you remember the test in Genesis chapter 22. He took him up on the mountain. Took, took Isaac up there, there's gonna be a sacrifice made. God told him he was gonna have to sacrifice Isaac. And, and the, we know the story how it played out. A testing, by the way that I don't know, how many of us could have passed that test. I I question that all the time as to whether I could I could have done this with my son. If I would have gone as far as Abraham did. He he had the knife and was there ready to, to? To thrust it through? Isaac? Could I have done that? I don't, I don't know. I doubt it. I doubt that I would have passed that test.

 

But listen, listen to the end of Genesis 22. The reason the reason I brought this up, we're, we're saved just as Abraham was saved and or justified, just as Abraham was justified by by faith. But listen to 20 to 18. About about we go back to Genesis 2215. Angel, the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven and said, by myself, I have sworn says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your only son. I will indeed bless you, and make your offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky, in the sand of the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies, and all the Navy all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring.

 

Listen, because you have obeyed my command. He was justified by his faith because he believed he believed in in when you when you get into that story, and you get into the New Testament, were told he believed because he knew he knew that God could resurrect Isaac. He knew by the promises that He had made that that he could resurrect Isaac, and that in the promise was made that through through his seed through Isaac seed. All the nations of the earth will be blessed. Well, at the time Isaac hadn't had any children. The only way that that can happen is by the resurrection. Abraham had faith in that promise, faith in God to deliver that. And because of that faith, he obeyed the command.

 

Make sense? So when we talk about being justified by the faith of Abraham, justify just as Abraham was, it was an obedient faith. You get over to get over to Hebrews chapter 11, which is the faith chapter. And we see over and over again the the statement made by faith by I faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice. Pay attention to the verbs. Pay attention to the verbs and Hebrews chapter 11. You get a Bible that you write in, go circle those verbs By faith, Abel offered the verb, offered a more excellent sacrifice. By faith, Noah, built that ark by faith, by an obedient faith, by faith, Abraham, when he was called, went to that place, the verb went, he went out to that place didn't mean by faith. Abraham, when he was tested, obeyed God, not withholding his son Isaac.

 

So, when we, when we see, we understand the faith of Abraham, but it was an obedient faith and, and when we see passages like this, were saved by grace through our faith, it's a it's a lot bigger than just hey, I believe in God isn't it? And it's certainly not faith alone. Just a note or two on that, and I know, I know it make a big deal of it when it comes up. But so many, so many folks have gone, they, they they abused God's word, they will pull a verse out of context and, and make it the be all end all. They do the same thing with John 316. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

And in order to make that be the be all end all, but they haven't read the rest of Chapter Three have the four God did not send His Son into the world that he might condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe he's already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

 

This then verse 19, John chapter three, this then is the judgment. The light has come into the world and people love darkness, rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. You think 316 is belief only. Now read the rest of the chapter. The deeds matter. For everyone who practices wicked things, hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light. So it's not faith only is it? Anyone who lives by the truth, what is the truth? Sanctify them by that truth. Thy word is truth. Whoever lives by the word of God comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.

 

That continue reading Ephesians chapter two. Verse 10, says, For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus, for good works. good works which God prepared ahead of time, so that we should walk in them. Folks, we've, we've we've discussed this over and over in it and and I have to bring it back up here again also. So we'll be the gospel. were baptized into Christ, we go into that water we come up out of that water washed, clean. All of our past sins are washed away.

 

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But moving forward. He created us for these good works. God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. Moving forward, we come up out of that water to walk in newness of life. First Gen one seven says if we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. So my god baptism Washes away my previous sins. By the blood of Jesus, I come into contact with the blood of Christ washes away all of my past sins. And my future sins are taken care of, by walking in the light by being obedient to that message, by living the word by living according to the word, walking in the light. My future sins are cleansed.

 

It's pretty plain, isn't it? Verse 11, so then, remember that at one time, you were Gentiles in the flesh. Again, go back to what we mentioned earlier about the Y O U. When you see the Y O U. It's speaking of the Gentiles. When you see the pronoun we, it's, it's speaking of Jews. So remember, at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh, call the uncircumcised by those called the circumcised, done by hand in the flesh. So the Jews call the Gentiles, the uncircumcised. They call themselves the circumcised. And they and they, they looked upon those who weren't circumcised. They looked down upon them, it was it was, it was pretty ugly, the way they they treated them so just a couple of words on this in in earlier times. Other Semitic groups and and the Egyptians practice circumcision.

 

But by the time you get to New Testament times, it was primarily just the Jews who practice circumcision. It was a, it was an external sign of the Jews, and their special relationship with God. It it originated with Abraham. He was the father of the Jewish nation. It was only males that were circumcised the Jews. The Jews looked down upon the Gentiles for being uncircumcised, and they believe that uncircumcised was a was the sign of the of the Gentiles estrangement from God. Many, many of the early Jewish Christians believe that Gentiles had to be circumcised. That there, there are a lot of a lot of writings of Paul, that speak to this book of Galatians Book of Hebrews. Speak to the Jews trying to trying to add that to salvation passages.

 

And Paul, Paul fought that for a long time and made it made it plain that that wasn't the case. They they tried to make it that way. But circumcision was done away with when, when it was nailed to the cross. Now, the circumcision is done to the heart. Colossians 214, the circumcision of the heart was most important to God. And that took place when we were, we were baptized into Christ. And we put on Christ we we became circumcised in the heart, not the not the superficial, outward, cutting away of the flesh. And that that spiritual circumcision of the heart is available to both Jew and Gentile, both men and women. Circumcision made by man's hands no longer has any value. That Paul said that in Philippians chapter three, verse two, under the old law the Jews called the Gentiles the uncircumcised, and it was a it was, it was a it was, it was a name of contempt. Paul used uncircumcised then to describe their former state.

 

In in verse 11, verse 12, at that time you were without the Messiah. You were excluded from the citizenship of Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, with no hope and without God in the world. If he just to verse 12. So, so before Christ came, the Gentiles, they weren't. They weren't in a in a good situation, not in a good condition. They were they were lost without hope. They didn't have the promises that Israel had. They were separated from Christ. They, they did not have all spiritual blessings. They were cut off from God's people. Israel. The Gentiles did not have a covenant with God with all the promises and blessings.

 

Verse 13, But now in Christ Jesus, You who were far away, have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. Once again, you see the why Oh, you, you who were far away? Who was he talking about them? The Gentiles. The Gentiles were separated they were, they were far away from from God. But now in Christ Jesus, again in Christ Jesus, right, that we see the prepositional phrase again, in Christ. Now in Christ, you've been brought near by the blood of the Messiah, Christ, blood his has brought the Gentiles into the fold. And all the circumcision of the heart has the offering of Christ, it's all. It's offered to all to everyone. There's neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free. All are offered the sacrifice by the blood of the Messiah, by the blood of Christ. He mentioned there at the end of verse 13, by the by the blood of the Messiah, we we mentioned that earlier, we, we come into contact with that blood when we went into the water to come out washed clean. We came into contact with the blood of Jesus that washed away all of my sins. Again, moving forward. If I walk in the light, the rest of my days, I walk my way to heaven, because the blood of Jesus continually cleanses my sense. The rest of my days. It's abuse. It's a beautiful, it's a beautiful arrangement, isn't it? A beautiful offering.

 

What what God has done for us with that incredible love, that abundant mercy, by His grace, I can be saved by the blood of Jesus. Awesome. Verse 14, for he is our peace. He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility in his flesh. So Jesus made peace. Jews and Gentiles have peace with God, through Jesus. Jews and Gentiles are reconciled to God through Jesus also reconcile to each other. We're now brothers and sisters, one in Christ. That wall that separated them has been broken down. In the flesh, abolished in the flesh. Verse 15, he did away with the law of the commandments in regulations.

 

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So the law of commandments the Mosaic Law, with all of its ordinances and regulations, kept them apart. The Jews were a separate nation in the Law of Moses kept them from other people. Jesus abolished the law of Moses when he died on the cross Colossians 122 clearly shows that, that this means his death. And his death, He abolished all of this. Since since that that wall had been broken down that wall that separated them, it was done away with Christ made them into one new man in Christ Jesus.

 

Listen to the end of 15, so that he might create in himself one new man from the to resulting in peace. Were 16 He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross. In chapter one, he introduced us to the body didn't mean the body, which is his church. And he saying, both Jew and Gentile, come together, they are reconciled together, in that one body, in his church. So the church is filled with Jews and Gentiles, who have come together, reconciled now in Christ, one man in Christ in his body. And that, again, the, the body reference is going to continue throughout.

 

Throughout this book, we get to chapter four, he's gonna hit it pretty hard. On through five, speaking of the, the body of Christ, His Church, were when we started this study of Ephesians, I mentioned to you that some have have entitled, The Book of Ephesians, the church of Christ, the body of Christ, the Church of Christ.

 

So let's, let's read 16. Again, he did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, and put the hostility to death by it. Remember, we deserve death, we were dead in our trespasses and our sins, we had sin, we were separated from God, we deserve death. But through the cross, through through this in the one body through the cross, He put the hostility to death by it. hostility to each other, was overcome by the cross, by the cross of Christ, that hostility that Jews and Gentiles had had, was was wiped out by the cross. And what was true then is true today. The reason? They're the reason there's so much hostility in the world and strife in the world today. It's because men are not reconciled to God through Christ. The gospel is the answer to all of this. When the gospel is preached to, to all nations, people are reconciled to God through Christ and to each other.

 

The the only real piece that can come is through Christ. The So what's the answer? The the gospel, the gospel must be preached today must be preached to the whole world. That that was the that was the plea to the, to the apostles when they before Jesus left this earth. And it was the, it was the marching orders for all of us. Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. The marching orders for us today is to preach that gospel message, to preach that peace. That's the only way that real, that real peace can happen.

 

Verse 17, when Christ came, he proclaimed the good news of Peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So he just, he just summarized what what we've been talking about what he'd been saying. When Christ came, he proclaimed the good news of peace To, to the Jews who were far out to the Gentiles who were far away to the Jews who were near. He proclaimed that peace,

 

verse 18, four through him, we both for through him. And again, this only comes through Christ Jesus. It's only in Christ that this can happen. Through him, we both have access by one spirit to the Father. chapter two, verse 20, verse 18, is one of those, one of those special verses the there aren't very many of them in Scripture, but it contains the Godhead three, four through him.

 

We both have access by one spirit to the Father. So you got the him? God the Son, you got the one spirit? Is God, God, the Spirit, the Holy Spirit to God the Father. Notice the word access here. How would you think of access? I have, when I have access to something, it's it's available for me, isn't it? If I have access to the gym, the gym is available to me. I may have a key or something so I have access to it. It's available to me.

 

This, this blessing here through Christ is available to all it's available to everyone. We all have access to it. Whether whether we take advantage of that access or not as it is, it's another thing, isn't it? But we all have access. The gospel is for all the gospel messages for all. We mentioned the marching orders earlier, go go make disciples of all nations go out and preach that gospel everywhere.

 

The mason Mason Church of Christ is we're on several continents preaching the gospel. Now now we're doing it over the over the airwaves and over the internet. So you've got you've got it going out worldwide. Does that mean that everyone will be saved? No. But they all have access to it. It's available to all let's close here. Close here with verse 18.

 

We'll pick up a nightie next time. Let's Let's have a word of prayer. Dear God and Father we humbly bow before you we lift up prayer we thank you for being our God. We thank you dear father, that you've left us these words that you've left us the Word of God that we may we may know you and know your will for our lives. May we continue to study to study to show ourselves approved. Dear God, we thank you again for all that you do for us. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen.