Ephesians 2: 1-10
"… But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…"
Key point: We are never to forget or forsake the basics of our Christianity, by Grace alone, by faith alone, by Christ alone, which we get through Scripture alone all to give God the Glory. The church leadership and pastor's job is to point to Christ, His Word, and help manage a response to our house and community.
Do you fully realize who we are in Christ and what He did for us? Does your church? We are made alive! We are no longer dead, separated by our sins from God and healthy relationships with one another. God's just wrath for sin is pacified by what Christ has done. We no longer need to follow the meaningless and deadly ways of the world that only give pain, heartbreak and dysfunction. By Christ alone, by His unaided grace are we saved; this is a gift freely given that we receive by His grace through our faith in Christ alone.
What we exemplify and teach is that our faith has value! Our faith does not purchase or qualify us to our salvation; rather, it is a response. This most valuable gift--more precious and unlike anything from the world--is ours by the hand of the Father who loves us. It is boundless, and it is eternal. The question is this: How will you teach your people what are we going to do with our precious gift?
What we exemplify and teach is Our Great God has a great love for us. God is delighted to save us! Even though we do not deserve it, like disobedient children the parents still love (Deut. 7:6-9; Rom. 8:29-30).
What we exemplify and teach is that Jesus totally took Satan's power away. Satan has no advantage over you. Jesus won the battle of good and evil. Jesus did not win almost or barely. Christ is victorious decisively and eternally! (Ezek. 18; Matt. 12:29; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; Rom. 5:12; 6:23; 2 Cor. 214; Heb. 2:14-15; Rev.12: 9; 20:2).
What we exemplify and teach is that through faith, God is working in us. We are the receptacles in which God moves and displays His wonder; we are the operation where God expresses His Work of fruit and faith so others can see Him.
What we exemplify and teach is Gratitude! This is our response to Who and what Christ has done for us, and our gratitude will produce Fruit. God works in us, and there should be an outpouring onto others. This is also "breaking away from," or "putting off" our old sin-driven life. There is no need to follow the Old Covenant when we have a new one. We do not need to follow legalism of the law or man's rules for our salvation and growth (Ex. 20:1; Deut. 5:29; 30:6-14; Acts 15; Rom. 2:28-29; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-29; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11-15).
We are chosen by God and by God alone for His pleasure through His love! We are not made for this world; we are made for eternity. Christ and heaven is our true home. The Holy Spirit sets us apart. We are able to hear and receive His Words of grace and life. God chose us not by merit or worth, but just because of His pure and perfect purpose and knowledge, which we do not deserve. This is to motivate our "human responsibility."
Our responsibility is to produce fruit and unity; in fact, because we have been chosen and are secure in Christ, we can respond back to Him and others with gratitude. When the reality of what Christ has done for us hits and motivates us, we can put forth every conceivable effort and passion to live out the Christian life. This is what grows a church! So, why would we not put off what holds us back? Why would we not want to be grateful, grace oriented, forgiving, loving, and virtuous (Deut. 4:37; Isa. 60:21; 61:3; Jer. 2:13; 13:11; Amos. 4:6; John 3:16; 6:37, 44, 65; 15:1-16; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:29-33; 9; Phil. 1:6; Col. 3:12-14)?
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/