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Ephesians 2:1-10 By Grace are you Saved

Before God made the universe, before He made the heavens and earth, God knew us. He knew every aspect our being. He knew how and when we would come to salvation through His Son, even before physical matter existed.  The believer has an eternal destiny; God has guaranteed our destiny with the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our promised redemption.  We are adopted as children of God, through Jesus Christ, we have a Heavenly bloodline, a Heavenly home and an amazing destiny.

 

            The problem is do we know who we are?  We might be possessors of the Kingdom of God, but we really don’t understand how blessed we are?  We need our spiritual eyes opened, that we may have full realization of our identity in Jesus Christ.   This is the purpose of Ephesians, so that we may know who we are in Christ and knowing we can act on the authority and position God has given us.

            Chapter 2, versus 1-10, Paul reveals the transformation, from lost in our sins to salvation in Jesus Christ.  The Gospel of Christ has the power to transform any life it comes into contact with it. As believers we are example of the power of the Gospel, the Ephesians were also that example.

 

 

Ephesians 2:1-22

(1)  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

(2)  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--

(3)  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

(4)  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

(5)  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--

(6)  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

(7)  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

(8)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

(9)  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

 

(1)  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

  (1)  Is there any hope without Jesus Christ?  Religion and good works will tell you there are many ways to heaven. This verse rejects such a premise, our condition before coming to salvation was dead.  Positionally we were dead, separated from God and eternity.  According to scripture there are two classes of people in the world, those who are spiritually dead and those alive.  When we come to Salvation by accepting Jesus Christ, we live with the power of God’s Spirit, we are transformed.  A dead person cannot comprehend the realms of spiritual reality, just like a dead person in this world is not aware of the world around him.

            Our trespasses and sins caused us to die spiritually. We have inherited a “sin nature” from our fallen bloodline, the line of Adam. Adam’s sin was transferred to all humanity; through him we inherited a desire to sin. Our sins along with the sin of Adam brought spiritual death.  The blood of Jesus redeems us from death, through Him we adopted into the family of God.  Romans 5:12-21 expounds on this dynamic between the sin of Adam and the act of Jesus Christ, how we are redeemed through His blood.

Romans 5:12-21

(12)  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

(13)  for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

(14)  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

(15)  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

(16)  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

(17)  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

(18)  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

(19)  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

(20)  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

(21)  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Jesus “one act of righteousness” his death for the sins of humanity, changed our status, he resurrected us from death. Jesus bestowed on us the free gift of righteousness; we have been declared righteous (Justified) because Jesus took the penalty of our sins and trespasses.

 

(2)  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--

(2)  Today its easy to excuse sin, the biblical condemnations are often excused as cultural standards, so even churches and universities are looking at homosexuality as culturally acceptable. Paul’s day was no different than our day.  In verse 2, Paul says believers in Ephesus were dead and once walked, following the course of this world.  The world’s course is predictable its empowered by the things of the flesh. What are the things of the flesh? Paul describes them in Galatians 5:19-21.

 

Galatians 5:19-21

(19)  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

(20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

(21)  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

             The word used for world is the Greek word, Aion, meaning age.  From Adam fall to our day, we live in a fallen age or aion. The works of the flesh are no less evident in Paul’s day then our own day.  The power behind them is prince of the power of the air; Satan is being referred to here.  Prince in the Greek is Archon, meaning anyone who is first in authority or power, applied to one who has pre-eminence or rule. Satan has other names in scripture also; Prince of Demons (Mat_9:34; Mat_12:24; Mar_3:22; Luk_11:15) He is called Prince of this world (Joh_12:31; Joh_14:30; Joh_16:11). When Adam and Eve fell, they turned over their authority to Satan.  He rules over the earth from the outer atmosphere, he has access to the air.  He is not hindered by distance of physical obstacles; in instant he showed Jesus the kingdoms of this world.(Luke 4:5)

            Satan is the spirit working to confuse and prevent the world from hearing the Gospel.  He works at keeping people in darkness and opposing the Kingdom of God. Satan knows the Gospel has the power to transform people, so the spirit,Satan, is waging war to keep Adam’s descendents, the sons of disobedience locked out of God’s plan.

 

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

(3)  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

(4)  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

1Pe 5:8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

(3)  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

 

(3)  We all once lived all humanity is under the fallen nature, Paul includes himself here.  Paul was a persecutor of Christ, until Jesus revealed Himself to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18).  In our fallen nature, the passions of our flesh rule over our thoughts.  Prior to Christ in our lives, the flesh was in control it was the dominant nature. When we come to Christ, we have a new nature which wars against our old nature. 

Romans 8:7-8

(7)  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. (8)  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 These passions seek fulfillment, by carrying out the desires resulting in sin.  Sin is carried out through physical yearnings of the body and the battlefield of the mind. The mind and the body are the two battlefields of spiritual warfare.  Everybody has desires and cravings, some good and some bad, how do we act on these cravings?  Do the desires of our body rule our actions?  The same can be said with the mind, do our thoughts overrule us. 

  1 John 2:16

(16)  For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life--is not from the Father but is from the world.

 

Desires of the flesh

Our natural physical desires want to be fulfilled. Flesh applies to the physical world, food, eat, drink, sex, lust, all these are desires of the flesh.

Desires of the eyes

The desires of the eyes are things we see, I want what that person has, I deserve it.  Jewelry, cars, possessions, etc.

Pride of life

Pride is comparing ourselves to others and being offended when we are lacking in our own eyes.  Cain’s pride was offended when Able was accepted and he was rejected.

 

All of mankind is under the judgment of God; our very nature makes us children of wrath for our sins.  This is the same for all mankind, but God hold back on the judgment due us because of his mercy.

 (4)  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

(4) Left to ourselves we are utterly bankrupt and without hope.  The first three verses here lays out our condition.  We are 1. dead in trespasses and sins, 2. we walked according to the course of the world, 3. under Satan’s power, 4. we fulfill the desires of the flesh, and 5. we are children of wrath.  But God, In spite of what we deserve, “But God” intercedes on our behalf.  God will not let our condition and what we deserve prevent His rich mercy from reaching down to us.  Isaiah 59, describes the fallen nature of humanity,

 

Isaiah 59:2-3

(2)  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

(3)  For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.

 

God saw the utter hopelessness of human destiny and put Himself into our world as our intercessor. He loved us when were vile and deserving His wrath.   He held back on judgment because of His mercy. He became one of us, to redeem us.

 

Isaiah 59:16-17

(16)  He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.

(17)  He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.

 

(5)  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--

 (5) When we least deserved His mercy, when we were dead in our trespasses, when we deserved His wrath and judgment, God did the opposite.  He made us alive; God gave us life when we were dead in sin. With Christ means we are not only saved from death, but God changes our position to be with Christ.  When we really grasp the awesome salvation we have, we cannot help but shout with joy and praise. With Christ means, we attain all the benefits of adoption as children of God.

 With Christ

We live with Christ

Rom_6:8  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

We are heirs with Christ

Rom_8:17  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Crucified  with Christ

Gal_2:20  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Depart and be with Christ

Php_1:23  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Reign With Christ

Rev_20:4  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed….. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

Why would God bestow all these benefits on those who are dead in their sins? Why would he bless us with the riches of his mercy?  It’s all about Grace, totally by Grace we have been saved from the judgment we deserved.  By Grace we have been elevated to the position of sitting with our “Kinsman” Redeemer in heavenly places.  

            What does Grace mean? Grace comes from the Greek Word, Charis, meaning goodwill loving kindness, favor. Salvation was not based on anything we did or anything we deserved, it was based on God’s gift, it was His Grace toward us who were dead in our sins.

 

Romans 11:5-6

(5)  So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

(6)  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

 

Romans 5:15-16

(15)  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

(16)  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

 

We have been saved from the punishment and wrath due us for our sins.

 

(6)  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

 

(6) Being adopted as Children of God, through the Christ gives us an eternal royal inheritance. Jesus has not only promised us eternal life, but He has promised an eternal position.  He has raised us up from the dead; we were without hope, destined for wrath. Through Grace, God has seated us with him in heavenly places. We are destined to rule and reign with our kinsman Jesus Christ, because we adopted into His royal line.

            Through Daniel, we see the transition from the “kingdoms of this world” to the Kingdom of God, when the saints will receive the kingdom and reign over the nations. When Christ returns and gathers the nations, the kingdoms of the earth will be turned over to His saints.

 

Daniel 7:21-22

(21)  As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,

(22)  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

 

As “saints” we will reign with Christ over the earthly millennial kingdom[1], when Christ will reign from Jerusalem over the nations.  The Twelve disciples were told explicitly they would rule over the 12-tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:28

(28)  Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

By extension the in the parable of the Talents and Mina (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:11-27), the saints are also given authority over the kingdoms of the earth. 

 

Luke 19:17-19

(17)  And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'

(18)  And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made five minas.'

(19)  And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.'

 

Rev_20:4  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed….. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

Following the Millennium, is the New Heavens and New Earth of Revelation 21 and 22, The Bride of Christ, is the New Jerusalem, the home of the saints. There also we will rule and reign with Christ.

 

(7)  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 (7) The blessings of salvation do not end at accepting Christ, they only begin.  Even in Heaven the blessings are only beginning, in coming Aions (ages), the saints will be a monument to the immeasurable riches and kindness. The saints will be the objects of God’s blessing, receiving and demonstrating how amazing the love of God is. 

            In the New Jerusalem, there is no Temple because the City itself is the Temple.  The New Jerusalem is the house of God, and we have a home in the house of God.  We are part of His House; Jesus went to prepare a place for us that we might be where He is.

            In Revelation 21:10-27 the dimensions of the city are given because its real and concrete, its not analogy. The city is described as 1400 miles, long, high and wide, made of pure gold.  Inside the city the saints have a home with God. Scripture takes us to the window of eternity and pulls the curtains back to give us a glimpse the promises to come.

 

Revelation 21:21-22

(21)  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

(22)  And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

 

 

(8)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

 

(8) Does anybody deserve to be saved?  Why was I saved, what did I do?  Verse 8 answers theses questions. By Grace you have been saved, being saved means you have received the unmerited gift of God. God has bestowed on you a free gift that you did nothing to earn.

 

Romans 3:24

(24)  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

 

The vehicle of Grace is faith, when we accept and believe in God’s work through Jesus Christ, we then become partakers of His work.  Everybody has faith, even atheists, the question is do we put faith in the work of God through Jesus Christ. When we our accept Christ through faith, we receive the blessings of the faith.

 

Hebrews 11:6

(6)  And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

 

So when we by faith, accept Christ we are saved by God’s free unmerited gifts (Grace).

In case we even think we had did a good job by choosing Christ and not rejecting Him, the Holy Spirit says this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Even our faith is a gift of God, this demonstrates our complete depravity, we were dead in sins, we had no desire for God, like a dead man has no desire. God alone reached down through his Grace and bestowed His Gift of salvation on us.

 

(9)  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(9) No action on our part, work caused our salvation, it was Christ alone.  Human effort is powerless to bring salvation. 

 

Romans 3:20

(20)  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

 

Therefore no can boast in his salvation, it is purely a gift from God, through faith. However even the faith is from God, so we have nothing to boast in except the Lord.

 

(10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

(10) We are instruments of God, walking in this physical, fallen world demonstrating the power of the Gospel to change lives.  When the world sees us, they see his workmanship, we should be a contrast to the world.  We should be light and not darkness, salt and not blandness, the world should see something different about us, because we are His workmanship.  The Greek word is poiēma, meaning product or fabric.  We are in Christ, so the good works of being in Him should proceed from us. The Spirit guides us to imitate Christ for the world.

 2 Corinthians 3:18

(18)  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

However, in case we are about to boast about how good our good works are, verse 10 informs us, God prepared beforehand our good works. All we do is walk in the works which were prepared for us to do even before we were born.  No aspect of our identity is hidden from God, he knew us before the world, and he was involved in our existence before we were even born.  As he proclaimed to Jeremiah, He can proclaim to us.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

(4)  Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

(5)  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

 

 

 

 

G5485  Grace

χάρις

charis

Thayer Definition:

1) grace

1a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

3a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

3b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

3b1) a gift of grace

3b2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G5463

Citing in TDNT: 9:372, 1298

 

 

 

G4982 (Saved)

σώζω

sōzō

Thayer Definition:

1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

1a) one (from injury or peril)

1a1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health

1b1) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

1b) to save in the technical biblical sense

1b1) negatively

1b1a) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment

1b1b) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, “safe”)

Citing in TDNT: 7:965, 1132

 



[1] The Millennium (1000-years) is described in Revelation 20:1-7 as a one-thousand year kingdom when Satan is put away and has no influence on the nations.  Jesus Christ rules over the earth, following the Millennium is the New Heavens and New Earth.

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