I am really feeling lead by God to drive home the main point with Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, while 2 Tim. 3:16 tells us that all scripture is inspired by God. When God is teaching us, we know that whatever comes out of it... it is going to be astounding, convincing, and convicting. God is God. We are not. He is able to bring us down to our knees in an awe-inspiring worship time and/or He is able to pick us up and carry us when we have fallen into sin. He alone is worthy to be praised and He alone is worthy of our worship. There is no other God under heaven by which man might be saved. This is what the gospel is all about. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" Revelation 5:12. Now that I am finished with the intro, we can delve into the text and see what God has for us. The full text is Ephesians 2:1-10, but I will refer to other passages as well.
Ephesians 2:1-3 is our human hopelessness without Christ, Ephesians 2:4-7 is our divine hope in Christ, and Ephesians 2:8-10, which are familiar passages of Scripture, is the debate between salvation by grace vs. salvation by works. I will try to break these down as best as I can in three parts.
The first part is Ephesians 2:1-3 which reads, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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--- 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."
I briefly touched on these three verses in Part 1 of Part 5 of this series. The bottom line is that sin is sin. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay, keep you longer than you want to stay, and drive you further than you ever wanted to go. It is useless, but the bait is extremely enticing. Should I watch that movie rather than spending time with God? Should I give in to peer pressure so that I would make myself look good? Should I become impatient with my brother or sister because they are taking too much time on the computer and they won't let me take over at the helm? Life is full of choices. One choice is a sugar coated bag containing a hand grenade, while the other choice is a sugar coated bag of God's blessings. The hand grenade will blow up in your face in the end, while God's blessings will last forever. Which do you choose?
We still have not reached the point of the first three verses of Ephesians 2. I wanted to briefly talk about the doctrine of sin. I accomplished that. The main point of these three verses is that our condition is hopeless without God. Jeremiah 17:9 clearly portrays the human heart, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Without God, we could easily become the next Adolf Hitler, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Dawkins, Nero, etc. Our hearts are so disgusting and full of hatred that we don't know what else to do other than to sin, sin, and sin. Proverbs 6:16, another familiar passage, tells us something about God, "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him....". Guess what abomination literally means in the Hebrew? Excrement, fecal matter, or manure. God hates sin with a righteous anger. He loathes sin with a hatred that cannot be expressed in human terms. Sin is so horrific in the eyes of God that he crushed Jesus on the cross to save us from our sins. That is the heart of the gospel. Our sin condemns us before a holy God leaving Him the opportunity to justify our sins upon His Son. He could have left us in our sins. He could have thrown every human being into hell and He would have been just in doing so. We rebelled against Him, we rejected Him, we despised Him. Even through all that, he loved us so much that he CRUSHED (slammed, beat, lacerated) His Son for us. Do you see His great love for you and me? Amazing, Astounding, Awesome. Praise Him and Acknowledge Him as your Lord.
End Part 1 Main Point. Tomorrow we will pick up with verses 4-7.