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Ephesians 2:1-10 by Robert Dean
Can the dead be made alive? Listen to this lesson to learn that the Apostle Paul explains that dead here refers to the fact that all people are born spiritually dead. See what is necessary for us to be made alive. Hear six basic questions about this and the answers. Find out the role grace plays in saving us when we trust Christ as our Savior. Be reminded that as the body of Christ we have been elevated to be trophies of God’s grace.
Series:Ephesians (2018)
Duration:46 mins 6 secs

Saved: The Dead Made Alive
Ephesians 2:1–10
Ephesians Series #047
October 13, 2019
www.deanbibleministries.org

Opening Prayer

“Father, we’re so thankful for Your Word. Your Word is that which enlightens us. Our soul has been enlightened, so that we can understand the truth of Your Word from the instant of our salvation.

“Now we pray, as Paul prayed in Ephesians 1: that You would help us to understand more fully this revelation that You’ve given us in Ephesians that we might grow and mature as believers, that we might come to understand more fully all of these spiritual blessings that You have given us. And that as we learn about them, that God the Holy Spirit would use that to move us, to motivate us to greater diligence in our biblical study, application, and spiritual growth that we might fulfill the ministry that You have given to us and that You might be glorified.

“We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”

Slide 2

Open your Bibles with me to Ephesians 2. We begin in the first 10 verses with one of the most significant passages for salvation in all of the New Testament. It is loaded with fascinating explanations and it is filled with brief statements, assuming that the reader has a background for understanding all of these different statements.

We find phrases such as “dead in trespasses and sins,” the “prince and the power of the air,” that “we are made alive together,” “we are raised together,” and “we are seated together in Christ.” Not very many of us have too much of an understanding of the implications of each of those phrases.

We are told that this is due to the grace and the mercy of God. What does that mean? How are we to understand those terms and the distinctions between those terms?

We understand that we are saved by grace and not through faith, and that this is the gift of God, but what is the gift of God? Is it grace? Is it salvation? Is it faith?

In Ephesians 2:10 we are told that we are created for good works. Who’s the “we?” What are these good works? What are we supposed to do about that? All of those demand some further explanation.

This passage is also a battleground for legalism. Because of its emphasis on grace and not works, it shows that our works are not relevant to salvation, but there is a role for works, apparently, according to Ephesians 2:10.

It is a battleground in the false teaching of Lordship salvation, for there are things that are said in Lordship salvation that are genuinely contradicted in this passage, but there are those who hold to those views who twist and distort some things that are in this passage.

It is also a passage that will give clarity in the ongoing debate between Calvinists and Arminians, as Calvinists teach that regeneration precedes faith. They have a statement that dead people can’t believe; so therefore, they must be regenerated before they can believe. We need to talk about these things.

Above all, as we look at this passage, what we see is that its focus is on being saved, and being saved means that the dead are made alive. That’s the heart of the passage: God makes the dead alive again. So we need to understand exactly what that means. What does it mean to be dead and what is this life that we are given?

This morning I want to cover the first 10 verses in sort of an overview fashion. Then over the course of the next two or three weeks, we will look at the different sections of this passage to get more understanding on some of those issues that I have just mentioned.

It’s important, first of all, to understand the overview, the structure; to think through what Paul is saying together. That in and of itself will clarify a number of these points of contention and points that are argued among theologians. And some things that perhaps you have been taught, but wrongly.

Slide 3

Here are the first seven verses. It’s hard to crowd all 10 on there, but we want to focus on the first seven because these first seven are really one sentence in the Greek.

If you have a New King James translation, you will see in the first verse, “And you He made alive …” That phrase “He made alive” is in italics. That means it’s not in the original Greek of that verse. But the translators of the New King James Version and the King James Version before it put this there in order to give more clarity for the English reader.

In the Greek the main subject of this long sentence is in Ephesians 2:4. But if you look at the way these seven verses are punctuated in the New King James, there’s a period at the end of Ephesians 2:3, which suggests that there is a subject and finite verb in the first part, and it’s not there.

Slide 5

The subject is, of course, “But God” at the beginning of Ephesians 2:4; it’s the subject of this whole sentence. It’s talking about something God has done for us. And the first thing that it says that God did for us is that He made us alive. So that is taken by the translators, and put up into the beginning in Ephesians 2:1, so that it makes more sense to the English reader.

To the reader who is looking at the Greek text, you don’t get to the main idea until you get to Ephesians 2:4, so you’re trying to figure out what those first three verses mean: Where is he going with this? What is this all about? He is expanding on this fact that we are all—Jew and Gentile—born dead in our trespasses and sins. We are spiritually dead, we often say, but we need to understand why it is that we that we say that.

Slide 4

We have to re-punctuate it a little bit, and I’ve taken that paragraph out of Ephesians 2:4 because there’s no new paragraph there. The reason you know it’s all one sentence is because the subject of the finite verbs in Ephesians 2:5–6: that we were made alive together, we were raised together, and seated together in the heavenlies.

Slide 5

That’s your main clause: God made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together, and made us sit together. Everything else relates in a secondary explanatory way to help us understand the significance of that main statement and that main verse.

Slide 6

The other thing that we’re going to see is that as he is saying God made us alive together, there’s this parenthetical phrase here “by grace you have been saved.”

What happens is he introduces that idea here in Ephesians 2:5, and it’s a critical idea, Then he picks it up again at the beginning of one of our favorite verses, Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith …

He picks that up and gives a fuller explanation of what that means in Ephesians 2:8–9. Then what the results of that are to be for us is in Ephesians 2:10, so that sets things up for us to understand what’s going on here.

I’m going to look at this in terms of six basic questions that we will answer in the next 30 or 40 minutes.

Slide 7

First of all, we need to understand that there’s a problem.

1.      What is the problem? In order to understand the problem as Paul is stating it in the first three verses, we first have to recognize that there is a distinction between Ephesians 2:1–2 and Ephesians 2:3.

In Ephesians 2:1–2, he’s talking about y’all, “… you who were dead in trespasses and sins …” It’s a plural, so it’s y’all. Who are the “y’all?”

In Ephesians 2:3, he shifts to “we,” “… among whom also we all we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh …” Who’s the “we,” and why is that important to understand this distinction?

2.      What’s the solution?

Slide 6

Ephesians 2:1–3 identifies the problem; Ephesians 2:4–6 identifies the solution: that God made us alive together, raised us together and seated us together. We need to understand who the “together” is. If you’re following closely, the “together” pulls together the “you” and the “we.” So now they together experience this grace of God.

Slide 7

3.      What does it mean to be saved as it is stated in Ephesians 2:5, and then picked up again and restated in Ephesians 2:8? What does it mean to be saved contextually?

4.      What is the purpose for being made alive, raised, and seated?

We’re made alive together, raised together, and seated together. The purpose for that is stated in Ephesians 2:7.

5.      What is the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8?

Is it grace? Is it faith? Is it salvation? What is it? A lot of discussion and debate over that.

6.      Who is God’s masterpiece? Ephesians 2:10

Now you’re looking and say, “I don’t have that word in my Bible.” That’s a better translation of the word that is translated “workmanship,” and we will look at that when we get there.

Slide 8

We will start with the problem, first of all, for y’all. Who are the “y’all?” To what does that second person plural refer and what about the “we?”

Slide 9

Ephesians 2:1–3, “and y’all—notice I put in ellipses there because we’re going to take out that phrase that is moved up from Ephesians 2:5. That’s fine; it’s a good way to translate it. We’re just going to catch the sense of this:

… y’all… who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which y’all once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

Slide 10

Who’s the “we?” This is important to understand, but first of all we see this contrast. It goes back to Ephesians 1, the “y’all” refers to Gentiles. Always throughout Ephesians it refers to Gentiles. Sometimes it might refer to—as it does here—what they were before they were saved, so it refers to Gentile unbelievers.

But now the “y’all” refers to them as believers. They are now believers, but it sometimes references back to what they were before they became believers. So this distinction is held. It’s very clear in the second part of Ephesians 2, but there is nothing to indicate the meaning changes.

Paul is still talking about this distinction that “we” refers to Jews, the “y’all” refers to the Gentiles, and that in the new body of Christ the “y’all” and the “we” are going to now be one in the body of Christ. That is foundational to this whole Epistle. It’s about the body of Christ. It has that corporate significance.

Too often we jump to make these statements personal in terms of individuals. That’s what I was dealing with in the first chapter in those controversial passages that are often taken to mean election and predestination. They’re taken as individual references, but in the context of this epistle, Paul is talking about what we as a corporate body have.

That’s why we spent so much time. I realized today that we spent a year just going through the first chapter. Someone told me as we were starting that, “Be careful! Lots of people have gone into the quicksand of chapter 1 and been there forever.”

I can understand that because it takes so much time, if you’re diligent, to read and study and work through the issues and not just assume that whatever your favorite commentator has said is accurate. You have to really work at it. That’s what we have come to here.

Initially, in these first two verses, Paul is talking about the Gentiles—what they were before they were saved. They were “dead in their trespasses and sins.” What does that mean to be dead in your trespasses and sins?

Obviously, he’s writing to them. He expects them to read this Epistle, so he is assuming that they are physically alive. We recognize that there are a number of different ways in which the term “dead” is used in Scripture. But here it is used in reference to trespasses and sins. But He is writing to those who are physically alive.

You have to understand what Calvinists argue here when they interpret this. They will not interpret this in the way that we do in terms of spiritual death because they have something of an issue with that, so they sort of sidestep it. They will use the term “spiritual death” at times, but it becomes less clear, so we need to explain that.

What Calvinists do, and the first time I heard about this, a roommate of mine, back when I was in my first year of seminary, went to a Baptist church in Dallas, and there was a revivalist there preaching. He went to John 11, the resurrection and resuscitation of Lazarus. When he got there he made the application that Lazarus had to have already been made alive, so he could hear the call and then come out of the grave.

That’s the same way with regeneration. We have to be made alive first before we can respond to the gospel, so regeneration precedes faith. You will hear a lot of Calvinists who will take that position. We’re going to show in this passage why that is exegetically impossible.

But we have to define “dead” here. What they do is make the mistake—a logical fallacy—where they confuse aspects of physical death was spiritual death. Physical death for many means cessation of existence, but we learned that in the Scripture that the main idea in death is not the cessation of existence, it is separation. And so, when we read this phrase “dead in trespasses and sins,” we need to let the Bible define what that is. We see that in Ephesians; let Paul define his terms.

Slide 11

We will start in Ephesians 4:17 to give us a little context. Paul says, “This I say, therefore, and testifying in the Lord, that y’all—talking to the Greeks, regenerate Greeks—that y’all should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk—that’s assuming that a saved person can live just like an unsaved Gentile.

That’s a counter to Lordship salvation. Saved people can be just as bad, if not worse, just as evil, if not worse, as unbelievers. “… y’all should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk”—and then there are three phrases:

1.      “in the futility of their mind

2.      “having their understanding darkened—so there he’s referring to the unsaved Gentile, and then that next phrase is

Slide 12

3.      “being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of their blindness of their heart.”

This is talking about them as being unsaved.

Slide 13

The word that is translated “being alienated” is APALLOTRIOO, which is a perfect passive participle. That grammar is important because a perfect tense means it’s completed action in the past, so that alienation happened in the past, and it was completed in the past, but the focus is on the present results of the completed past action.

Sometime in the past they are alienated, and the word “alienated” has the idea of being estranged or being separated. We see here that Paul is talking about this spiritual death as being a separation from the life of God. Therefore, they are able to have volition.

See in the Calvinists’ concept, they can’t express positive volition to anything, they can’t do anything because they are incapable—in their definition of death—of believing, of exercising positive volition, of just doing anything because they’re dead. Dead men can’t do anything, so they have to be made alive before they can do something.

But that is not how Paul defines spiritual death. It is a condition where the spiritually dead person is separated or estranged from the life of God. He is dead spiritually because He doesn’t have God’s life.

Slide 14

Ephesians 2:12 uses this in the same way, “… that at that time y’all—that is, Jews; that is, before the Cross in this context—were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.”

When they were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, could they still think? Could they still make decisions? Could they still do certain things? Certainly! So that estrangement—that alienation—is not a state of nonexistence or inability. We will take a little time next week talking about these phrases that are used: inability of man and the total depravity of man. In Calvinism it is an inability: you can’t do anything as a dead person. That does not fit the context.

Slide 15

Back to Ephesians 2:2 where it is expanded, this spiritual death condition, “… in which—that is, in that spiritual death condition—y’all—you Gentiles—once walked according to the course of this world”—and that simply means according to the standards of the kosmic system. I spell that with a “k.” It’s all of human viewpoint. It’s how the world lives apart from God and apart from Christ.

Secondly, “… according to the prince of the power of the air—that is Satan; we will deal with those phrases in a little more detail later on. Then you have an appositional phrase defining who the prince of the power of the air is. He is—that spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”

Who are the sons of disobedience? Again, another very important phrase. According to Ephesians 5:6 and Colossians 3:6, “sons of disobedience” refers to unbelievers. It does not ever refer to believers. It’s used three times in the New Testament, and every time it refers to unbelievers.

In Ephesians 5:6, coming from the same Epistle, Paul uses it again and says, “Let no one deceive y’all—that is, you Gentile believers—with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

Colossians 3:6 states almost the same phrase. “Wrath of God” is the divine discipline of God, according to Romans 1:18 and following, on the unbelieving world. Those who are recipients of the wrath of God in this context are the unbelievers. That’s an important point to remember.

Slide 16

We have seen that the “we” equals the Jews. Paul uses “we Jews” in terms of before salvation or “we Jews” in terms of those early Jews that were saved in the first chapters of Acts. Here it refers, of course, to Jewish unbelievers.

“… among whom also we—we Jews. In the first two verses, he’s talking about “you Gentiles,” are spiritually dead and this is all the things that you’re doing. But “we also” he’s adding the Jews. We have the same problem—among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh …”

The term “lust of the flesh” there refers specifically to the lusts. Then its parallel term, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” is a parallel term indicating will or desire. It’s parallel to and is often a synonym of lust. As Jewish unbelievers we were living on the basis of the lusts of our sin nature and the desires of our sin nature and our mind. … and we were—I added the ‘we’ there, but that’s in the text—we Jews—were by nature children of wrath.

Slide 15

That’s why I emphasized this verse in Ephesians 5:6 that as unbelievers they receive the wrath of God.

Slide 16

Those who receive the wrath of God are Jewish unbelievers as well. They’re children of wrath. That connects them to the Gentiles. They are recipients of God’s wrath, and just to make sure we don’t lose the point, Ephesians 2:3, “just as—and literally it’s—the rest,” referring to the Gentiles.

He makes this comparison: Gentiles are spiritually dead. Jews are spiritually dead. That is our problem, but what is the solution?

Slide 17

The solution begins in Ephesians 2:4–6.

Slide 18

It starts by putting the emphasis on God.

A little grammatical point, but it’s important: God is the subject of these verbs. God made us alive together. God raised us up together. God made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

When you look at that, there is a phrase at the end of Ephesians 2:5 that is a parenthetical phrase. What’s the purpose of a parenthetical phrase? It is used to explain something that has already been said, to say something in addition to or to explain it a little bit. So, he is pointing out in that parenthetical phrase that when we are made alive together in Christ, it is by grace.

But when he says this is “by grace you have been saved,” “have been saved” is a passive. Now you shift from active verbs to a passive verb because that is showing that we don’t have anything to do with our salvation. God is the One who saves us.

Slide 19

He is the One who makes us alive together.

Ephesians 2:4–6, the solution is that God first makes us alive together. Second, He raises us together. Third, He saves us together.

When he comes to this verse, he’s using this first-person plural pronoun of “us.” He has shifted from using first person plural to refer to “we Jews” to now referring to “us,” Jew and Gentile, together in the body of Christ. This is the first time we’ve seen that.

He said you Gentiles are spiritually dead, we Jews are children of wrath, but the solution is that God has made us together alive, made us together raised, made us together seated. That’s the focus: “together.”

Slide 20

Looking at that parenthetical phrase “by grace we have been saved,” we need to ask the question, what does it mean in context to be saved? Don’t read your definition into this. Don’t say, “Well, that means to be justified.” Where do you find justification in the passage? “That means to be reconciled.” Where do you find reconciliation in the passage? What does the passage say? Let’s look at it again.

Slide 21

Ephesians 2:5, “… even when we were dead in trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

That parenthetical phrase is explaining what it means to be made alive together. Contextually, salvation here equals being made alive together.

Now you may have another version. I think this is the ESV. It has an em dash (—), that’s a longer dash, but it’s stating the same thing. It’s an appositional or explanatory phrase to help us understand the previous phrase. So “made alive together” equals regeneration, which means to be born again, and that equals being saved.

This is very important because when we get to Ephesians 2:8, it says, “For by grace you have been saved …” What does that mean? Contextually, it means you’ve been regenerated.

We’re just going to play a little word substitution as we go through here.

Slide 22

Made alive together” equals regeneration. Regeneration equals being saved.

Slide 23

Let’s flip it, being saved, then, in Ephesians 2:8 means regeneration. It means being made alive together. So you could read that “for by grace you have been regenerated through faith.”

Slide 24

We will come back to that; I’m not done with Ephesians 2:8 yet. We have to look at Ephesians 2:7, which states the purpose for being made alive, being raised, and being seated.

Slide 25

“… that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

We will need to talk about what’s grace and what’s kindness when we look at this, but the main idea here is we become as Church-Age believers united together in Christ, brilliant trophies of God’s grace. The spotlight is on us to illuminate all that God has done for us in grace.

We become a trophy of grace, so that we are used as examples and testimonies to those in future ages that we … Not Old Testament saints. Moses isn’t going to have anything to do with this. Abraham won’t have anything to do with this. Elijah won’t have anything to do with this. John the Baptist, who is the greatest of Old Testament prophets according to Jesus, won’t have anything to do with this.

We as Church-Age believers are exemplary trophies of grace in the future for God’s use in teaching others about His grace.

Slide 26

That brings us to the big question, what is the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8?

Slide 27

We saw that “by grace—by means of God’s unmerited favor, His goodness to those who don’t deserve it—you have been saved.” It’s the perfect tense which indicates past completed action. It’s talking to the Gentiles, specifically—“y’all have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

This salvation is “through faith,” which means grammatically that it must precede salvation, and salvation in this passage is regeneration. So grammatically, faith cannot come before regeneration, because regeneration is through faith.

Slide 28

Let me give you a little graphic illustration. This is a water pipe. The water pipe is labeled faith. We are saved through faith, so something comes through faith. What comes through faith? What comes through faith is the water of life, which is a metaphor used throughout the Gospel of John.

There is a valve here and that’s the volition valve. When the volition valve is turned off, no water comes through to our poor little, spiritually dead, parched unbeliever here, who has no water. This symbol here represents the spiritually dead sinner who is separated from the life of God, which is the water of life.

What happens is when he turns the volition valve on, the water of life flows through faith. But what has to happen? First volition, then the water through faith, and then he receives the water of life.

So, it is very clear grammatically that faith precedes regeneration, not the other way around. You can’t break the grammar. It is impossible. So, faith comes before life.

Slide 29

First you have to have volition to turn the water on, then you believe, and it is through that faith that you receive the water of life.

Slide 30

When we get into the text itself, we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

The question is: what is the “that?” Is it faith? What’s the “it?” It is the gift of God. What is that? That refers back to the same thing. It refers back to grace? Is grace the gift of God? Is salvation the gift of God? Is faith the gift of God?

Now you will find many in the Lordship camp, many who are strong Calvinists, that say faith is the gift of God, which makes saving faith a different kind of faith than any other faith.

Last night you went to bed, you set your alarm, you had faith your alarm will go off this morning. That’s the same kind of faith we exercise to believe. It’s the object that is different. Merit is not in the kind of faith we have. The merit is in the Savior that we are trusting in, the object of faith.

Slide 31

The pronoun “that” is a neuter pronoun. It’s a demonstrative pronoun. It’s in the neuter gender. The Holy Spirit is not gender confused. He is using this to make a very clear point. That means that to which the demonstrative pronoun refers must be of the same gender.

Slide 32

Grace and faith are in the feminine gender. You can’t use a neuter pronoun to refer to a feminine antecedent, so that excludes grace as being the gift and it excludes faith as being the gift.

The word “saved” is a masculine participle, so it’s not referring to saved either. So, to what does it refer?

Slide 33

In Greek when you have a clause or a phrase or a sentence or a book or any lengthy piece of literature, it is always referred to through a neuter pronoun. You’re not referring to one word or another word, you’re referring to the whole phrase or the whole clause.

It’s introduced in Ephesians 2:5, it is repeated here, and this means, “For by grace you have been saved.” That’s the phrase that is the referent of the word “that,” that demonstrative pronoun.

Slide 34

It should be translated something like this, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that ‘by-grace-through-faith salvation’ is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

Slide 35

It is that “by grace through faith” salvation. It refers to the whole thing; it’s talking about this whole salvation package you get is by the grace of God. You didn’t earn it. You didn’t deserve it.

Slide 36

This “by-grace-through-faith salvation” is the gift of God for us.

Slide 38

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”—that is, in those good works which should characterize our spiritual life.

Slide 39

That last part, describing the purpose that God has for us as believers, is interesting how it is translated. The word that is translated in the Greek is a word based on that which is done. POIEO is the main verb. This is a noun, POIEMA and it’s usually translated as a work of creation or something else. I gave a couple of examples here real quick.

Slide 40

Ephesians 2:10 in the Lexham English Bible says, “For we are His creation …

“We are His work.” That’s not bad. It loses the thrust of it though. Workmanship is just an antiquated idea. What does that mean?

In the Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version they get it right. The best way to understand this word is either as a masterpiece or a work of art. It elevates the concept quite a bit, “For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.” That’s a really good translation.

The Living Bible is a really bad translation. I would give it an F–. “It is God Himself who has made us what we are.” What does that mean? That’s about as nebulous a statement as you can find.

Who’s the “we” here? “For WE are His workmanship.” Starting in Ephesians 2:4 the “we” refers to we in the body of Christ: we—Jew and Gentile—together in the body of Christ. It’s a corporate term.

Slide 39

Many of us have always heard this applies to you individually, “you are His workmanship.” That is not what this says. WE—the body of Christ, Jew and Gentile together—are His masterpiece. That’s why Ephesians 2:7 talks about how we are the trophy of His grace.

What do you hear from the Lordship crowd on this? The Lordship crowd takes it individually. You’re His workmanship created for good works. That’s God’s purpose. God always accomplishes His purpose, so if I don’t see any good works in your life, then maybe you’re not saved. That’s how they take it. That’s not what it’s saying.

It’s “we as the body of Christ are the workmanship.” That becomes evident when we are His bride in Heaven, and all sin, all carnality has been expunged and we’re glorified. We will be the examples, the trophies of grace for all the future ages.

That is the challenge before us. When we look at this passage we come to the conclusion that the main points are:

·         First of all, that God makes dead people alive. They are spiritually dead, which means they are separated from Him. He makes them alive through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. Not any other way. Faith is the means and each individual has to make that decision for themselves and trust in Christ.

·         He makes them alive for the purpose of serving Him in the good works of the church, the body of Christ.

Next time we will start tearing the passage apart a little bit, looking at some of the important statements that are made here and their implication and application for us.

Closing Prayer

“Father, thank You for this opportunity to go through this passage, to be reminded of the greatness of the body of Christ, the greatness that You have given to the church. That You have blessed us—all in the church—with these spiritual blessings, that we are the ones who been appointed to a particular ministry.

“We are the ones who’ve been elevated to a position where we will be trophies of Your grace for all eternity to the ages and beyond. Father, we are thankful for this, and we need to learn to live in the light of this new identity.

“That we are a work of art corporately. The body of Christ is a masterpiece; it’s a work of art. It is something that will outshine all the other peoples of God, and we are the beneficiaries of incredible grace and blessings. Father, we need to be challenged, that that should impact how we think about ourselves and how we live.

“Father, we thank You, too, for our salvation, that it is a “by grace through faith salvation,” not by works, lest any man should boast. We pray that if there is anyone listening to this message, anyone here that has never trusted Christ as Savior, that they would understand that it’s not how you live your life, it’s not where you go to church, it’s not any particular ritual, it’s not how good you are or how bad you’ve been, it is faith in Christ Jesus. That’s the only thing that matters.

“When we trust in Christ, we’re given His life, we’re made alive together with Him. We are given His righteousness, and we are declared to be justified. It’s on that basis that we have eternal life, not on the basis of anything we have done. The way to make that ours is through the pipeline of faith: through faith we receive the water of life.

“Father, for these things we express our profound gratitude for all that You’ve done for us. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”