Text: Ephesians 2:8-13
Grace is God’s provision and faith is the application of the provision (vss 8-9)
- Grace is the provision God makes and faith is the application of that provision.
- In the forgiveness of sins, grace came by Jesus Christ, and faith is how that grace is applied.
- In Noah’s day, grace came by the blueprints God gave Noah to survive the flood and survival came by faith to build the ark. Now, you might say Noah had to work. Yes, in that case. But the job of God’s grace in Noah’s case was to survive a flood, not to forgive sins.
- In Moses day, grace was empowering Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt with signs, miracles, spiritual gifts, and that grace was applied according to Moses faith to identify with the people of God and leave Egypt in Hebrews 11:24-26. You might say Moses’ faith meant he had to work. Yes, in his case. But the job of grace in Moses’ case was to lead Israel out of Egypt, not to forgive sins.
- The reason forgiveness of sins is not of any work you can do is because sin is paid for with blood. And the only way for you to pay for your sin would be to die and go to hell.
- Grace is God’s provision for his work. Grace is not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
- Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
- Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
- Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
- Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Grace is God’s leading to Christ-likeness and good works (vs 10)
- The Lord Jesus Christ doeth all things well the Bible says.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Titus is a letter that deals with a Christian’s relationship to good works.
- “Not do and live, but live and do”
- Titus 2:7 …pattern of good works…
- Titus 3:8 …careful to maintain good works…
- Titus 3:14 …maintain good works…that they be not unfruitful…
- Ordained that we should walk in good works
- To ordain something is to identify the pattern
- Something that is ordained is simply identifying the pattern.
- When God ordained marriage he identified the pattern.
- When God ordained men for the ministry, he identified the pattern he was looking for.
- Ordained does not mean forced into submission.
- Acts 13:48 …ordained to eternal life… does not mean they were hand picked by God for eternal life. It means they fit the pattern the Lord set up which was to trust in Jesus Christ by believing the words of God which are the words of life.
Grace calls to remembrance where you came from and where you are (vss 11-13)
- Do you remember marking your height on a door frame to see how much you’ve grown? You measure progress by remembering where you were a year ago.
- Paul says remember you were Gentiles, not Jews, which meant you were:
- Without Christ
- Aliens from the covenant of promise
- Without God
- The mark on the door post now shows that you are made nigh by the blood Christ
- Spiritually, this is particularly helpful when you’re having real trouble.
- You need to understand how the Lord has been involved and what has been accomplished by him in your life.
- Ephesus was an open door according to Paul and there were many adversaries.
- When things are bad, you need to know God is in it.