Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
All of us, who are human beings, were born into sin. We were separate from God, without hope, and unable, in our own flesh, to be approved by God. And, there was nothing that we could do to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We were slaves to sin, under the control of Satan and the flesh, and we gratified the sinful cravings of our flesh and did evil in God’s eyes.
I am not saying that none of us did anything good or that we were totally evil in everything that we did, but that by our very nature we were sold as slaves to sin and we were, thus, deserving of God’s wrath. And, that is the condition that all of us are in if we have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, by his grace, through genuine believing faith.
But, if we have truly believed in Jesus, with God-given faith, which is divinely persuaded by God as to his righteousness, and of our need to turn from our sins and to follow him in his ways, then that should no longer be who we are or what we do. It does not mean we will never sin again, but that we should no longer be controlled by sin and Satan, and that should no longer be how we live our lives day in and day out.
So, we should no longer be following the ways of this world, and those ways are plentiful, and some of them maybe are not so obvious, either. So, we need to pray and ask the Lord what ways of the world we are following so that we stop following them. And, we should no longer be living to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh, and we should not be giving our hearts and minds over to following sinful desires and thoughts. But, we should be pure in heart and in mind, and Jesus Christ should be the one ruling our lives.
Ephesians 2:4-10 NIV
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
It is only by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, and in what he did for us in giving his life up for us so that we can be delivered from our slavery to sin, that any of us can be saved. No amount of “good works” will ever be good enough, nor will our good works in the flesh ever outweigh our bad works. It is only because of God’s great love and mercy towards us that any of us can find salvation from sin and have eternal life with God.
BUT… this is not to say that our salvation is absent of works, and this is where many people get confused. And, largely that is because they choose only a few select verses from which to form their doctrine of salvation. But, we can’t do that. We have to look at all of Jesus’ teachings, and all of those of his NT apostles, and even those of the prophets of old, where they prophesied concerning this great salvation that was yet to come.
And, from the “whole counsel of God” we gain our understanding of what this salvation from sin really means, and what all it entails. For, although it is free to us, and we don’t have to pay the price for our sin, for Jesus already did that, it does not translate that this is a “do nothing” gospel or that we are under no obligation, and that we are free to continue in our sinful practices, only now without guilt and without fear of punishment.
For, Jesus set us FREE from our slavery to sin, and he set us FREE to now become slaves (servants) of his righteousness, which we could not do in our own flesh. The FREE gift of salvation is not just freedom from punishment in hell, but it is freedom to walk righteously before God in freedom from the control of sin over our lives. Amen!
So, when we believe in Jesus, as Lord and as Savior of our lives, it is a commitment to him to leave our lives of sin behind us and to now walk in his holiness. For, Jesus bought us back for God, so our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want. For, we are now God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, but the works of God that he prepared in advance that we should do.
Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are no longer separate from God and his family, but now we are members of his household, along with all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. Now we are God’s holy people, the Israel of God that is true Israel, of the Spirit and not of the flesh of man. And, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth, through faith in Jesus Christ we are all now one family, and we both have access to the Father through the same Spirit.
We are now, through faith in Jesus Christ, members of God’s household, which was built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. And, this is why we need to base our faith in Christ on the teachings of Jesus, and the NT apostles and the OT and NT prophets, with regard to our salvation through Jesus Christ. For, there we will learn the truth of what our salvation is truly all about.
And, it is in Christ Jesus that his church, his body, is joined together and rises to become a holy temple. And, this temple (building) is not physical, but it is spiritual. It is not built by human hands with brick and mortar, but it is built on the truths of God’s Word and on the life of Jesus Christ and on what he did for us on that cross. For, the church is not a physical building, but it is the people of God, and only Jesus Christ can build this church.
As well, the purpose of this building, this church, is not to be impressive outwardly, but it is to be pure and holy inwardly. It is not to attract the people of the world, either, but it is to convict the world of sin and of righteousness so that they will turn their hearts away from sin and so they will turn their lives over to Jesus Christ, to walk in his ways.
We, as the body of Christ, are not here to build impressive buildings, or to put on big impressive shows to entertain the world. We are here to love God, to serve our Lord, to follow him in his ways, and to forsake living by the flesh. We, too, are here to encourage other believers in Christ to walk in holiness and in purity, and to help strengthen them in the faith and to pray for them that they will remain faithful to God, so that they will not stray.
We live in very troubled times. There is so much garbage out there in the world; so many liars and deceivers; so many hypocrites who fake their Christianity; and so many false gospels competing with the true gospel. So, we need to be wise and discerning about what is of God and what is not of God, so that we can follow what is truth, and so we can reject the lies. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. And, in Christ we rise to be a holy temple in the Lord, set apart from the world of sin, and set apart unto God and to his work and to his righteousness and holiness.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, that because of your love and grace that we can be delivered from our slavery to sin and we can walk with you in righteousness and holiness for the rest of our days on earth. Amen!