Do Something: The Grace That Propels Us

Ephesians 2
  /  April 7, 2024
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m going to invite you to turn in your bibles to the book of Ephesians chapter 2. While you’re turning there, I want to say welcome to each one that’s here. And, we have several guests that are with us today. And, we’re glad that you have joined us. I’m not gonna take the time because if I started trying to name the names, I’d miss somebody and I’m afraid you wouldn’t shake my hand on the way out and then I’d feel bad.

So please know you’re welcome and we’re glad that you’re here And trusting the Lord will bless you today. 2 weeks ago, we, we ended our series on the one another passages of scripture. The particular purpose of that series, was to stretch our hearts as a as a church, to stretch our hearts and our minds. I appreciated that song, by the way, the emphasis on our minds, our brain. Nobody said amen there.

We need our minds stretched, don’t we? We need our brains stretched, don’t we? The purpose of that series was to stretch our thinking to the importance of a body that is strong, functioning as it properly, the importance of a body that is strong, a body that is functioning as it properly, the importance of our need for each other and the power of the body working together is of great significance to the kingdom of God. A healthy body when I talk about body, I’m talking about church body, is significant to the kingdom of God. We need each other because of what we’re up against.

Paul reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but our struggle is against rulers and against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness that are in heavenly places. That’s why we need each other. Yes, we need the help of the spirit at work in us, but we need the encouragement of one another as we wrestle against these forces of darkness. Because we still live in a fallen world, we need the strength that comes in our relationship one from another to accomplish our spiritual walk with the Lord. So let me help you understand the need for a strong community of believers.

The first thing that I see is that if we’re to grow, to become the men and the women that God has redeemed us to be, then we need fellowship. Then we need fellowship. Stimulate our faith, don’t we? Whether that comes through Bible study, whether that comes through Bible study, whether that comes through Bible study, whether that comes through Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the Bible study, whether that comes through the through accountability, whether that comes through the fellowship of one another, we need to be able to like minded believers to help to stimulate our faith, don’t we? Whether that comes through Bible study, whether that comes through accountability, whether that comes through the fellowship of one another, we need that iron sharpening iron to refine us, so that you and I can be who God wants us to be.

And 2, when a person gets saved, they need a healthy body to be able to connect into, don’t they? Anybody who knows what they’re doing, body a person needs a heart transplant, but they’re physically not healthy to receive it. They don’t do the surgery. Brother Austin works in horticultural work. If you were to ask him, if you were to draw a branch off of 1 tree into a trunk of an unhealthy and his answer to you know, why you draw a branch into an unhealthy tree.

Or that branch will die because it is not able or that branch will die because it is not able to receive the proper nutrients. Impact in the world around us, to make impact in the world or around, there are those who are redeemed by the grace of God, they need to have a place to come to be nurtured into spiritual health. One of the places that that happens is right here in the body of and that’s part of the reason why it’s so important that God wants for us. When I say us, I’m talking about in so that you and I are able to accomplish the purpose for which he has placed us right here. So this morning, we’re looking at Ephesians chapter 2.

Jad has given the church. That is the body of Christ. You and I, God has that is the body of Christ. You and I, God, has given us the purpose that you and I would exist so that we could reach the world around us. Could reach the world around us.

There’s a purpose for why you exist. Purpose is or maybe maybe you’re still saying, Lord, I don’t know what my purpose is. Young people, they’re at that phase in life. God, what am I here for? And you’re still saying, Lord, what am I here for?

And read this passage of scripture, I hope it will become clear what our purpose of our creation, particularly our recreation, our spiritual creation is. I’m inviting you to stand with me as we read this passage together, Ephesians chapter 2. We’re going to begin reading in verse 1. Paul, We’re going to begin reading in verse 1. Paul writes these words, and he hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our the desires of the flesh and of the mind.

And we’re by nature, the children of wrath, even as God, who is rich and for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with grace, by grace, you are saved, and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ’s jee, for by grace are you saved through faith. And that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God to or his workman created in and which God have for or did, in your presence that is here with us today. Thank you that your spirit has come to meet with us and to speak to us speak to us.

And to speak to us. And to open your word in these next few moments. We’re asking you to help us to do what the last song encouraged us, to engage our brain, make our brain ready. Would you help us to do what the last song encouraged us? To engage our brain, make our brain ready?

Would you help us to engage our minds to hear your word? Would you also open our hearts to receive the word of God? Hear your word and understand it in the intellect. So help us to hear the voice of God through your word that would transform our innermost being for your glory. We pray it in Jesus name.

Amen. You may be seated. If you were to ask me this morning what the greatest challenge the church is facing today, I suppose I would probably ask you to define what do you mean the church. Do you mean this local church, this this fellowship right here? A marriage?

Do you mean the global church of God? Greatest challenge that the American church is facing, I would have to say the greatest challenge to the American church is the balance of the gospel, the balance of the gospel. You say, Pastor, what do you mean by the balance of the gospel? If you look across the church world, it seems that one of the challenges that we have is to keep the gospel in that want to promote the grace of and saves us and we are free to go about Slogan. Anybody flown on Southwest recently?

At least it used to be their slogan. You are now free to move about dream. God’s grace gives you freedom to just move on. Then there are some that struggle with keeping the balance that God saves us, but we’ve got to do So we wrestle with this challenge of I’ve got to be doing this, and I’ve got to do that, and I’ve got to keep all of the laws and the rules and the And so we wrestle with this challenge of I’ve got to be doing this, and I’ve got to do that, and I’ve got to keep all of the laws and the rules and the And so and so we lose the tension on that side. Gaustral and keeping in mind that what Paul has told us in this passage of scripture.

You are saved by of scripture, you are saved by grace, hallelujah. Amen? None of your works. Strike against me. Boy, the weight is tipping in the wrong direction.

Strike against where the weight is tipping in the wrong direction. Oh, but I did something really good. I read my Bible. I prayed today. Word, the the service person at Walmart that you probably won’t find.

But it was nice to them. I think I’m one of the good wasn’t very nice and I slowed down because they were being rude. Was right on their bumper trying to give them a message. Maybe I ought to settle down there for a second. So thankful this morning that we don’t have to carry around a ledger to determine, am I in or out?

Saved us for purpose. I believe the greatest challenge that we’re facing in the church in America is keeping that, that And the divorce score has become an either or. So what I read in the Bible, what I read in scripture is And what it does, and then they warn you that whenever you live out a balanced view of the gospel, it’s not view of the gospel, it’s not easy. So I thought it was supposed to be. Ephesians chapter 2 helps us to bring into the next several weeks is we’re leading up to and the next several weeks is we’re leading up to and the next several weeks is we’re leading up to Over the next several weeks, as we’re leading up to our our missions convention, I want to I want to do a series of messages warning I want to talk to us about that you were created for something.

In the passage of scripture that we read, Paul shares with us the first part. You were. And here’s what you did. And then we came to verse 4, and I love verse 4. What’s the first two words of verse 4?

Somebody help me out. And then Paul says, now here’s who you are, and here’s what you did, but God. The first thing that Paul reminds his readers and ultimately is reminding us this morning is to remember who we were. I wish we could understand the way in which Paul does this. If you were to read this in its Greek text, Paul does it by using he starts out with a participle through the first three verses.

In other words, it’s he leaves us dangling. Here’s who you were and in your trespasses in sin. This means that not only were you dead because of what you did, but you were dead because you were born naturally. You remember when David was praying his prayer of confession in Psalm 51? He comes down in Psalm 51.

I believe it’s in verse 10. And David says that in sin did my mother conceive me. Now, he was not saying that my mother’s conception or my conception, By nature, I was a sinful person. When I got older, I engaged in sinful activity. Why?

Because I was spiritually dead. Why? Because I was spiritually dead. That’s the first thing that Paul reminds us of. Not only were you dead, but you walked according to the course of this present world.

Part of the kingdom of the world. You loved this present world. You desired the things of this present world. You lived for this present world. Because you were dead in your trespasses and sinned.

And so you engaged in the things of this present world. Your life was marked by a worldly mindset, a desire for the things of this present In other words, you indulged what your body desired. You lived for the personal pleasure of the flesh for the here and the now. That’s who you were, and that’s what you did. As a result of who you were, Paul says, this is what you did.

You were children of disobedience. And that’s just a wonderful thing to come to church to find out this morning. Can I just say to us this morning, Apart from the grace of God, you are dead in your trespasses and sin? You are dead in your trespasses and children of disobedient. Disobedience, of disobedience, first 2.

Not only did you live in the accordance of the lust of the flesh, but you indulged in those. And so, you indulged in those. And so, you indulged in those. And so, you indulged in those. And so, you indulged in those.

And so, you indulged in those. And so, you indulged in those. And so, you know, you’re not but you indulged in those lusts. You relished those lusts. And I would remind us this morning that apart from the grace of God, if you’re here this morning sin and indulging in the lust of the flesh, separated from nature, children of wrath.

Now, there’s 2 ways that we could understand. Rage. It also could be interpreted that Paul is saying and is that you will receive as a result of your disobedience. I love how Paul puts it in verse 2. It helps to give us the understanding of why do why do we live this way?

Before the but God, why do we live this way? If have your Bible still open, look at this, for a score, in which you formally walked according to the course of this If I energizing the sons of disobedience. That means the reason that you are dead in your trespasses and sin and you live in the lust of your flesh is because the spirit of this present age, satan himself, is energizing. But Paul is talking to a group of Christians and he says, this is who you were. And he says, this is who you were.

And he says, this is who you were. This is who you were. Now look at verse 4. But God, Look at verse 4 again with me. But God, who is rich and even when we were dead in trespass, even when we were dead in trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ.

By grace, you have been saved and has raised us up together and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace and his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace, you have been saved through faith And in your dead estate, has quickened you by his grace and has raised you up. Because the reality is there is nothing Paul is saying that you can do Christ, there was nothing you could do to earn your salvation apart from the power of the grace of you can do nothing to impact your spiritual condition. Even science teaches us a little something about this. Non living things cannot produce life.

You could pick up that song book in the rack behind you and hold it for a 1000000 years. Well, you wouldn’t hold it for a 1000000 years. But in a 1000000 years, that songbook would never produce anything, because it has no life. But God, the giver of life pastes. His grace has redeemed us.

Listen to what Paul writes to in Titus chapter 3 versus 3 through 3, For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating, hateful and hating one and our So it’s a little bit about what he just said in Ephesians, doesn’t it? Pretty Ramenis. And renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our savior. That having been justified by his grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. It is by grace, Paul says, that you have been saved, not of that you have been saved, not of works.

Aren’t you glad this morning for the fact that that ledger book is gone? You Now we need to consider who you are and what you do. I think it’s important for us to somehow capture an element quickened us and made us alive with Christi. And I need to be reminded of the fact that we still live in a fallen world where there are plenty of people that are still under the spirit who is energizing their spiritual death. Right?

World that and Paul is writing to us who have become believers. Those of us who have but and but God has raised us We’re no longer caught, caught in a death trap. We’re no longer living in a grave. We’ve been raised to do life. God doesn’t raise the dead by the hang out in the graveyard.

Somebody say amen. To to give us meaning and purpose in life to employ us into the kingdom, the the bible in 4 words. Maybe in 3. I like to break it out into 4. If you were to take the full scripture, genesis to revelation, the four words that break the bible apart is creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration.

That’s the full scope of scripture. God created. Sin entered the world and the fall of man happened. God created a plan of redemption to restore humanity. And at the end of all age, God will restore all things.

Jourd, when he left this world. John chapter 17, prays for his disciples. Praise the Lord. I ask that you not take my disciples out of the world. Why?

Because God redeems us for purpose right here and right now in this present age. So here and right now in this present age. So Jesus goes on to pray, Lord, don’t take them out of this present world, but keep them from the evil one. The work of redemption and restoration is the renewal of all And Ephesians chapter 2 in verse 10 is where I want for us to look for just a little bit in these next few moments. For we are his work.

Are his workmanship. Let me tie that back in. Paul’s not just saying that you’re his workmanship in the sense of he created you, brain, new life in you. You are spiritually alive, not because of anything that you have done, but because he has redeemed you by his grace he has redeemed you by his grace. And by grace through faith, you have been saved.

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. Now, this is where it gets really sticky for good works. The reason that God has redeemed your life the reason that God has redeemed my life is not just because he wants us to have fire insurance. Let me just pause there for a moment. I remember in in my college years struggling it’s kind of the I didn’t want to go to hell, and so that’s why I wanted to follow the be saved, because I didn’t want to go to hell.

Now, that’s a good reason. And so I don’t want to receive the wrath of the restoration of all of creation, the redemption of all of humanity. For by grace, he has saved us. And we become his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand. So You’ve not been saved by good works.

Listen to this. You’ve not been saved by good works. You have been saved for good works. Did in them. God has redeemed us for the purpose so that you and I, through our redemption, are being created anew, being saved with then engaging kingdom activity, God didn’t redeem you by his grace just to save you from hell.

He has given you new life so that you and I would do something. I’m just going to pause here for a moment. I think we need to let that sink in. One of the challenges that I think that we’ve run into in the Protestant church today, is we’re heavy on the side that we’re saved by grace. We’re is we’re heavy on the side that we’re saved by grace.

And that relieves us from any responsibility that we have to do anything. It is nonsense. You’re right, brother Parker. We want this we want this grace that does everything for us, and we don’t have to do anything. Commands.

We don’t have to worry about any commands. We don’t have to worry about doing any. Do. We just want the benefit of being raised to new. And grace that does not take us out of the graveyard and employ us is, is destructive grace.

Let me just, is destructive grace. Let me just say to us this morning. Grace that makes you comfortable to be a church attender and a pew warmer is nothing short of a vaccine against eternal life. You can claim the grace of God that brings you to church every Sunday. And I’ll even I’ll even one up you.

Brings you to Sunday school. And I’ll even I’ll even add on top of that brings you to Wednesday night church. You’re going to have that kind of a grace that’ll still lead you to hell. That’ll still lead you to hell. As not popular in the church world today, that grace is just about what God does inside of me, and happy lujah, it’s all about me.

Woo hoo. I’m all good. Church. Well, the world goes to hell and we sit back and do nothing, A William Wilberforce once defined Christian, Christianitie, this is a scheme for making the fruits of holiness the root. Listen, if you and I have been truly redeemed by the grace of God, but it doesn’t bear out by the fact that we do something, if your grace does not change you to do something, a heart.

Unto Christ Jesus. Thor, good, Paul says this, and these things I want you to affirm. Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. Do you know what it means to be constant in something? Paul was warning us Paul was cautioning the grace of God that has saved us by faith has done so for the purpose of employing us into the service of the k to do to do.

And for you and I to simply come to church warm fuzzy feeling and feel good about the fact that God has saved us. And then sit back and watch the world that is broken by the effects of sin, to watch a world that is being raptured in its lost estate and is being destroyed to simply sit back and say, well, it’s their own to simply sit back and say, well, it’s their own. They’re in that predicament because of their own doing, and their predicament because of their own. God looked at us in our helpless estate when we could do nothing. And by his grace, God redeemed us.

And now he says to you and I, and created anew, made new in Christ Jesus, you’re his work. And created in Christ Jesus for good. Good. And I are to be careful to maintain doing these good works. Let me ask you to Let me ask you to to be living out the purpose of God’s recreation in your and I think you and I need to be willing to stop for just a moment and be honest enough with our own introspection of our lives to say, to say, Lord, have I been inoculated to the true measure of the gospel, So the true measure of the gods, the grace of God that has redeemed me, not because of what I’ve done.

You have made me new in Christ Jesus to do I I shared this 2 weeks ago when we were looking at the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Understand. I’m just preaching at us as a church. I’m preaching at myself. But when I read the words that jesus as he came over mouth of all of them is coming into Jerusalem for the triumphal entry and he looked across, for the triumphal entry, and he looked across the landscape of Jerusalem.

And as he saw the people, he And as he saw the people, he began to weep. And I have to ask myself, and we have to ask ourselves, And my heart broken by the world that’s lost around me. When I see the world, do I see the world as Jesus sees the world? You see, Jesus had a kingdom agenda. State, new, he wants to create within us a heart that sees the world as he sees the world as he sees the world as he sees the world as he sees the world sees the world as he sees the world as he sees the those that are lost and broken.

We don’t just simply say, well, they got there on their own on their own account. It’s their fault that they’re on their own account. It’s their fault. They’re there. And we say, Lord, there’s there’s a spirit of disobedience.

They’re energized by the satin, in that place because of the enemy. And you’ve redeemed me to do so. Now, Lord, what do you want me to do? Or the next couple weeks as we look at this. You’ve redeemed me for what?

What do you want me to be engaged in? Every one of us who have been saved by the grace of God have been created in Christ Jesus according to our purpose. Let’s stand together as we close. Father, this morning, my heart is burdened by the reality of this text. Burden for myself to think that how easy it is for me to get caught up, how easy I get caught up, and all of the affairs that are necessary in this present world.

Bills to pay, things to be kept up, responsibilities to be tended to. And yet, Lord, there’s a world that’s lost all around me. Recreated us as a church, easy for me to get caught up in the affairs of this world. And so, father, this morning, I repent that purpose. We’re here for the purpose of the redemption of the world that is lost around.

I pray this morning that you would help to to open our eyes, to see the world, as you see the world, help to in a world that desperately and all around this there are people that are bound by that are bound by and all around this there are people that are bound by and all around this and all around this and all around this and all around this and all around this and all that are bound by and all that are bound by and all that are bound by and all that are bound by and all that are bound by and all that To reach out to those who are lost. A minister of reconciliation in the world around. Amen. The Lord bless you. You are dismissed.

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