Monday, February 7, 2011

Too Much Bad News?

We are 170 Days in to this chapter a day reading plan and I can not think of another chapter that more clearly defines and makes the distinction between the saved and unsaved than Ephesians 2.

Although Ephesians is addressed to believers, Paul makes many references to what “you used to be” if you are saved. In so doing, the saved can honestly say, “Praise God that isn't me any more”. On the other hand, if Paul's “used to be” description still defines those that think they are saved it may be time to examine yourself in the faith, as Paul has told us we must do:

2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

The other thing Paul makes VERY clear is that, if you have not put your trust in Jesus and received Him as your Lord and Savior, there is a wall of separation between you and Him.

Here's the ways Paul describes the separation in this chapter:
-Middle wall of separation (v. 14)
-Enmity (hostility) (v. 16)
-Far off (v. 13)

In short, if you haven't surrendered to Jesus Christ there remains a dividing wall of hostility between you and God. Whether you know it or not, like it or not; you are at war with God; however, in this war, you are the only one that can surrender. Are you willing?

Here's what life on the “wrong” side of The Cross looks like. The unbelieving are:
-Dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1)
-Walking according to the world (v. 2)
-Led by Satan (v. 2)
-Sons of disobedience (v. 2)
-Conduct themselves in the lust of the flesh (v. 3)
-Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind (v 3)
-Children of wrath (v. 3)
-Aliens and strangers to the covenants of promise (v. 12)
-Without Hope (v. 12)
-Without God (v. 12)
-Foreigners and strangers to household of God (v. 19)
The Word says, you know a man by his fruit. Do any of the bullet points above describe you? Most people would say, “I'm not led by Satan”; however, if you are continually submitting to the lusts of the flesh and are willfully disobedient to God, you are dead in your sin and are a child of wrath, meaning you will face God's Wrath when you die.

I have had people tell me that I spend too much time on the bad news of The Bible. I don't know any other way to say this; if you are not willing to surrender to Jesus, there is no good news for you. Without Jesus, it's ALL BAD NEWS FOR YOU! Until you really come to grips with why you are condemned you will not seek The Savior....so the bad news today, may be what you will call a blessing tomorrow. That's when I finally repented....when I first heard just how God sees my sin and what He plans to do with the sons of disobedience.

This is what life looks like for those that have given their life to Jesus Christ....the truly repentant.....the obedient....the surrendered:
-Made alive (v. 1 and 5)
-Experience His Grace and Kindness (v. 7)
-Desire to do the works He has planned for us (v. 10)
-Brought near to God (v. 13)
-Given His Peace (v. 14)
-Reconciled (v. 16)
-Access to The Father (v. 18)
-Citizens, saints and members of the household of God (v. 19)

Here's is the only way that you can be reconciled to God. This is the only way the wall can be tore down and the gap bridged?
-God's Mercy (v. 4)
-God's Love (v. 4)
-God's Grace (v. 5)
-By Grace through Faith (v. 8)
-Blood of Christ (v. 13)
-Through The Cross (v. 16)

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Ephesians 2:13-14 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

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