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The Reality of Your Salvation

Saturday, January 06, 2018

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

- Ephesians 2:4–7, ESV

These words are some of the most powerful inside the New Testament. Here Paul goes out of his way to remind us that our salvation is entirely due to God's grace, love, mercy, and compassion. We need to hold on to this and keep it in our mind. Your relationship with God is all according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved, Ephesians 1.5b-6.

During the month of January we will continue our focus on God’s eternal plan. Whereas Ephesians 1 describes an overview of God’s scheme of redemption, chapter 2 tells us how God took the initiative to save, why God decided to save, and the result salvation provides. Very simply, Ephesians 2 is a description of God’s tactical plan to supply us with resurrected spiritual life, forgiveness, grace, and union with Him. 

I hope you are excited to spend the next few weeks diving into Ephesians 2. Make time each week to read the chapter over and over. Let the reality of what Paul describes sink inside your mind. Allow this knowledge to cause you to wake each day with a clearer understanding of your spiritual identity. You can take your spiritual life to the next level. Are you ready? Let’s go!

- Matthew Allen

Alive Together With Christ

Friday, January 05, 2018

Sunday Scripture Reading: Jim Grushon Jr.
Sunday Song Leader: Dru McLaughlin
Text: Ephesians 2.1-7

Ephesians 1.10 could be described as the theme of the epistle where Paul talks about God’s plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In chapter 2, Paul goes into detail on how God made it all happen. It tells us God moved with swift urgency to save mankind from spiritual disaster and His wrath. It describes how God took the initiative. It tells us why God decided to save. And it tells us the result of the salvation God provides.

Your salvation involves God’s activity, His grace, love, mercy, and compassion. And, your salvation is all about Jesus. It’s a result of God’s work, not your own. 

On Sunday examine key phrases in our text that describe:

  • 2.1-3 - our former condition.
  • 2.4-7 - what God did in saving us. 

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  1. How would you describe what it means to be spiritually dead?
  2. What are sins and trespasses?
  3. What is worldliness? Who runs the world? How does it affect us?
  4. What is the difference between mercy and grace?
  5. What do you think it means to be seated in the heavenly places?

We Have Obtained an Inheritance

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sunday Scripture Reading: Jason Pratt
Sunday Song Leader: Roy Pyle
TEXT: Ephesians 1.11-14

In Ephesians 1.10 Paul says our salvation is part of God’s plan to one day unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. What a glorious thought! 

What will happen when this occurs?

We’ll receive our inheritance, 1.11. The fact of our receiving it is so sure that Paul writes as if it has already occurred. God always keeps His promises. This may sound strange in a world where almost every day we live inside broken promises and betrayed trust. Everybody makes promises, but not everybody keeps them. Politicians lie. The government lies. Advertisers lie. Employers and employees lie. Family members lie. But there is one person how makes promises and never breaks them, and that’s our God! For He who promised is faithful, Hebrews 10.23.

This fact is what makes our text in Ephesians 1.11-14 so bright. The person who is in Christ can live with full assurance that there is an inheritance waiting to the praise of His glory. 

On Sunday, we discuss three things:

  • 1.11-12 - The grounds of our inheritance.
  • 1.13-14a - The guarantee of our inheritance.
  • 1.14b - The goal of our inheritance.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  1. To whom are all spiritual blessings made available?
  2. Read Ephesians 1.3-14. How many times the words In Him, before Him, or in the beloved is used. What is the importance of this?
  3. Is there anything in 1.12-13 that emphasizes our personal responsibility in salvation?
  4. What did it mean to be sealed during Paul’s day?
  5. As we move into 2018, why is it important to understand who you are?

Redemption Through His Blood

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sunday Scripture Reading: Jason Pratt
Sunday Song Leader: Roy Pyle
TEXT: Ephesians 1.6B-10

Our God is so good. He’s incredibly powerful. His grace is infinite. His mercy is indescribable. He loves to lavish His blessings on us. 

On Sunday, our lesson will see how this came into reality and what it means. 

The concept of redemption is not uncommon. But, the word does have significant theological applications that go all the way to the core of Christian doctrine. In Ephesians 1.4-6a, Paul discusses God’s intention for saving us: He desires us to be holy and blameless before Him. What method did God use to move us toward that? How has He made this relationship really happen? The answer is our redemption.

On Sunday, we’ll focus on what this is. We’ll also:

  • Learn about our Redeemer.
  • Learn about those who have been redeemed.
  • Examine the results of our redemption.
  • And finally, see the purpose of our redemption.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  1. How would you define redemption?
  2. Who is the beloved in 1.6?
  3. Who are the redeemed in 1.7? What is significant about this, especially when reading 2.1-3; 12; 4.18-19?
  4. What was the price Jesus paid to redeem us?
  5. What did our redemption bring? See 1.7c - 8.

Why You Were Saved

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sunday Scripture Reading: Tommy Ray
Sunday Song Leader: Jim Grushon Jr.
TEXT: Ephesians 1.4-6a

The source of your spiritual life is Jesus. By His sacrifice, you’ve been born again. You are a partaker of the divine nature. Your ultimate destiny is glory in heaven, forever with Jesus. If you are in Him. Are you part of Christ’s body?

The body, or the church, is the focus of Ephesians. The text we’ll be studying on Sunday contains the blueprints for the body. It tells us that every member of the godhead played a role in envisioning our ultimate destiny. Being adopted into the family of God is a magnificent thing!

On Sunday, we’ll focus specifically on Ephesians 1.4-6a where Paul discusses the ultimate purpose God had in predestination. It is seen in three ways:

  • 1.4 - God wants us to be holy and blameless.
  • 1.5 - God wants to adopt us as sons and daughters.
  • 1.6 - God did this for the praise of His grace.

As you get ready for Sunday, be thinking about these questions:

  1. Read 1.4-6a several times. Where is the focus? Is it on the beginning or end of our salvation?
  2. What does it mean to be holy and blameless?
  3. What do you think God is trying to say to us by adopting us as sons/daughters?
  4. How does one get to take advantage of all the wonderful things mentioned in 1.4-5?
  5. What was the motive that moved God to act on our behalf? (See the last part of 1.4.)

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