5 keynote sermon

Sunday September 30 "Dead" Pastor Wood


Ephesians 2:1–10 Redeemed by Grace

Chapter two continues Paul’s thoughts about God’s eternal purposes in Christ. In 2:1–10 Paul discussed how sinful people who deserve nothing but God’s wrath can be redeemed by His grace.

Paul described the human condition in 2:1–3. He explained how people were “dead in transgressions and sins” (2:1), cut off from the life of God and controlled by their own selfish desires (2:3). Beyond this they were ensnared by the power of Satan (2:2). As a result men and women apart from Christ are without life, without freedom, and without hope.

By His grace He has granted new life to believers (2:4–6). The basis for the new life is God’s great love and mercy. Believers have been united with Christ in His resurrected life. Formerly people apart from Christ were dead, enslaved, and objects of wrath. In Christ believers are now alive, enthroned, and objects of grace.

God’s purpose for believers is spelled out in 2:7–10. He has restored us, “expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (2:7). The memorable words in verses 8–9 express a central idea in Paul’s theology. He declared that the nature of God is to give freely because of His own love. God does not deal with people on the level of human achievement but on the level of their deepest needs.

He provides salvation as His gift to men and women. He then creates a disposition of faith within them so that they may receive His gracious gift. Salvation is completely God’s achievement, a pure gift of God (2:8–9). Salvation is His workmanship. We are saved to live a totally different life “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (2:10).

Holman Bible Handbook

Resurrected with Christ Eph 2:1–10

. . . Against the sombre background of our world today Ephesians 2:1–10 stands out in striking relevance. Paul first plumbs the depths of pessimism about man, and then rises to the heights of optimism about God. It is this combination of pessimism and optimism, of despair and faith, which constitutes the refreshing realism of the Bible. For what Paul does in this passage is to paint a vivid contrast between what man is by nature and what he can become by grace.

. . . It is important to set this paragraph in its context. We have been considering Paul’s prayer (1:15–23) that his readers’ inward eyes might be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to know the implications of God’s call to them, the wealth of his inheritance which awaits them in heaven and above all the surpassing greatness of his power which is available for them meanwhile. Of this power God has given a supreme historical demonstration by raising Christ from the dead and exalting him over all the powers of evil. But he has given a further demonstration of it by raising and exalting us with Christ, and so delivering us from the bondage of death and evil. This paragraph, then, is really a part of Paul’s prayer that they (and we) might know how powerful God is. Its first few words emphasize this: ‘And you being dead …’ In the Greek sentence there is no main verb portraying God’s action until verse 5 (‘He made us alive with Christ’); the English versions bring it forward to verse 1 simply in order to ease the awkward suspense of waiting for it so long. In any case the sequence of thought is clear: ‘Jesus Christ was dead, but God raised and exalted him. And you also were dead, but God raised and exalted you with Christ.’

The Message of Ephesians, Stott

Ephesians 2:1–10 Redeemed by Grace

Chapter two continues Paul’s thoughts about God’s eternal purposes in Christ. In 2:1–10 Paul discussed how sinful people who deserve nothing but God’s wrath can be redeemed by His grace.

Paul described the human condition in 2:1–3. He explained how people were “dead in transgressions and sins” (2:1), cut off from the life of God and controlled by their own selfish desires (2:3). Beyond this they were ensnared by the power of Satan (2:2). As a result men and women apart from Christ are without life, without freedom, and without hope.

By His grace He has granted new life to believers (2:4–6). The basis for the new life is God’s great love and mercy. Believers have been united with Christ in His resurrected life. Formerly people apart from Christ were dead, enslaved, and objects of wrath. In Christ believers are now alive, enthroned, and objects of grace.

God’s purpose for believers is spelled out in 2:7–10. He has restored us, “expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (2:7). The memorable words in verses 8–9 express a central idea in Paul’s theology. He declared that the nature of God is to give freely because of His own love. God does not deal with people on the level of human achievement but on the level of their deepest needs.

He provides salvation as His gift to men and women. He then creates a disposition of faith within them so that they may receive His gracious gift. Salvation is completely God’s achievement, a pure gift of God (2:8–9). Salvation is His workmanship. We are saved to live a totally different life “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (2:10).

Holman Bible Handbook

Resurrected with Christ Eph 2:1–10

. . . Against the sombre background of our world today Ephesians 2:1–10 stands out in striking relevance. Paul first plumbs the depths of pessimism about man, and then rises to the heights of optimism about God. It is this combination of pessimism and optimism, of despair and faith, which constitutes the refreshing realism of the Bible. For what Paul does in this passage is to paint a vivid contrast between what man is by nature and what he can become by grace.

. . . It is important to set this paragraph in its context. We have been considering Paul’s prayer (1:15–23) that his readers’ inward eyes might be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to know the implications of God’s call to them, the wealth of his inheritance which awaits them in heaven and above all the surpassing greatness of his power which is available for them meanwhile. Of this power God has given a supreme historical demonstration by raising Christ from the dead and exalting him over all the powers of evil. But he has given a further demonstration of it by raising and exalting us with Christ, and so delivering us from the bondage of death and evil. This paragraph, then, is really a part of Paul’s prayer that they (and we) might know how powerful God is. Its first few words emphasize this: ‘And you being dead …’ In the Greek sentence there is no main verb portraying God’s action until verse 5 (‘He made us alive with Christ’); the English versions bring it forward to verse 1 simply in order to ease the awkward suspense of waiting for it so long. In any case the sequence of thought is clear: ‘Jesus Christ was dead, but God raised and exalted him. And you also were dead, but God raised and exalted you with Christ.’

The Message of Ephesians, Stott