TEXTS: Ephesians 2:1-10
1. Ephesians 2:1-10 gives us significant details and information regarding the human condition and how we, as sinners, stand before and relate to our Creator. The Apostle Paul provides sobering insights concerning the exact consequences of our sin.
2. Christianity cannot be reduced down to a call to simply reform our behavior patterns. If we primarily view the Christian faith as striving to perform more good actions than bad ones, we will fail to see the depths of our sinful condition while obscuring our real need for rescue and transformation.
3. Paul describes sin as “trespassing” in Ephesians 2. This concept should be easy for us to grasp. We understand that a “No Trespassing” sign signals that there is a line that we should not cross. And if we do cross it and are found somewhere that we do not belong, negative consequences will follow. Ephesians 2 states that all of humanity finds themselves somewhere they do not belong because of their sin.
4. What do we need to be saved from? What are the consequences of our sin? The Apostle Paul mentions five specific consequences that we need rescued from: (1) we need to be saved from death, (2) we need to be saved from sinful living and following the course of the world, (3) we need to be saved from following the powers of darkness, (4) we need to be saved from our overwhelming desire to sin, and (5) we need to saved from God’s wrath.
5. “But God.” Rather than disregard us in our sinful condition, and write us off as lost causes, Jesus extends mercy and grace to us by performing the necessary works to bring about our redemption from and enslavement to sin. If we try to depend on our own works to be rescued from sin and its consequences, we will end up more lost than we previously were.
6. When the Bible talks about the world, it is most often talking about a way of living that disregards our Creator and puts us in direct opposition to the Kingdom of God. This concept is describing what is considered normal to the majority of people within a culture. It is a way to describe the common lies and deceptions that exist within and permeate the cultures of the world.
7. Our union with Christ opens our lives up to accomplishing the good works that the Lord has prepared for us. These good works don't save us, but we are committed to them because we have been saved. Given the state of present culture, believers will be tempted to place their focus elsewhere and forget about these good works.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How would you describe what it means to be spiritually dead?
2. Apart from Christ, we build our lives based on lies. What are some of the common lies that are built upon when someone is separated from Jesus? Do you notice any of these lies creeping back into your life even after you have come to Christ?
3. What are some of the confusions and problems that are created as a result of relying on our works in order to be rescued? Every believer will battle this temptation, how have you noticed it showing up in your own life?
4. To become a Christian is to receive a new nature. What happens to the old one? How do these natures impact us and how does this play out in our Christian lives?
5. Are the 'good works' mentioned in Ephesians 2 referring to God's general revelation concerning righteousness or is it implying something specific for each believer? Or both? What are your reasons for arriving at your conclusion?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- To glory and trust in the work of Christ
- We would accomplish the good works that the Lord has prepared for us