Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Workmanship Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 8-18-2010

Ephesians 2:8-10


A. The basis of God’s workmanship is salvation and salvation is an act of God! Salvation is regeneration, not reformation!

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Regeneration is a spiritual or moral revival: an act of God whereby He imparts a new nature which affects a new life through the new birth.)

B. There are three major things that men try to do in order to change their lives spiritually:

1. Reformation! Change In Life Cannot Be Found In Reformation – some call this “turning over a new leaf.” Reformation is a change or improvement made for the better. Reformation is the effort of the one reformed to make changes in lifestyle in order to become more acceptable or to conform to a system of morals.

2. Religious Rituals! Two of the main “rituals” that are used in order to make one feel right with the Lord are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You can be baptized in every baptistery, creek, lake, pond, or pool in the state of South Carolina and not be born again or judicially right with the Lord. You can partake of the “Lord’s Supper” every day of the week for the rest of your life and not be born again or judicially right with the Lord. These are ordinances given to the church that are partaken of by the saved, not in order to be saved.

3. Religion! Most people think that they are right with the Lord because of their church membership. You can join every church in the world and establish a new world record for church membership and spend eternity in a devil’s hell. Religionists crucified Christ, martyred the saints, and have denied and defied God’s Word on every hand.

C. The purpose of God’s workmanship is sanctification. When an individual is born again, the imparting of a new nature empowers the believer to live a consistent life for Christ. Verse 10 says that we are created unto good works, not created in good works!

1. Positional sanctification is the act of God whereby we are born again eternally and are forever set apart for His glory. Positional sanctification is God’s responsibility.

2. Practical sanctification is a continuing act of the redeemed, enabled by the power of God, whereby he or she becomes more Christ like in their actions. Practical sanctification is the child of God’s responsibility.

D. The believer is enabled in sanctification but must make personal choices in order to perform it. Living for Christ is a moment by moment self-crucifixion. A denying of one’s self and bowing of our will to His will in our lives. We have the power to live for Christ.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

E. As the clay is in the hands of the potter, our lives are in the hands of God. As the clay, so are we:

1. Free of impurity
2. Pliable to His molding

F. Ephesians 2:10 is one of the least quoted of all verses pertaining to sanctification. 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a more notable verse.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

1. His Destiny Changes. “if any man be in Christ” Real, lasting change is wrought through the new birth and the new birth alone. If is conditional and any man is conclusive. If we are in Christ Jesus, we are not the same as we were prior to salvation. Many professing Christians have never had such a new birth. When you have them define their salvation experience, you come up with a myriad of answers. There is only one answer that is acceptable to God. There has been a time and place where the individual knew that they were lost, repented of sin and turned to Jesus Christ alone for salvation!

2. His Desire Changes! “he is a new creature” The believer has a desire for God’s Word-you need it, you read it, you heed it; God’s house-it becomes a place of necessity, love, spiritual growth, and refreshment; God’s people-you will love them spend time with them, pray for them, and encourage them; and God’s fellowship-it will become sweet as it brings peace.

3. His Conscience Changes! “old things are passed away” Not only do your desires change but your sin and guilt is gone. We all are ashamed of parts of our past but, thank God, they are all under the blood of Christ—cast behind His back as far as the East is from the West, placed into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again! Yes, we do still sin and are convicted of that sin but fear of hell is gone and heaven is assured.

4. His Perception Changes! “Behold, all things are become new” An old life of unfulfillment and despair changes to one of fullness and hope. We have a new Master, a new life, a new song to sing, and a new home awaiting on the other side.

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