Temple Baptist Church - 9-1-2010
A. The Book of Ephesians, called “The Highlands of Faith” by some, gives the believer a right perspective about what and where he was; what the Lord did for him or her; and what the Lord is going to do for them. The book has a two-fold division:
1. Chapters 1-3 speak of the Positional aspect of our salvation. As we continue in these chapters, we see progressively what the Lord did for us. Salvation is of the Lord but it always is followed by a change in life and good works.
2. Chapters 4-6 speak of the Practical aspects of our salvation. Personal responsibility, coupled with divine enablement, brings about personal choice and accountability.
B. We, as believers, often tend to get caught up in our daily lives and forget just who and what we are. We are the light of the world, both to be visible and guiding to the unsaved. We are the salt of the earth! We are to make salvation both palatable and desirous to those what are not saved. We are precious children who have been made nigh through the blood of Christ. We are changed and are to show forth good works that bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 10.
1. A new control – “we are his workmanship”
2. A new conduct – “unto good works”
3. A new course – “that we should walk in them”
C. The Holy Spirit sets forth three things in the verses following verse 10 that I want to call our attention to:
1. Our not so illustrious past – Lest we think more highly of our selves than we ought to think.
2. Our underserved but wonderful present – To promote thankfulness to the One who did it all.
3. Our glorious future prospect – To give us a blessed hope in our heavenly home.
D. These verses do two things: they describe the wonderful change in both acceptance and destination in Christ and also provoke thanksgiving in the hearts of those redeemed and reconciled by the blood of Christ. If we are mindful in these things, we will be both what we should be and all that we can be for God. Then and only then are we usable and fruitful.
1. Remember Your Past – vs. 11-12 The Problem: Who, where, and what you were!
a. Gentiles in the flesh – “Gentile dogs!” The word “gentile” means a heathen people. Not even worthy of the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table. We were nobodies spiritually who were grafted in as branches from a “wild olive tree.”
b. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel – outsiders who do not belong. Not a part of the blessed nation of Israel. “British Israelism” is a heretical doctrine that was adhered to and taught by Herbert W. Armstrong of the World Wide Church of God. It taught that the people of Western Europe and especially the British Isles were direct descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. We gentiles are neither Jews physically or spiritually.
c. Strangers from the covenants of promise – not one of the promises left to Israel, the people of God, apply to you and I. We were a nothing people going nowhere.
d. Hopelessly and helplessly lost, having no hope in either this world or the world to come. Drifting aimlessly toward the grave and hell.
2. Realize Your Present – vs. 13-18 The Propitiation: What The Lord Did For You!
a. Made nigh by the blood of Christ – verse 13 – “made nigh” 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; (Not drew nigh but MADE nigh. Being made nigh is an act of God through the blood of Jesus Christ!)
b. Made peace by the body of Christ – verse 15 – “abolished in His flesh the enmity” Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. (We now have a peace with God that brings about the peace of God.)
c. Made accessible the fellowship with God by the Holy Spirit – verse 18 – “access by one Spirit” Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Thank God for His great love that brought about a personal relationship with Him.)
d. Made a part of the family of God for all eternity – verses 19-22 – “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (14) For the body is not one member, but many. (We were all made “FAMILY” through the new birth and one day we will all be called home at the Rapture of the Church.)