By Grace You Have Been Saved

By Grace You Have Been SavedText: Ephesians 2:1-10

Typically when the New Testament talks about grace, it is the grace that was extended from God to man. Grace is “kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved” (Thayer), sometimes called “unmerited favor.” As Paul explained in our text, God’s grace saves us.

The Need for Grace (v. 1-3)

  • Man’s spiritual condition – dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1); this has been the case ever since sin was introduced into the world (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:24); this problem has extended to all mankind (Romans 3:23; 5:12)
  • Paul explained that even he and these Christians had been in this condition (v. 2-3) – walked according to the course of the world by pursuing what the world pursues (1 Peter 4:3); walked according to the prince of the power of the air by following the devil instead of God (1 John 5:19); behaved as sons of disobedience by failing to obey God’s law (1 John 3:4); living in the lusts of our flesh, indulging our desires, which leads to futility and death (1 John 2:16-17; James 1:14-15)
  • Those who are “dead in…sins” are “children of wrath” (v. 1, 3) – this is natural (“by nature“); God cannot have fellowship with sin (1 John 1:5-6); therefore, it is only natural and just for those in sin to be punished by the Lord (Romans 6:23)

God Extended His Grace (v. 4-5)

  • This had to come from God – we sinned against Him (Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:4); no one could graciously forgive us on His behalf; He had to extend His grace to us
  • He extended His grace because He is rich in mercy (v. 4) – patient in delivering His wrath (2 Peter 3:9); He does not punish sin because He takes some sadistic pleasure in it (Ezekiel 18:32)
  • He extended His grace because of His great love toward us (v. 4) – love is His character (1 John 4:8); this was the motivation for sending His Son to earth in order to save us (John 3:16)
  • He did this “even when we were dead in our transgressions” (v. 5) – grace is undeserved; while we were sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

What God’s Grace Does (v. 5-8)

  • Grace makes us alive with Christ (v. 5) – no longer dead IN sin, but dead TO sin (Romans 6:2, 11); now free from sin (Romans 6:18)
  • Grace raises us up with Him (v. 6) – raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4, 6); provides the promise of a future resurrection from the dead (Romans 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
  • Grace seats us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ (v. 6) – fellowship with Him (Acts 2:38)
  • Grace continues to be given to us (v. 7) – “grace upon grace” (John 1:16); He continues to forgive (1 John 1:7)
  • Grace saves us (v. 8) – though we are undeserving, we can be saved from our sins; not of ourselves; we cannot save ourselves, we must depend upon God

How We Respond to God’s Grace (v. 8-10)

  • We respond through faith (v. 8) – belief in God and trust in His promises; we cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6)
  • We do not respond with works by which we could boast (v. 9) – these are works that WE have put forth as ones that will save us; our way (Jeremiah 10:23) or our will (Colossians 2:23); we invent the works and expect God to save us
  • We engage in good works as God intended (v. 10) – what He has said in His word (2 Timothy 3:16-17); salvation by grace does not mean we do no works (Luke 17:10)
  • The proper response to God’s grace is faithful obedience (Titus 2:11-14; James 2:21-24)

Conclusion

  • Salvation is a gift that is available to us by the grace of God
  • Let us never take it for granted
  • Let us also not fail to take advantage of it (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:1)

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