Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018.12.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 2:1-10

Questions for Littles: What did the Lord do to us (v1a)? Why did He need to do that (1b)? How did this death display itself (v2a)? In accordance with whom (2b)? Whose desires did we fulfill when we lived this way (3a)? What were we by nature (3b)? In what is God rich (4a)? What does God greatly have toward us (4b)? When did He perform the action in v5? What did He do to us in/with Christ? By what have we been saved? What two other things has He done to us in/with Christ (v6)? What ages are in view as the purpose of this saving (v7a)? What does He plan to do in those ages (7b)? Through what does grace save us (8a)? Where does it come from (8b)? What is salvation not of (9a)? Why not? What does v10a say that we are? In whom did God “create” us? For what? Which good works? 
This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, Confession of Sin, Song of Adoration, and Announcement of the Gospel came from 1Corinthians 15:42-58 and Ephesians 2:1-10. Since we’ll be coming back to the Corinthians passage soon in the epistle readings, today let’s consider Ephesians 2:1-10.

As we’re about to find out in Genesis 3, our fall in Adam was complete. We aren’t just injured or disabled in trespasses and sins. No—we come into being as children of wrath by nature. We sin by fulfilling our own desires. Because each of us starts out dead in trespasses and sin.

We don’t just need a little help or healing. We don’t just need resuscitation. We need resurrection.
What’s amazing is what God does for us in the way by which this resurrection comes: union with Jesus Christ. Because we are united to Him, we aren’t just resurrected; we’re also ascended and seated with Him in the heavenly places!

That means that everything that we do now on earth, we do as citizens of heaven. Every act of life, no matter how unimpressive to the world, is an act of loving service and obedience to the Christian—a good work that God, who has created me new in Christ Jesus, specially selected and appointed for me before the world began.

Why would God do this for wicked sinners such as we are? Because He is rich in mercy. Because He has great love toward us. Because what He does in us now—bringing us to faith and making us to walk in good works—is going to be the talk of the cosmos forever and ever, when He displays us as the living testimony to “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Oh, dear Christian, such a God is worthy of all praise! How will we bring praise to Him? First, by refusing to hold onto, for our salvation, anything at all that we do; but, holding only onto Christ and what He has done. Second, by walking in good works as citizens of heaven who yet live on earth—other worldly creatures who bring glory to our (re)Creator!
What are you holding onto for salvation? What good works are you walking in?
Suggested songs: ARP32A-B “What Blessedness” or TPH425 “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”

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