21 Sept. Ephesians 2:1-10

21 Sept. Saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus

"In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth."

"That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God's anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people."

"But God's mercy is great, and he loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life in Christ."

"You have been saved by God's grace. And he raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus."

"I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves: it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own work, so you cannot boast about it."

"God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing."

          (Ephesians 2:1-10)

 

 

Paul reminds the Gentile believers of Ephesus that, in the past, their lives were ruled by “the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth … working in those who refuse to obey God.” (Ephesians 2:2).

They used to live just like anyone else. But they have been saved from the powers of sin and death by God’s undeserved love. “I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Though they were "spiritually dead" in the past, God has given them "new life in Christ" (Ephesians 2:4); not because of any good works they have done; not because of keeping the Jewish law; but simply by believing that Jesus died to break down all the barriers between God and them:

"I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves: it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own work, so you cannot boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

This truth of the Christian faith is known by theologians as 'Justification by grace through faith' - being 'justified' (put right with God) by 'grace' (God's undeserved love) through faith (belief in Jesus's saving power).

We are not saved by doing good works; we do good works as Christians because God has freely saved us and given us the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to help us live good lives:
"In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing." (Ephesians 2:10)

The photo shows remains of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

You can read more from Paul's letter @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/15-paul…/gods-secret-plan/


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