The Glory of God’s Grace
An exposition of Ephesians 2:1-7. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, August 30m, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
In 1985, Joe Simpson and his friend Simon Yates decided to climb a 21,000 foot high mountain in Peru. About halfway through the ascent, Simpson fell and smashed the bones in his right leg. Yates tried to lower him down the mountain on a rope, but it soon became clear that Simpson’s weight was pulling them both off the mountain. What was Yates to do? Eventually he made the agonizing decision to cut the rope. Yates cut the rope and watched his friend plummet into the darkness below. Heartbroken, Yates returned to the base camp. Astonishingly Simpson survived the fall and spent the next three-and-a-half days inching torturously down the mountain. With no food or water he drug his broken body toward safety. It was excruciating. Simpson later said later the one thing that kept him going, the thing that drove him through unbearable pain was the knowledge that he would die alone. He said, “I’ve never gotten over it and I never will. I kept fighting, I kept crawling because if I was going to die I wanted someone to hold me.”
Later when asked if he would have done the same thing Simon Yates had done, Joe Simpson replied, “Simon put his life at risk to save mine, and then got in a situation where he knew he was likely to die. No one you know – or ever will know – will die for someone else in those circumstances.” Thankfully Joe Simpson was wrong – and that is what is at the heart of the Christian Gospel.
Text: Ephesians 2:1-7
This is a glorious passage. Paul with the skill of a surgeon cut through the trappings of religious life and got to the heart of the matter. This is the heart and soul of the Gospel message. In this passage you can build a sound doctrine of biblical salvation.
Even when I hear a preacher calling on people to “come to Jesus” I wonder if they have heard the Gospel. I wonder if they have any biblical notion of what he is asking of them. In this text Paul lays out for us the biblical Gospel. From this text we learn…
Thesis: The biblical doctrine of salvation addresses man’s great need and God’s gracious provision.
As the biblical doctrine unfolds we will discover three great facts about salvation.
- Man’s Problem (2:1-3)
- God’s Gracious Provision (2:4-6)
There are three things God has done for us.
- He has loved us – “…because of the great love with which he loves us…”
1 John 4:8 tells us this is one of God’s intrinsic attributes. It is part of His essential being. When that love is expressed towards us it becomes grace and mercy. Grace = giving us what we do not deserve — Mercy = not giving us what we do deserve — It is the love of God that makes salvation possible.
- He has quickened us – “…made us alive…”
This is the work of regeneration. This is spiritual resurrection. He breathes life into those who are spiritually dead.
- He has seated us in heavenly places – “seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
From the grave to glory. This is the Gospel.
- Salvation’s Purpose (2:7)
Now, why did He do it? Look carefully at 2:7. God’s purpose is not just to save you from Hell. He saves you so that for all eternity you can be a trophy of His grace. He saves you so that He can lavish His grace upon you forever!!!
This is our glorious salvation. Those who are fully deserving of his wrath and judgment become the objects of His eternal love and devotion!