Ephesians 2:8-10, 4:17-32
Lesson 3: The Purpose Of Our Salvation
You are Jesus’ masterpiece, created for good works!
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Christ needed to rescue us from sin and death, but we are created in Christ Jesus for good works. God planned this from the beginning that we should walk in them. We aren’t saved by good works, we are saved for good works. The depth of our understanding of the love and grace of God will be revealed in the actions of our lives.
The tripping point for many in the Christian life is understanding how God’s grace and our own human effort connect to each other.
A. Some may believe their good works are a bargaining tool with God to assure a pain-free life.
B. Others may view their effort as a way to bolster people’s perception of them.
C. Still others may pursue good works in the hopes of diminishing their shame and feel unworthy of God’s mercy and grace.
D. Others may utilize “God’s grace” to excuse responsibility to live righteously.
1) All of us will have unhealthy motives in responding to God’s grace and our calling to good works; which of these motives are you prone to?
In Ephesians 4, Paul introduces us to this idea of the “old man” vs. the “new man.” When Paul says “old man,” he is talking about Adam and our former way of life, which is characterized by self-centeredness. When he talks of the “new man,” Paul is referring to Jesus and a new life characterized by self-sacrifice because of trust.
2) In Ephesians 4:22-24, can you identify what Paul is commanding you to do and what He promises the Spirit is doing?
Read Ephesians 4:22-24
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
David Anderson shares an illustration to help us understand the difference between the old nature and the new nature in Christ.
Read Ephesians 4:25-32
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
3) Can you identify areas from this list (vs. 25-32) in which you function with the same mindset as Adam (insecure self-centeredness)?
What would it look like if you operated with the mindset of Christ (trusting self-sacrifice)?
In your family?
At school or at work?
In the church?
In this world?