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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

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Thursday, January 31 2019

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION: Last week’s study got us looking at Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving for the Ephesian church and consequently us. These prayers we were admonished to covet – that the Lord will grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation, to understand everything God’s given in Jesus Christ, God’s great power and where this power puts us! In today’s study we will be looking at what the Apostle Paul wrote on the doctrine of salvation, and how these writings establish a bedrock of truth upon which rests everything we can know about how we are saved and why we are saved.

VERSES 1-3: BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF GRACE AND SALVATION

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

  1. Dead in Trespasses and Sin

The word for dead in Greek is nekros, which literally means a corpse or dead body. This deadness refers to our spiritual life. The Ephesians were alive physically but dead spiritually. Paul chose this comparison because it accurately describes not only the nature of an unbeliever but also the impossibility of an unbeliever recognizing and correcting his own condition. Just as a corpse cannot revive itself to life, neither can an unbeliever revive his own spirit into new life. The MSG version makes it very relatable

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.

  1. Spiritual Deadness According to The “Course” of the World.

The word "course" in Greek is aion, which literally means age or a space of time. So, Paul explains that the natural state of every man and woman during this age or time is to be spiritually dead. The cause for humanity's dead state is the sin of Adam, which we inherited at birth. Every person begins their life on earth in a state of spiritual deadness, and apart from a work of God to revive our spirit, this state will continue uninterrupted until our physical death.

  1. Spiritual Deadness Is a Condition Which Finds Its Source in Satan

He was the first to fall, and his deceptive influence contributed to the fall of Man in the Garden. Today, he rules the hearts of those bound in spiritual deadness, and he exerts his controlling influence through the fear of death (see Heb. 2:14-15).

  1. We Were Once Like the World – Lost in Sin

Every Christian should understand their former state to be the same as every other unbeliever. No one is "born" a Christian. Every human being by nature of the Fall in Eden, is born a “sinner”, dead in their trespasses from birth. All humanity shares the same starting point as children of (God's) wrath.

VERSES 4-7: BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF GRACE

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

VERSE 4: Paul tells us WHY we were rescued from this state of deadness: because God was rich in mercy and had a great love for us, He acted to save us. Not by our works; God's reason for saving us was entirely His own. Being rich in mercy and having a great love, God determined to save us. We did not merit His mercy, nor did we earn our salvation.

VERSE 5: Paul explains HOW we were rescued from our dead spiritual state - God made us (spiritually) alive in Christ. The Bible is utterly clear on the sequence of events that lead to our salvation: God must act first, because men do not naturally seek God (see Romans 3:10-11). God must act first on our behalf, because dead corpses are not capable of reviving themselves. We share none of the actions with God. By Himself and according to His own purpose and while we were still yet unaware of Him, He made us alive.

VERSE 6: Paul completes the discussion of HOW we were saved by adding that our new spiritual life resulted in us being raised with Christ to be seated in heavenly places. Though we are presently located on earth physically, nevertheless we have been assigned a place spiritually at the right hand of the Father in Christ. Salvation it is a change of spiritual position before God. By His work, we have been moved, spiritually speaking, from our prior position as sons of the devil dead in sin to our new state as sons of God alive in Christ.

VERSE 7: Finally, in verse 7 Paul finishes explaining WHY God saved us. So that He might display the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness to us. In effect, we are His appointed audience to receive His grace and kindness, so that in the ages to come we may glorify Him for it.

VERSES 8-10: CONCLUSION

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 

VERSE 8a: Paul says we were saved by grace. Grace is unmerited favor, and as Paul has already explained, it answers the question "why" we were saved. The answer is that God showed us unmerited favor.

The grace of God was manifested by faith. When the time came for God to bring us His grace, He delivered it through faith. Our faith was not the means by which we received grace. Instead, grace was the means by which we received faith.

VERSE 8b & 9: Paul goes further to ensure we do not confuse his point. He said: "it" (i.e., faith) was not of ourselves. We did not leave our state of spiritual deadness and come to believe God's word by our own efforts. Dead corpses cannot raise themselves. Instead, the faith we received was a gift of God (hence, it was grace). The moment a person is born again and moves from the kingdom of darkness and enters into the light of the truth of the Gospel, they do so because God, by grace, bestowed the gift of faith.

VERSE 10: Since our very faith is itself a gift of God, we must acknowledge that we are God's workmanship. The purpose for God taking these steps is so that we might do good works. As Jesus Himself said in Matt 5:16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Our good works will display the handiwork of God. They do not produce our salvation; they result from our salvation. Finally, Paul says that even our good works were prepared beforehand by God. When we endeavor to please God by our works, we must accomplish the work He has appointed for us. If we accomplish other work of our own choosing, we labor in our flesh and we do not please the Lord. Therefore, only those works He has purposed beforehand for us constitute "good works" done in faith.

This study was adopted from https://www.versebyverseministry.org/bible-answers/could-you-explain-ephesians-21-10

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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