Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ephesians 2 DEVO: Old Life vs. New LIfe

Chapter 2:
This chapter contrasts a person’s life BEFORE they by grace thru faith believe in Christ, with a person’s life AFTER believing in Christ. It serves as a great reminder because I’m a good forgetter!
“As for you, you were dead…” Ok, so I’m pretty sure this is not like Princess Bride’s “He’s only mostly dead.” The Bible teaches us that before we knew Jesus as Savior, our ability to change our situation was zip – dead people can’t don anything! 100% of my salvation is from God!
So how do we relate to the world, the devil and the flesh?
THE WORLD: “…in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…” Before Christ, we had no choice but to follow the value system of this world: looking out for #1, God as the center of the universe is a lie (Romans 1:25), etc… IN Christ, our new relationship with the world involves things like: Being in the world but not of it, realizing we don’t belong here, we’re foreigners, etc…
THE DEVIL: “…you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Before Christ we had no choice but to follow temptation. Now, IN Christ, Satan has no authority in our lives. His deceptions to procrastinate the work of the Lord or compromise our beliefs don’t need to be followed!
THE FLESH: “All of us also lived………gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.” Lust ruled before Christ, but IN Christ we’ve been given His Holy Spirit living in us to say NO to ungodliness (Titus 2:11-14). It is a battle, I know, but one that God wants us to fight!
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” – Whoohoo! Grace, Grace, Grace – it’s all by Grace – If we had something to do with it, we’d brag! And all for the purpose “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Paul finishes saying our true citizenship is now in heaven with God. We were far from Him, (separated), “objects of wrath” and have now been brought near (reconciled) through “the blood of Christ!”
*Of the three – the world, the devil, the flesh – which one do you battle most with? How ya’ doing? Are you engaged (Titus 2:11-14) or are you a POW? Remember – God has already won the battle, so we are not fighting for victory but from victory!
*Does hearing that we have ZIP to do with our salvation bother you? It doesn’t need to if we truly realize that we were dead and that dead people can’t do anything! Our acceptance before God is never based on our performance - Whew!
*How are you involved in the good works God has for you? You have great significance as a member of the body of Christ. If you’re not serving in your church in some way, purpose to get involved this week. If you don’t know how, maybe ask your parents, pastors, mentors, etc…

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