Sermon: Believing Against Our Nature Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:1

March 10, 2018

Summary

Sermon: Believing Against Our Nature  Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:1
The mere believing in Christ is against our nature.  In order to believe we need the power of God.  We believe, according to the working of His great might.  This is why Paul uses the example of the resurrection in these verses.  The truth is in plain sight, yet hidden by our lack of understanding of the state of man.  Ephesians 2:1 ESV  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
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 By: Bryan Walker Given on: 3/4/2018  Sermon plays on KWHW 93.5 FM on: 3/18/2018
 
Notes:
 
Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV  
 
Paul’s prayer for the saints
    • He has heard of their faith
    • Their love toward all the saints
    1. Paul has asked for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
        1. We can know nothing by the flesh
    2. Asks for the eyes of their heart to be opened
        1. The ability to see the light
        2. The scales removed
    3. He wants them to know the power of God
 
(19)  
 
    • How to read and understand this verse???
    • We believe, according to the working of his great might
        • Paul wants us to know our believing is rooted in His power
        • Our belief, is not the cause of the power
    • Paul prays for us to know and understand this power
        • There are many examples of God’s power
            • Creation, parting of the Red sea…
    • Paul zero’s in on the resurrection power, WHY?
    • Consider the structure
        • Verse 19 his power toward us who believe
        • Verses 20-23 The power of the resurrection
            • The victory over sin and death
            • The exaltation and glorification of Christ
        • Verse 19 makes a statement about the power of God
        • Verse 20-23 side bar to examine this power
            • Look at the next verse
        • Paul in 2:1 returns to us again
 
Ephesians 2:1 ESV  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
 
——–
So how do you read verse 19???
    • (19)  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ
        • Paul describes the power and victory of the resurrection
    • Ephesians 2:1 ESV  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
 
WOW!  Look again!!!
    • A power toward us who believe
        • Not because we believed
        • Toward us who believe
            • Not just power to follow Christ
            • This is the power that put us in Christ
            • If we know this, we can know the power that keeps us in Christ
    • Speaks to the cause of our belief
        • Us who believe, according to the working of his great might
    • The example is the resurrection and victory of Christ
        • Why this example?
    • 2:1  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
 
Paul is comparing the power of God in the resurrection to the power of God in our regeneration
 
Why do we have trouble seeing this?
 
Look again:
    • The immeasurable greatness of his power
        • toward us who believe
            • according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ
 
    • The cause of our believing is the POWER of God, according to the working of his great might
        • Because we were dead and now we are made alive
————————-
Ephesians 1:5 ESV  he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
 
Ephesians 1:7 ESV  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
 
Ephesians 1:9 ESV  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
 
Ephesians 1:11 ESV  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
 
Ephesians 1:19 ESV  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
 
Why do we believe?  according to the working of his great might
 
Why do we have so much trouble seeing this?
    1. We can not discern the things of God according to the flesh
 
1 Corinthians 2:13-14 ESV  
 
    • We preach Christ and wonder why people don’t listen
    • Why don’t they make a decision for Christ and live?
        • It’s a rational decision,
            • accept Christ and live,
            • reject Christ and the wrath of God remains on you
    • Man is without rational thinking,
        • The things of God are foolishness to him
    • Is it just a decision???
        • I made a rational decision for Christ?
        • I chose Christ of my own free will?
            • So, you went against your nature to choose something you didn’t want?
            • What made you see that Christ was good?
            • How were your eyes opened to see the light?
            • How were the scales removed from your eyes?
    • The natural person DOES NOT accept the things of the Spirit of God
        • What had to happen first?
        • You had to be transformed by the POWER of God
        • You had to be made alive, by his Spirit
        • If you are not Spirit filled you can not discern the things of God
    • This is what Paul is saying here:
 
Ephesians 1:19 ESV  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
 
2. We fail to realize how much power sin had over us
 
    • John Chapter 3 says you MUST be born again
        • We must be born of the Spirit
        • We can not see the kingdom of God without being born again
 
John 3:19-20 ESV  
 
    • A study, sugar vs. cocaine
        • Some say sugar is more addictive than cocaine
        • How hard is it to stop using cocaine?
        • How hard is it to stop eating sugar?
        • How hard is it to turn from sin and repent?
            • People have quit cocaine, sugar, but not sin
Jeremiah 13:23 NKJV  Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.
 
    • It is impossible for you to change your nature
        • Just stop sinning and turn to Christ
        • The sinner loves his sin,
            • if he turns to Christ it will be exposed for what it is
        • The sinner hates the light and does not come to it
        • This is the power of sin and death
    • But he raised Christ from the dead, giving him all power and authority
        • He put all things under his feet
 
3. We don’t realize our natural state
 
Ephesians 2:1 ESV  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
 
Genesis 3:7-8 ESV  
 
    1. What does this mean their eyes were opened?
      • They went from not being ashamed of their nakedness to being ashamed
          • Can they reverse this new way of thinking?
      • This is a drastic change in focus and thought?
      • Their eyes used to focus on the glory of God, but now their nakedness
          • We can’t even see God because of sin
          • We see our shamefulness
2. The day before they would have been glad to see God
        1. They went from excitement to dread
        2. They are now afraid of God
        3. The natural reaction now is to hide from God
        4. They don’t seek God anymore, He seeks them out
    1. Nothing they do can change their new relationship with God
        1. They are forever changed, by one act of sin
    • We are forever changed by Christ’s righteousness
        • This is by the power of God
        • We are made a new creation
 
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV  
 
    • This is not merely a decision to follow Christ
        • This misses the power of God
        • Only God can create
    • Another parallel:
 
Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works
 
    • Paul wants us to know this POWER?
 
Ephesians 1:19 ESV  
 
—————–
 
    • Why compare God’s work in us to the resurrection of Christ?
 
FOR OUR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
 
 
If you are born again by your decision, then it’s your decisions that keep you
If you are born again by the power of God, then it’s the power of God that keeps you.
 
    • Here is why we need to know this:
    • We are born again by God
        • Our eyes are open to our need for Christ
        • We have repentance and forgiveness
        • We have true joy for the first time
    • But now we have this NEW INNER BATTLE within us between the flesh and the spirit
        • We realize how weak we are
        • Paul wants us to know the power of God
 
Romans 7:18-25 ESV  
 
The battle of sin and death has been conquered by Christ, through the power of God
 
(22)  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
 
    • Football and Wrestling
        • Where the head goes the body will go
    • We all face death
        • Our bodies wear out and one day we will all die
        • Used to sell life insurance
            • Why not call it death insurance?
            • Life insurance should be – “It’s a girl”
            • Only called death insurance when it’s an accident
                • Accidental Death Insurance
            • Die of old age or “natural causes”
                • Then we call it is life insurance
            • Why say “natural causes?”
            • Because death is now natural, because of the fall
            • If death is “Natural”
                • Resurrection is ______________
                • If resurrection is Super Natural then it is of God
                • The same is true with our spiritual life
                • This is a work of God, not a choice of man
    • The grave cannot hold us
        • Where the head goes the body will follow
    • The power of God in all 3 phases:
 
    1. Regeneration, the new creation
    2. Sanctification, Preservation, and Perseverance
    3. Resurrection and Glorification
 
Know the power of God
 
Ephesians 1:19 ESV  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
 
If we know where we came from and how we got here, we can be sure to know where we are going and how we are getting there.
 
By the POWER of God
Look to yourself for the nakedness and shame
Look to God for power and glory

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