The Result – ephesians 2:5-10
“…He made us alive with Christ…”
When you add together “even when we were dead in trespasses [falling aside from righteousness]” and “with Christ”?
“He made us alive”
This is of God, from God, by God, with God, for God: “with Christ…in Christ…it is God’s gift.” The importance is in understanding what makes up the result: it is a salvation, a deliverance, a preservation from our sins, our own desires, our own death, which we were once persuing and walking toward. We have God’s free gift of salvation by God’s grace. Through our faith, we are able to receive this amazing grace of God’s.
“…and this [salvation] is not of yourselves, it is God’s gift, not from [your] works, lest anyone should boast [in themselves].”
We were walking toward our own desires. We all desire saving from the sufferings, etc. of this life, and we look constantly for things to satiate our desires and needs: fun, humor, food, money, pleasure, love, likes, drugs and drunkenness, and especially doing “good,” as we define it ourselves. We cannot be saved, cannot save ourselves, “not of yourselves,” but this is our natural way of walking/living out our desires. We defined our own “salvation,” but this selfish understanding and determining of what “salvation” is is wrong.
God’s holiness, perfectness, demands holiness and perfection, so we are all disqualified, unfit, for his love and salvation. However unapproachable God may seem, he is also perfect and holy in his love, so he is actually open to being approached and spoken to for his grace and gift of salvation that is through Christ Jesus alone. God’s holiness/perfection is why he is perfect in love and why he has provided a way for all people to be able to have a right relationship with him, of peace and joy and salvation.
Salvation is by grace from God, in and by Jesus Christ’s free sacrificial death in all our places and resurrection to new life which is our only hope for life after death. Through our faith in this alone, we are able to receive this salvation from God, which means many things for us:
New life: new identity, new character.
We are “made alive” rather than merely walking out our lives and desires toward only death, “raised” up out this death, “seated” with Christ (positioned with Christ as finished works of salvation not needing to earn it but finished and seated and identified with Christ): all of this is with Christ. We have God’s aboundingly rich mercy, abundant love, surpassing wealth of grace, and kindness; all of this is in Christ.
If we remove Christ, we lose all these: our identity as God’s children, his sons of blessing, God’s grace, love, mercy, kindness.
“For we are his masterpiece, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works which God previously prepared that in them we should walk.”
We are God’s masterpieces! We are his workmanship: the single unique creation of all of creation are humans, created in the image of God, with minds and thoughts and souls, relational and personal, free to love or hate. Much more than workmanship (Romans 1:20-God’s creation is all his workmanship), those who believe in faith and hope and trust in Jesus for their salvation and only hope become God’s children: this new life and identity means mere workmanship becomes masterpieces! We are not saved for salvation’s sake, but for purpose! We obey because we love. We live to be a blessing and honor to the God that saved us. We should strive to live up to the identity we have. Our life should match our identity. We’ve been declared saved and God’s children, so we should live in accordance with this. We once walked in death: now, we should walk in the “good works” prepared for us (Psalm 127-God must be the author of these works).
Why have we been saved for this purpose of good works?
If we consider Jesus Christ, who he is and what he did (Philippians 2:5-11), if we consider the contradiction of ourselves and God (Ephesians 2:1 & 4), if we consider the purpose of salvation as masterpieces of good works, we of course see that it is for these “good works,” but what are these? They are “in Christ Jesus” as he is the measure, standard, for defining what is “good” (Romans 3:23-“the glory of God,” God’s holiness, is our standard).
“…that he might display in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.”
Our good works, in accord with the character of Jesus and purposes of God, seen by studying God’s Word the Bible and praying and submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit, are so that God’s good works may be displayed in and through us, in the world, throughout the world, throughout all ages/times. As we walk in our new lives, we are walking out in our lives what has happened in our hearts. We are to walk according God’s purposes, living out his love, mercy, grace, kindness, displaying his character and works in and through us.
What is the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ?
Children of blessing, instead of wrath.
Sons of obedience and love, instead of opposition and unbelief.
Living Masterpieces: walking displays of God’s character and desires for all people!
Let us live according to the new identity God has given us in Christ Jesus.