09/07/14 But God!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, September 8, 2014 Under: Sermon
Worthy Walk Series – Week 6 (Ephesians 2:4-7)

Text: Ephesians 2:4-7 (NKJV)

“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.”

Intro: Last week my focus was on the past state of mankind before Jesus quickened us: (He made us alive); we are no longer a part of a life of death, destruction & disobedience. But now you can receive His grace! Are world is full of lost sinners trapped inside their bodies. What that dead, deceived, depraved and doomed sinner needs is divine intervention. That is exactly what the passage before us describes. In clear, simple language, Paul tells us that when we were lost in our sins God intervened to bring salvation to our souls! God Almighty personally invades the dead, alien heart of the lost sinners and causes that dead sinner to become a living saint by His amazing, life-changing grace! It is that process of divine intervention: But God! I want you to see the wonders that occur when God “butts” in on a dead sinner's lost situation.

1. Divine Intervention: Vs. 4-5


“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),

God's Intervention Is Personal:

The words “But God…” are filled with glory, power and meaning. Those two words, just six little letters, one conjunction and one personal noun, may just be the greatest words in the Bible. Those two words tell us where salvation originates. It originates in the Person of God. “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

These two words mark the difference between life and death, a life of joy or a life of turmoil, between salvation and damnation, and between heaven and hell. Think of the many people in the Bible that “But God” transformed. Praise God He took a personal interest in me! I bless the day He came calling and “butted” in on my life. Thanks to His personal intervention, I am saved. What about you? Can you praise Him for personally intervening in your life?

God's Intervention Is Precious:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.” Many times the Bible says that He was “moved with compassion” as He looked upon those who were helpless in their afflictions and in their sins. On those occasions, the Savior mercy moved Him to reach out in love and do something to lessen the sufferings of those He felt mercy towards. In the Lord's mercy, He turns His wrath away from the “children of wrath” and He extends to them His forgiveness and His salvation. He does not give them the judgment they deserve! Paul calls it His “great love”. What kind of love are we talking about here?

  • God's love is Eternal — “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
  • God's love is Sacrificial — “But God demonstrates His own love toward us.”
  • God's love is Unconditional — “Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”
  • God's love is Personal — “Abide in His love.”
  • God's love is Effectual — “For God so loved.”

THE CROSS SAYS IT ALL! "By grace you have been saved.”

God's Intervention Is Profound:

“Even when we were dead in trespasses.” He loved us in spite of our wickedness. He reached down to us when He knew that we could not, and would not, reach up to Him. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” John 15:13 Compassionate love for those who do not deserve it makes salvation possible. That is profound! Thank God for His divine intervention. Thank God, The Bible says, “But God!”

2. Divine Identification: Vs. 5b-6

“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.”

When God intervened in our lives, He brought us out of spiritual death, spiritual deception, spiritual depravity and spiritual doom. He literally took us out of Adam and placed us in Jesus. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 When God interrupted our march toward Hell and saved us by His grace, He changed our relationship with Jesus Christ. In our sins, we were separated from Him. In grace, we are placed into a vital relationship with Him. Because we are in Jesus Christ, we are identified with Jesus Christ.

We Are Identified with Him in His Resurrection:

Paul says that God “hath quickened us together with Christ.” The word “quickened” means “to make alive”. When God saves a lost soul, He brings them out of spiritual death and imparts to them the very resurrection life of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20.

But God: “but Christ liveth in me!”

We Are Identified with Him in His Ascension:

Paul says, “And hath raised us up together with Him…” This phrase refers to His ascension back into Heaven. 40 days after the Savior rose again from the dead, He ascended back to Heaven, where He sat down at the right hand of His Father: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.” Acts 1:9-10

But God: we will rise again one day!

We Are Identified with Him in His Position:

“Made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” When Jesus left this earth, as we have already said, He ascended back to Heaven and He sat down on the right hand of God. When He went up, we went up with Him. When He sat down, we sat down with Him! Now, I realize that we are still in the world today that is our physical location. But, God Who sees the end from the beginning, sees us in terms of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Where He is, we are. What He has experienced, we have experienced. When He died, we died. When He arose, we arose. When He ascended, we ascended. When He sat down on the right hand of God, we sat down on the right hand of God. When He comes for us, we will still be in Him. I know these things are hard for us to understand. We need to remember that we serve a God Who stands outside the boundaries of time. He sees all of time at all the same time. He sees us where we are now, and He sees us where He has determined we will be when this life ends. He sees us as we live in this world, but He has so identified us with the Lord Jesus, that when He sees Him, he sees us completed in Him. All these things are spoken about in the past tense because in the mind of God they have already taken place! We are as good for Heaven as if we were already there, because there is a sense in which we are already there! We are citizens of Heaven today, and we should live like it.

But God: clearly says, “By grace ye are saved.” “God saw some good in me and saved me.”

3. Divine Intentions: Vs. 7

“That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

God saved us for a purpose.

God Intends to Reveal the Riches of His Grace to Us.

God will use the unfolding “ages” of eternity to reveal the extent of His grace in our lives. As it stands now, we have no true concept of what the Lord has done for us. When we arrive in Heaven, we will. He will be able to show us and we will be able to comprehend the extent of His grace. When we arrive home, we will be made able to understand the wonder of God love, the price of His grace and the power of His salvation. "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." Revelation 4:11

One day, the heavens will ring with the praises of a people who were redeemed from death, deception, depravity and doom. They will fall before their Redeemer and they will vocally, verbally and victoriously praise Him for everything He has done for them. One day, we will be home in Heaven. When we arrive there, we will be given glorified bodies. We will have bodies that can and praise Him in a manner that befits His glory.

God Intends to Reveal the Riches of His Grace Through Us.

This verse also seems to imply that while there are still saints of God living in this world, He will be using them to display His power and salvation to the lost. That is why God saves us and leaves us in this world. He leaves us here as trophies of grace. He leaves us here as living, breathing letters of His love for the lost. Every redeemed saint of God is a walking testimony to the power of God to save souls and change lives. That is why He commands us to live right, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

That is why He commands us to love right, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 That is why He commands us to tell a fallen world that what He has done in us through Jesus Christ, He can do for them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

If you are saved, you are a billboard upon which God writes His love for the lost. Your life is a testimony to His saving power. Let us live like Him. Let us love like Him. Let us labor for Him. Let us do these things so that others might be drawn to Him and that they might be saved.

Conclusion: “But God!” I was lost in sin, “But God!” I was trapped in darkness, “But God!” I was separated from God and headed to Hell, “But God!” I was under the control of Satan and I was a prisoner to my passions and lusts, “But God!” I was dead, deceived, depraved and doomed, “But God!” Because God intervened in my life; I am not the person I used to be. My life has changed and so has my eternal destiny. Because of what He did, I have been delivered from my wretched past, I have been identified with Jesus, and I am secure in His salvation. That is a lot to thank Him for!

Has God ever butted into your life?

  • If He has not and you know you need to be saved, you need to come to Jesus today. He died to save you, and if you will come to Him, that is just what He will do for you.
  • If He has, let me challenge you to love Him, live for Him and tell others about Him.
  • If He has, let me challenge you to praise Him because He is worthy!

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