Life Examples 3-2-16

Quest for Hope Life Examples 3-2-16 I Ephesians 2:1-7 Yesterday, we were reminded to value the things passed down to us from heaven; spiritual blessings. Tonight, we will listen to the apostle’s teaching about moving from death to life and learning to live as Life Examples. Ephesians 2:1-7 1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. The apostle tells us apart from Christ we are dead because of sin—or conformity to the world. We are not sick or simply deceived momentarily. We are actually dead in fellowship with God because sin is rejection of God who is Life. An AED (automated external defibrillator) will not start our hearts to make us more alive to God. A defibrillator might give us more living time in the world when we go into cardiac arrest. When it comes to being alive to God, we need Jesus to sit on our hearts; because he is the (Supernatural Internal Transformer) who restores the circuitry of eternal life. When Jesus SITs on the throne of our hearts, he transfers energy between God and the human heart. Scripture teaches God made us sit together with Christ. We are quickened to life by His power working within us! The focus of our passage is to describe the reality and disposition of our humanity apart from Christ. God makes us alive, raises us up and seats us with Christ. Barnes’ Commentary: Together with Christ – In connection with him; or in virtue of his being raised up from the grave. The meaning is, that there was such a connection between Christ and those whom the Father hath given to him, that his resurrection from the grave involved their resurrection to spiritual life. It was like raising up the head and the members – the whole body together. Everywhere in the New Testament, the close connection of the believer with Christ is affirmed. We are crucified with him. We die with him. We rise with him. We live with him. We reign with him. We are joint heirs with him. We share his sufferings on earth 1 Peter 4:13, and we share his glory with him on his throne; Revelation 3:21. In Christ, we become life examples who are valuable beyond measure. You know what I mean; the people who teach you something about God and how to live by the values of heaven. These folks are life examples. But, what about people who live extremely heinous lifestyles for a season on earth and then turn to Christ. Aren’t they life examples, too? Can their lives be valuable in teaching us something about God? Paul teaches we are saved by grace. In the Greek that actually reads, “We are in a saved state.” Grace begins the work of salvation and grace will end the work of salvation. Everything in-between then is?…GRACE. We are being saved one moment at a time. Think of some biblical characters who are great life examples of God’s grace but we read very little about them: Josiah: considered one of the greatest kinds to rule over Israel. He stepped into that rule at the age of eight. Scripture: 2 Kings 22:-1-2 “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.” Jabez: An honorable man who pleased God. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Mordecai: He became the guardian for Esther. Scripture: Esther 2:7. Because of his example, Esther became queen of Persia. Mordecai used his position in the king’s court to stand up for the oppressed people of God and foiled the plot that was underway to assassinate the king. He played a pivotal role in the gospel by saving the Jews. Scripture: Esther 2:7 and 10:1-3 King Xerxes made Mordecai the prime minister of Persia; second in command. Think about some of our biblical characters who have done some very terrible things and then found themselves as instruments of grace; bring some names with you to discuss tonight. Rehab: The prostitute who saved some Israelites that Joshua had sent to Jericho by means of hiding them and then letting them down a scarlet rope. Scripture: Joshua 2:1, 3-7, 12-13 and Matthew 1:5 Saul of Tarsus: A Pharisee and nasty Christian killer; finds Jesus on the Road to Damascus and his life is never the same. Acts 9:1-6 Saul become Paul the Apostle and he writes 13 letters in the NT (Galatians, 1-2 Thess. 1-2 Cor., Romans, Ephesians, Philemon, Colossians, Philippians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus) Can anyone pass from spiritual death to life? Do you remember Jeffrey Dahmer—-Milwaukee serial killer. He killed some 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. While incarcerated, Jeffrey met Jesus. He said this about his faith, “I’ve since come to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true creator of the heavens and the earth, it didn’t just happen. And I have accepted him as my Lord and Savior and I believe I, as well as everyone else will be accountable to him. In 1994, Jeffrey was beaten to death by another inmate. No matter where we find ourselves in life, Jesus comes to find us. No sin can separate us from His love. Blessings…

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