You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. [NRSV]
Before you found salvation
- You were walking dead
- Traveling on a dead end road
- You were like zombies, those who thought the only thing real in this world was themselves, their own efforts and failure, their own riches or poverty, their own reality and rules.
- DON’T Go Back To That Pace!
We once were children of wrath
- You love to push the limits of both God and yourself.
- How many people hate God because one or two people in the church act inappropriately
- How many people run from God because we never explained why God/Jesus/Spirit are vitially important to our own lives (We just hope they see the testimony we live and say nothing.)
- Say that one again: (We just hope folks see our intended testimony of our actions and we teach, explain, tell folks nothing to confirm they got the correct message.) SAVI
But we are no longer on the dead end road.
- We are on the alive for evermore road
- We are on the alive road with Jesus
- We are on the alive road together with one another, we are not alone
- We are on the alive road that is paved with grace, paved with the sacrifice of blame, sin, curse, and judgement that is due us, but has been taken on by Jesus instead.
- Don’t be rude, but don’t get lost in political correctness,
- Reach out to the lost and show them, tell them, plead with them the way of grace in Christ.
- So in at a future time, when we leave this earth and this physical body is no more
- So when Christ returns to claim us and clean things up for the fresh start.
- So at a time in the future of God’s own choosing we can look back and see that God is not nearly as concerned about where we have wandered, as much as God is ultimately concerned about our being with God for today and the time from NOW on.
- God is kind enough to judge us, give the sentence to himself, and restore our relationship.
- For we are what he has made us,
- We are created in Christ Jesus for good works,
- To become the people God has hoped and dreamed we would be
- for the way of life intended from the beginning.
- for the relationship that was at the start, God opens to us,
- because God operates from a bedrock, foundation of love and kindness.
COUNTER Point: There are those who will be so quick to respond.
- Why did my parent or child or sibling have to suffer and/or die.
- Why did God take them?
- From a loving point of view, which would you rather God be interested in your life:
- The absence of a family member for four to forty years or for them to be absent in eternity?
- GOD is not punishing up with death.
- If God is so good and kind, why doesn’t God stop evil in the world? hunger, disease, acts of terror, etc?
- The presence of evil in the world affirm that we still have choice to live for God.
- If evil were removed from the world without our our choice in the matter, then life and relationships would not matter.
iii. The reality of evil is evidence that God is still wanting us to choose to be in relationship with God.
- If I give up to the dead end road and allow evil to consume my heart and intentions and actions, then I don’t need God.
Go back to the key verse, the heart of this passage to the church and community at Ephesus:
***STAR (by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is God’s gift.)
Step you through… Tab A into Slot B:
- 1. Our life and relationships are entrusted to us from God. God made each of us, and declares we are good.
- 2. Before, Christ, you and I were walking dead…like zombies
- 3. We lived like we had no choice and no help.
- 4. Because God operates from Love, God has not forgotten nor forsaken us.
- 5. Evil is still present because God still wants us to have a choice in the matter of our lives.
- 6. By Faith, by intentionally choose to live in God and grow in God, the gift is opened and realized.
- 7. We are in this together. See a zombie, open the love of God to them in kindness.
- 8. God is more concerned about who you now than who you were, God makes us all new.
- **Because God operates from love for us, God takes the time, for settling our crime.
- God love us, the whole world, God waits patiently for us to want to travel with God…
- Q: What road are you traveling? dead end or life transforming?
- Q: People are going on the dead end road and we have news that will save them.
- There are people who are living as though they are not spiritual people in a physical body.
- Do go back down the road that dead ends
- Do go back, Don’t give up
- Turn town God, even at a crawl. baby steps before we run.