Ephesians 2. Saved by Grace and not by works

02:00:00 Karen Li 0 Comments

Themes:

1) Made alive in Christ
- we were once dead, followers of the sinful things of life
- Because of God's love, mercy, grace, we were saves
- Salvation: It's not something we achieved by yourselves
- But after salvation, we were made to do good works

2) One in Christ
- We, gentiles, were not part of the first covenant between God and Israel
- By his death, Jesus has sealed a new promise and removed the old law
- We, the people, are now the church of Christ.

In preparing for this weeks' bible study, I stumbled on the website Ephesians 2 ministry. We are saved by Grace and not by good works.

The website has some really good points that differentiates mormons to Christians.


Ephesians 2

New International Version (NIV)

Ephesians 2

Made Alive in Christ
 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Footnotes:
  1. Ephesians 2:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

Questions for discussion:

1.     According to 2:1-3, what does Paul say about the spiritual condition of the believers before they had experienced the power of God that transformed their lives?
2.   According to 2:4-7, what has God done to reverse our plight in sin? And why?
3.   How have you experienced God’s gracious acts of making alive, raising up, and seating together with Christ as a deliverance from the plight of your pre-converted lives to all the benefits of the new life in Christ?

4.   According to 2:8-10, how does Paul explain to the believers in Ephesus the nature of their salvation?
5.    Someone observes that “Our salvation is not only a one time act of conversion in “normal” situations, but also includes the activity of God’s workmanship in us and through us He performs the good works He has already prepared in advance.” How are you aligning your walking in this world with God’s workmanship inside you? How are you going to get rid of any inconsistency?

6.   According to 2:11-13, how does Paul remind the believers of their former alienation with God’s chosen people and Christ in contrast to their present situation in Christ?
7.    According to 2:14-16, how did Jesus unite the Gentiles with the Jews and reconcile both to God? And for what purposes?
8.   According to 2:17-18, after His sacrificial work on the cross, what did Christ come to perform and what was the result?
9.   According to 2:19-22, what are the consequential facts of this New Union in Christ?

10.    How far do we allow God to fit us together with other believers both inside and outside of the SGVCAC in growing into a holy temple of God?

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