New Life in Christ
Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10
Aim: To give the pupil a clearer understanding of what new life in Christ truly is.
Golden Text: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:12-14a).
A look at the Golden Text above will show the reader the two main points in this lesson. The first is that all who have not been born again through faith in Christ are estranged from God, His covenants, and His promises, having no hope in this world of being acceptable to God or being able to be acceptable and welcome in God’s Heaven. Without Christ’s salvation all are lost sinners.
The second point is that all those who have received Christ as Savior have all the above things through the blood of Christ and are made to be at peace with God.
The truth in these two points is expanded in the first 10 verses of the chapter.
I. Without Christ, all men are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-4). Remember that in the Bible the word “death” means “separation,” not “cessation of being, or existing.” When Adam sinned against God, he died spiritually. That is, he became separated from God by his sin. That is “spiritual death.” All babies are born in a “spiritually dead” condition. That is, all are sinners, and need to receive Christ (Who reconciles—rejoins—them to God.) Later Adam died “physically,” this is the separation of man’s spirit from his body. Then there is “eternal death,” which is separation of man’s spirit and body from God for eternity. Paul’s gives a description of the unsaved person.
First, he lives according to the course of this world (vs. 2). This means that he lives his life with reference to this world and this life, leaving God out of his life. He is engaged in worldly, sinful living.
Second, he lives under to power of Satan, the arch-enemy of God (vs. 2). Satan is at work in all the unsaved to keep them in an unsaved condition. He moves them away from God, which leads them to the judgment of God for their sins.
Third, they are living according to the desires (lusts) of their flesh (vs. 3). Their living is “fleshly living.” The all consuming desire is to fulfill their desires in this flesh, in this world. Fourth, they are “children of disobedience” (vs. 2) and “children of wrath” (God’s wrath, vs. 3).
II. With Christ man is born again (from above), forgiven of his sins, cleansed from his sins, and has a renewed, acceptable relationship with God (Ephesians 2:4-10). God through Christ shows man mercy, love and grace (vs. 4-5). “Mercy” is God not giving to a person what he deserves—judgment and hell. “Love” is God’s concern and affection for man that moves Him to prepare salvation for man through Christ. “Grace” is God giving to man what he does not deserve—forgiveness, cleansing and acceptance.
First, God “quickens” the sinner. That is, God gives the believing sinner new life—the new birth (vs. 1, 5; John 3:3, 5). This is by grace, man does not deserve it.
Second, God “raises” the believing sinner from his deadness in sin, to being alive to God (vs. 6). God and the sinner is no longer separated.
Third, the believing sinner is given a heavenly position in Christ (vs. 6). The believer is raised to the position where he is accepted as a “heavenly” citizen, and is on his way to live in the heavenly realms with God.
Fourth, God is going to show the “exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” in Heaven for eternity (vs. 7).
All this is because one repents, turns from his sinful life to Christ, and receives Christ as personal Savior from sin. Each person may be saved by the grace of God, through faith (vs. 8-10). This is all the “gift” of God to each believer (vs. 8). The believer then lives a new life in Christ.