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WHAT A DIFFERENCE JESUS MAKES

Sermon January 22, 2023

Series: Spirit-Filled Living Is Essential For Christians

Book of Ephesians

Sermon # 3: WHAT A DIFFERENCE JESUS MAKES

Ephesians 2:1-10


Take a look at two trophy cases and what it takes to be a proud owner of one of the trophies.


A loser again. Satan thought for sure this time that he would add Martin to his trophy collection. He had his game plan outlined in sinister detail: blind Martin from seeing the gospel during his formative youthful years, offer him the lie that he could take care of his own problems, hook him with addictions, and destroy his marriage. “By the time I’m through with him, he will be all mine,” Satan thought to himself. So confident was he, that he began his celebration early by giving a thumbs-up to his demon henchmen.


“Boys, take some time off. Martin is going in our trophy case.”


Martin lived most of his adult life in the gutter. Over the years, his heart had become as hard as a rock. He would scoff with disdain whenever anyone would share the gospel with him.


“I don’t need any religion. I’m a man’s man,” was his rehearsed speech. Over the course of life, he became an alcoholic which ruined his career and marriage. By the time he was 50 years old, he was as good as dead, an accident waiting to happen.


Unknown to Martin, God was at work in his life. Martin did not know That God also has a trophy case that is filled with trophies that resembled Martin. God takes personal pleasure in redeeming people just like Martin and in showing them off as trophies of His mercy.


Thus, God had a plan for Martin’s life: replace his heart of stone with a heart of flesh, open his eyes to see his need for a Savior, and allow other believers to have a burden for him. God wanted to heal Martin from his addictions and provide a new Christian wife who would be a helpmate to him.


The result: Martin became a trophy of God’s mercy. He was saved. He was added to God’s great trophy case of believers, of people who have experienced God’s great mercy.


Now, whose trophy, are you? Martin knew he was different and so did everyone around him. That’s what Jesus does! He makes a difference in all those who come to Him. It is Jesus who makes the difference in the lives of fallen brothers and sisters.


WHAT A DIFFERENCE JESUS MAKES! We have three movements to help with this lesson.


I. OUR PREDICAMENT WITHOUT CHRIST v. 1-3


To appreciate who we are in Christ, we must understand our predicament before coming to Christ.

A. A life of transgressions and sins (2)

1. Following the ways of the world (2a).

2. Following the ways of the devil (2b).

3. Following the ways of disobedience (2c).

B. A life spent with the disobedient of the world (3).

1. Spent gratifying one’s flesh of sinful nature

2. Spent following one’s own mind, desires, and thoughts.

What a predicament! Without Christ, we are controlled by the unholy trinity: the world, the flesh, and the devil. As a result, we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others (3c). God wants us to live Spirit-filled lives, but the Evil One wants us to live lives that will cause us to be objects of God’s wrath.


WHAT A DIFFERENCE JESUS MAKES

1. Our predicament without Christ


II. OUR PRIVILEGES IN CHRIST v. 4-9

After learning our predicament, we come to a wonderful word----the first word in verse 4: But. God acted on our behalf because of His great love for us and because he is rich in mercy (2:4).


A. God has quickened us, made us alive with Christ (2:4-5).

1. Why: Because His very nature is mercy and love (2:4).

2. When: While we were dead in sins (2:5).

3. How: By Christ’s death (2:5c).

B. God has raised us up with Christ (2:6a).

C. God has seated us in the heavenly realm---in Christ (2:6b).

D. God has one great purpose: To show us the riches of His grace---in the ages to come--- eternity of ages---God is going to be eternally glorified for His grace and kindness toward us.

E. You are saved (2:8).

1. By God’s grace

2. Through faith

3. Not of yourself

4. As a gift of God, not of works


What did you do to deserve God’s grace? What kinds of things can anyone do to deserve God’s grace?

God chose to save us by grace and not of works, lest any man should boast (2:9).

God knows how we are. If we could do something to earn even part of our salvation, we would strut around in heaven, saying, “God did His part, but I did mine as well.”


1. Our predicament without Christ

2. Our privileges in Christ


III. OUR PURPOSE THROUGH CHRIST v. 10


A. We are not saved by good works, but to do good works, which reveals we are God’s workmanship.

B. We are created in Christ Jesus.

C. We are created to do good works.


Tony Evans Study Bible (Christian Standard Bible) Footnote Ephesians 2:10, “A good work is a divinely prescribed action that benefits others in such a way that God is glorified (see Matt. 5:16). In short, God’s purpose for your life and mine is to help make this world a more caring, compassionate, and loving place. We can do that if we are in Christ Jesus!


WHAT A DIFFERENCE JESUS MAKES

1. Our predicament without Christ

2. Our privileges in Christ

3. Our purpose through Christ


Responsive Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

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