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God's Gracious Work

July 3, 2016 Speaker: Fred Greco Series: Ephesians

Topic: AM Service Passage: Ephesians 2:8–10

In the midst of Ephesians chapter 2 is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. It is a passage that was a battle cry of the Reformation, declaring that our salvation comes from the Lord, solely by His grace and work. From the beginning of chapter 2, Paul has asserted that we are dead in our sins, lost, enslaved, and on the road to the wrath of God. Then comes the great intervention: “But God!” We realize that God in His mercy has intervened and broken the chain of death and sin. Paul then culminates his description of our dilemma and God’s solution in verses eight through ten – our salvation comes to us, not by anything we have done or could do; it is the sheer grace of God that we are saved, saved by means of a faith that reaches out to Jesus, saved by a faith that is itself a gift of God. It is critical that we understand and remember this, or else we are likely to think that our salvation is the result of our intelligence, our compassion, or our work. Paul wants us to know that there is only One responsible for our salvation: the Lord God. None of us can boast because the change in us only comes as a result of “God’s Gracious Work” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

I. Saved by Grace
A. What Salvation is Not
B. Why Salvation is By Grace

II. Saved Through Faith
A. What Faith is
B. Where Faith Comes From

III. Saved for Good Works
A. Necessity of Good Works
B. Created for Good Works

Questions for consideration: (1) What is the greatest barrier for you to believe that salvation is all of grace? What is hardest for you to give up of your own merit? (2) Why is it so important to define faith properly? Is there a way that we can think of faith like a work? How can we be free of that kind of thinking? (3) Why are we tempted to think good works are unnecessary? What does that do to us?

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