Rev Stephen Caddick Mid-week Bible Study Wednesday 5th August 2020
Ephesians Chapter 2 v-10
Has anyone ever asked you, do you want the good news or the bad news? I always like to get the bad news out of the way first then I can relax and enjoy the good news. Here Paul gives us the bad news first, but then comes the wonderfully glorious good news.
V1-3 Here Paul gives us a clear and awful picture of the consequences of sin. Read these verses what stands out to you? It is a really dark picture, sin hurts, sin destroys, it is a hopeless and helpless picture of a life lived without Christ. Because of the sin that separated us from a holy God we were spiritually dead, subject to self-centredness and self- indulgence, and subject to God’s holy wrath against sin. Things don’t get much worse than this! A little bit of religion, or simply trying harder to be good isn’t going to cut mustard. We need God to intervene and rescue us, we need a saviour. Read Romans ch6 v23.
V4-5 Now for the good news! What words describing God stand out to you here? He is rich in mercy and loves us. The good news of the gospel is that even though we learn that we are far worse off than we thought, we are far more loved than we could ever imagine. God doesn’t love us because we are lovable but because he is infinitely loving. Can you think of any hymns or songs that speak to you about God’s love, or any other favourite Bible verses? Maybe search some out this week, there is nothing greater to study. Read 1 John ch4 v10.
V6-7 These verses are amazing! Can you believe that God will point to you throughout all eternity as an example of His grace? Grace is God’s lavish love, His outrageous mercy, His abundant forgiveness to us all. Grace is our only hope. Grace is the beautiful character of Jesus. Grace is the central theme of the Bible from the first page to the last. To understand grace is to know God and the measure of His love for us. How would you define grace? I love C.S. Lewis, once there was a conference on comparative religions with many learned delegates, they were discussing what if any belief was unique to Christianity, they had been eliminating many possibilities and had been debating for a long time when C.S. Lewis wandered into the room, “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked. On hearing that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s uniqueness, C.S. Lewis answered “Oh that’s easy. It’s grace.” All religions have a way to their god which involves many and varied works, Christianity stands alone in that God freely gives us forgiveness and abundant life in and through Jesus. This certainly goes against our human instinct, we feel we must do something to deserve it. We simply need to put our faith in the finished work of Christ instead of any goodness of our own.
V8-9 In these 2 short verses Paul gives us many wonderful truths about grace. Read these verses again what stands out to you? We are saved by grace, it is a free gift to all who don’t deserve it. We are saved by trusting in Jesus not our own efforts. It is God who saves us, we can take no credit, it is His gift we do not work for it. We have nothing to boast about God has done it all. Believe it, enjoy it, know how much God loves you.
V10 We are not saved by our works but we are saved to do good works. God has prepared a lifetime of good works for each one of us. These should not be a burden, God knows each one of us we are His masterpiece. The works He has for us should be the things that naturally flow out of us when we are filled with His love. We all have a vital and unique role in the kingdom. Your gifts, your abilities. your friends, family circle of acquaintances are all unique to you. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, just be faithful, available, and obedient to His prompting. The Christian life should be the greatest adventure, when we say Lord I’m available to you today.