Sermon Podcast: ‘But God: Loves First’


But God Loves First
But God | Week 4
May 20, 2018 | Daniel Roach

https://embed.simplecast.com/a2af04a6


Paul begins the second chapter of his letter to the church at Ephesus by painting a picture of our absolute brokenness, but then reminds us that God loved us first. Special Guest Daniel Roach joins us to wrap up our series on the presence of God with the powerful truth at the heart of the Gospel!

EPISODE NOTES

Paul begins the second chapter of his letter to the church at Ephesus by painting a picture of our absolute brokenness, but then reminds us that God loved us first. Special Guest Daniel Roach joins us to wrap up our series on the presence of God with the powerful truth at the heart of the Gospel!


 

Ephesians 2:3-5 (NLT)
All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)

We are BROKEN

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NLT)
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

Luke 16:15 (ESV)
“And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

We are broken but God loves first.

Ephesians 2:4 (NLT)
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life

Romans 5:8 (NLT)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Revelation 2:1-7 (NLT)
Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.”

Consequences of Grace

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Identity: With Christ/In Christ

Identity: Who you are
Participation: What you do

On Cheap Grace:
“It is baptism without the discipline of the community; it is the Lord’s Supper without the confession of sin; it is absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without the living incarnate Jesus Christ.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Identity: Who you are Participation: What you do Consequences of Grace is Works

What will you change?

Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

Ephesians 5:1 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

Ephesians 5:8 (NLT)
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!

Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.

What will you change? What will you risk?

“I have mostly white students at the seminary, and it is very easy for them to fantasize that they would be standing with King if given the opportunity. They idolize Dr. King without realizing the risk and suffering that was involved for the whites back then who dared cross the color line. People have fooled themselves into believing they can follow Christ and risk nothing. Have we fooled ourselves into thinking that true Christian spirituality can be developed without the risk of losing job security, personal safety or social status?” ~ Randy Woodley | Keetoowah Cherokee Pastor & Professor at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon

Next Steps
The rest of the letter to the Ephesians provides insight to how believers are to live in light of the consequences of grace. Choose a next step and discuss with a friend:

Read Ephesians Twice This Week
– What do you need to re-learn about God, grace, and Jesus’ work on the cross? * What needs to change in your life in order to align with these truths?

Read Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail
– How does faith and action overlap? * What must you risk in order to follow Jesus?

Read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together
– Learn more about his life and his call towards community

Ephesians 1:18-19 (NLT)
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.

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