Believers Boot Camp Lesson 2
Believers Boot Camp (Ephesians) – Part 2
The Lord Jesus Christ has already defeated our Enemy hands down. However, He has left it up to us to enforce every day in earth’s trenches the victory He has won in the Heavenlies. The book of Ephesians serves as a Believers Boot Camp, teaching us that the church is equipped with vast spiritual weaponry in order to accomplish this very task. Victory is ours if we fight for it! Ephesians is serious training for serious Christians.
In chapter one, Paul begins our training by talking about the RESOURCES of God, which are now given to us …
- The blessings of God are a finished work – we ALREADY possess them
- But we have to FIGHT for it, just as Joshua had to fight for his promise
- The devil is intimidated by your present AND your future destiny
- We are PREDESTINATED by God for great things – this is a fixed fight!
- Nothing the enemy does can abort what God has already done
- Think about your eternal position, not just your current condition
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is to US as the crossing of the Red Sea was to ISRAEL – it is our “point of reference” for God’s power in our lives – because death is the greatest enemy we ever have to confront!
2:1 – “and you” – you have the same resurrection power IN YOU!
From the moment we are born we have a built-in desire to run the world around us so that it benefits and serves us. We are all born with a self-centered, ME FIRST identity – we feel that the world revolves around US. And this is the very essence of the SIN NATURE. But God’s purpose for our lives is that we have a GOD FIRST identity. This goes against our PRIDE.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Whatever you want God to bless, PUT HIM FIRST in that area!
So what causes us to leave God’s plan for our lives and follow our own plan? We have a low tolerance for “delayed gratification”! We really think we can do it faster and better than God. That is just human PRIDE.
2:1 – “were dead” – death in the Scriptures is “separation” – we were dead in the most significant way – DEAD SPIRITUALLY
Just as your body separated from your spirit cannot function on earth, your spirit separated from God’s spirit cannot function in God’s Kingdom! Physical death “silences” the body, but spiritual death “silences” the spirit! WE WERE WALKING AROUND, BUT WE WERE DEAD!
2:2 – because we were DEAD, we tried everything possible to make ourselves FEEL ALIVE – that’s basically where SIN comes from (but that little nagging voice from God continually says, “but you’re still EMPTY”)
ACCORDING – same root as the musical term “chord” – in harmony with one’s pleasure, purpose and power (watch this word in Ephesians!)
2:2 – “the air” – the atmosphere where human beings live
2:2 – “disobedience” – to be totally noncompliant (OT – “stiff necked”)
2:3 – “children of wrath” – warring and seething against all that is holy by serving the god of SELF, fulfilling every carnal desire and inclination
THE WAY WE WERE BEFORE SALVATION WAS UGLY
Satan was supernaturally powerful and much smarter than we were, the world system surrounded us from birth, and we were imprisoned in our carnal sin nature – yet we somehow managed to escape. HOW?
2:4 – “but God, who is rich in MERCY” – there is no other solution but God!
2:5 – we were BORN DEAD, but God QUICKENED us
DELIVERANCE (think UPS or FedEx) happens not just when someone SENDS a package, but when someone else RECEIVES that package – we must reach out and take hold of the salvation and blessings God provided
When people become Christians one of the hardest things to do is to RETRAIN them not to continue to operate according to the world system. It took one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but forty years to get Egypt out of them. There is always a battle between the NEW MAN and the OLD MAN. And that is why we need teaching like Paul gives to us in Ephesians.
WE ARE NOT DEAD ANYMORE – SO DON’T ACT LIKE IT!
By the way, we can protest all we want, but you can’t legislate morality in Canada – you can’t get unregenerated people to live like saints. In fact, we have a hard enough time getting saints to live like saints! SIN IS A HEART ISSUE – you can’t fix men from the outside in, just from the inside out.
2:5 – “by grace” – grace is not God’s ability to overlook our sin, it is the ability He gives to us to live above sin! (grace is the power to CHANGE!)
2:6 – “raised us up together” – you cannot be blessed outside God’s BODY / “made us sit together” – your victory depends on the BODY of Christ
WITHOUT DEVELOPING AN “US MENTALITY” THE CHURCH WILL BE FOREVER DIVIDED, AND FOREVER LESS THAN GOD INTENDS.
That is why the devil constantly seeks to bring DIVISION among the church, so God’s presence, provision and power can never be manifested in us.
2:7 – “he might show” – God likes to show US off (think about Job in the OT) – God even wants to use your PAST for His glory (“such were some of you”)
“Take up your bed and walk” – show the world that you are now able to carry what once carried you – TALK ABOUT YOUR TESTIMONY!
In the ages of eternity God will say “Look how much I did with so little”
2:8-9 – “by grace” / “through faith” / “gift of God” / “not of works” – GOD DID IT, BUT WE NEED TO WALK IN IT!
WUEST – “By grace you have been saved completely in past time, with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through the present time”
SALVATION IS THE MOST ELASTIC WORD IN THE BIBLE …
JUSTIFICATION Past – “I was saved” PENALTY of sin
SANCTIFICATION Present – “I am being saved” POWER of sin
GLORIFICATION Future – “I will be saved” PRESENCE of sin
2:10 – “we are His workmanship” – God is working to the OUTSIDE what He has deposited on the INSIDE – we were created to perform GOOD WORKS
2:10 – “that we should walk in them” – literally, we should ORDER OUR LIVES within the sphere of the works God has destined for US to perform
2:11 – “remember” – look back with APPRECIATION for what God has done
2:12 – “without Christ, being aliens … strangers … having no hope”
2:13 – “MADE NIGH BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST”
2:14 – “he is our peace” – Christ not only GIVES peace (temporary), He IS our peace (permanent)
2:14 – “made both one” – Jew and Gentile, (later in Ephesians) husband and wife – they are TOGETHER what neither of them could be APART
2:14 – “broken down the middle wall of partition” – UNITY
2:15 – “enmity” – great hostility or extreme conflict – the LAW was the root cause of this hostility, but Jesus fulfilled the law and abolished the conflict
2:15 – “make in himself” – Jesus became SIN that we might become RIGHTEOUS (i.e. injecting a virus in the bloodstream to create an antibody)
2:16-17 – “afar off” = Gentiles / “nigh” = Jews / now “ONE BODY”
2:18 – “access” – depicts a formal entrance into the presence of a king or deity (i.e. a “royal audience”)
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may BOLDLY say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
2:19 – “household of God” – YOU LIVE HERE! (“what are you doing standing outside ringing the bell when Jesus died to give you the key?!”)
2:20 – we are built on the “foundation” of what the apostles (NT) and prophets (OT) SAID, and on the cornerstone of what Jesus DID
2:21 – “fitly framed together” – you cannot be independent and be part of the Body of Christ / you are not “fitly framed” if you are not GROWING
HOW HAVE YOU GROWN IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE IN THE LAST YEAR? WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT YOU TODAY? ARE YOU GROWING, OR ARE YOU JUST “HOLDING YOUR OWN”?
2:22 – “builded together” – Satan’s only hope of overthrowing our faith is creating DISUNITY (you have never seen two demons fighting, because they are united!)
YOU CANNOT LOVE CHRIST WITHOUT LOVING HIS BODY!
John 17:20-21 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
ONENESS IS MORE THAN A DOCTRINE ABOUT THE GODHEAD!