Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. You have a resurrection seed inside of you, and this is how bold, how bold we must come to his throne of grace.
If he can take that which was dead and make it alive, he can do anything in there. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Ephesians, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program today, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. Good works are not just the big spiritual things. It's not you needing to be a deacon or an elder or a minister or a missionary, although if you're called to be that. It's changing a diaper in the middle of the night. It's listening when your friend is down and needs a listening ear. It is walking the neighborhood on a beautiful afternoon and something in you decides to pray for this family in this house and you don't know them. It is picking up a piece of trash because you want it to be prettier. It is a little thing.
It is a big thing and everything in between. This is all part of good works. I wonder if it would change your outlook on life if you began to think that when you get up in the morning, God has already prepared some really good things that you're going to be involved in and you're just going to walk it out and recognize it being in tune to the Holy Spirit and realize that you were created for this. You were born again for this. You're alive for this. So you're alive, Paul is saying, because God is enjoying showing you off and because you're created as His workmanship to do wonderful things.
All of that is where this is headed. Now, jump back to the beginning of our text and you'll see at verse 1 something that is an absolutely counter-cultural and our culture would be an unpopular thing to say, but I need to linger here for a bit. For he says, you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked. There are essentially three views of how human beings of what condition they are born into.
There is, and I oversimplify these, but I think these are the three main views. The one view is we are born and we're well, or at least neutral, we're okay. You're born in the world and you're not bent towards sin.
You're not bent and so it's the influences of the environment that make the difference. Basically people are, I'm okay and you're okay. That's, and that is the spirit of the age. The second view is that we're not okay. We are messed up and sick. Now some would say we're a bit sick and some would say we're very sick and we're on death's door, spiritually speaking, and everything in between, but this view says we're messed up but not hopeless. There's a third view and this is what I believe is Paul's view. I think this is the biblical world view and I think this is what Paul is saying here and this view is we're not well and we're not just sick. Spiritually and figuratively we are dead. Now this is very important for your world view and for your understanding of this text and for your understanding of everything that makes the good news such good news because it's not good news to hear the statement you've been made alive together with Christ if you don't have a view of what it means to be spiritually dead. It's important to understand your perspective on this because it will inform your view of the need you have for God. So if your view is that we're basically well, we come in the world, we're okay, at least we're neutral, then your view of God could either be we don't really need God, we don't know if He exists and we don't need Him, or your view of God, and this is also part of the spirit of the age, is that we're basically okay and we just need God to be that inner light that we can look to to help guide us along in life, to help remind us that we're okay, and to comfort us when we go through difficult times.
But if your view is that we're sick, then your view is this is what we need God for, we need Him to fix us, we need Him to help us become better, that God is there to help us become better. But if your view is that we are born in sin in such a way that we are spiritually and figuratively dead, shut off from fellowship with God and dead in our trespasses, then this changes your view of what you really need, because there's one thing that a dead person needs and that is to be made alive. And this is important also because once you believe that our condition that we are born into is that we are dead, there is no gray area about this.
Now I know that lots of things in life have shades of gray, but some things don't, and this one has no shade of gray. If you are dead, you are dead. There's no such thing as is that person dead? Well, he's a little, you know, dead, sort of dead. No, you're dead. Your heart's not beaten, you're not breathing, and you are dead. And it's the moment that without Christ, everybody fears their whole life because it's like, that's it, right?
Yeah. Everything changes when you're dead. My wife years ago, I was officiating a funeral. So I was at the funeral home, I was over the little alcove, you know, waiting to come out once the organ music started, and we'd start the service. But my wife was there early, the casket was open, and people were coming, and they would pay their respects and have a viewing, and then they'd go find their seat in the chapel of the funeral home. And of course, then they were going to close the casket, and we were going to start the service. But my wife was there early, and so she saw these two little old ladies, they came up to see, I'll call them Joe, they came to see his body, and she could hear them. They were, you know, whispering too loudly. And the one lady turned to her friend and whispered, and she said, my goodness, he's lost weight since I saw him last.
My wife said the rest of the service, she was biting her lip to not laugh the whole time, because she wanted to stand up and say, he lost more than that since you saw him last time, he died since you saw him last time. And I just want to say, you know, listen, let me tell you this, that when you die, you lose weight really fast. It's when you're dead, you're dead. I was reading this week about a man, a philosopher named Jeremy Bentham, he was known as the father of the school of thought called utilitarianism.
This is the school of thought that says that happiness is the ultimate good and whatever is best for the happiness of the most people should guide all our principles of life. And he was very involved in some of the founding of the hospital in London. And in his last will and testament, this rather famous philosopher, he had dictated that he wanted his body to be preserved as best as possible and to put a suit of clothing on such as what he would wear when he was working or writing and to have his body positioned in a chair and be put on display.
And so they tried their best. Eventually they put a wax head on him and they've got all his clothes on and he's got his skeleton stuffed out with straw and his clothes on there. It was rumored that he left his whole estate to the hospital, University College Hospital of London, and that part of the requirement was that he attended all the board meetings, his body was, you know. And it's kind of rumored, but it's not actually true.
They only brought him to the board meeting on the 100th anniversary of the hospital and the 150th. But it is true, they recorded in the minutes that a person's present and it said Jeremy Bentham, present but not voting. And I can just tell you for sure, if you're dead, you are not voting.
There are a lot of things you're not doing if you're dead. When I was coaching or son's soccer team, we met with the head of the little optimist soccer league. This is the league that's more recreational, a little less intense. And our kids were little, you know, and you get these seven year old kids out there. He said, listen, he said to the head of it, oh, it was a funny guy. And he said to the coaches, he said, here's two things I want you to keep in mind. He said, number one, he said, these kids are out here for two reasons.
They want to kick the ball and they want to get a snack. And he said, so I want you to make sure that every game that everybody gets to kick the ball and everybody gets a snack. And he said, and the second thing I want you to keep in mind is the dead man's rule. Really what's the dead man's rule. He said, this is the dead man's rule. He said, you shall not have your kids do something in practice for more than 10 seconds that a dead man could do. And he said, that includes sitting there and watching you and listening to you talk or sitting there and watching other kids kick the ball.
And that includes not having a snack. So, you know, that's all I do is I just kept those things in mind that the dead man's rule don't have these kids do anything in the dead, because bottom line of what Paul is saying here, if you say, well, what does it mean that we are dead spiritually? Here's the definition of deadness.
You can't do anything. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Just who do you think you are? And really think about it. How do you see yourself? If you see yourself as worthless, then you might as well do nothing worthwhile. But if you see yourself as treasured, then you'll invest yourself with joy. If you see yourself as a sinner cursed by your failures, then you'll be anxious and exhausted. But if you see yourself as a saint blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, then you'll be confident and free.
How you see yourself determines how you live. In an 11 message series, Pastor Alan Wright takes you on a thrilling journey through the letter to the Ephesians. It'll flood your soul with good news and empower you to discover who you are in Christ. When you make your donation to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll not only send you the digital downloads of the entire transformational Ephesian series, but we'll also send you a printable copy of Pastor Alan's booklet, highlighting the most important scriptures about your identity in Christ. Make your gift today and discover a whole new way of seeing your life. Isn't it time to finally find out who you really are? Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastoralan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. If you carry the grace of God to its deepest, most beautiful, most logical, and most powerful conclusion, what it means is that when we could do nothing, God saved us. Paul says we're dead in trespasses and sins and once you once walked in the course of this world, that is being lost in the influence and dominion of the philosophies of the world, following the prince of the power of air, referring to the devil himself who is real spirit. And then he says, and among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying on the desires of the body the mind, these are lustful appetites and we're by nature children of wrath, meaning that when you're dead to God and you're rebellious against God, that you are justly deserving of God's displeasure.
And this is a picture of spiritual deadness. And he lists all of this in verses one through three and then at verse four he comes in with two of the most beautiful words in the Bible, but God. Sometimes just read your Bible and just look for but God. Come to the story of Joseph and watch him forgive his brothers that sold him into slavery and hear him say, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
Psalm 73, one of my favorites, my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Go to Romans 5 and see Paul say, for one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person, one would dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. See Paul preaching the gospel in Acts chapter 13 and saying, and though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead. You don't have to do that. You don't have a solution for your problem. You've tried everything you can. You say there's no way there's but God.
You've interviewed for 14 different jobs. You feel like I'm never going to get but God. You tried every doctrine. You've tried every cure known to man. There's no way but God. Been oppressed on every side. I can't seem to escape the depression.
I don't know what to do, but God is on your side. Then Paul comes to three verbs in the middle of this text that all have the same prefix. The three verbs at verse five, we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. That's the first verb. And then in verse six, and raised us up together with him.
That's the second. And then in verse seven, no, I'm sorry, at the end of verse six, and seated us together with him. He made us alive together with Christ. He raised us up together with Christ.
He seated us together with Christ. And the prefix here is the Greek prefix that we would transliterate S-Y-N, like in the word synergy or you'll see it S-Y-M sometimes like sympathy from sympathy sympathos to feel together with someone. Synergy from the words for ergo energy work to work together. Synonym sounds together. Meaning is together. So this little prefix S-Y-N S-Y-M, this appears on each one of these verbs.
And these are words that are not used very often. They are words that specifically are referring to something that has happened in a synergistic, sympathetic way that are interwoven. And what he's saying is that these things that have happened to Jesus have happened also to us. You have been, when you accept Christ, you are engrafted into Christ. This is about your union with Christ. So Paul elsewhere in Galatians says, I have been crucified with Christ, which means that when Jesus was crucified and he was taking into his being a punishment for sin, it was as if your sin was being punished. And when Jesus said, it is finished, you, when you accept Christ, are engrafted into that finished work so that you can say it is finished.
There's no more punishment needed for sin. I've been crucified with Christ. I didn't hang on a cross. I didn't suffocate there. I didn't bleed. I wasn't mocked. I wasn't the one spat upon.
I wasn't the one whose clothes were distributed through the rolling of dice. I wasn't the one who was put in that tomb. Jesus was, but because I've accepted him through faith, I was crucified with Christ. Now he's saying, and in the same way, Jesus was put into a tomb and on the third day of power, a Shekinah glory, a resurrection force that comes only from God, the life force of the cosmos that comes forth from the being of God, who is eternal life, came and raised Jesus from the dead and made him alive. And what Paul is saying is this is what's happened to your soul. This is what's happened to your being. You have been made alive together with Christ.
Wow. Now this has some huge ramifications for us. First place, what this means is that death no longer has a hold on you. It means that if the grave couldn't contain Jesus and we've been made alive together with Jesus, just like Jesus, it means that our graves aren't going to be able to contain us. It means you don't need to be afraid of death. Your body will die, but you now have eternal life coursing through your being. You are now eternal.
That's good news. And it also means that the very life of God that is in you is miraculous. The Word of God is said to be living and active, imperishable, incorruptible seed. You have a resurrection seed inside of you. And this is how bold, how bold we must come to his throne of grace.
If he can take that which was dead and make it alive, he can do anything in you. And thirdly, what this means, beloved, is that you and I are so full of life that wherever you go, you carry that life with you. This little island we're on in Papua, 15 miles wide, is a volcanic island. And the sand is black and the island itself, some people are telling me, I don't know how volcanic stuff is made, but the soil is so rich and so fertile that everything is green. It's a few degrees below the equator and it's 99% humidity. So everything you see everywhere is all green.
It's just green. It's just life everywhere. If you're going to go somewhere, somebody better have a machete chopping the way.
And about the time they finish chopping it, if you turn around, it's about to spring up right behind you. This is how much so. Some of the locals had done us a real favor. They were very gracious. They knew we would be frail in this heat. And so they had made a little covered area with thatch on it that we could sit in and have our meals and stuff in the shade. And so what they'd done is they'd gone, they had some sticks and these sticks in the ground, you know, with a little fork at the top and put some other sticks across it and then put some palm branches up to give a shade. And this is how fertile that soil is, is that those sticks that they just stuck down in the ground to make our little covered patio area, that after a few days, the sticks had started sprouting. I mean, they got no roots, they got no root ball, they got nothing. And we're like, what is going on here?
And they just stick it down in the ground. And next thing it starts, it started sprouting. And what I want to say to you today is that that's a picture that if there's life in something, that life's going to find a way to get out.
It just needs some fertile soil and you just stick it in the right place and it's going to sprout and it's going to bud. And so I just want you to wake up every morning and just know this, that though you once were dead in your trespasses, that God has made you together with Christ alive. And you got life running in you. There's still some sap inside of you. There's something that is happening in you.
You just plant yourself and watch it sprout because you are going to bear fruit. And that is the gospel. We're fully much alive here.
We're going to talk about it here in just a moment in the studio. I encourage you to stick with us. It's our teaching in Ephesians.
That's the big series. Today's teaching, You're Alive in Christ. Back in a moment with Allen. If you see yourself as worthless, then you might as well do nothing worthwhile. But if you see yourself as treasured, then you'll invest yourself with joy. If you see yourself as a sinner cursed by your failures, then you'll be anxious and exhausted. But if you see yourself as a saint blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, then you'll be confident and free.
How you see yourself determines how you live. In an 11 message series, Pastor Alan Wright takes you on a thrilling journey through the letter to the Ephesians that will flood your soul with good news and empower you to discover who you are in Christ. When you make your donation to Allen Wright Ministries today, we'll not only send you the digital downloads of the entire transformational Ephesians series, but we'll also send you a printable copy of Pastor Alan's booklet, highlighting the most important scriptures about your identity in Christ. Make your gift today and discover a whole new way of seeing your life. Isn't it time to finally find out who you really are? Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Well, Allen, after a message on hope and now a message on being alive in Christ, I mean, this really is a great illustration.
Well, it is just really an amazing thing, that sight that I saw in that little island of Papua New Guinea, just something that you think could never sprout. And it does if there's just a little seed of life that's there. And this is what God is saying to us. And I want every listener just to hear this from the Lord, that in Christ, sometimes you may have even your worst day. You've been made alive in Christ. This is how God sees you. And so it's part of the process, Daniel, letting our soul, letting our mind become more and more convinced that we're alive with Christ Himself. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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