We're not going to get tired of Heaven.
It's going to be as wonderful 200,000 years into it as the day that it started. And here in Ephesians 1 and 2, God used a great power to save you, because He's loving and gracious and merciful to you, and He intends to bless you throughout all of eternity. Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and Don is continuing our series, Your Sin and God's Salvation, with part two of a message titled, God's Power That Saved You. Last time, Don took us into Ephesians chapter 2, where we heard Paul's prayer that we as believers would fully grasp the miracle of salvation by God's grace. Today, Don will show us how God's power to resurrect Christ bodily is parallel to His power to resurrect us spiritually.
So have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher now in The Truth Pulpit. Christian, if you will simply embrace the reality of what Scripture says about your spiritual condition before Christ, if you will cease from trying to preserve some element of pride that wasn't all that bad. Yeah, I needed help from Jesus, but it wasn't all that bad. If you would cease and turn away from trying to preserve that corner of your human pride and just receive what Scripture says, you were dead and you were helpless, then it's like the glory of Christ rises and ascends more and more in your mind. I was saved from a great peril that I could not have saved myself from, and all you can do in that is not congratulate yourself, but just fall down and say, Jesus, thank you. God the Father, thank you for planning my salvation because I would have been lost unless you would exercise your power on my behalf.
This radically revolutionizes the way that you live life. It totally reorients the way that you think about God and the way that you think about yourself. We should look at this and realize that that was what I was, and so the fact that I am now a living, breathing Christian means that a great power has been exercised. That's Paul's point.
That's what he wants you to get. Power exalted Christ and it raised you from spiritual death, and both of those things, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, both of those things, the exaltation of Christ and raising you from your spiritual death, both of those things were humanly impossible. Only God could exalt Christ.
Only God can raise a sinner to new life. Now, secondly, we saw your past condition of death. Now, secondly, there's just something interesting in the text that I want you to see. This is the kind of stuff that geeks me out.
I just love to see stuff like this. It just makes Scripture so rich. Point number two, it's the parallel terms of life, the parallel terms of life. I'll show you what I mean by that. Paul here in Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 2 is using extraordinarily bold and vibrant language to communicate to us the nature of God's power that is at work in us. Remember how he spoke of Christ's exaltation. Look at Ephesians chapter 1 verse 20. The point here is that Paul is talking about the same thing in chapter 1 as he is in chapter 2.
That's the bigger point that I'm making here. And now I'm helping you see this from the text with something that you can see with your own eyes. There is no complicated Greek in this. I'm not speaking in anything that you can't understand. I'm simply showing you in your own Bible with your own eyes what is right on the surface so that you can understand. When Paul was talking about God's power to raise Christ, look at what he said in chapter 1 verse 20. He said that that power, verse 20, brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
Okay? Now watch how he describes our new life in Christ. Watch this. Turn over to Ephesians chapter 2 verse 5. I need to introduce what I'm about to say. We're really going to verse 6 here. He says in verse 5, he made us alive together with Christ. He said there was a spiritual resurrection that took place when God saved you. Now watch how he describes it in chapter 2 verse 6. It's practically the exact same language that he just used in describing the resurrection of Christ. Verse 6, he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Look at this. Turn back to Ephesians chapter 1 verse 20. He's talking about Christ here and he says he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. Now chapter 2 verse 6, he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
You see it? He's using the same language to describe what he did with Christ to what he did with us. The same, here's the point, the same language, the same words, it's actually a compound version in chapter 2 of the same verbs in chapter 1.
Here's the point. This is what you've got to plug into the outlet of your mind so that the power starts to energize your thinking in life. The same language about the physical resurrection of Christ is describing our spiritual resurrection from sin. And the reason that he uses the same language is to help you see without fail that he's describing the same power of God. The omnipotent power of God raised Christ from the dead and then physically raised him from the dead and in the same way with the same power he exercised his power to bring about a spiritual resurrection in your life so that you are supposed to see in this discussion of God's power, point number one, look at what that power did in Christ, point number two, look at what that power did in you so that you make the connection.
I've seen it from multiple views here. The power of God is omnipotent. It is great. It is mighty. Look at what it has done historically. It raised Christ and it raised me too.
That's his point. The same language describes the same power so that you are to understand that you did not save yourself, you did not have the power to save yourself, so if you are here today as a Christian the connection you're supposed to make is there is a great power of God that is at work in my life. We'll talk about the implications of that in a moment and chapter one is connected to chapter two. This power raised you from the dead. I'm describing, speaking as the Apostle Paul, I'm describing, I'm going to use the same words to describe what God did with Christ to describe what he did with you so you can't miss the point. He doesn't change the language because if he changed the language it might look like he was saying something different about you rather than Christ. It's the same thing in the heavenly places. He raised us.
He seated us. Now what that should do to you is it should make you want to stop talking. What I mean by that is it should make you fall silent in the presence of God and realize the holiness and the majesty and the eternal grandeur of what has happened in your life as a Christian.
This is meant to be a showstopper and it's so easy to miss the point. It's so easy to take it for granted that Paul says I'm praying that the Holy Spirit will be praying that the Holy Spirit wouldn't let that happen. You are at risk, every one of you, every one of you is at risk right now of missing the point. And so you step back and you quiet your heart. You quiet your thoughts and you just think and you reflect and you meditate. God raised Christ from the dead and that's the same power that raised me. That's what should be happening in your heart as you see these things from the book of Ephesians. And we're so weak and pitiful that Paul prays, God don't let them miss it. God illuminate their understanding so that they would see something about the greatness of this because if you see this it will humble you. If you see this it will make you stop trying to take credit for some small sliver of the aspect of your salvation. And in place of congratulating yourself that I was so smart that I chose to believe in Christ, that gets thrown out the window and in its place becomes this element of awe and worship and gratitude toward the God who exercised his power to save you when you could not save yourself. There are immense spiritual implications to what we're talking about here and most people miss it.
Scripture text prays that you wouldn't. And the measure by which you can see if you're starting to get it is is there a wonder that builds up in your heart? Is there a recognition is there a recognition that God you are so great and you are so mighty and to parallel my my spiritual resurrection with that of Christ that's immense. There should be a sense in your mind right now that we're talking about something much much greater than anything that's in this room. This exceeds and transcends our comprehension and to think that the God of omnipotence did that by name for you and me if you're a Christian. Wow, marvelous, wonderful. There's a third aspect of it that takes it into a completely additional realm.
And it's this. You see the power of God that raised you when he could have used that power to condemn you, to judge you, to righteously execute your eternal death sentence for your sin and rebellion and indifference to him. The power of God that raised you actually points and reflects to something else about his character that is right here on the surface of the text of Ephesians chapter 2. What's this contemplation?
Listen to me. What's this contemplation of the power of God supposed to lead us to? Point number three. It leads us to the prevailing goodness of God. The prevailing goodness of God. This is just by way of introduction for what we'll talk about over the next two or three weeks. Okay, let's step back.
Final time out. We've seen this power on display and we look about, so to speak, at our lives and we say, I'm a Christian by the power of God. And you look and say, wow, that's wonderful. This is tremendous. How great is God's power? God's power. He delivered a wretch like me.
Now, you're not supposed to stop thinking at that point. You should ask yourself this question. Why on earth did he do that? Sure, he exercised this power and that's incredible. It's awesome.
It's majestic. I worship and honor him for that. But why? Why did he do that? What would possibly motivate a holy God to use his power in favor of sinful creatures like me?
What could possibly motivate him to bring and adopt into his family a rebel like me? Why would he do that? Because he is a God of great love, kindness, and mercy.
This wasn't an abstraction to him. God didn't do this just to show off like a, you know, some star-struck teenage boy showing off to a girl he's trying to impress. God did this, displayed his power like this, because he is a God of love, kindness, and mercy to undeserving sinners.
And so the power points you to something further. Christian, God used his power to save you because he greatly loves you. Look at Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4. Paul starts to run out of superlatives to describe the wonder of the love of God.
But pick it up in verse 4. We're presupposing he had just said, you were dead in sin, dominated by the devil, and doomed to suffer the wrath of God, and you deserved it, and you couldn't help yourself. And verse 4 says, but God being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved. God has this great power. He used it to raise you from spiritual death, and he did it because he is rich in mercy, because he loved you with a great divine love, and he did it out of grace, not because you deserved it, but because he exercised favor to your benefit.
You did not deserve that, and you did not contribute to the result. God saved you by his power and out of his great goodness so that he could achieve an even greater eternal end. The majesty of this just unfolds into ever greater wonders. This is just an unfolding in these few brief verses. This is just an unfolding of the greatness of God on display. The power of God raised Christ and exalted him, and it raised you out of spiritual death, and that shows what he is eternally like.
He is a God of grace, love, mercy, and kindness. That alone is more than we can get our minds around. That alone would be cause to worship him. That alone would be cause to invigorate and strengthen you, and cause you so much joy and worship.
And yet, that's barely the start. Do you understand that all of these great things that we've been seeing about God from the text is just barely the beginning of his majesty? It's just barely scratched the surface of the love of Christ, the Savior of the world. Because, look at verse chapter 2 verse 7, he did all of this. He raised us up with him, verse 6, seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ. We who are now the recipients of the power, the saving power of God, motivated by his love and mercy, that's where we stand right now. But look at verse 7, so that there's an even greater purpose.
There's another divine purpose being unfolded in everything that we've said so far. Here's the divine end to it, so that in the ages to come, he might show the surpassing riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. When we are in heaven, somehow, in a way that I won't pretend to understand or put my sinful lips to trying to describe the holy glory of it all. When we are in heaven, somehow, God will, throughout eternity, further display his great kindness toward us in all of the unfolding ages upon ages to come. Christian, the fact that God saved you shows how powerful he is.
He didn't exercise that power in an indifferent way. He had divine love, grace, and mercy in his heart that rescued you from your pitiful condition. And in a way that you could never have asked for, that you never could have deserved. He did that so that he could achieve an even greater end that throughout the whole stretches of eternity, which make this life insignificant by comparison, throughout all of eternity, somehow we're going to see in deeper, greater measure the grace and goodness and kindness of God. We are going to be enveloped in his kingdom, enveloped in love and worship, and it's going to be so perfect and it's going to be so gracious and it's going to be so magnificent that we are just going to be overwhelmed in the response of worship saying, God, thank you for bringing me into this because it shows how kind and loving and merciful you were to a wretch like me. Listen, we're not going to get tired of heaven. It's going to be as wonderful 200,000 years into it as the day that it started, if we can speak about eternity from the perspective of time. This glory that God has stored up for those who believe in him, it will never cease.
It will never grow old. And here in Ephesians 1 and 2, Paul has developed a very consistent thread through the riches of everything that he says in verses 15 through chapter 2, verse 10. There's a very consistent thread that is running through it as he prays for these Christians. And by the way, his prayer for these Christians is written under the inspiration of God, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
And so this is a reflection. What Paul is praying is really just a reflection of what God wants for his children. This is what God wants for you to understand if you're a Christian. God wants you to understand that he used a great power to save you.
Here's the simplicity of it all. God used a great power to save you because he's loving and gracious and merciful to you and he intends to bless you throughout all of eternity. That is what this beautiful passage is saying. And it's so magnificent that Paul says, oh God, help him to understand. Our prayer should be similar.
Oh God, help us to understand. When we're wrapped up in earthly stuff, we're losing sight of the glory of this. God's power raised Christ from the dead and it raised you too so that you could receive blessing from God forever. Beloved, you should be astonished, speechless at God's power, encouraged that he used it on your behalf and humbled to the point that you gladly accept that he gets all the glory for it. The power of God saved us. Now the recognition of his mercy lifts us to praise and enables us to obey while we wait for the final consummation of our salvation. Christian, every one of you, every single one of you, every single one of you, no more excuses for half-hearted devotion to Christ, no more justification for patterns of disobedience in your life. We have been so greatly blessed by the power and love of God that our whole heart should be captivated and oriented toward thanking him and loving him and praising him until we get to do it forever in heaven.
God has raised us from the dead. Now let us rise and love and follow Christ. Today on The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green has underscored the power and goodness of our Lord, how great a salvation we enjoy as a result. Well, we'll continue our series Your Sin and God's Salvation on our next program, so don't miss a moment.
Right now though, Don's back in studio with news of a great resource. Well, my friend, as we bring today's broadcast to a close, I want to offer you a very special gift, a special resource as a gift from our ministry. It's my series called Trusting God in Trying Times, and this series over the years has proven to be the most popular set of messages that I've ever done. It helps you know how to trust God as you're going through the deep sorrows that sometimes come to us in life. It comes from the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament, and it comes from some very deep sorrows of my own that were present early in my Christian life. It's very personal, it's very helpful, it's very biblical, and I would love to see you have it in your hands.
It's available in CD album or by download. Transcripts are available if you prefer that. My friend Bill is going to give you information on how to find it. Just visit our website at thetruthpulpit.com to get the resource Don just mentioned. I'm Bill Wright and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit.
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