Desperate for Grace

Notes for Jan. 21, 2018
Ephesians 2:1-10

Biblical Background

  • Dead in sin: Paul is stating that everyone outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ are spiritually dead – meaning there is no spiritual life in them. This is the consequence of both original (inherited) and willful (by choice) sin in a person’s life.

  • Ruler of the kingdom of the air: Most 1st century Jewish people believed that Satan ruled the whole world except for Israel and that evil spirits were active in the world. The “Air” was the atmospheric heaven – above the sky- which was lower than the higher heavens where God and his angels abode.

  • The World, The Flesh and the Devil: Ephesians 2:1-2 identifies the three enemies of God and truth. Any one or combination of the three can influence people toward sin.

  • The Old Testament picture of God: Deuteronomy 7:6-9 is reflected in vv. 4-7 as God delights in showering His love and grace upon His people.

  • To be seated with Christ: This is a powerful image as Christians are seated above the evil powers on earth or in the air. Thus, the status of the Christian, emboldened by the love and grace of God needs no longer fear evil, Satan or his demons.

  • God redeems before good works occur: In the Old Testament, God first redeemed Israel from the bondage in Egypt before giving them the law. In the same way, the Christian does good works, not to come into relationship with God, but rather God redeems the believer first, then good works flow out of the Spirit of God at work in us.

  • GRACE: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense

  • Word Study on Grace: See this link to Precepts study on “Grace”

  • Workmanship: the Greek word sometimes is used when describing a “work of art.”

Discussion Questions

  1. You were dead in sin. What does this mean? Describe

  2. Who do we follow when we live in sin? Describe each of the powers that can lead us into sin.

  3. In what ways are you aware of the world, the flesh and the devil and their attempts to lead you in the path of death?

  4. The ruler of the kingdom of the air – where does Satan rule from? In position to God?

  5. How are all human being alike? Why is this important to know?

  6. What are human beings in God’s eyes when they are following the ways of the world, the devil and the sinful nature?

  7. Why is God’s wrath an important truth to teach and to be aware of? How does God’s wrath and His love go hand in hand?

  8. But God… How did God respond to the sin and death in your life as a believer?

  9. Why did God have to take the initiative to make us alive – to resuscitate us?

  10. How does Jesus Christ’s experience of death and resurrection relate and compare to our experience?

  11. How much work must a person do to be saved?

  12. How is a person saved?

  13. What is the relationship between performing good works/deeds and God’s grace?

  14. How does Paul define “grace”?

  15. How can you communicate this message of salvation by God’s grace to others? Pray that God would give you an opportunity this week to share this good news with a non-believer.