Originally given on 04/25/2021
Today we’ll be looking at another big chunk of Ephesians 2.
 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
We were dead, and God saved us
We were born dead
By nature, humans are evil
But God didn't leave us to die in our sins, but sent His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
God saved the unsaveable
God loved the unlovable
God reached out to rebellious
You see, we need to talk about the big/over arching / bottom line reasons behind why God saved us and created us----
Because our verses this morning, talk about one of the personal and intimate reasons why He saved us and created us.
We read here in our Verses this morning, that although we were dead in our sins and trespasses, that God saved us and seated us with His Son.
But why? Why save us? Why save anyone?
He would by justified----
It would be fair of Him----
Injustice would not be the result of Him not saving anyone----
We were dead in our sins and trespasses, children of wrath like the rest of mankind, but God, being rich and mercy -------- saved us.
God didn't HAVE to save anyone at all, but He chose to save us anyways, and then we see in verse 7 ----- a reason why
“so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
#1) - BIG PICTURE / Bottom line
V.7 is not THE reason why He saved us….
He saved us, because that is what God does----
He saved us, because His Son took the penalty that we deserve----
He saved us, according to His will and His purposes----
Isaiah 43:7 says that God created us ----- for His own glory
Isaiah 48:11 says that He saves us ---- for His own glory
There was no influencing factors that swayed God’s mind----
Convincing Him of this---
Or convincing Him of that---
We were dead and undeserving, but God saved us ------ because of who He is.
Why did God save us? ------- Because He is God.
These are the bottom line, the buck stops here, reasons why God saved His children.
But Scripture gives us reasons leading up to them.
And then we move into the more personal and intimate reasons why.
#2) The small picture
We see in verse 7 that God saved us to show us the immeasurable riches of His grace.
Why save us? - Because He is God
Why save me? - to show me the riches of His grace
In John 3:16 we see that the love of God is why we are saved
In Matthew 9:36 we see that He had compassion on the masses
In Joel 2:18 we see that God has pity on the lost
God has mercy on the repentant
He shows grace to the undeserving
He moves in the life of His children, never leaving nor forsaking them
He is not inhibited by our bad and stupid choices
He isn't bound from acting in our life because of our sin
All through Scripture, we see that God goes after the lost, the broken, the hurt, those cast out and unwanted by society, are those He raises up and saves.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those whom are blessed
God saves the underdog, the weakling, the lost and hurt ------- and He does so, to show them the immeasurable riches of His grace
But...what are the immeasurable riches of His grace?
Is it salvation?
Is it being saved from the eternal consequences of their sin?
Is it forgiveness and redemption and love and direction?
We can see this, when we keep reading.
If, when you're having you're personal time in Scripture, and a question gets brought up …. Keep reading.
What are the riches of His grace?
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
When something is rich, it is focused
It is something magnified and focused and made to be more of itself
If coffee is rich----it tastes and smells ----- more
It has more of an effect
Its effect lasts longer
The taste lingers
The scent overpowers other things
Everything about what coffee is ------ is magnified when the coffee is considered rich
And the richness of God’s grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus ----- is the amplification of everything that God shows towards the believer.
“...in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
So...what is the richness of God’s grace? = that undeserving sinners are pardoned, saved, loved, and directed, for no other reason apart from who God is. (X2)
It is the:
Overall / big picture stuff ------ He is God and He does as He pleases
AND the personal and intimate stuff ------ He has mercy and grace and compassion and He directs and informs and molds and shapes and interacts with His children
God gave us the gift of faith ----- not based on our works
This is the immeasurable richness of His grace
He did not show us grace because we were good people ------
Nothing within us ….. Prompted God to show save us
Do you want to experience the richness of His grace?
Then understand that your works didn't save you ----
Your salvation was a gift
A quick side note, that could be an entire Sermon all by itself -------
Is something that separates Christianity from all other religions.
Our works did not save us ------
Our faith is a gift given to us by God
Why? ------- Because He is gracious and saves the brokenhearted and lost.
In closing, we see another important truth written out in plain language for us in our verses.
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We aren't saved BY works ----
We are saved FOR works ----
God has stuff for you to do.
He didn't save you to sit you on the bench and never put you into the game
In fact….He prepared works for you to do...before He made you.
The plan that God has for you life------is older than you. (X2)
He prepared works ahead of time----
Knowing that He was going to create you in a specific and certain way
Knowing how the events of your life would unfold and shape and mold you
He created you on purpose to live in to the plan that He created ---- before He created you
There is purpose and direction in your life
There is a plan
There is intent
And the issues that arise for you ---- that don't for anyone else, can only be lived through and overcome by you.
Other people would break to pieces if they faced your struggles
And you would break to pieces if you faced theirs
Other people would worship and idolize the joy and successes in your life
And you would worship and idolize their joys and successes.
The ups and downs that you experience weren't made for you----- you were made for them
You weren't saved by works -----
You were saved for works----
Which God prepared beforehand that you should walk in them.
So what are you doing...to walk in them?
Are you living how you should?
Have you repented of your sins and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Are you selfless?
Do you volunteer?
Give of yourself?
Feed the hungry?
Clothe the naked?
Give to the poor?
Do you live your life revolving around what is comfortable to you?
Do you live your life revolving around what is manageable in your own strength?
What is comes down to is this:
What are the good works that you are walking in, that God prepared beforehand?
Your good works didn't save you
But if you are saved ----- there will be good works coming out of you, so what are they?