Ephesians 2:1-10: Ten Key Components of the Gospel
June 3, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This is one of the most glorious summaries of the gospel in the New Testament. What are the 10 key components of this gospel?
First, outside of Christ we are dead. How often is this message diluted! Around us, according to Paul, are the walking dead! A spiritual zombie apocalypse is taking place on the streets and neighborhoods and cities and highways of our world every single day. We are dead spiritually without Christ.
Second, outside of Christ we are also under the control of the devil. Again, we tend to blur the starkness of this truth. But Paul is very clear: before someone becomes a Christian, they are following the ways of this world and of the “ruler of the kingdom of the air” or the devil. There is a very real spiritual control of those who are not yet rescued.
Third, outside of Christ we are also following our own selfish desires. When we were outside of Christ we were “gratifying the cravings of the flesh and following its desires and thoughts.” There is a search for and a gratification of mere selfish, sensual, immoral, idolatrous desires. Yet, as the song puts it, those who seek these desires are never satisfied—you “can’t get no satisfaction.”
Fourth, outside of Christ we are therefore under the wrath of God unto damnation. Once again, how stark is Paul’s teaching, and how rarely is it preached today. “Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
This is the situation. Christian, when you look outside of your window, when you take the train downtown, when you walk along the streets in the bright sunshine, remember. Remember that according to the Bible, we are walking alongside the living dead. Spiritually dead. And under the wrath of God. Does not your heart weep for the souls of the lost? Do you not long to see people be rescued? Does not your heart cry out to God in prayer to have mercy on a lost world all around you?
But then here comes the good news, the gospel.
Fifth, the gospel is rooted in the nature of God’s love. God is just—and therefore outside of Christ we are under his wrath. But he is also loving. And therefore there is a gospel. There is a rescue.
Sixth, the gospel is by the power of God to make us alive. When you become a Christian, you do not merely determine to try harder. You receive a new power. You become a new person. You are made alive! All this is by his grace, not by our works.
Seventh, the gospel also gives us a secure and certain future in heaven. We are raised “with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” We are in Christ as certain and sure of our place in heaven as Jesus is his. For when we become a Christian, we are in him and seated with him in heaven!
Eighth, the gospel has this purpose of saving us for God’s glory! God rescues us so that “in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his graces, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Heaven is not just a place where we meet other Christians; it is place where God lavishes on us the riches of his grace, demonstrating over and over again his glory and love to us in Christ!
Ninth, the gospel is received by faith. This faith, or commitment to God, is what saves us. It is not by works so that no one can boast. No one can say they saved themselves. It is all by grace, it is God’s doing, simply received by faith.
Tenth, the gospel gives us a purpose to live for. We are “God’s handiwork”; we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We now have something to live for!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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