sprout_in_dirt_squareThis Week’s Sermon: “…But God”–Ephesians 2:1-10 (Jeremy Thomas)

This Week’s Scripture Memory: 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 towards us in Christ Jesus.”–Ephesians 2:4-7

Next Week’s Sermon: Ephesians 2:11-22 (Jeremy Thomas)

Next Week’s Scripture Memory: “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”–Ephesians 2:18

Devotional/Reflection: Perhaps the most amazing thing about God’s adoption of us into his family (Eph 1:3-14) is where we were before we were adopted. I absolutely believe that passages like Ephesians 1 and others are a strong biblical example whereby we, too, are called to consider adopting children, but typically we are adopting orphans, those without a family. What Ephesians 2 makes clear is that we were not orphans; we had a family; we were sons of disobedience and our father was the Devil (2:1-3). What a sobering thought! We were not only not natural members of God’s family, but we belonged willingly to the family of the Enemy. Moreover, we did not first change our ways and clean up our act and renounce our former father to make God want us. No, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8); or, as Ephesians 2 puts it, “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 towards us in Christ Jesus” (2:4-7). Paul calls this love a great love, and I would certainly agree. It’s perhaps even an understatement. A great love cannot even begin to express the love of a holy God for wicked people who were living in constant rebellion against Him. It’s gracious, merciful, astounding, amazing, unending, never-failing, always abounding LOVE! John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Ephesians 2 says, in effect, greater love has no one than this, that the Father would send His Son to lay down His life for His enemies that He might make them friends and brothers! Not surprisingly, this is also a pretty good definition of grace–the grace that saves us by faith.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you know that God loves you with a great love? Do you ever doubt this? Why?
  2. What part of the gospel do you struggle with the most–that you need a savior or that God loves you?
  3. In light of being a part of a new family, how should our lives reflect our new family? How do we need to change to look more like our new Father and less like our former father, the Devil?
  4. In what ways do you struggle with “…but I” rather than “…but God”?

Additional Resources: