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Ephesians 2:1-10 - Making the Grade

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we ALL once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were BY NATURE children of wrath, LIKE THE REST of mankind.

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, …

Psalm 63 – Down but not out!

ALL of us - at one time or another - have felt the emotions in this Psalm.

ALL OF US understand - or at least - THINK we understand, both the love and the pain behind David’s words.

The Bible says...

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the …

Ephesians 4:17-24 - In it, not OF it, p. 2

Last week, we considered Paul’s message to the believer’s at Ephesus, in which he paints a vivid contrast between those who are Christians and those who are not.

From a biblical perspective - the contrast between the two couldn’t be MORE stark. One is ALIVE - the other is DEAD.  You can’t get any more different than THAT.

The problem - though - isn’t with the Bible’s definition of a Christian. It is with OURS… with people who would rather define a child of God by a faulty standard - where we overlook glaring inconsistencies because we like them or it helps us feel better.

SOMETIMES, in our attempts to be inclusive, we unintentionally lower the standard GOD has established for His people.

And my FEAR is, our attempts to make Christianity more accommodating have actually turned Christianity into something else altogether.

Paul’s challenge to the church of today is the same as it was in AD 66. True believers are called to be fundamentally different from those who do not know Christ. God …

Ephesians 4:17-24 In it, not of it

The video of this message can be found here:  https://youtu.be/pmgSBomPCnw
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them,due to their hardness of heart.  19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the NEW self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. These are confusing times - - - Would you agree? It reminds me of the man who suffered a head injury at work. The blow was so sever…