Well, good morning church family. If you have been joining us, we have been in the book of Ephesians and I want to invite you today. If you have access to God's word, either a physical copy or on your phone, why don't you find your way to Ephesians chapter two this morning, Ephesians chapter two, the series that we're going through is called and knew we, and, and in chapter two, we are going to talk about that newness.
And honestly, what I absolutely love is I've been studying Ephesians chapter two, as I've discovered that Ephesians chapter two is personal to me. And perhaps it's personal to you as well, because the reason I say it's personal is because Ephesians chapter two is my story. And perhaps it's your story as well?
I heard a pastor recently. He was, uh, he was new to his church and during one of the very first services, they played amazing grace. As a matter of fact, the pastor is the one that picked up a guitar and he started to sing amazing grace, by the way, I'm not about to do that. That would not be edifying to anyone in this room whatsoever.
But if you're familiar with that song and I don't want to assume that everyone is, but most of you are. Amazing. Grace goes this way. The first verse, it goes amazing. Grace, how sweet, the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost and now I'm found was blind, but now I see it's this death to life transformation.
And if you know anything about that, him or that hymn writer, John Newton is his name. He was a slave trader that lived during the 18th century. And John Newton was in fact, the wretch that he was talking about in the verse in the first verse, he was such a rich, he was a slave trader. He owned his own slave ship.
And as a matter of fact, he rebelled against God. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with him until the 10th of March of 1748. When John Newton found himself on the sea and his ship was going down and in desperation, he cried out to God for mercy on his life. And he would attest to the fact that he saw in the blink of an eye, his great need for God's mercy.
And he saw the wretch of a man that he was, and he would say of his own admission on the 10th of March, 1748. These words he said for on that day, the Lord came from on high. And delivered me out of deep waters. And what John Newton meant is not only was God rescuing him from the deep waters of the sea, but God was rescuing him from the deep waters, his saw in of his sin.
Amazing grace, how sweet, the sound that saves wretches like you and me. Well, we're going to look at Ephesians chapter two today verses one through 10. And I just want you to know that the amazing grace story that you have, this amazing grace and I didn't finish the story of the pastor that would play the guitar.
He would play a verse and he would ask his people. He would say, do you have an amazing grace story? And somebody would stand up and they would share actually thought about doing it today. Maybe we'll do it some other time, but just said, does anyone here have an amazing grace story? And they would stand up and they would share their amazing grace story.
What I want you to know as we look at this passage, as I've been chewing on it, and even thinking about Bethel and where we are now, I want you to know this, that, uh, the reason that we do what we do, even the reason that we're gathered here today. So that people might see and experience the amazing grace of Jesus.
That's why we do everything. That's why we pour ourselves out. Your staff pours themselves out day in and day out week in and week out is because we want to see people see and experience the grace, the amazing grace of Jesus. And I hope that you might see that today. Ephesians chapter two is our texts.
And really in the Greek, it's only two sentences verses one through seven. Paul, the, this, this glorious long long-winded pastor. I can't imagine somebody being like that. But anyways, uh, he goes on and on and on boasting about God's grace, as we're going to see here in a moment, but really where it begins is where we need to begin three trues.
If you're taking notes about how God brings life out of death, number one, Notice this, that, first of all, you and I were dead in our sins where Paul starts is where we need to start. And he starts by talking to us about our pre-Christian life. He talks about people that are outside of Christ, much like this group of people in Ephesus, they were outside of Christ.
They had a BC story, just like I did just like, perhaps you do, or you're living in right now before Christ's story. And here's how he begins in verse number one. Here's our before Christ story, he says, and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked two things. I want you to notice here, first of all, he says, and you, do you see you in the text?
If you don't see you in the text? Can I just say you should see yourself in this text because he's talking about people and again, writing to the Ephesians, he's talking about people that know Christ. But he's referring back to a time when they didn't know Christ. Every single person has a time where they didn't yet know Christ.
And so he says you a little bit later on, he's going to say we, and he's going to talk about the entire world, but everyone is seen here. But what I want you to see is I want you to see you. That's the first word that we see. I want you to take note of, but the second word is this. And you were verse number one dead.
You were dead. What's interesting about this word dead, is that it doesn't mean a little bit dead. It doesn't mean half dead. If anybody's seen the princess bride, you know where I'm going with this, it's not half dead or in somewhat dead. It's dead, dead. And he reminds the church in emphasis. He says you were dead.
Do you mean that? I had some life? No, you're like dead. Dead. That's your status? That's what you were. And so he talks about this deadness and he's going to talk about what dead things do, which is never good, but what he says first and foremost is that you were dead. The reason I would want to draw this to your attention is because he's going to talk about sin.
He talks about our trespasses and sin. And what he's telling us is that sin is not so much an action as it is a condition that we live within. Sin is an action, but it's not so much an action. First and foremost, it is the condition that we live in our condition is we are dead apart from Christ is what he's drawing our attention to.
And our bad actions are just symptoms of our dead condition. So for example, you remember when people just had the flu, like before the Rona, like you remember that like just the flu, if somebody were to have the flu. You would might say this, you don't, you don't have the flu because you're coughing and you're sneezing and you have a fever, right?
Those are symptoms of it. What happens is you have a fever and you have a cough and you have a sneeze because you have the flu. The same thing is true of us. We're not sinners because we sin. We sin because we're sinners. We are dead, like dead. Dead is what he's telling us. And because we're dead in our sins, there's absolutely nothing that we can do to revive ourselves a dead person.
Can't do anything to bring life to themselves. We are utterly hopeless and loss. There's nothing to do, and we're going to get to the, but God. And so if you're thinking, all right, church, and I was hoping to hear like a wonderful message. You've already said that I see myself here and I am dead. This is a terrible sermon.
Well, can I just tell you it gets so much worse. All right. So buckle up. He says, not only are we dead, but we're actually disobedient. We are disobedient than you might think. How can dead things be disobedient? Well, listen, if the zombie apocalyptic literature and shows that are so prevalent today have taught us anything.
It's that when dead things do things as if they are alive, it's always bad. Right. If something is dead and it comes back to life, run that that's, that's what our action is supposed to be. Cause it will eat you alive. And Paul would attest to the fact that zombie apocalyptic literature has it correct.
When dead things act as if they're alive, it stinks. It is not good. It will eat you up. And that's exactly what happens. He goes on and he describes our disobedient dead nature apart from Christ. So he says that we follow three things. First of all, he says that in our deadness, we follow the world. Notice the second part of verse number two, he says, we used to walk in this way following.
He says the course of this. World following the course of this world. So the term world, there is a term that Jesus first used. Jesus talked about how he loved the world, right? And he's not talking about the people of the world when Jesus would use the world where the world, as it's used here, he's talking about a set of ideas or a system of thinking ideologies that exist in our world that are contrary to God.
So when you think of world, think about a system of ideas or values or morals or practices, the social norms and what John Mark Comber who's a pastor in Portland says is that this term world it's the ideologies and social norms in our culture that are corrupted by the twin sins of rebellion against God and redefinition of good and evil.
Isn't that true. We live in a world that is largely reflecting a rebellious nature against God and, and redefining what is good and what is not good. We followed the ways of the world before we met Christ. Like I said, it gets worse. Number two, not only did we follow the world, but we followed Satan himself.
You're like, what? In the world? Like, I might be bad, but like Satan follower, that's what Paul says. Verse number two, then only did we follow the course of this world, but he said, we were following the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, that, that term Prince of the power of the air air.
We know that that is Satan. We know that the new Testament unpacks this idea and tells us that this world is Satan's domain. As a matter of fact, that term air that is used there, that ancient world thought that the airspace was this intermediary space between earth and heaven. So like anything above the soil and anything to the clouds that was Satan's domain.
Can I just ask you, where do you live? Do you believe above the soil and before the clouds we do right. So he's saying like he's kind of the ruler over that. And he has, he has authority though. It's limited. He has significant authority in that pocket of air, that pocket of space. It's a matter of fact, second Corinthians four, four tells us that it says in their case, it says the God of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
That Paul calls him the God of this world, of this particular space for this particular time. And what Paul is alluding to in Ephesians. Chapter two is this that when you and I joined in following the ways of the world, we also found a new boss. His name is Satan, and we have followed him. He's going to go on and say that we are sons of disobedience.
So we've become his sons or daughters, and his spirit begins to shape us. That's what he's talking about in Ephesians chapter two, it shapes us and it leads us. How does, how does that work its way out? Well, we need to know something about Satan and his rebellion. If we're to act like him and follow on his heels and be sons of his, what does that look like?
Well, Isaiah chapter 14 tells us perfectly what Satan was all about. Satan was all about Satan. It was all about himself. I want you to listen to the, I will statements in Isaiah 14. It says this. Beginning in verse 12. This is how you are fallen from heaven. Oh day star, son of Dawn that's Satan that's Lucifer himself.
How you are cut down to the ground. You who laid the nations, you said in your heart, notice this. I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high. I will sit on the Mount of assembly in the far reaches of the North. I will ascend above the Heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high it is high.
And when you and I, before we meet Christ, not only are we following the ways of the world, but we're following after the, I will of Satan himself, I'll do this and then I'll do this and I'll do this. And I will make myself exalted. But it gets worse, then only do we follow the world and we follow Satan.
But according to this text, we follow our sinful desires. Verse number three, it says that we walk in this way among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind our sinful desires of body and mind were governing us instead of the will of God. We are governed by our own bodies and our own minds.
So that. He's reminding the Ephesians. Remember when he used to say, well, I'm going to eat whatever I want and drink, whatever I want. I'm going to take it easy. I'm going to get angry. I'm going to have sex whenever I want, whatever that is. Our bodies are controlling. Our desires are controlling us or our mind.
Our mind says, make your own decision or do it your own way. And we simply obeyed whatever it was that our body and our mind told us to do. And so the world Satan in the flesh, each contributing without exclusion to the way that everyone lives apart from Christ. And he's reminding the Ephesians. Remember what once governed, you think in one way, he's saying, remember that these things govern you no longer the world and Satan and sinful desires, you are now different, but here's the worst news I saved the worst for last.
Ephesians two chapter three, the second part he says, and here's the conclusion you were by nature. Children of not God, but children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. He just says, everybody is in this boat. Everyone is a child of wrath. Apart from Christ, separated from him, just like everyone else. Our spiritual status could not be more tragic as what Ephesians three is telling us to three is telling us.
It's a matter of fact, it's so tragic that if you get to the end of verse three, one through three kind of picture of who people are than Hebrews 10 31, just lands with just like this helpless gong, Hebrews 10 31 says this. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living. God. And it is if all that you know, in life is Ephesians two, one through three.
It absolutely is. You know, I grew up not going to church. Like many of you perhaps did my life. Life was governed. And I lived within this space of Ephesians two, one through three. I remember the very first time that I had an experience in church. Uh, my grandmother attended a church. I think it was a Methodist church.
And she had invited me to go one Sunday to her church. I was an elementary age student. And she dropped me off at her Sundays at a Sunday school class. And, uh, and she went into the auditorium there. And all I remember is that, uh, the Sunday school teacher was dragging me out of the classroom and she was trying to find my grandmother in the auditorium.
And she took me to my grandmother and she said, this young man can never come back to my Sunday school class. And so I sit down and she's like, Jason, what did you do? And I'm like, I don't know. I told her, I told her a joke, told her the only jokes that I knew that my grandpa had told me. And by the way, it was a dirty joke.
I was like in third grade and I had no idea. You guys want to hear it? No, I'm just kidding.
Cause you're sinners. Right. And you, you want to hear it now? I'll tell you later. Okay. But.
It's just interesting. I mean, it's, I had no concept of don't do this in church. It was just all of my life. It's really interesting to me that I sit on a stage and I get to open up God's word and teach to you. When my first church experience was, uh, a church leader saying there's no space for people like that here, perhaps that's been your experience in church, and I hope that it's not here.
I tell you that story because it was a microcosm of really my entire growing up years. I, I just, I didn't know anything other than the ways of the world. I wouldn't have said that I was a follower of Satan to say the least, but my goodness, it was all about I and me and my no doubt about it. I was a son of disobedience.
That's all that I knew. And so in my growing up years and really having a difficult time in my teenage years, I looked everywhere, high and low in anything to give me the time and the energy and the affection to fill this hole that I had in my heart and in my life. And I tried to fill it with absolutely everything, every single thing.
But I was living, I was a microcosm of Ephesians two, one through three. That was my life, perhaps. That was you as well. We know it was for folks in FSA. Yes. That's my story as well. And what's crazy is that story played out in my life, led to an incredible tragedy. As, as it played out in my life, what ended up happening is I was, I was living as a college student during my sophomore year of college.
I had moved in with a group of guys. Uh, if you've seen the movie animal house, there you go. If you haven't seen the movie animal house, kids don't ever, ever, ever, ever watch that movie. But I was living in a kind of a fraternity style house with five guys. There's actually a six guy that lived in my closet from time to time.
So maybe it was five. Maybe it was six. But this is a party house we're here two or three blocks off of a major college campus. There was always alcohol drugs, parties, fights, like all of these things. You get all of this age group together with all of those different things and you start together and you get nothing but chaos.
And one of these chaotic nights, there was a fight just like there was always a fight, but this fight was more significant. It was two guys attacking. One guy were able to pull them apart. We pushed them out of the house and told them to go home and go their separate ways. And the one guy that was by himself instead of leaving, he went and got something out from underneath the car seat, in his car.
Pulled it out, put it behind this back and went charging at these two guys that were still trying to fight him. I thought it was a gun. I was the only one that was standing outside at the time. And so I was waiting to hear a gunshot and it wasn't a gun. It was a knife that he had gotten from underneath this car.
And what I realized is as he ran to his car and sped off that the two guys that were friends of mine, they had been stabbed significantly. They're laying in the street. I frantically called nine one one and. Got the cops or they got the ambulance to come and to make a long story short. Both of those men suffered significant injuries.
One of them, his name's Chris, uh, his, his left arm had to be amputated because it had been so severe. And 10 days later, he died.
As I attended his funeral. Only the second funeral that I'd ever been to. I was looking at somebody laying a casket. There was a peer of mine. And the reason that he was where he was is because of Ephesians two, one through three, it was true of fam. It's what he had only. It's what he had known. And it's what he had lived to his dying breath.
And I was, I was terrified because it was my life as well. And I was just staring at him in the casket going, why is he there? And I'm here. And if the roles were reversed, if it was me, it could have been any given day that I was the guy in the fight. If the roles were reversed, where would I be right now?
Where is he right now? And if Ephesians two, one through three is true. And if it would have been me apart from any kind of relationship with Christ,
I would have fallen into the hands of a living God.
So friends, I want this to land on you in a fresh way today, because when you read two, one through three, it is tragic, but let verse four land on you today because if it ended there, it would absolutely be tragic. But there is a verse four. And I want you to read just these two words. These two words, John Stott called them the greatest two syllables ever spoken in the English language, verse four, but God friends, if you're living Ephesians two, one through three, can I just tell you, but God.
We were helpless. We were hopeless, but hope was on its way in the form of Jesus. You were dead in your sins, but truth number two. Here's what it tells us. But God made you alive. God made you alive. Ephesians two, four, and five says this, but God. Being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he had loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
It was God's love that put together God's salvation plan. It was because of his great love that he came after you. And he came after me and he came after John Newton and all of these other folks throughout history, the church and emphasis it wasn't because they were lovely that God loves them. I just described who they were.
God came and he sent his son on a search and rescue mission for people that were dead. But not only were they dead. They were the walking, dead doing disobedient things. And God looked down from heaven and said them. I choose them. How incredible is that? And here's what he says about how, how God is described here.
I want you to miss this in verses four and five. It says that he is rich in mercy, that he has great love that even when we were dead in our trespasses, he made us alive. It is as rich mercy. It's as great love. Uh, if you skip down to verse number seven, it talks about the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness towards us that he's, that he's lavished upon us, this grace, this gift that he's given to us, we didn't deserve it.
So pick up my story. It's Friday, December 5th, 1997. And I'm getting ready to leave that funeral. And I am a mess. I mean, the reality of the truth and these first three verses is it came crashing down on me and I am at a point of absolute desperation. And in that moment, as I'm getting ready to leave that funeral, a girl who had invited me to church in high school, who was at that same party that I hadn't seen in almost a year, It says, would you please do me a favor and come with me to church on Sunday?
There's a church that I had been to. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with this church. Her family was a part of the church. It was this kind of Backwoods Baptist church. And I was like, man, I don't want anything to do with that. But listen friends. I was so desperate. I would even do church. But that's how desperate I was.
Like those crazy people that stand up and sing things and cry about Jesus. I was like, I, yeah, I was so desperate, but God was working in my life. And so for whatever reason, for lots of reasons that I now see, but for whatever reason, I picked up the only clothes that I could find. And I, and I went that Sunday, December 7th.
1997 to that church. And as I walked in, the people were so gracious and kind this story, which had now become a murder, was all over our small towns, newspapers, and my picture. And my name was all over the place connected to it. So I showed up that church and these people were so gracious and kind, and I didn't understand why they're being so nice.
Remember my first encounter with the church and this new encounter with the church, it was, they were so kind. I sat in the back row of the church. And it's one of those churches where they open up the hymnal and the choir director calls out. Everybody turned to page four 68, and everybody goes, Oh man, I love four 68.
Cause they have the memorized. It, I didn't realize is that four 68 was this song called amazing grace. It was the only song that I knew. So the entire congregation set up and. The guy struck up the band and they sang amazing grace, how sweet, the sound that saved a what's the next word wretch. And they sang that word wretch, and I can't describe all that was going on, but when they sang that word out loud, the word wretch just fell on me.
I mean, it just about crippled me. Everyone was standing. I sat down in my Pew. And I just began to weep. And for the next hour of a service, I wept out loud uncontrollably through that entire service, because I was wrestling with the fact and the realization that I was an Ephesians two, one through three wretch.
And I don't know what time during the service, but I began to hear. But God Jason, but God who in his rich mercy and his tremendous love he is coming for you. And he wants to pour that out on you. You are a sinner, but the good news is, is that there is a savior.
And so in a very. I would say non churchy way. I remember praying this prayer and I was just struck by the fact that Jesus was a savior and I was a sinner. And I just, I remember praying this prayer, save me whatever that means. If I know that you're a savior and I'm a sinner, can we make a deal? But can we work something out God?
And guess what? We worked something out. December 7th, a date that will live in infamy for many people is my spiritual birthday. It's my amazing grace story. And what happened in me is what Paul says happens to everyone who has an amazing grace, but God's story first, number five, it says, but God, he made us alive together with Christ.
That he took these dead things and he gave them life. We were made alive together with Christ. That word with that's used, there is very significant. It's the word sync. It's actually the Greek word sin. That's the prefix there, but we get our words, sync, which our prayer sync we've talked about. He's saying that what happened to Christ has happened to you?
You are synced up when I sync my phone to my computer, they're in sync. What he says is as if God is your story, then you've been synced up with Christ in three ways. Number one, you've been made alive with him. Number two, verse number six, you have been raised up with him. See you've been made alive. And what that looked like is it's obviously alluding to the, to the resurrection.
It's saying that somehow some way, which I don't understand it all, but 2000 years ago, when Jesus stood up out of the tomb, you stood up with him. That you are now alive and not just half alive or some alive, you are fully alive because of Christ, but it gets even better. Verse number six, the second part it says, but God raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ.
Jesus. That is if Christ is your life and he's raised you up, made you alive, that you are now seated with him in the heavenly places, notice that all of these are past tense. These are things that are already done. You're not being made alive. You are alive right now. You are raised with Christ right now, you are seated with Christ in the heavenly places right now, just as sure as you are right now, sitting in this auditorium in Richland, Richland Washington, you are just as equally seated in heaven right now.
Wow, that's crazy. And then he says this verse seven, so that. In the, in the, in the coming ages, he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ. Jesus. What he's saying here is that the reason that God showed us such grace is that in the coming ages, he's going to have a trophy case of grace and your story's going to be behind glass in it.
I'm taking some creative liberties here, but you understand what I'm saying? Like in the coming age he's done this so that grace might be displayed and God might be glorified. That's one of the reasons that he rescued you. You friends, if you have an amazing grace story, you are a trophy of God's grace and trophies are meant to be displayed.
When I encountered Christ and gave my life to him on December 7th, my life took a radical shift. I mean, so radical that the people that knew me in a lot of ways, didn't even recognize me as I progressed. And as, as I grew in my understanding of scripture and my knowledge of Christ, God began to change things in me so much so that as you know, God called me to ministry years down the road. Because I have such a passion to see people see and experience. God's amazing grace through Christ.
Well, a couple of years later after this quite a few years after this, I got a call from my mother-in-law. We are living this, this all happened in Ohio. We're living in another state. I don't remember where we were living at the time. And I got a call from my mother-in-law and just so you know, I love my mother-in-law, but we don't talk on the phone.
Okay. I would, but she doesn't call me this time. She called me and she said, Jason, You have to, I have to tell you a story. Okay. All right. What's going on? And she said, do you remember the house? Like the house? That's how we refer to it. Like the house where all this stuff went down. And as I, yes, Paula, I remember the house.
As a matter of fact, I remember it so much that I had not for years. I would not even drive past that when we would go home. I just couldn't see it. I was repulsed by it. And she goes, yeah, the house, she goes, I'm calling to tell you for the last several months, I didn't tell you this, but somebody has been renovating the house.
I was like, Oh, okay. I wonder who's going to live there now. And she goes, no, no, they're renovating it. And they, I just came, I just drove past it and they put a sign out front. It's actually becoming a business. I said, okay. W what do you mean is becoming a business who's going in there? And she said, no, you don't understand.
They're renovating it. It's becoming a business. Listen to me, they're turning it into a Christian bookstore.
I'm like, what are you talking about? That house is being completely transformed to be used for God's purposes. What a picture. Of the trophy of grace that my life had been as matter of fact, the very first time that I would go back to that house was years after it was renovated. The next time that I would walk through the doors of that house was when I was a youth pastor.
And I took a group of our senior leaders with me to go to the house. I told them this story, and I said, what'd you guys go with me? And we went. I walked through the door. And if you can even imagine I walk into this house where we had bands play in the living room and we had all kinds of just use your imagination all over the place.
And I opened up the door and there are books by John Piper, right. And, and, and study Bibles, like filling my old living room. And I'm like, what is this? And I couldn't wait. I had to go upstairs and go to my old bedroom and I kid you not. I walk up the stairs and I open up my old, the, that I go into the door of my old bedroom and it is the youth ministry section.
And I'm just going, are you kidding me? God has taken my life and made it a trophy of his grace. And then he continues to work through my story and through my life. And he is just after these trophies of grace all over the place. I just want to remind you that you are a trophy of God's grace and he's still working.
You were dead in your sins, but God made you alive in Christ. So that truth number three, and we're done. So that you might live for him. He sums up really how it is that we can become an amazing grace story in verse eight and nine. He teases it out in verse five, where he says by grace you've been saved and then he elaborates on it in verses eight and nine.
He says this 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 here's what you need to know. First of all, our salvation is grace alone, right? It is God's grace that he met me in my time of need that he met you in your time of need.
It is a gift from him. It is God's grace. You don't earn a gift, right. You only receive a gift. And so therefore, I just want you to understand if you have received God's grace, it is all him. It has nothing to do with you. The reason I want to emphasize that is because there should, there should be no such thing as an arrogant Christian, we don't walk around strutting our stuff because we're saved or because we know Christ, we should be the most humble people in the world. Introducing people to the gift. Grace that is Christ.
The instrument of our salvation, he tells us is faith. Faith is this instrument verse number eight, by which we, we are able to cling to Christ and all of it is a gift. They don't have time to go into it, but both grace and faith are a gift is what he talks about there in the end of verse number eight, it is the gift of God.
Meaning it. The whole summation of salvation is God's gift. For us. And then verse nine, he says, it's not a result of works. Just to be clear, you did nothing to earn it so that therefore no one may boast. And then he says this verse number 10 and we're done. He says for, we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Now, just after he's got done saying that, uh, we're not saved by works. Paul doesn't want to leave it there. And he says, no, like you're not saved by works, but your faith does in fact work, right. That if you have been struck by grace, if you have been able to cling to Christ through faith, that there is work to be done, if you've been transformed by that.
Know, I, I hate being late to different places. I hate being late so much that I might come up with an excuse as to why I'm late to certain places. Can you imagine if I came in here late and Druid finished the song and they're like, does anybody know where Jason is? And I come running in here long-winded and I get up on the stage and I go, Oh man, I'm so sorry guys.
I was driving in from Prosser and coming through that dip in Benton city and men and 18 Wheeler just came over and just smacked me. I car flipped 10 times through threw me in a ditch and I just had to, I had to run the rest of the way. I apologize, guys. I'm late. You guys would look at me on this stage and say you stinking liar.
There is no way you don't get hit by an 18 Wheeler and flip your car 10 times and end up being out of breath. Listen, you don't come into contact with God's grace in the person of Christ and walk away and not look different. How much bigger is God than an 18 Wheeler and how much bigger is God's grace than a spin in a car.
It really transforms us. That's why he started out. If you're a member in verse number one and two, he says you were dead in your trespasses and sin and used to walk in a certain way. And then the last part of verse number 10, he says, God has good things for you to do. Not to get saved, but because you're saved and he wants you the end of verse 10, he wants us to walk in them.
We are going to walk differently because of Christ. And so I just want to ask you friends, are you walking differently? That's one of the litmus tests that tells you that you have an amazing grace God in an amazing grace story. Do you have an amazing grace story? If you don't have an amazing grace story, if you are living in Ephesians two, one through three life today, I want to invite you to step into your amazing grace story.
I don't know why December 7th, 1997 was the day for me. And I don't know why today perhaps is the day for you. But what I do know is that you could even pray a more eloquent prayer than I did that day. But all you have to do is surrender your life to Christ, to acknowledge your need for him, and then ask, can we make a deal?
I see that I am the wretch. I am a sinner and you are a savior. And I come to you by faith. I'm gonna ask you to pray with me. Would you guys pray with me? I'm just going to ask if you're here this morning and that that's where you are your teeth, you sing after the things of the world you're chasing after your own desires, the story of your life as I and me and mine.
And you're just fed up with it. You are looking for satisfaction and you have not been able to find it in this world, perhaps today is the day of your salvation. It's the day where. You acknowledge you are a wretch that needs to be saved. So if that's you in the simple and yet significant time that we have in this moment, would you just acknowledge to God this, you can do this in the stillness of this moment in your heart.
Just say, God, I, first of all, I just want to admit that I need you, that I have gone my own way. And I need you in my life. And I pray, God, save me the rich that I am. I need your mercy and your grace in my life. And by faith, I reach out to Jesus and not understanding all of it, but somehow some way I just, by faith, believe that what Jesus one for me on a cross 2000 years ago, it counted for me.
If you've prayed that prayer. I just want you to know that God's drawing you to himself. We would love to talk with you about what that means. Those of you that are here and amazing. Grace is your story. Can I just pray for you? Can I pray for us collectively as a body of Christ? That all have within us, this amazing grace story.
And God, I just pray today. As Paul reminded the Ephesians that you would remind us what our lives were like before we met Jesus.
And for those, some of us that have forgotten the riches that we were God, would you remind us, but not keep it there. Would you help us to live in light of our rescue? Live in a completely different way. Live as people that have been made alive that have been resurrected that are seated in heaven with Christ right now, and may the works, the fruit of our life.
Be a direct result of the head-on collision that we had with your grace. God, continue to transform us. And Lord, I pray for my brothers and sisters here that need to have the joy of their salvation renewed. Would you renew it today? Ask in Jesus name. Amen