THE SCARLET PATH

   

                                  "THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION"


                                                  EPHESIANS 2:11 - 22


INTRODUCTION:

          THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS GIVES THE BELIEVER A RIGHT PERSPECTIVE ABOUT WHAT AND WHERE HE WAS, WHAT THE LORD DID FOR HIM OR HER; AND WHAT THE LORD IS GOING TO DO FOR THEM.


     THE BOOK HAS A TWO-FOLD DIVISION:


     1.  CHAPTERS 1-3 SPEAK OF THE 'POSITIONAL' ASPECT OF OUR SALVATION.

          AS WE STUDY IN THESE CHAPTERS, WE SEE PROGRESSIVELY WHAT THE LORD DID FOR US.  SALVATION US OF THE LORD, BUT IT ALWAYS IS FOLLOWED BY A CHANGE IN LIFE AND GOOD WORKS.


     2.  CHAPTERS 4-6 SPEAK OF THE 'PRACTICAL' ASPECTS OF OUR SALVATION.

          PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COUPLED WITH DIVINE ENABLEMENT, BRINGS ABOUT PERSONAL CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY.


          WE, AS BELIEVERS, OFTEN TEND TO GET CAUGHT UP  IN OUR DAILY LIVES AND FORGET JUST WHO AND WHAT WE ARE.

          WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, BOTH TO BE VISIBLE AND GUIDING TO THE UNSAVED.

          WE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH.  WE ARE TO MAKE SALVATION BOTH PALATABLE AND DESIROUS TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT SAVED.

          WE ARE PRECIOUS CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN MADE NIGH THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.


          WE ARE CHANGED AND ARE TO SHOW FORTH GOOD WORKS THAT BRING GLORY TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, VERSE 10.


          1. A NEW CONTROL - "WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP"

           2. A NEW CONDUCT - "UNTO GOOD WORKS"

           3. A NEW COURSE - "THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM"                                                                                                                                                                              A. THE HOLY SPIRIT SETS FORTH THREE THINGS IN THE VERSES FOLLOWING

VERSE 10:

          1. OUR  NOT SO ILLUSTRIOUS PAST -- LEST WE THINK MORE HIGHLY OF OUR SELVES THAN WE OUGHT TO THINK.

           2. OUR UNDESERVED BUT WONDERFUL PRESENT -- TO PROMOTE THANKFULNESS TO THE ONE WHO DID IT ALL.           3. OUR GLORIOUS FUTURE PROSPECT -- TO GIVE US A  BLESSED HOPE IN OUR HEAVENLY HOME..


          B. THESE VERSES DO TWO THINGS:

          THEY DESCRIBE THE WONDERFUL CHANGE IN BOTH ACCEPTANCE AND DESTINATION IN CHRIST AND ALSO PROVOKE THANKSGIVING IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE REDEEMED AND RECONCILED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.

          IF WE ARE MINDFUL IN THESE THINGS, WE WILL BE BOTH WHAT WE SHOULD BE AND ALL THAT WE CAN BE FOR GOD.

          THEN AND ONLY THEN ARE WE USABLE AND FRUITFUL.


          1.  REMEMBER YOUR PAST -- VERSES 11-12

          THE PROBLEM: WHO, WHERE, AND WHAT YOU WHERE.


     A.  GENTILES IN THE FLESH -- "GENTILE DOGS"

          THE WORD "GENTILE" MEANS A HEATHEN PEOPLE. NOT EVEN WORTHY OF THE CRUMBS THAT FALL FROM THE RICH MAN'S TABLE.


          WE WERE NOBODIES SPIRITUALLY WHO WERE GRAFTED IN AS BRANCHES FROM A "WILD OLIVE TREE".


     B.  ALIENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL.

          OUTSIDERS WHO DO NOT BELONG -- NOT A PART OF THE BLESSED NATION OF ISRAEL.


          "BRITISH ISRAELISM" IS A HERETICAL DOCTRINE THAT WAS ADHERED TO AND TAUGHT BY HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG OF THE WORLD WIDE CHURCH OF GOD.

          IT TAUGHT THAT THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN EUROPE AND ESPECIALLY THE BRITISH ISLES WERE DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF THE TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL.


          WE GENTILES ARE NEITHER JEWS PHYSICALLY OR SPIRITUALLY.


     C.  STRANGERS FROM THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE.

          NOT ONE OF THE PROMISES LEFT TO ISRAEL, THE PEOPLE OF GOD, APPLY TO YOU AND ME. WE WERE A NOTHING PEOPLE GOING NOWHERE.


     D.  HOPELESSLY AND HELPLESSLY LOST.

          HAVING NO HOPE IN EITHER THIS WORLD OR THE WORLD TO COME. DRIFTING AIMLESSLY TOWARD THE GRAVE AND HELL.

          WE, (PROBABLY NONE), WOULD DARE WRITE OUR HISTORY BEFORE WE COME TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.


          2.   REALIZE YOUR PRESENT  - VERSES 13-18

               THE PROPITIATION: WHAT THE LORD DID FOR YOU.


     A.  MADE NIGH BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST - VERSE 13 - "MADE RIGHT".


TITUS 3:5 "NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST."


          BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD WE WOULD ALL STILL BE IN THE SAME WRETCHED CONDITION AS THE UNBELIEVER IN THE WORLD TODAY.

          WE ARE NOT SAVED BECAUSE WE DO NOT DO THE THINGS WE USED TO DO, BUT ARE SAVED "ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY".

          WE WHERE NOT DREW NIGH, BUT MADE NIGH, BEING MADE NIGH IS AN ACT OF GOD THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.

          SALVATION COMES BY TRUSTING IN HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY.


     B.  MADE PEACE BY THE BODY OF CHRIST - VERSE 15 - "HAVING ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH THE ENMITY,"


HEBREWS 10:19-20, (19) "HAVING THEREFORE, BOLDNESS TO ENTER INTO THE HOLIEST BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS,"

(20) "BY A NEW AND LIVING WAY, WHICH HE HATH CONSECRATED FOR US, THROUGH THE VEIL, THAT IS TO SAY, HIS FLESH;"


          WE HAVE DIRECT ACCESS INTO THE VERY HOLY PLACE OF GOD BY MEANS OF "THE BLOOD OF JESUS" TAKEN WITHIN THE VAIL BY OUR PRIEST, JESUS HIMSELF.

          CHRIST'S SACRIFICIAL DEATH REMOVED THE BARRIER OF THE VEIL, MAKING ACCESS POSSIBLE.


MARK 15:38 "AND THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE WAS RENT IN TWAIN FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM."


          JESUS HAD PAID THE PENALTY OF SIN, AND THUS THERE WAS NO LONGER A BARRIER BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.


     C. MADE ACCESSIBLE THE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD BY THE HOLY SPIRIT -- VERSE 18


VERSE 18 "FOR THROUGH HIM WE BOTH HAVE ACCESS BY ONE SPIRIT UNTO THE FATHER."


          A CONTINUOUS, COMMON, AND UNHINDERED APPROACH TO GOD.

          THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALL BELIEVERS CAN; "COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE", HEBREWS 4:15. OUR ACCESS TO THE FATHER IS THROUGH THE SON AND BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.


ROMANS 5:1-2, (1) "THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST:"

(2) "BY WHOM ALSO WE HAVE ACCESS BY FAITH INTO THIS GRACE WHEREIN  WE STAND, AND REJOICE IN HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD."


          THIS IS NOT A FEELING OF PEACE BUT A STATE OF PEACE.

          BETWEEN THE SINNER AND GOD EXISTS A STATE OF ENMITY, HOSTILITY AND ANTAGONISM.  SINNERS ARE THE ENEMIES OF GOD, JAMES 4:4.


          THEREFORE, HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE A PEACE TREATY WITH GOD THROUGH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

          TO THE BELIEVER, THERE IS ACCESS TO GOD BECAUSE JESUS HAS JUSTIFIED US.


          JESUS CHRIST PROVIDES IMMEDIATE AND CONSISTENT ACCESS TO GOD FOR ALL THOSE WHOM GOD HAS DECLARED AND TREATS AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

          THANK GOD FOR HIS GREAT LOVE THAT BROUGHT ABOUT ABOUT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.


     D.  MADE A PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY -- VERSES 19-22 -- FELLOWCITIZENS WITH THE SAINTS, AND OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD."

          HAVING BEEN BORN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD, WITH CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN, PHILIPPIANS 3:20.


1ST CORINTHIANS 12:12-14, (12) "FOR AS THE BODY IS ONE, AND HATH MANY MEMBERS, AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THAT ONE BODY, BEING MANY, ARE ONE BODY; SO ALSO IS CHRIST."

(13) "FOR BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY; WHETHER WE BE JEW OR GENTILE, WHETHER WE BE BOND OR FREE; AND HAVE BEEN ALL MADE TO DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT."

(14) "FOR THE BODY IS NOT ONE MEMBER, BUT MANY."


          THE CHURCH IS VIEWED AS AN ORGANISM.  WHILE THERE ARE MANY MEMBERS, THERE IS ONLY ONE BODY.

          "SO ALSO IS CHRIST" THAT IS, THE BODY OF CHRIST, WHICH IS THE CHURCH.


          "BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY" THAT IS, THIS BAPTISM IS COMMON TO ALL BELIEVERS.  BELIEVERS DO NOT TARRY OR PRAY FOR THIS BAPTISM; IT OCCURS AT THE MOMENT OF REGENERATION (SALVATION).


          THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO DWELL IN THE HEART AND LIFE OF EVERY BELIEVER.

          WE WERE ALL MADE "FAMILY" THROUGH THE NEW BIRTH AND ONE DAY WE WILL BE CALLED HOME AT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH TO LIVE WITH JESUS IN HEAVEN FOREVER.


          AMEN!