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January 28, 2021 2:00 am
Four simple phrases describe the spiritual journey all believers take through this life on our way to heaven. In the message "You Were Dead...but God," Skip considers each phrase and evaluates how your life can be lived to the fullest potential.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
We were always dead on arrival soon as we were born into this world, we were dead, that is separated from God because of sin is an important thing to get another little heads believers are just sick.
Their dead, they lack the capacity to respond to stimuli. In this case virtual fibula so that's important because it shows us they don't need a self-help course that I need a personality adjustment.
They need salvation they needed divine. But God moment life without Christ, may seem like enough at times. Ultimately, there was no true hope and joy for the future, especially in the face of death.
Today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip talks about the reality of life without Christ and the joy of living your life with him. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you build your knowledge of who God is and inspire you to follow him more faithfully the best biographies make you feel like you personally and intimately know the person you read about from Mozart to Mother Teresa Sojourner Truth to Steve Jobs. It's exciting to learn the details of influential people, but one biography stands out above the rest. Biography of God hears the author skip.
I think there's nothing more elevating to mankind in the study of God himself. Discover the omnipotence paradox is an mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate new skip's new book is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer Ephesians chapter 2 escapades extorts today's talk you little bit about your growth, your spiritual journey path that were on and and some of the steps that you have taken in that journey. When we were babies we could move and life was very very primitive for us.
I know you can remember that far back. None of us can, but when you were born you were basically held and carried to different places you really couldn't do much you drooled and you kinda bobbled her head didn't have much strength in that, either for a while and you only focusing about as far as your eyes to your mother's face.
That's about all that you could focus on initially but then you grew then you got strengthen those neck muscles you are able to move a little bit better and your eyes were able to focus on objects further than your mother's face.
You could see down the hall and as soon as you saw those objects you wanted to get to them. You did so you are put on the floor and you managed to crawl your way over to them, but then you Growing and eventually you are able to stand up and you took your first step, which was an abysmal failure. By the way, because you fell down as soon as you took it but you got up again and he took another step in. Soon you were able to walk were making progress, and before long you were able to walk well you are able to run, then you were able to ride a bicycle and then several years later that once helpless creatures now behind the wheel of an automobile you had a drivers license and skies the limit.
That's normal development normal human development to go through different stages and phases and we applaud dad and we only get worried when that doesn't happen or if that is delayed so the first words you ever said will probably not much more than that, probable, or maybe something else but not much different than that. And as soon as you said that weird sound. Your parents were so excited that you are talking now you said a word. Nobody knows what that word is but you said it in your parents were excited now if you're if you were to say that word at age 25 to your parents. They would get greatly worried because they would expect much more development than just that single little monosyllabic that well. We also have spiritual growth and there are certain steps that every spiritual person ought to be taking toward maturity. I want you to consider that today I read something that that got my attention this week from the Barna research group you verbally quote them over the years. They study the lifestyles and beliefs of Christians in different eras of our history and the Barna research group noted that 9/10 adults in our country say that their faith is very important to them is ask a person how important is your faith. 9/10 say very important. So they surveyed those 9/10 and they surveyed them about how they would personally rate their own spiritual maturity and they noted that most consider themselves to be above average in several areas of spiritual maturity that really got my attention because it made me realize that we are living either where living in a country that has above average spiritual people or were not that great itself, evaluating maybe were a little too generous of how mature we really are. Today I'm gonna ask you to consider and evaluate your own spiritual journey were doing a series and this is the last study in this series called by God and over the last about 10 weeks we have noted God's ability to intercept a person's life and change their course is the whole premise behind the series but God that he has the power to radically change how a person is at a certain point, or for that matter, a nation at a certain point and change their future so we studied David and how he was hated by Saul and hunted by Saul, but God says would not permit Saul to hurt him. We looked at the life of Joseph mistreated by his brothers, misunderstood and ignored by fellow prisoners, but God had a different plan for his life. We look at the world how at the time before the flooded to become so corrupt that God was practically forced to judge the world in a flood, but God remembered Noah. We look to the nation of Israel through the lens of Nehemiah how that profit noted that Israel failed and because of their failure.
God allow them to go into captivity in Babylon. But God is merciful to forgive. We look to Jonah how Jonah ran from God ran from God's calling but God got his attention gave him a second chance and sent him to Nineveh we notice how Jacob came from a dysfunctional family member that but the God was able to function quite well in the midst of their dysfunction. We looked in Psalm 49 at death and how death is universal common to all mankind.
But God counteracts death with the promise of resurrection and we look last time at the future through the lens of Daniel how the future is uncertain to us but well known to God and God reveals certain parts of the future to us. But now, in Ephesians 2 we come to the last and the most personal of these studies because it's about your life and I could by looking at this chapter.
There are four words that describe your life, past, present and future forward, wondering waking watching working now.
There are many more steps, but time only allows us to look at these four major categories you were wondering from God, then the second is waking to God, then watching for God and in the meantime working with God.
Let's at least get familiar with the passage in Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in verse one.
Paul said in you. He has made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others but God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Those 10 versus are the panorama of our salvation. They tell us about our past, our present our future and the staffs of normal Christian development. I suppose if you want to give a title to Ephesians 2 verses one through 10.
You could call it from the graveyard to glory from the graveyard to glory or if you prefer, from death Valley to Graceland and I don't mean Elvis is Graceland but God's Graceland so verses one through three.
Explain what we are saved from verse four through 10. Explain what we are saved for now. One of the problems I face as a Bible expositor is I have the first 10 verses of Ephesians before me this morning which deserve about it.
8 to 10 week series in and of themselves that I could I could do and you're going yes we know you could but I only have the time to sort of just Skip over so many of the details and just glance at some of the highlights. So I want to do that.
I want to go through these phases with you the stages. These steps and levels of development and the first one is where you were before you met Jesus Christ you were wondering from God, wondering from God. He says in verse one, and you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, but watch this in once in which you once walked according to the course of this world. You are the walking dead. Essentially, Paul says we were DOA dead on arrival soon as we were born into this world, we were dead, that is separated from God because of sin. That's an important thing to get in our little heads unbelievers are just sick their dead, they lack the capacity to respond to stimuli. In this case spiritual stimuli. So that's important because it shows us they don't need a self-help course that I need a personality adjustment. They need salvation they needed divine.
But God moment in intervention. It means that you can put a person in school and the just come out a well educated center you can put a person in therapy and they'll come out a well-adjusted center but a person in church and the come out of religious center.
It's only when you put a person in Christ that they are a saved center now according to Paul the apostle and we don't have time to get into about in Romans five he said basically it all started with one guy's name is Adam and when Adam sinned, he immediately died and began another process of dying would be explain God said in the day that you eat of this fruit you will surely what.that's God's promise to soon as he took it and ate it. He died instantly. Spiritually he was separated from his creator. He began the process of physical death at the same time.
So in Romans five process through one man, that's Adam death entered and its spread so that all have sin, death entered sin and her death spread. This is why an unbeliever cannot understand spiritual things apart from God revealing it to waking him up they can do it. First Corinthians 1. The apostle said the natural man member. That phrase means who we are by nature when you are born, you were born a natural man, a natural woman. The natural man does not understand spiritual things are the things of the spirit.
They are foolishness under him. Neither can he know them, it's impossible for them to understand ex-wife and unbelievers.
As you know I read the Bible.
I don't get it. I don't understand that I can't understand your right you can't anymore than a corpse can understand something your dad you lack the capacity to receive and react to stimuli a corpse can't hear anything.
Can't see anything.
Can't feel anything. Can't react to anything. I've been in enough funeral situations at funeral homes arrived then by the casket and I've been with a friend or a relative of the love one of the credit talk about the level and they get kinda spooked middle think I should say that in front of him as if he can hear you.
He cannot. He's dead and a dead person can do nothing to improve their condition.
You can get less dead than somebody else. There's maybe different phases of corruption put 20 corpses on the battlefield there all the king at different rates but Anymore dead right. My mind goes back to Princess bride and and you know I'm going with this, where they go to miracle Max and my friend is that he's only mostly dead and everybody knows is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. God says you're all dead. That's why Jesus put it a very interesting way. He said you must be born again what it is that terminology because he understood the concept of being spiritually dead if your dad, you need a new birth, you must be born again. What causes this death while it's our nature is the sin nature. You are by nature the children of wrath are the children that incur the wrath of God's wrath, but look what it says you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, most of us know that sin Armani means to miss the mark I told you before that it's an archery term.
You can aim at the target. You can miss nine of them hit the last one right in the middle you fallen short, you're a sinner. It's a common word in the New Testament use 173 times you fall short. It's what you don't do. You don't make God's Margaret sent a trespass is a different a trespass is deliberate trespass means to cross a known boundary. It's a willful act of obedience or disobedience. So the first time Junior walks across your waxed floors out of ignorance at the sin he didn't know you told him so he will know the second time he does it.
That's a trespass because now he knows better, but he does it anyway. Or to put it in my own example I was a kid my parents took me to Disneyland.
It was shortly after it was originally built by Walt Disney one that big, but I was so enamored with what I was that I wandered off, I shouldn't go. When I wandered off or I shouldn't go. That was a sin. I did an ignorance but years later as a teenager and unsafe teenager. You need to know.
I climbed over the fence into Disneyland to get in by the Interstate 5 Freeway and managed to get into. It's a small world was caught on camera and apprehended by the police. That was a trespass. I knew better than I was being apprehended. While it is around then and I was a that was a trespass so he says you were dead in trespasses and sins, but verse to you once walked according to the course of this world. You are the walking dead person the world walked peripatetic so is the word used here in the Greek language means to order your behavior is what it means you walk, you live. You ordered your own behavior. You walked about her walk around, but one source suggests that it means to meander or to browse that it means to wander about loosely without a goal or purpose.
If you ever got into a store and bought something you really didn't need you to so I'll just lock your window shop right insert meander your killings as you walk in the store and you buy something.
How that happened. Call browsing you just browsing and you browse your way into buying something maybe some is that all that looks good on you or you need another one. Whatever was you came out with that think is your buzzing. Paul's point is your disorder browsing what the world had to offer up and down the shelves of the world without any goal or purpose you were meandering member what it says in the words of Isaiah the prophet, all we like sheep have what gone astray. That's the natural human proclivity or propensity to go astray, to wander and pulses, that's what you were like before you were saved.
That's what all unsafe people are like right now dead men walking wandering was a guy named Robert Robinson who named Jesus Christ at age 20, became a Methodist preacher and a songwriter you'll know his song.
This is back in the 1700s and he wrote a song come, thou fount of every blessing you know it to my heart to sing thy praise, but there's a line in it every time I sing it we go yet I know that to be true prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love that is the human nature even after were saved. We have that draw and that pole but that stage I wandering from God.
Stage II waking to God. Verse six. Here's our phrasing, but God love that. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Those two words or they are again this little phrase. One of the most significant eloquent inspiring transitions in all of holy Scripture. They appear 45 times we look to just 1045×2 little words three letters each so easy to say but so so significant and what happens after those words appear. James Montgomery boy said if we understand these two words but God they will save your soul, and Martyn Lloyd Jones noted these two words, in and of themselves contain the whole gospel of Christ. I would add to that and say these two words but God are part of the testimony of us all of all y'all. There are testimony you were sleeping the sleep of death until God woke you up. God woke you up. He made us alive together. We all have a moment like that.
We all have about God moment if you're a saved person. You have a moment. I don't.
I never got people say, well, I've always been a cup always walked with God I've never known a time without this. And there was some moment in your life or you realize I really need him. This has to be real and personal.
I'm in a make a decision to God is awoken to me to my need and that's about God moment for me it was that afternoon in San Jose that I told you about on a number of occasions when I was watching television in my brother's apartment and I swore I wasn't going to cave in and get saved. And I found myself at the end of our test frame to receive was my moment. My body God then Skip a message from the series but God's gift to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong connecting you and many others to the Lord, you know we all have a pass, a time when we tried to live life on our own terms. The good news is that when you hand your life over to Jesus.
He redeems her past gives you a future full of hope and joy.
We want to share that great news with more friends like you all around the world and you can be a part of that work to change lives. When you give a gift today to keep these messages from God's word going out you can help redirect someone's eternal future. Here's how to give, give us a call at 800-922-1888 to give a gift 800-922-1888 will get online connectwithskip.com/donate that's connected with skip.com/donate your support is vital to continue encouraging you and many others. With these messages so thank you for giving Janice.
Did you know there's a great biblical resource available right at your fingertips through your mobile device has several Bible reading plans available in the new version Bible dive deeper into several books of the Bible to gain new insight just suits Skip Heitzig significant version Bible and be sure to come back tomorrow Skip I think explains how you can live your life in Jesus. So Skip Heitzig presentation of connection communications to God's never changing truth