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Remember, Remember (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2022 4:00 am

Remember, Remember (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 29, 2022 4:00 am

Scripture teaches that before you believe in Christ, you’re without God, without hope, enslaved to sin, and spiritually dead. Find out why it’s important to remember your preconverted life, even if it’s painful. Listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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With the Bible teaches is true about all of us before we became followers of Jesus.

We were without God, without hope, enslaved to sin, spiritually dead. Those seem like the kind of things we prefer to put behind us and forget about once we become Christians.

But today unTruth for Life.

Alastair Beck explains why it's so important for us to remember those details is teaching today from Ephesians chapter 2 refocusing on verses 11 and 12, the court of the Gentiles were separate in the temple precincts from the Jewish people's place and a big sign said you enter beyond this on panel of that if you proceed where you have no access, you will die get out and that was a distinguishing feature of life. Now these Jewish people and these Gentile people are sitting together breaking bread together and calling each other brother and sister so church that community of God's people was clearly not about attending services or signing up or fulfilling Judy's. It was about the fact that they had been made a new creation.

You see, the Jewish people then began to rely on the mark of circumcision as what it was all about Jesus the son is not what is all about what that's enough on that. That's the first thing that we need the first line of approach we need to realize that the division that is addressing here is a real division is a significant division and they were calling each other names do Gentile now. Secondly, notice the condition of the unconverted Gentile. What is the condition of the unconverted Gentile while he starts verse 12. Again, remember number one separated from Christ separated from Christ when you read the opening of the gospel is particularly look. Remember, for example, Simeon, who was waiting for the consolation of Israel is an interesting phrase is not the sort of Max by Anna who was in the temple day and night and she was waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem interesting phrases or what you looking for what you while being there is a Messiah who is coming. There is a Christ, who is coming. I'm here waiting for them and then the amazing moment when Simeon takes the child Jesus in his arms and he says, Lord, you can let your servant depart in peace for my eyes have now seen the salvation Paul when he is up charge before the Roman authorities why the Jews who were antagonistic towards him, who were saying this man has opposed our Judaism. This man is disrupted everything.

He then says to Hephaestus into Agrippa.

Listen, that's not true.

The reason I am up here on a charge is because the things that I have been saying are directly related to quotes the whole of Israel and what is that hope of Israel it is that the Messiah who will come is the very Messiah of God and that was a Jewish expectation but it wasn't a Gentile expectation was a Gentile hope remembrances you were separated from Christ, you anonymous you are looking for any of that. Not secondly, were alienated from the Commonwealth of this will.

They neither had the badge of the covenant, nor do they enjoy the blessings of the covenant because those blessings were blessings of belonging and they didn't belong you to belong in here. You had no part in this separate alienated. Thirdly, and he just really builds on this does make strangers to the covenants of promise, in other words, they had no knowledge of and no right to the promises that God had made to his people. I will make you a people.

I will bring you into this land. I will bring you out of bondage and so on. In Paul's writing is is you know you Gentiles who are reading this letter you had no access to any of this forcefully, you have no hope. Having no hope, resentment netted an advantage. Look forward to a tall, no, not ultimately, but the Jew was always going somewhere. The Jew was a pilgrim. The Jews sense of history always had a destination in view. If you sent to them. Where you going, so were going to the promised land where you want to go. I want to go back to Jerusalem, but the Gentiles have none of that for them history was heading nowhere faced with the futility of death. Their existence was essentially meaningless. Having no hope and fifthly without God in the world without God in the world is civil.

God was in the world. So why they were without doubt God will the things that God had made clear to them by way of creation and by way of conscience they had suppressed. They turned their backs on those things and on turning their back on the living God is he's made himself known didn't believe nothing started to believe everything they believed all kinds of things they created all kinds of God's gods that suited their fancy dogs that would apparently do as he asked the same remains true today. If we reject God's revelation of himself in Scripture. If we suppress the truth of God, then we will find that we are very quickly taken up with superstition and with novelty.

We will find that we have in ourselves as Calvin said, you know that the heart of man is is an idol factory that we have with ourselves an immense capacity for creating God's of our so the 21st century Western culture rejects God by way of revelation, turns his back on his commands and his guidelines for living doesn't find itself isolated and atheistic.

No surrounded by all kinds of notions and superstitions and ideas plan will they ever learn plan. Will he ever learn is the answer. Just blowing in the wind is no we use it is a very interesting historically. But what is it possibly have to do with me. That's my third and final point number one that we would notice that the division is between Jew and Gentile number two that we would understand that Paul is describing their the condition of the unconverted Gentile heathen Pinoy and the number three that we would realize that in describing the unconverted Gentile. He's giving to each of us a description of our pre-Christian condition. You're here today and you believe in Jesus and you love Jesus here and you are a follower of Jesus.

This tells you what you were like before he became a follower of Jesus before your eyes were opened to the truth before your heart was soft before you, and I came to believe in Jesus before we were up here and we were baptized and said you know I don't care who knows, or actually, I do care who knows because I want everyone to know that Jesus Christ is Lord and King and and and here I am. Before that what what our life's will be exceeded in part in the first in verses seven we were dead we were disobedient we were enslaved and we have in Christ be made alive been raised up with Jesus we been seated with him.

Now Paul says I want to remind you again let me remind you. Here is what you are. Hendrickson summarizes it quite perfectly I give it to you in five words. I wish I thought it up. I was tempted to suggest that I had been everybody would find out he says is that this is your condition before you come to trust in Jesus and by by deduction my friends. If you have not come to trust in Jesus. This is your condition.

Here's a summary Christ less stateless friendless godless hopeless Christ less stateless friendless godless hopeless. That's why we need to be reminded of the grace of God. That's why verse 11 follows verse 10 that's why it follows verses 89 intent because he's been saying to them that the that the reality into which you have been brought had nothing or told to do with your background had nothing at all to do with your behavior had not told to do the five you look like an interesting prospect for God to include in his come because remember he is making. He says down in verse 15. He is making one new man in place of the 21 pneumatically to the do what is he saying that there is a whole new community that God is make it that comprises converted Jews unconverted Gentile and it is not the Jew seeks to be Jewish or the Gentile tries to become do a show they create some kind of quiet.

I relationship but that together they both are united in the person and work of Jesus and that it is his grace that has made this possible song that we never sing here contains the line lines how helpless and hopeless.

We sinners had been if he never had loved as till claims from our sin.

Okay how helpless and hopeless.

We as sinners would have been if he never had loved us on till claims from our sin at such a vital distinction because it was God's God commands his love toward us in this, says Paul in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so religion and all of those forms essentially offers to people a kind of moral lecture if you will try and stop this and start that you can probably put yourself in a position where God may finally include you in his group. The gospel says the absolute reverse says that God in Christ is reconciling the world to himself, and that when this dawns upon us, we come to receive the reconciliation, redemption, which is been accomplished and apply to our life and we realize then this is all of grace all of God's goodness is important I think to recognize the fact that here in verses that in verse 11, you come to the first imperative that Paul uses. You come back to his imperatives in chapter 4, but this is the first imperative is 33 verses of indicative and then on imperative, making the point that he is not been provided a moral lecture he has not been given to the Ephesians. Good advice about what he can do to make themselves acceptable to God, he has been given to the Ephesians. The good news of what Christ is accomplished to bring them into a relationship with God and the good news is that having put us in that position with himself. He now says in a relationship with one another. The reason that we need to remember is to prevent us from re-raising many of the barriers of hostility is easy.

Local churches are really good at subdivision really going to say well I'm in the near and then I'm the song. So, on what so he says that you need to remember that this is what you folks were he did. He does it routinely in his letters are just give you two cross-references you may follow them up on your own.

For example, when he's giving Titus basically sermon material to preach to his congregation again He says remind your people to be submissive to rulers and authorities to be obedient ready for every good work. Speak evil of no one avoid quarreling gentle perfect courtesy towards all people last quite a list. Why listen for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient lettuce Ray slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another, not least of all the Jews or the Gentiles is if you're going to have to make sure your congregation understands this to Titus, because they need to remember what they were like before Jesus, you have the same thing classically in first Corinthians 6 do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor revivalists nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God pretty well covers all shooting match right there doesn't. And here's the Gloria starts where some of you, and such were some of you remember what you were. That's what you where he says that's not what defines you know you're no longer defined by your sexuality you defined.

By your identity in Christ. You are no longer defined by the fact that you did a prison sentence that lasted 32 years. You're defined by your identity in Christ. You are no longer known as the little cheat Zacchaeus you're known as the man who comes from the house to which salvation has come. In other words, when a church when a local church starts to act as if it never was. This is if somehow or another. It is a community of the respectable it is. It is a society of the people have never done any wrong never done anything bad then it lies through its teeth and it makes it virtually very, very difficult for anybody who knows himself who knows herself to be in need all of this kind of restoration, reconciliation to come forward and say this is what I am and you can then say well I can tell you that this is what I was, but look what Jesus is not. That's the point that he's making and is a vital point if the epitaph had been written before Jesus, then it would have read on the tombstone separated, alienated, helpless, hopeless, but in Christ it now reads reconciled united and sees it. And Paul is going to go on and will come back to this in and are following study. He's going to go on and make it clear that God is putting together a completely new creation spiritual temple and the local church in Ephesus there and it's gathered communities should be one of the places in Ephesus, where the deepest divisions are seen to be dealt with in Christ and by deduction Park site has a local congregation in the greater area of Cleveland is supposed to be in some measure one of the places in which the deepest divisions are dealt with in Christ. Those divisions cannot be dealt with by social engineering. Those divisions are not ultimately dealt with by human expectation. The only way those divisions are dealt with is when the gospel grace of God is preached is understood. It's believed that it supply to every area of life we may not yet be Revelation 7, the company that no income number were clearly not.

That is, out in front of us, but it doesn't stop us from being prayerfully and purposefully and energetically committed to heading in that direction and one final word. Perhaps you're here today. And all this for you. Where there is no you're still in the where, because you have never never reckoned with Christ. Perhaps you have reached this weekend filled with the kind of longings that are represented in the songs of the 60s. The folksongs, the longings for the lion to lie down with the lamb, the taking, the swords in the materials and seeing them burned and you actually have a deep-seated longing for the repaired world. I haven't gone to check blood the sticker on the back of your car will be one of many and it says on coal exist coexist. He's gonna Star of David got an Islamic symbol you going across. Good all those things I get I really understand you are saying why can't we live together. How will this be brought about. When will we ever learn the answer is in learning from Jesus not in the lowest common denominator for seeking all our convictions to agree on nothing but take heed the call of Jesus, particularly this call. Come to me all you who are weary and heavy late and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find what you're looking for, which is rest for your soul, take learn find when will you ever learn baby today is as we remember that we are hopeless and helpless, apart from Jesus that we are enabled to humbly embrace our new identity. United together with fellow believers in Christ were listing to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life. Alister returns shortly to close today's program. If you are benefiting from our current teaching in the second chapter of the book of Ephesians and you'd like more you can study the entire book of Ephesians with Alister.

Listen to the series for free on the mobile app or online Truth for or if you prefer, you can purchase all 83 messages on a single USB for just five dollars shipping is free in the US, the series is titled a study in Ephesians and you'll find it in our online your truth.

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That's the mission you're supporting now along with Alister's messages we select and recommend and make available books to help you grow in your faith.

You may have heard me mention our current title, which is seven reasons to reconsider Christianity. This is a book that gives clear and simple answers to questions about Jesus and the Christian faith.

It's a great book to read. If you're feeling the pull of the surrounding culture or if you're beginning to question some of your beliefs. There are only a couple days remaining for you to request your copy of the book 7 reasons to reconsider Christianity. You can ask for your copy when you make a donation a Truth for or call us at 888-588-7884. Now, here is Alister to close with prayer father, thank you that the Bible is more than sufficient for our investigation. Thank you that we can go away and read the Bible and see if these things are actually there because students of your word Lord grant that as we read the Bible we might be reminded of what we were outside of Christ.

What it means to be in Christ. The challenges and privileges that are now hours for some who are wrestlers is aware on the troubled sea longing for good to triumph and for evil to be vanquished too long for oppression to cease, and for justice to be established. Grant that in heating Christ's invitation to come to take to learn and to find the deepest longings of their hearts that are all clouded over all impregnated with self and with sin may be set to rights in the one sufficient sacrifice of Jesus reconciling us to yourself or we pray in his name. Amen Bob Lapine thanks for listing today. The phrase in Christ is frequently used in Christian circles, but do we really understand what that means tomorrow will take an in-depth look at the meaning and implications of being in Christ. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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