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Well, we’re still talking about this topic, “Getting Acquainted With The New You,” - and this is the reason why!  YOU CAN’T GROW OLDER GRACEFULLY UNLESS YOU SEE YOURSELF THE WAY GOD SEES YOU AND BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND ALL THE THINGS HE HAS ALREADY DONE FOR YOU!!!!!  Last week, we ended with the last verses in Ephesians 1.  However, we all must realize that the chapters and verse divisions were added to the Bible for reference purposes - they aren’t particularly giving a change of thought.  


I’m saying that, because the last verse in Ephesians 1 and the first verse in Ephesians 2 are connected.


Therefore, remember that the last verse of Ephesians 1 was the last part of a sentence still referring to information about the BODY OF CHRIST.    In fact, I’m reading it - Ephesians 1:23 - “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  Think about this - Jesus Christ has chosen to be incomplete without His church (His body, filled with Himself).


Then it goes on to Ephesians 2:1 - 3.  I’m going to read them all together - it’s all one sentence, connected to the previous one.  (1) “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (2) 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, (3) 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.”


One thing to get out of this, in the beginning, is that, just as surely as we have been given ‘raising from the dead power’ in our new creations, we, ourselves, were dead (in our spirits) and in all actuality, we were raised from the dead - IN OUR SPIRITS!


Now - what we have to do is just get down to the nitty gritty!  Some of us think of ourselves, in our lives before we were born again, as not too bad - not as bad as the murderers, adulterers, thieves, and on and on.  SIN IS SIN - AND SIN  BRINGS FORTH DEATH - UNLESS THE SIN AS BEEN PAID FOR AND THEREFORE WASHED AWAY.  I was born again at 13, but I needed a Savior just as much as an old person who is in prison for murder and  robbery.  Again I say - SIN IS SIN!  There aren’t good sinners and bad sinners.  Now, some of us have not committed some of the big, bad stuff that others have - but sin in a life, without a Savior, is leading that person to Hell.


Now another thing I want to bring out from that portion of Scripture is this.  Paul was saying that we have been raised from the dead, too, and SHARE IN ALL OF CHRIST’S VICTORY AND AUTHORITY.  You really need to read those 4 verses together because it paints the picture of you - a real SINNER (no matter what your age was), having it all washed away and being filled with all the power and authority that Jesus has - BECAUSE YOU ARE PART OF HIS BODY!!!!!


{Do you see why we have to get ahold of these truths to be able to see ourselves as the NEW CREATIONS?}


This portion of Scripture also shows the truth about “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”  This verse and many others reveal that Satan is the one controlling the unsaved.  Satan seeks to turn people from God and he has many, many ways of doing this.  Not all of them are easily detected.  I really believe that, in our culture today, many people in the world are being led by the enemy through self-centeredness.  It has become a normal way of life, and people do not even think of it that way.  They think thoughts of, “Well, you have to look out for yourself” and a lot of other ways of thinking.  Now, that doesn’t mean that we just let people walk all over us, or steal from us, or hate ourselves, and on and on.  Sometimes, AGAPE, THE GOD KIND OF LOVE will lead us to deal with a situation to prevent something bad from happening.  We don’t have to open ourselves up to badness - sometimes, communication with the Lord will lead us in a way of handling something that we never would have thought of on our own.


Now that leads me to say this - Those verses that we talked about last week in Ephesians 1:16 - 21 (about praying for the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened) can play a huge part in us dealing with people who can lead us in a way we don’t want to go - and God doesn’t want us to either.


Now - the main thing that these 4 verses are getting across to us is this.  We all sinned - which meant that we were headed for Hell.  Our spirits were dead, and we couldn’t make them come alive. We had an enemy, which we didn’t know much about, but he was out to destroy us in all kinds of ways. BUT - the moment we believed deep within ourselves that Jesus was our Savior and paid the price, with His life, and said with our mouths that we accepted Him and what He had done for us - we were born again.  We immediately, became part of the BODY OF CHRIST - AND OUR DEAD SPIRIT WAS GONE AND WE HAD A WHOLE NEW SPIRIT IN US WITH ALL THE BLESSINGS AND FRUIT FROM GOD HIMSELF IN IT.  Our bodies were the same and our souls were still the same.  However, we had in that new spirit all we needed to change the soul (where our minds, wills, and emotions are), and to overcome anything that our body needed to survive until it’s time for us to go to heaven.


Now - one thing I believe the Lord wants to remind us of here is that, all the people we deal with in the world around us, WHO ARE NOT BORN AGAIN, are walking through their lives in the same ignorance that you and I were before we were born again.  They really don’t understand that their spirits are dead.  Before we were saved, we really had no idea about any of this stuff, just like they don’t now.  God really wants to use us to help them SEE THE LIGHT - and the only way that can happen is if we spend some time in prayer with the Lord and surrender to Him to help them.  As we spend time communicating with Him, He will reveal to us in amazing ways how to even talk to them.  God has the most unimaginable ways  that we could never figure out by ourselves.  Remember - He loves them and wants them to turn to Him.  He likes to use us, His kids - His Body, no matter how old we are.




We’re going to move on to the next verses now.  I’m going to read Ephesians 2:4 - 7 - “ (4) “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”


Now, from the first two verses (4 and 5), God wants us to understand that, even though we were dead in our spirits, He still had RICH MERCY toward us, and no matter what bad things we did, His grace came flooding to us, taking away all the sin and the punishment for the sin.  Another thing that we have to glean from this portion of Scripture is that, even though we did bad things, He “made us alive together with Christ.”  Wow!!

Now think for a moment- one moment we were dead in our spirits, on our way to hell, full of bad stuff, and the next moment, we were alive  in our spirits, and all the bad stuff was gone.  Verse 5 also brings up GRACE.  Personally, I think the reason the Holy Spirit led Paul to bring up the word, “grace”, so much is that we need to continually be reminded that we didn’t deserve all the wonderful things the Lord has done for us in salvation; and ‘grace’ is UNDESESRVED FAVOR!


Now - in verse 6, when it says, “raised us up together,” it is talking about raising us up in CHRIST.   Also, remember that, when it uses the phrase, “in Heavenly places,” it is referring to the spiritual world - that we can’t see in the physical world around us.


Again, I remind us that these truths, that are here in this book of Ephesians, are very important for us to grasp so that we can see ourselves as NEW CREATIONS.  I’m going to quote a note from Andrew Wommack’s Living New Commentary on this verse.  He says , “There is nothing more frustrating than trying to live for Christ.  Instead, we need to recognize our weaknesses and let Him live through us.”  Boy oh Boy - is that ever true!!!  Instead - we need to have the attitude of, “Lord, You live in me - I can’t do this in human strength - I trust in You and Your strength, ability, wisdom, and on and on.”  I often say, “I want to do things Your way, Yahweh!”


Now verse 7 - Listen to the way it says it in the New Living Bible - “And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich His kindness is, as shown in all He has done for us through Jesus Christ.”  Think about this - all through eternity, the Lord can point His finger at you and me and say, “Look at my wonderful son - look at my wonderful daughter - they have trusted Me - they’ve received all that I have done for them - I’m so proud of them.”  What a wonderful thing to look forward to - a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe FOREVER!!!!!


Now - I’m going to read Ephesians 2:8 - 9 - (8) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.”


This is a very important portion of Scripture and I want to talk for a bit about why.  In the current day’s Christianity, there are the grace people and there are the faith people.  These two verses make it very clear that it is both - not one or the other.  I have, through the years, heard both sides.


The Grace people believe that everything is about what God does for you - that He just controls what comes into your life and what doesn’t - that you don’t really have anything to do with it.  They believe that faith is useless.  Then the Faith people believe that  faith moves God and I am telling you that thinking like that leads to legalism.  


It boils down to this.  Grace (undeserved favor) comes from God - and He has already provided (through all His promises) all that we will ever need.  However, we must also be involved because they don’t just come to us without our involvement.  He has also provided supernatural faith (which is the God-kind of faith) - which we receive into our being, through His Word, and our communication with Him.


Verse 8 makes it clear that both GRACE and FAITH are available to us from God.  It isn’t just by grace and it isn’t just by faith.  FAITH DOESN’T MOVE GOD - GOD HAS ALREADY MOVED ON YOUR BEHALF, 2,000 YEARS AGO - THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.


Then verse 9 makes it clear that you can’t do anything to earn God’s favor in your life - just like you couldn’t earn salvation.  Some Christians really get caught up in trying to do everything a certain way to convince God to answer their prayers.  Now - it’s true that mess-ups in your life can become hindrances to you seeing the results you want to see.  But, the hindrances are having an effect on your faith.  They aren’t keeping God from loving you.


The balance between grace and faith is very, very important in our lives.  The whole sovereignty of God belief system comes out of  only thinking that we don’t have any involvement in it all - it’s all up to God, which is leaving the faith out.  Then, those who think that we control everything by our faith, and that’s all they teach and preach, leaves the grace out.


Brothers and sisters - the Lord has these verses in His Word to help us understand how His Kingdom works.  Yes - there is grace - and - Yes - there is faith!


So - in a nutshell - If it’s by grace, then it is not of ourselves - it is a gift - it is not of works or human effort - and it excludes man’s boasting.  Therefore, there’s no way that we can get prideful and expect others to pat us on the back because of our answered prayers.  They can rejoice with us - but we don’t deserve praise - that goes to God!


This whole subject is made very understandable as we get to Ephesians 2:10 - “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”


Boy Oh Boy!!!  This verse really makes it clear about how we are to see ourselves.  Yes, it is good to rejoice about our NEW LIFE IN CHRIST!  But we didn’t do anything to earn it, or deserve it.  “We are His workmanship.”  He is the One who gave us a New Life.  He is the One who took all our sin on a cross and paid a price we couldn’t pay.  He is the One who took us into His family.  He is the One who has made promises that we can count on.  He is the One who loves us with a LOVE THAT IS THE STRONGEST FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE.




So - brothers and sisters - Getting ahold of these truths - not just in our mind - but deeply in our hearts - is really the key to ‘Getting Acquainted With The New You’.  When you truly begin to see yourself as this NEW CREATION that GOD HAS MADE, THEN EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO, SAY, THINK, ACT ON, AND ON AND ON, BEGINS TO BE MOTIVATED BY THE LOVE OF GOD.  


Now that doesn’t mean that you won’t make a mistake here or there, now and then - but it does mean that your life, for the most part, will begin to bring more glory to God than it ever has before.  


One of the major things that will be common and ordinary in your life is to walk daily in the PEACE OF GOD.  Instead of frustration, worry, fear, hurt, anger, upset, and sorrow, you will find yourself walking through every day with a peace that you cannot explain.  


So listen to Philippians 4:6-7 - (6) “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts through Christ Jesus.”


Now - I have found in my life that this really, really, really is the truth.  The PEACE that this is talking about is beyond understanding.  You can’t explain it and you didn’t do anything to earn it.   This peace begins to rule over any and every thing that comes your way.  I began to get a little understanding about this PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING, as I began to learn about surrendering to God.  In my life, I began to see that, when I just gave in to the Lord, and “yielded the right-of-way” to Him, in every situation which came into my life, that I began to experience that PEACE!


Let me exlain it this way.  I began to see that there were mainly two ways for me to live.  One - was to try to figure out everything, handle everything, fix everything, work on everything, - which, of course, leads to frustration, worry, fear, upset, and on and on.  Two - was to just talk to the Lord a lot and tell Him, that I was trusting Him to work out everything in my life, show me what I needed to see and do, guide me, and enlighten me and that I was trusting Him in everything - and that led to ‘THE PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING’.


It really became more real in my life than ever before when my husband ‘moved to heaven’, 24 years ago.  I’ve told you all that story.  So I won’t go into all the details.  


I knew, of course, that he was with the Lord - but I just didn’t know what to do with my life.  We were very close - we did everything together - and I just didn’t know what I was going to do.  I was even kind of mad at him for not getting his healing.  I was laying on the floor of my little living room, crying and praying, and, as I did, the Lord spoke to me (not in an audible voice but in my heart) and He said, “If your heart had a throne, who would be sitting on it?”  I knew that I knew that I knew that it was God, and I said, “Oh, Lord, I am so sorry - I just didn’t realize this.  Yes, Jerry, was on that throne, but not anymore - Lord, You’re on the throne.  I trust You to work things out and show me what to do.  I love You and I surrender again to You.”


It was a few weeks later that I got an email from some dear friends of mine in the Kansas City area who had been part of our church but now were pastoring their own church.  They told me they would like for me to move back to K. C. and they would like to put me on the staff of their church and have me teach!


I accepted their lovely invitation and moved back.  They were so very kind and loving to me.  I started teaching again and those first few months, they took me to conferences with them, and out to eat with them, and on and on.  I will never forget their kindness to me.


But - you know what?  I had to yield the right-of-way to the Lord before any of that happened.  You can’t just center in on yourself and be in the mully grubs.That won’t lead to LIVING GRACEFULLY.


So - my brothers and sisters - I want to share the next verse in Philippians with you - Philippians 4:8 - “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ---meditate on these things.”


I believe, our brother, Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, was encouraging us how to really, really, really, live a victorious and a GRACEFUL LIFE.    In other words, don’t ponder on the bad - but ponder on the good!  When you do, you will truly begin to see yourself daily as WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST - A NEW CREATION.  When you do that, you will find yourself LIVING A GRACEFUL LIFE - LIVING MORE FROM WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST - AND NOT FROM WHO YOU USED TO BE.




Scriptures for this lesson

Ephesians 1:23

Ephesians 2:1-10

Philippians 4:6-8

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