This post introduces an upcoming Bible Study series. I look forward to helping you experience the thrill of studying Scripture as we learn how God’s Word presents the glorious truths of the Gospel.
So I finally raised my hand and proffered, “Isn’t it that Jesus died for our sins and rose again?”
Yes. Such a basic message.
Evangelicals, having little understanding of or appreciation for the Reformation in the 16th Century, now complicate the Christian life with so many side issues (ranging from political agendas to self-improvement techniques) that we lose sight of the very Gospel that Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers sacrificed so much to recover. Even though postmodern evangelicals can dutifully recite that Jesus died and rose again, few grasp the implications of His death and resurrection. In attitude, many evangelicals say, “Yeah, okay…now let’s move on to the good stuff!”
But Christ’s death and resurrection is the good stuff! The very word, “gospel,” means “good news.” Because 21st Century evangelical sensibilities now eclipse this Gospel with humanistic teachings and aspirations, I want to spend a few posts reviewing the wondrous message of the Gospel and exploring its implications.
To study the Gospel and its practical implications, I’ve decided to do a verse-by-verse study on Ephesians 2:1-10.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
As you can see, the passage overflows with rich theological ideas. These ideas, however, mustn’t be written off as mere academic theories that have little to do with actual Christian life. As a matter of fact, understanding these concepts enable us to have a firmer grasp on the Gospel’s application to our every day lives. Even better, it shows us how magnificent the Lord Jesus Christ is to give His life in order to secure our salvation.
I plan to post these studies every Thursday until we get through verse 10. Dear ladies, please join me as we dig into the “good stuff” of the Gospel. By the time I finish, I pray that all of us will gain a richer appreciation of the Gospel. More than that, I pray that we’ll see more clearly what a generous and loving God we serve, so that our joy will draw us deeper into worship.