Ephesians 2* The riches of God's grace towards men, shown from theirdeplorable state by nature, and the happy change Divine gracemakes in them. (1-10) The Ephesians called to reflect on theirstate of heathenism. (11-13) And the privileges and blessings ofthe gospel. (14-22)1-10 Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses andsins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon acorpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is nowfled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man. But if weviewed things aright, we should be far more affected by thethought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin isa state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves toSatan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal dispositionwhich there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men.From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been mostprone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, beingnaturally children of disobedience, are also by nature childrenof wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly forthat grace which will make them, of children of wrath, childrenof God and heirs of glory! God's eternal love or good-willtoward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his merciesflow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercyis rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner;delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free,undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by theworks of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace inthe soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomesa living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God:he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoningand justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust;sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above thisworld, by Christ's grace. The goodness of God in converting andsaving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, tohope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and oureternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast.These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us,therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God,and the effect of being quickened by his power. It was hispurpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with theknowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such achange in us, that we should glorify God by our goodconversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can fromScripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency toevil. All who do so, are without excuse. 11-13 Christ and his covenant are the foundation of all theChristian's hopes. A sad and terrible description is here; butwho is able to remove himself out of it? Would that this werenot a true description of many baptized in the name of Christ.Who can, without trembling, reflect upon the misery of a person,separated for ever from the people of God, cut off from the bodyof Christ, fallen from the covenant of promise, having no hope,no Saviour, and without any God but a God of vengeance, to alleternity? To have no part in Christ! What true Christian canhear this without horror? Salvation is far from the wicked; butGod is a help at hand to his people; and this is by thesufferings and death of Christ. 14-18 Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; inevery sense Christ was their Peace, the author, centre, andsubstance of their being at peace with God, and of their unionwith the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person,sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to drawnear to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance intohis presence, with their worship and services, under theteaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son.Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spiritgives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace toserve God acceptably. 19-22 The church is compared to a city, and every convertedsinner is free of it. It is also compared to a house, and everyconverted sinner is one of the family; a servant, and a child inGod's house. The church is also compared to a building, foundedon the doctrine of Christ; delivered by the prophets of the OldTestament, and the apostles of the New. God dwells in allbelievers now; they become the temple of God through the workingof the blessed Spirit. Let us then ask if our hopes are fixed onChrist, according to the doctrine of his word? Have we devotedourselves as holy temples to God through him? Are we habitationsof God by the Spirit, are we spiritually-minded, and do we bringforth the fruits of the Spirit? Let us take heed not to grievethe holy Comforter. Let us desire his gracious presence, and hisinfluences upon our hearts. Let us seek to discharge the dutiesallotted to us, to the glory of God.
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