Ephesians 2 - Troy Hannon

Made Alive in Christ

Before I was baptized, I was spiritually dead because of the sin I committed in my life I lived by the world's standards. I was in the world and followed Satan as he worked in me to be disobedient to God. I followed my flesh, my own evil thoughts and desires. I deserved and faced the full wrath of God in this state, with no hope of rescue, except by Jesus himself. God had mercy on me in this state and sent disciples into my life to show me Jesus, to show me the way back to God. They showed me Jesus through the scriptures and through their lives. By grace Jesus went to the Cross in my place and took all my sin on himself and took the punishment I deserve. And by this, and me participating in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, via baptism, I surrendered my life to God and died and was born again, by grace. No works here on my part in the slightest. This was my decision. No one else made it for me or forced me to do it. And now, on the other side, I have the Holy Spirit who daily counsels me to follow God rather than the world. Truthfully I do not always listen, to my shame. He has also created good works in advance for me to get to do! He has this master plan, and it involves helping others as I have been helped. I am truly alive now, and I can see clearly. On God and his work in my life, I depend. It is His indescribably power that has lifted me out of the pit of despair I was in, and nothing and nobody can take this gift away from me. I only need to remain faithful to my Lord the remaining days of my life, in fruitful service to Him. This is truly life!

One in Christ - Jew and Gentile Reconciled through Christ

As a non-Jew, in the time of the Old Covenant, I was lost and without hope and without God. Just as the world has to come to Christ (Christians) to find the one true God, the gentiles (world) has to come to the Jews to find the one true God. Outside of this, God cannot be found, period. That is the hard truth that no one can change. It is solely by the sacrifice of Jesus, his blood, that we can have any chance of being reconciled with God. No works, no tears, no self-condemnation, no amount of "I'm sorry"'s could do it. No reconciliation possible. Because of this, Jesus is in effect our peace. He can bring the world and God together. The barrier has always been sin, which manifested itself once God proclaimed His will through a command and we disobeyed it on purpose. We willingly turned our backs on our only father in Heaven. It is our nature, and Satan tempts us, and thus, we were destined for destruction. What God has made very good, we corrupted, we threw away as unimportant. We wanted to be our own master, our own lord, our own god. But we did not have the power to do this! And we failed miserably. We fell from our secure position, given to us by God himself. But he has a plan, and that plan was for his Son to come and show us the way home, and then to die, taking all of our sins upon himself, and to suffer the consequences we have earned. He died so that I could live. My allegiance, my life is His. He will do with it what he wills, and he is merciful and kind and loving and understanding, and he will do whatever it takes to keep me close to him. 

The Old Covenant has been set aside, the Law has been fulfilled and is no longer binding on mankind. Now, the only law left in effect is Christ's law. Jesus is Lord. My life must reflect this fact. The sermon on the mount is a great starting point in obedience. Jesus restates many of the "10 Commandments" within his sermon. He brings forth the truth for us, which we must obey to stay on the rock. We must put these principles into practice in his Kingdom, and be a light to the world. The world is in the dark and lost, confused and aimless, helpless to find its way. Given light, they can see the direction to go to find peace and safety, the way home. I possess that light because Jesus has made his followers point to him, the light of the world.

 

Troy Hannon
TroyHannon@gmail.com