Ephesians 2:10

 

Last week we discussed that we as Christians can have assurance of our salvation because of what Jesus did for us and not how good we are. You and I will never be good enough – that is why we need the grace of Jesus.  In Jesus we are counted as good enough, we are seen as righteous; on that last Day Jesus will present us without fault (Jude 1:24).

 

So as a Christian, you can have confidence that you are going to Heaven when you die.

 

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

 

When we were repented and was baptized our sins were forgiven; our past, present and future sins were all washed clean. We live in a forgiven state, not guilty of any sins, we have been found innocent because of the grace of Jesus.

 

Praise God!

We are not saved by being good or doing good now that we are a Christian.

We are not saved by good works we do good works because we are saved.

 

Because of God’s grace and forgiveness we live for Him. Living for Jesus means we are doing His will, thus doing good works in His name.

 

Are you living for Him? Are you producing good works?

Not to remain saved but to show your appreciation.

Are you living a life of gratitude?

Do you find something to complain about or something to be thankful for?

 

An old preacher was always thankful. The congregation was always amazed, for no matter what the circumstances, the preacher could always find something to give thanks for. One cold January morning, he was late in getting to worship because of excessive snow drifts. As he began the service with prayer, everyone was eager to see what the old preacher could come up with to be thankful for on this dismal and frigid morning.

“Gracious Lord,” his prayer began, “we thank you that all days are not like today.”

 

We need to have that kind of attitude – always able to thank God for what we have been given.

An attitude of gratitude is powerful and makes for strong families and good workplaces.

There was a study done several years ago that identified 6 qualities that make a strong family.  The most important quality to be found in strong families was the quality of appreciation. Families that are strong are strong because family members express to each other their appreciation for what the other members DO and for who they ARE.

 

A similar study showed this to be true in the workplace also. The study showed that the ratio of praise to criticism in the workplace needs to be four to one before employees feel that there is a balance; I have always said 8 to 1.

 

If you want to make a powerful impact in your family, at work and in this congregation then praise one another and appreciate one another.

 

We have all experienced negative words and know how they affect us. Just this week someone spoke negative words (not meaning to), words that were discouraging to me and they have replayed in my head several times.  Negativity is such a powerful weapon.  So to counter act the negativity we need to appreciate others; smile and encourage them.

Appreciation and a thank you goes a long way. That is why we teach our kids to be thankful.  We have to coach them but that is alright, one day they won’t need prompted.  When your kids received gifts this Christmas you said, “Now what do you say?”

 

Today that is what I am saying to all of us. Jesus just gave you the gift of grace – “Now what do you say?”

“Now how do you live?”

 

The Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul said the same thing to the Christians they wrote to.

 

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

 

2 Peter 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12  as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

 

Because we have been forgiven we must live our lives as holy and pleasing.

Because we are inheriting eternal life we must live holy and godly lives.

 

What does that look like?

 

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9  not by works, so that no one can boast. 10  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Living a holy life that is pleasing to God, a life that shows we appreciate the gift of grace is a life that fulfills our purpose.

What is your purpose in life?  Why were you born?  What are you meant to do?

 

Paul gave us the answer in verse 10 – “created in Christ Jesus to do good works”

We have one purpose – do good works. We were saved to do good works.

 

I went grocery shopping with Vicki this week and found a gadget that no one could live without. It was a pineapple core tool.  It was a neat gadget if you eat a lot of pineapple, we don’t.  This pineapple core tool had one purpose in life – core and cut pineapple.  I would be hard pressed to find another use for it.  It would not effectively core or cut other fruit.  This tool was created for one purpose only.

 

We are a pineapple core tool – God has created us in Christ to do good works. We must fulfill our purpose.

Sure, we can be lazy and not do good works, we could just do works but that is not why we were saved.

 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

God formed you – we are His handiwork – He created us for a purpose. Don’t you want to fulfill your purpose?

 

What are the good works that we were created to do, what work did God prepare for us?

 

If we are saved by grace, we will do good works in the name of Jesus.

A grateful life is a life of good works.

When we become a “new creation” we are changed – if we are not changed, if are purpose does not change can we really prove we have been saved – you may have just got wet.

 

John the Immerser said, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” Matthew 3:8.

We are to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness and self-control.

 

Which part of the fruit to you need to work on this year?

 

Jesus said,

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

 

If you are not producing fruit, then you may not be in Him. So you have real faith?

 

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

 

We were created to do good works; if we are not doing good works then our faith is dead.

 

Let’s get that faith working. What good can you do in the name of Jesus?

 

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Our good works are giving God thanks and bringing glory to Him.

 

Matthew 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

You are a light – let it shine. You are created for good works – do good works.

 

How do you know what good works you need to be doing?

 

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

You must read and study God’s word so you are equipped for every good work. Let His word teach you, rebuke you, correct you and train you.  If you are not reading the training manual you will not be able to do what you were created to do.

 

When we were visiting Michael and Julia I was trying to figure out how to use their microwave.  There was not manual so it was by trial and error.

Working out at the gym I have to read the instructions on the equipment so I know how to use it correctly.

 

Why would I think I can figure out my purpose in life and how to accomplish that purpose without reading the instructions.  I can’t and you can’t – let’s make sure we read and study so we know how to fulfill our purpose.

 

Our first work is to let our light shine – let people see that we are new, let the light of Jesus shine through. How?  By living the greatest commandments.

 

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38  This is the first and greatest commandment. 39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

Love God, Love your Neighbor

 

Last summer I preached a series on how to love one another. We studied every “One Another” passage.

Have you been growing and working on treating one another this way?

Greet one another, Accept one another, Honor one another, be kind and compassionate to one another, Serve one another, Agree with one another, Bear with one another, Live in Harmony with one another, teach one another, Encourage one another, Fellowship with one another, be Hospitable to one another, Love one another

 

God created us to do good works and as a Christian in appreciation that Jesus came and saved us we must fulfill our purpose.

 

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9  not by works, so that no one can boast. 10  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Thank you, Lord for saving my soul – if you are truly thankful prove it by doing good works in His name.

 

If you haven’t accepted Jesus gift of grace you can come right now.

Do you believe that Jesus loves you and died on the cross?

Do you admit you are a sinner and you are willing to repent?

Are you ready to surrender to Jesus and be immersed into Jesus?

 

Then come as we sing – Thank You, Lord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREET

2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet ONE ANOTHER with a holy kiss.

 

To greet others means you are not holding anything against them. You are not avoiding anyone; you greet them in love.

 

ACCEPT

Romans 15:7 Accept ONE ANOTHER, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

 

Christ accepted us just the way we were, when we were dirty and filthy. He accepted us when we did not deserve to be accepted.  Do you accept others?

 

HONOR

Romans 12:10 Honor ONE ANOTHER above yourselves.

 

We must treat one another with genuine respect and honor; we need to value one another. We are all equal in the eyes of God, no one is better than another – we all deserve honor and respect.  Are you respecting others?

 

KIND AND COMPASSIONATE

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to ONE ANOTHER, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Be compassionate – tenderhearted, sympathetic toward one another.

Be Kind – Being kind is not just being polite but being useful and good.

We need to be kind to each other – our kindness is shown in how we help each other.

Are you being kind and compassionate to others?

 

SERVE

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve ONE ANOTHER in love.

 

Quit being selfish and worrying about yourself and your needs. See what you can do to serve others.

Are you serving others?

 

AGREE

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with ONE ANOTHER so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

 

Are you dividing yourself from others? Agree on Jesus.  How are you doing?

 

BEAR WITH

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with ONE ANOTHER in love.

 

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against ONE ANOTHER. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 

Put up with one another, bearing with is explaining what it means to be patient. Bearing with means to forgive each other also.  Are you bearing with others?

 

LIVE IN HARMONY

Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with ONE ANOTHER. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 

“Think the same way toward each other” is the idea here of the word translated harmony.

That is the context of the passage. But you cannot think the same way as others if you are proud, arrogant, and unwilling to be with others who you think are not worthy of you.

Are you living in harmony with others?

 

TEACH

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish ONE ANOTHER with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

 

Teaching is not an option. Are you teaching others about Jesus?

 

ENCOURAGE

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage ONE ANOTHER and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

Who do you see in need and encourage them? Are you encouraging others?

 

FELLOWSHIP

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with ONE ANOTHER, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 

Are you sharing life with others?

 

BE HOSPITABLE

1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to ONE ANOTHER without grumbling.

 

Are you inviting others into your home?

 

LOVE

Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love ONE ANOTHER, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

 

Are you loving others?

 

DON’T JUDGE

Don’t judge sinners who have not accepted Jesus.  Do judge sinners who have accepted Jesus.

Don’t judge Christians who practice differently in non-Essentials. Do judge yourself.