The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 19 : The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the EPHESIANS

[Chapter 2-1] (Ephesians 2:1-5) Has God Really Saved Us By His Grace?

(Ephesians 2:1-5)
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 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, 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. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
 
 
We Had So Many Trespasses
 
If we have any trespasses, do we all have to die for these trespasses? If we have any sin, must we all die for this sin? Today’s Scripture passage teaches us clearly that this is indeed the case. We have to accept God’s Word into our hearts.
Any sin still remaining in your heart will surely bring death to your soul. Because we cannot help ourselves but to commit countless sins while living in this world, we were all destined to be condemned by God for these sins both spiritually and physically. That is why our Lord came looking for us to give us this everlasting remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Before encountering the righteousness of our Lord, we were all perishing for our sins. But the Lord came to this earth to deliver us from all the sins of the world.
When we look at ourselves, we all know that none of us could help but be condemned for our sins. Put differently, once you discover your sins, you are compelled to admit to God that you yourself are destined to face death. The only way you can be saved from all your sins is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit through which the Lord has delivered you from each and every sin. Therefore, you must all encounter the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in this true gospel that the Lord has given to you. It’s my sincerest hope and prayer for all of you to discover your sinful condition and be born again properly. That’s because the Lord has given the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone, and therefore anyone can receive the blessing of being born again if he believes in this gospel. Through our faith in the righteousness of the Lord, we could be born again to live a new life of glory.
Our Lord says in the Bible that even though we were destined to be condemned and put to death for our sins, He has saved us once and for all through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. If it’s true that you and I were inevitably bound to die for our sins, and that our Lord has at once saved such people like us from all the sins of the world, then there is no other way to reach salvation but by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord came to this earth looking for us in order to deliver us from the sins of the world, and He bore suffering and sacrificed Himself to bring salvation to us.
Therefore, even if you are a Christian, unless you have faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, you have not yet been born again from all your sins. This then means that you are now living your life just waiting to be condemned forever for your sins. Like this, it’s your sins that bring the most fatal destruction to your soul, and this is also the case for everyone since everyone is sinful. Think about ourselves: Before we encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we were all wretched sinners destined to live amid God’s curses for our trespasses and sins. All of us were living such a tragic life, because we all were born with sin. Ignorant of the love of God, we blamed Him constantly for our miserable lives. It was therefore inevitable for us to be condemned for our sins.
Even before encountering the righteousness of God, it was still possible for our souls to appreciate the gravity of our sins. As a result, we found ourselves struggling immensely with our sins, instinctively trying to find a way to escape from them. But all our effort and labor were in vain, for we were relying on meaningless religious rituals such as offering our own prayers of repentance, or trusting in useless Christian doctrines such as the doctrine of incremental sanctification. Since we were sinners before God, we all felt the acute need for the God-given gospel of perfect salvation, but we could not find it. Even though we couldn’t help but to admit that we all deserved to be condemned for our sins, we were still unable to realize the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord had given to us. It was therefore impossible for us to reach our salvation, for only those who found the gospel of the water and the Spirit could be saved from all their sins.
 
 
The Lord Came Looking for Such People Like Us and Saved Us at Once from All Our Sins
 
As we know, when we were destined to die for our sins, our Lord came to this earth looking for us to save us, and He bore all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus then carried all the sins of the world to the Cross, shed His blood for our sins in our place, and rose from the dead. This is the reason why our Lord had to come to this earth looking for us. He had to come to this earth in order to save us from all the sins of the world. Having thus come to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, the Lord bore all our sins through His baptism. In other words, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to bear our sins, all our sins were passed onto Him. And because Jesus shouldered all our sins once and for all through His baptism, He could be crucified to death, shed His blood, and rise up from the dead to thereby become our Savior. This is the Truth that has saved us from all the sins of the world. As our Lord came to this earth, He was baptized, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead in three days, He is alive as our Savior even now, sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. Therefore, whenever we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit commit sin, our Lord says to us, “As I was baptized by John the Baptist and shed My blood on the Cross for you, I have delivered you from all the sins of the world and your accursed death.” Given the fact that our Lord has saved us from all the sins of the world and from all condemnation, how could we not believe in this Truth?
What would have happened to us if our Lord had neither come to this earth nor accepted all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist? Had the Lord not borne the condemnation for our sins by shedding His blood on the Cross, how could we have been saved from all the sins of the world and become God’s children? Could we have been delivered from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit unless the Lord had done all these things for us? Indeed, without the work of salvation that the Lord has done for us, there would be no gospel of the water and the Spirit. And if we had not believed in this genuine gospel, nor could we have said to God that we were sinless. As we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, whenever our sins are exposed, we can confirm from the Word of God that our Lord took away all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and therefore our hearts can find peace. Now that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been saved and washed from all our sins once and for all by trusting in the righteousness of God. Indeed, we could receive the remission of sins once and for all through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord gave to us.
Although we still continue to commit sin even after being saved, the Lord has made it known to us that He has saved us from all such sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can say to God confidently that we are no longer sinners. Of course, we may still commit many sins while living in this world. After all, when you look at your weaknesses, can you really say that you don’t commit any transgressions? In God’s sight, we are still prone to commit sin, and therefore our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is indispensable to us all the time.
 
 
Even Though We Depart from the Will of the Lord Too Often, We Must Still Follow His Will
 
When you go for a walk in the morning, you often come across a dog walking with its owner. While most dogs follow their owners closely, some dogs chase after something else. In a similar vein, we also follow the will of the Lord well sometimes and fail to do so in other times. So we often fall into despair over our sins. That’s because we cannot help but commit sin every day out of the weaknesses of our flesh.
In fact, without the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us would have to be destroyed for our sins. That is why our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is absolutely indispensable to survive in the midst of all our sins. The Bible says that the Law of God is just, and therefore anyone who has any sin must die forever for this sin. If God’s justice judged our sins as they are, we would all have to die; but to save such people like us from all our sins and all our condemnation, our Lord came to this earth as our own sacrificial Lamb. We believe that our Lord came to this earth to blot out all our sins, and that He has saved us once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross. We are therefore all compelled to thank God for His love and mercy.
 
 
All of Us Were Destined to Die for Our Sins
 
Our Lord planned the salvation of the human race even before the foundation of the world, and according to this plan, He has saved all of us who believe in this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit once and all. So we cannot help but thank the Lord for His righteousness from the depth of our hearts. That’s because the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have received from the Lord has washed away all our sins and paid off all the wages of our sins, which is death. Because Jesus accepted the sins of this world once and for all when He was baptized by John the Baptist, whoever believes in this Truth is more than able to be washed from all his filth. Even though we were destined to die forever for our sins, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we now believe in has brought such priceless salvation to us. We have therefore been saved from all our sins by believing in this beautiful gospel given by the Lord. So how could we not thank the Lord for giving us this gospel of the water and the Spirit?
Even though we were all inevitably destined to die for our trespasses and sins, the gospel of the water and the Spirit has saved us. When we reflected ourselves on the Word of God, we were able to realize our fundamentally sinful condition, a condition into which all of us were born by nature. So we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as our hearts were cleansed by this faith, we were able to praise our Lord. This gratitude is always in our hearts, thanking the Lord for enabling us to receive the remission of sins by believing in the true gospel of salvation. We are therefore compelled to resolve our hearts to serve the Lord alone, who has fulfilled the righteousness of God.
 
 
Why Are We All Grateful to Our Lord?
 
Our Lord is saying to us, “Because you could not avoid but die for your sins, I have saved you from all your trespasses and sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” He is telling us that He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River to blot out all our sins, and that He has thereby saved us once and for all. In the age of the Old Testament, when the people of Israel were about to cross the Jordan River to enter into the land of Canaan, God stopped the flow of the river as soon as the priests carrying the Ark stepped into the river. Likewise, when our Lord was baptized in the Jordan River, He bore all the sins that we commit in this world on His own body and ended all our condemnation. The Lord is therefore saying to all of us, “By being baptized by John the Baptist, I bore all the trespasses and sins that you were born into by nature, and all the sins of this world that you commit constantly as a result of your sinful nature. And I have saved you once and for all from death, from all your curses and all your sins.”
My fellow believers, even after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we still continue to commit sin. However, our Lord bore all such sins once and for all through His baptism. If He had not done so, then it would have been impossible for us to be delivered from our trespasses and sins, and we would have inevitably been cast into hell for these sins. Each and every sin that we commit dooms us to face the just judgment of God regardless of whether it’s committed after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or before being born again. However, even though we were all destined to die for our sins and trespasses, to save us from all these sins, our Lord was baptized by John the Baptist on His own body and gave His body up on the Cross, thereby saving us once and for all. In other words, when you were doomed to die for your trespasses and sins, the Lord bore all your sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist and paid off all their wages with the blood He shed on the Cross. The Lord has thereby completed our salvation and recovered our lost lives. Our Lord had been condemned for our sins in our place. That is how we have been saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In today’s Scripture passage, the Apostle Paul is telling us that he too had been destined to die for his sins and trespasses, but he was saved once and for all from all his sins by believing in the righteousness of the Lord. Just like the Apostle Paul, you and I have also been saved from all our sins by believing in the Lord’s righteousness, and therefore we have reached our true salvation. The baptism that our Lord received from John the Baptist and the blood that He shed on the Cross constitute such amazing Truth of salvation that words cannot express how grateful we are. However, my fellow believers, this does not mean that you are allowed to continue to commit sin just because you have received the remission of sins. You should never do this. The Lord will not be pleased. Rather, what it means is that through the baptism that our Lord received from John the Baptist, He bore once and for all each and every sin that we commit out of our weaknesses, and therefore whoever believes in this Truth is washed clean from all his sins.
 
 
Now No One Should Challenge the Righteousness of God
 
King David had a son named Absalom. When this son challenged his own father’s royal authority in an attempt to usurp his throne, it was inevitable for him to face death for this sin of challenging the king of Israel. Because of our trespasses and sins, we were destined to be cursed forever, but Jesus Christ our King has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and by believing in this gospel, we have been saved once and for all and received everlasting life. Despite this, if some people still say that the Lord has failed to blot out all their sins, then they would be challenging the royal authority of the King of kings, and such people will forever remain unable to be saved from all their sins. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given us, we were able to be saved all at once. It is so fortunate that we have encountered the righteousness of the Lord and received salvation from all our sins. We can’t help but be so grateful and to give all glory to God. Had our Lord not saved us from all the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it then would have been inevitable for us to bear all the condemnation of sin for our trespasses. All of us therefore must know the gospel of the water and the Spirit clearly.
Because of our sins, our future on this earth could not be anything but gloomy, but thanks to the gospel of the water and the Spirit which our Lord gave to us, all our sins have disappeared once and for all. Now Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God the Father and waiting for us. I cannot thank God enough for this. When we were unable to blot out our sins on our own and we had no choice but to die for our sins, the Lord loved us all so much that He delivered us from our certain destruction. He loved us wholeheartedly to the end of the world, so much so that He saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This grace of Jesus Christ that has come to us is so great and we are so grateful for the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given to us that we cannot help but thank Him every moment of our lives.
My fellow believers, it’s by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by our Lord that we could wash away all our sins and trespasses. This salvation from all our sins could not be reached through anything else but the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even though many misguided Christians are trying to eradicate their sins by offering prayers of repentance full of emotion and with tears, none of them can blot out any of their sins no matter how hard they try.
Everyone must pay the wages of his sins before God, and if we were to pay the wages of our sins with our own lives, then we would all have to die in our sinful state. That is precisely why our Lord gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we could be saved from all our sins by believing in this gospel. If we had instead refused to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and lost our lives as a result, then our condition would have been far worse than any beast. That is why our Lord came to this earth by the gospel of the water and the Spirit: It was to wash away all our sins that our Lord was baptized by John the Baptist, and He paid off all the wages of our sins by shedding His precious blood on the Cross.
Therefore, all of us must understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ alone could bear all our sins once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist; Jesus Christ alone could pay off the wages of all our sins with the blood He shed on the Cross; and Jesus Christ alone could save us from all our sins through His baptism and blood of salvation. Moreover, as the Lord rose again from the death He suffered for our sins, He has made it possible for everyone to blot out all his sins by believing in this Truth.
From the moment we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord is always with us. He walks with us each and every moment of our lives until we take in our last breath, and He will also be with us when we enter His everlasting Kingdom. That is why the Lord said to us, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Now that we have received the remission of all our sins by believing in the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit has come into our hearts to be with us all the time. Therefore, whenever we commit any sin, the Holy Spirit assures us that the Lord has blotted out even this sin with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, saying to us, “Jesus already bore this very sin through His baptism.” Like this, our Lord frees us from all our sins through His righteous act. My fellow believers, it’s because our Lord Himself has saved us from all our sins that we have reached our deliverance from each and every sin by faith. All of us should therefore thank the Lord for saving us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It’s so fortunate that Jesus Christ is God Himself, and that I have been saved from all my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am so overwhelmed by this that all I can do is just thank God from the depth of my heart. Were it not for the righteousness of Lord bestowed on me, I would have had no other choice but die for my sins and be cursed by God. So I am utterly grateful to the Lord for coming to me and meeting with me through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
It’s not because of any other reason but the sins that are in everyone’s heart that all human beings are cursed. I don’t consider it a curse when people fail to attain wealth or power. Such outcomes may be considered unfortunate, but I don’t think of them as a curse. However, if one’s soul has any sin, then I consider this itself as a curse. All of us should realize that if anyone’s soul has even the tiniest sin, this person’s future is doomed. If you are such a person living with all your sins remaining intact, then your life is an accursed one, and your soul is bound to suffer under God’s curses until it withers away and perishes completely. I know all too clearly that this will happen to every sinner without any exception. In fact, we ourselves were such doomed sinners, but thankfully, our Lord has saved us once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Just how many trespasses did we have? Our Lord bore all these countless trespasses once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. The Word of God declares an immutable law that the wages of sin is death. Whenever anyone commits sin, this sin is actually revealed before God, and consequently its perpetrator must face death. Of course, even after our souls are remitted from all our sins, trespasses are still exposed, but because our Lord has already paid off all the wages of our sins with His own body by being baptized and shedding His blood, we have received the complete remission of sins by faith. That is why we no longer have to be condemned for our trespasses.
Now that we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s by ruminating on this Truth that our faith grows. However, regarding everyone’s sins, Jesus said, “You will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:26). Indeed, anyone who has any sin at all, even as small as a penny, cannot avoid destruction, but our Lord bore all our sins and trespasses through His baptism and blood. We are therefore so grateful to the Lord and our hearts enjoy so much peace that we cannot help but praise the Lord for blotting out all our sins once and for all.
The very fact that I believe in the righteousness of the Lord is itself an indescribable honor for me. Our hearts have been freed from all our sins by finding mercy from the Lord and believing in Him; our hearts are now following the way of righteousness by trusting in the Lord; and our hearts have found peace in God thanks to this righteousness of our Lord. What about you then? Have you also found peace for your heart? All of us are so grateful to our Lord for this wonderful blessing that we don’t know how we can ever thank Him enough.
My dear saints, even though we had so many trespasses that we were all destined to die for these sins, the Lord of righteousness came looking for us and met with us, and we cannot help but thank Him for this wonderful blessing. If we have any trespasses at all, even the smallest of all, then we must be put to death for this tiny trespass. However, even though we had been destined to die for our countless trespasses that were as thick as the darkest clouds, our Lord has saved us once and for all from all these sins and trespasses through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It’s also because our Lord bore all our trespasses and solved them away that we are now able to serve the Lord and follow Him. We are following our Lord by trusting in His righteousness because He has brought down the wall of sin that had separated us from God. As we now believe in the righteousness of our Lord, we are compelled to follow and serve Him.
Where do we find the strength to serve our Lord’s righteousness? It’s found in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for our Lord bore and blotted out all our trespasses through this gospel, and therefore we can always live with a renewed heart. That is why we are able to serve our Lord. It’s because our Lord already bore all our sins through His baptism that we can serve His righteousness without any shame or regret. Otherwise we could never follow the righteousness of the Lord, nor serve Him, nor praise Him for His righteousness, nor have any joy, for we are too weak in our nature. However, because the Lord bore our countless trespasses through His baptism and blotted them all out with His blood, we are now able to follow the righteousness of the Lord, praise Him, thank Him, serve Him in joy, and preach the gospel in our lives. All this is because the Lord has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s because our Lord washed away all our trespasses with His baptism and bore our condemnation on the Cross in our place that we are able to follow Him with thanksgiving and joy.
Let’s turn to Ephesians 2:8-9 here: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” The Bible says clearly here that our salvation does not depend on our own work. No work of our own can be of any help to reach our salvation. If we were to reach salvation through our own work, then none of us would have achieved this, for there is no one without any trespass. Yet out of His grace, mercy and abundant love for us, our Lord Himself saved us when we were dead in the trespasses and sins of our deeds.
Is there anything upright in our own work? No, we have absolutely no work that is upright; on the contrary, we have nothing but countless trespasses that are as thick as the clouds. Fortunately for us the Lord bore all our sins and trespasses through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, as we believe in the gospel of Truth, we have obtained the faith that enables us to serve and follow the righteous Lord. It’s not because there is anything upright in our deeds that we can serve and follow the Lord, but it’s because our Lord has blotted out all our sins in the first place; and that is why we are now able to carry out the righteousness work of God by faith. In short, our strength to do all these things came from nowhere else but the righteousness of our Lord.
Words cannot express just how thankful I am that our salvation did not come from our own work, but by the grace of God alone. All of us were so worthless that we could never receive the remission of sins on our own but be condemned for our sins. Yet, because our Lord bore all our sins and trespasses through His water and blood, we have received new life. I can never thank God enough for this wonderful blessing. How about you then? Are you also thankful? You and I are the same. Brothers and sisters alike, all of us gathered here were full of trespasses and had no choice but to be cast into hell for our sins, but our Lord has saved such wretched people like us through His righteousness. That is how we have come to live as completely sinless people. It’s only by the grace of God that we have been brought back to life from death.
So I praise the Lord for saving us all to be completely sinless, enabling us to be born again and serve the Lord on this earth, and filling our hearts with overflowing joy. What joy would we possibly have if our Lord were not in our hearts? How could we ever stand before others and look straight up to Heaven boldly without any shame or regret?
Indeed, it’s entirely because our Lord dwells in our hearts, and because He has blotted out all our sins, that our conscience is always clear and we can thank God and praise Him, for we believe in this Truth of salvation. It is therefore impossible for us not to praise the Lord forever for saving us through His water and blood. And this is precisely why we are praising the righteousness of God with our faith.