July 18 - Message Update

In or Out: Biblical Conversion – Ephesians 2:1-10 – Pastor Eric

How can I be assured of my salvation?

 

People ask, will I have done enough to enter Heaven’s gates? Have I done the right things to secure my eternity? And how can I be assured of my salvation? How will I know if I am in or out? How can I be sure?

 

Today, there is a crisis of faith for many people with a misunderstanding of sin, faith, and the gospel.  People believe that they have to earn God’s favor, or they aren’t good enough for God. It is a sad reality in our world, and it sickens the church. So, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the gospel and conversion in order to be confident of one’s salvation in Christ Jesus alone.

 

(1) You can be assured of salvation in Christ by turning from your sin. Biblical conversion requires us to repent of our sin. We must have a change of mind about ourselves and our sinful actions. We must give up our allegiance to this world and give it to God. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

 

Paul centers the Ephesian church on the gospel and salvation in Christ.  The entire book of Ephesians centers around the grace of God, in which we are saved by grace and we live by grace. Paul begins by teaching on the sinful depravity of mankind, and he highlights the sinful eternity of mankind, this sinful world, and man’s sinful nature.

 

First, Paul points out the fact that we are all spiritually dead. We are alienated from God because we have offended God. Sadly, we are born that way, because of Adam. We are like death row inmates walking to our doom, because we have offended the Creator of the World and the God of this universe.  We must all recognize that we are born sinners, who need a Savior.

 

Second, is a relinquishing of control over this sinful world.  We have to come to see that our allegiance is to Christ above all else, and we must turn away from the ways of this world, for God is our master, not the created.  Paul points out the deceptive nature of the great deceiver, Satan.  He is far more evil, powerful, and deceptive than we ever give him credit for. This world leaves God completely out of the picture, because Satan distorts everything that is good from sexuality to sensibility.  He is the master craftsman of trickery, deceit, and death. 

 

The final truth on sin is our sinful nature, in verse 3. We have committed crimes against God’s law, because God is holy and just.  And our own bodies, passions, and wants are sinful.  Paul talks about the flesh, in that we all have a sinful disposition and an inclination toward what is not natural or not of God. This truth about sin goes against the world’s false sentiment that we aren’t sinful at the core, but the truth of the gospel is that we are sinful at the core.

 

Therefore, we must repent over our sin. Repent over your sinful state, your sinful allegiance to this world, and your sinful thoughts, feelings, and actions. We will never be perfect, but we must be repentant. We have to have come to the realization that we are sinners in need of a Savior with remorse over our sin.

 

(2) You can be assured of salvation by trusting in God’s grace alone. You are saved by grace, not works. You are saved only by the blood of Christ, not any of your blood or sweat. God’s grace is the undeserved and unmerited favor and blessing that God gives freely to every believer.  You can be confident of your salvation by believing in God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

 

God is the key and the center of the greatest turnaround in history. For God stood in the gap because He was rich in mercy. God doesn’t condemn us, because He condemned His Son. On top of that is God’s unconditional love for you. He loves you no matter what you’ve done, are doing, or will do. God shows mercy, love, grace, and kindness for you as you receive Jesus in your life. You have new life in the Holy Spirit. You gain the kindness, gentleness, and love of God’s presence. You get to know the Creator, Savior, and King of this World, Jesus Christ. And you don’t earn any of it, it’s not by works, but only through faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior. 

 

Biblical faith must be defined with words like trust, confidence, and allegiance. Faith is a relational reliance and dependence upon God as your Savior and your Master, your Lord.  Faith is saying I can’t do anything to save myself, and so I put myself at the mercy of God to save me.  Faith is clinging to the cross of Christ and the empty tomb for salvation from death and sin.

 

If you have never repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ for the salvation of your sins, then come to faith in Jesus Christ today. Turn from your sin and trust in Christ to be saved. There are two essential responses for salvation - #1 repentance of sin and #2 faith in Jesus Christ. If you want to know for certain that you are saved, then repent of your sin and believe in Jesus. It’s that simple and that good!!!

 

(3) You can be assured of salvation by the evidence of God’s good work in your life. You can have assurance of your salvation, not because of yourself. But by the evidence that God is working and doing something in your life. John Calvin called it the fruit of regeneration. A believer will bear some fruit of the Spirit. This point is not necessary or essential, but it does provide us confidence in God’s salvation plan for us. (Ephesians 2:10)

 

Paul’s emphasis is that we are His workmanship for we belong to God. And the word here for workmanship can be translated a craftsmanship, designed by the creator. Other versions translate it as God’s masterpiece, handiwork, or work of art. God has saved you and made you into a new creation to do good work.

 

Our works come from God. Good works are not a way to salvation, that’s religion, that’s the way of the world, but our works are the fruits of our salvation.  They are the response and the outpouring of what God has already done in our lives. We are NOT saved by faith plus works, but a faith that does work!

 

Biblical conversion enters us into a wonderful privilege to serve the King of Kings, and the evidence of God’s working in our lives gives us assurance of His saving work, because we can never do it on our own power, only by the Holy Spirit’s power.

 

Therefore, let us be a healthy church assured of salvation from sin by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus.  Let us, church, become a more courageous church through humble and honest repentance. Let us become a more confident church through radical faith in Jesus. Let us, church, become a healthy church savoring the grace of God to enjoy the goodness of God!

 

 

Praise Singing

The Church’s One Foundation, King of Kings, Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), What a Beautiful Name It Is, Doxology