Sunday School Lesson March 12, 2017 God’s Overflowing Love
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: A.D. – Place: Rome
Golden Text: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved – Ephesians 2:5).
Paul was converted around A.D. 35. After his conversion, Paul spent many years preparing for the ministry God had called him. This preparation period included time alone with God, as well as time conferring with other Christians. When Paul took Titus, a Greek Christian to Jerusalem, the Judaizer (false brethren) tried to compel that he should be circumcised. Paul refused to give to their demands. Paul’s teaching was to inform the believer, its’s not by works we receive salvation but through grace.The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving. Grace means unmerited favor, this grace is the basis of our salvation. In salvation men who deserve hell obtain heaven.
Lesson Outline – I. Dead – Ephesians 2:1-3
Ephesians 2:1 – And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. When a person dies, his or her connection to life on earth ends. There is no communication with friends and relatives, normal daily activities and no further claim on what has been accumulated and enjoyed. Paul uses the word “dead” to describe those who have never experienced spiritual life. They are still physically alive, but spiritual dead. We were alienated from God, but alive to trespasses and sin. In our dead condition, we blindly follow the pattern of this world. But God quickened us which means made alive by the Spirit of His Son.
Ephesians 2:2 – Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. “Time past” indicates the past, so as we becoming Christians, are old actions and ways of thinking should be a thing of the past. “Walked” is a biblical expression that pictures a believer’s steady, normal progress with God. Paul here refers to a believer’s old walk. Whether it was a path of moral carelessness or the dark alley of evil. Believers are saved so that they can have a lifestyle characterized by good works. The dark world of unbelievers is completely devoid of spiritual understanding, and this the way Satan wants its. The “prince of the power of the air” refers to the attitude of power characteristic of Satan. “Children of disobedience” are those who live in a state of unbelief.
Ephesians 2:3 – Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. “Lust” means strong desires, sensual cravings. The natural human desires for fame, power, and riches. In our natural state, all of us were in this category. “Conversation” means conduct, behavior or character. In our sinful condition, our motivation was to live according to the lusts of the flesh. This sinful lusts of our old nature were centered around satisfying fleshly desires, and this was our natural state of thinking and behavior. Some sinful actions come from fleshly desires and some from mental suggestions and intentions by ungodly influences from Satan and his co-host. When we receive salvation our flesh is not under control of the Spirit unless we receive the Holy Spirit then our flesh must come subject to the Spirit of God that dwells within our being.
Lesson Outline – II. Alive – Ephesians 2:4-7
Ephesians 2:4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. God loved us so much until He gave His Son, Jesus Christ to reconcile us to Him. The condition of being dead does not have to follow us to the grave where we will be physically and spiritually dead. God’s mercy reached out to us through His Son; this is the mercy and love that reached out to us when we were still dead in our sins.
Ephesians 2:5 – Even when we were dead in sin hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). God’s overflowing love for us intervened in our lives to save us; His quickened us means that our new lives are because of Christ’s resurrection life. We had nothing to do with it other than accepting His grace and salvation. Good works cannot earn salvation, but rather they are the results of salvation.
Ephesians 2:6 – And hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Jesus is seated in heaven, and when we are saved, God raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ. This righteous sitting also means we should be dominating the things that would influence us to sin against God.
Ephesians 2:7 – That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. “Ages to come” God desire to demonstrate His kindness throughout eternity through Jesus Christ. This salvation is for those that came before us and for our children and our children’s children generation. its for all eternity. This kindness is not from our merit, but through His love and kindness towards all humans.
Lesson Outlines – III. Saved – Ephesians 2:8-10
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Christians have been saved by grace. The grace of God is the source of salvation, faith is the channel, not the cause, God alone saves. Salvation never originates in the efforts of people; it always arises out of the lovingkindness of God.
Ephesians 2:9 – Not of works, lest any man should boast. Salvation comes through God alone which will eliminate any boasting on our part. Salvation has nothing to do with what we contribute but what God gave. This salvation is for anyone that will accept His love and His grace. Salvation is not by nationality, financial or educational status. The desires of God is for everyone to be saved, but He will never go over a persons’ will.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We can’t earn our salvation, it is through God’s grace. We belong to God and it is He that create in us goodness. We are His building and we are under construction until the day we die. Daily He is creating us in the image of Him and His Son as we yields ourselves to be mold and shaped in His image.