The Present, Past and Future of Salvation
Man has always been interested in the past (history), the present (practical living) and the Future (planning). Where we came from, who we are and what's ahead are important questions.
Ephesians tells us of God's plan and design for mankind. Chapter two tells us of our past state, present victory and future service. See the ideas mentioned in verses 2, 13 and 7.
I. SINNERS in Time Past 2:1-3
(3 D's describe the life of sin)
A. Dead in trespasses and sins (2:1)
* Lazarus was dead to world of Life
Helen Keller was blind from the age of two. One day a young boy asked her - "Isn't it the worst thing in world to be blind?" Smiling, she replies, "Not half so bad as to have two good eyes and see nothing."
B. Disobedient in our walk (2:2) (uioiv thv apeiyeiav)
Sinatra - "I did it my Way ... "
And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I''ll say it clear,
I''ll state my case, of which I''m certain.
I''ve lived a life that''s full.
I''ve traveled each and ev''ry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
"The course of this world" - ton aiwna tou kosmou toutou
At eight years old he was chewing tobacco and rolling his own. He was the youngest of eight children, the favorite, pampered by the family. They tried their best to steer him straight, but his knack to find trouble led to fights and mischief most of the time. At age 14 his "bad boy" behavior had exhausted his teacher's patience, forcing him to leave school. With help from his Christian family, he made a fresh start in another state. But there, involvement with the wrong crowd led to drinking whiskey and playing poker. After five failed attempts at five different schools, Jarrette Aycock sold everything he owned, went to the town water tank, and waited for a freight train to anywhere. For years he drifted around the country, hopping freights from city to city. An alcoholic and a wanderer, sometimes a tramp, he gambled and drank. Yet every once in a while, he took on the responsibility of a job.
One night, though holding down a job at the time, a bitter and dejected Aycock walked along skid row in Los Angeles, cigarette hanging from his lips, the fumes of whiskey on his breath. The sound of a gospel song stopped him cold. There between two open saloons he saw the Union Rescue Mission. "Go in lad," a stranger said, "you might hear something that would do you good." As he walked through the doorway, he noticed a sign that read "There is hope for all who enter here." "The place was filled with derelicts, drunks, dope addicts, and all the odds and ends of Skid Row," Aycock later reported. "As I sat there looking them over, I got to thinking that I had been like them before and that I would be like them again unless I could somehow get free of all the old habits and the ceaseless downward pull that had plagued my life for years."'
The speaker that evening was Mel Trotter, himself a hopeless drunk until, on the brink of suicide, he met the Savior at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. Trotter became an evangelist, and for the next 40 years established over 60 rescue missions across the country. Aycock listened as Mel Trotter shared the story about how Jesus had changed his life. Then others shared their stories. "Some of them seemed to be telling my story," Aycock wrote. "They told of years of wandering, bound by sin and habits, loss of friends, loved ones, and a disappointed, brokenhearted mother."'
An invitation followed the testimonies, and Jarrette Aycock made a difficult but very necessary decision.
"It took a tremendous effort," he wrote, "because before we are ready to ask Jesus to give us a new life, we really have to be sick of the old one. We have to know that the person we have been so pleased with and proud of for so many years, the person we have pampered and almost ruined, isn't really any good at all and won't be any good until we let Jesus Christ rule that life. That isn't an easy decision. But the results of it are all glorious. I know because I made the decision myself that night, and Christ has never failed me."
At the altar of a rescue mission, Jarrette Aycock walked away from his troubled past and into a hope filled future. After working for a short while at another mission, he then began studying for the ministry. Two years after his conversion Aycock married Dell Davis. He entered the evangelistic field the following year and was ordained five years later in the Church of the Nazarene, where he served for 32 years as an evangelist.
In 1942, now Dr. Jarrette Aycock became superintendent of the Kansas City District. In 1950 he founded the Kansas City Nazarene Rescue Mission that three years later became the Kansas City Rescue Mission. Here the objective would be that others would have the same opportunity young Jarrette Aycock had received years before. - "Takin' It to the Streets" pages 26-29.
C. Desiring lusts of the flesh and the mind (2:3)
"15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world----the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life----is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1Jo 2:15-17 NKJV)
II. SALVATION in the Present 2:5-9
"BUT God" who is rich in mercy - we don't have to continue in sin! Jesus can save you NOW!
* Matt said we can't be saved now - Armstrongism
A. "Made Alive" (quickened) 2:5 Regeneration - new life!
B. "Saved through faith" 2:8 Justification by faith
* Wesley explains Salvation (vol 5, p. 9)
(1) Not the faith of a heathen - some knowledge of God's attributes;
future punishment and morals.
(2) Not of a devil - rational, cold, lifeless; assent of the mind w/ fear.
(3) Not of the Apostles before the resurrection - to be amazed and
follow Jesus w/o definite faith in death and resurrection.
BUT - (A) Faith in the Person of Christ
(B) Faith as a disposition of the heart
(C) Faith in the merits of His death and power of
C. "Brought near" 2:13 Adoption!
- adopted into the household of God (2:19)
Child of the King # 361, vs 3.
III. SERVICE in the Future 2:10 ...
A. "His workmanship" 2:10 ( poihma)
Our responsibility to God - worship, serve, good works.
God is making His "poem" out of our lives by molding and refining us to be to His Glory and praise.
"For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building." (1Co 3:9 NKJV)
"The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands." (Ps 138:8 NKJV)
B. "Fellow citizens" 2:19 (sumpolitai twn `agiwn)
Our responsibility to one another in the Church
"23 And let us look on each other, for the excitement of love and good works. 24 And let us not forsake our meetings, as is the custom of some; but entreat ye one another; and the more, as ye see that day draw near." (Heb 10:23-24 MUR)
Church Garden -- Three Rows of Squash 1. Squash indifference.
2. Squash criticism. 3. Squash gossip.
Four Rows of Turnips 1. Turn up for meetings. 2. Turn up with a smile. 3. Turn up with a visitor. 4. Turn up with a Bible.
Five Rows of Lettuce 1. Let us love one another. 2. Let us welcome strangers. 3. Let us be faithful in duty. 4. Let us truly worship God.
5. Let us give liberally.
C. "Dwelling Place" of God in the Spirit 2:22
Our responsibility to the lost - be filled w/ God!
Let's live this salvation today ...