Get Out Graveyard

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ASK: Do you know why they a fence around a graveyard?
But really the graveyard is where everyone will end up someday if the Lord doesn’t return in our lifetime. Have you ever been to a funeral? Have you ever seen a dead body? I remember as a kid to see a dead person was pretty scary to me. Most of the fear was from the fact that I didn’t understand that the person was no longer there, and I spent too many hours watching scary movies. As I got older I ended up working with Megan’s dad at a funeral services place when we were dating. Our biggest thing we did was making the concrete vaults and doing the grave side setup for the funerals. Megan’s dad worked at this place for like 30 years. In fact, when we were kids there was a lawyer commercial on TV where his daughter would come on the TV and say “my daddy is a lawyer and he wants to represent you.” Megan would then say, “Well, my daddy is a grave digger and he wants to bury you.”
Tonight in out text Paul paints a picture of where we were before Christ and what Christ has done for the Christian. And if you don’t know Christ as your saviour, you can still in this state. That picture is given to us in the very first verse that the lost unbeliever is dead in their sins.
But God purchased you through the blood of Christ. He paid a high price for you, and He has grand plans to use you. My hope tonight is that you will see the state of where you once were or still may be and that will challenge you to follow through on God's plans to use you to accomplish His will.
The thought with the title of the message in that God did a great miracle of His grace by taking us out of the great graveyard of sin and placed us into the throne room of glory!
If you are a Christian you have two natures. The Bible refers to these as the old and new man.
Romans 6:6 KJV 1900
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Ephesians 4:22 KJV 1900
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV 1900
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Distribute a sheet of paper and a marker to each learner. Instruct half of the class to draw a picture of an object that represents a person's old, unsaved life.
The other learners should draw a picture of an object that represents a person's new life in Christ. Give the learners three minutes to work on their sketches. Then invite volunteers to show and explain their sketches to the rest of the class. If your class is small, take time to post the sketches at the front of the room.
Paul wrote about a believer's change from being dead in sin and being alive in Christ. When a person trusts in Christ as Savior, he or she leaves a life that offends God and embarks on one that honors Him.
The overall theme of Ephesians is life in Christ. At the start of this letter to the church at Ephesus Paul described out spiritual possessions in Christ, But now he turns our attend to our spiritual position in Christ. First, he explains what God has done for all sinners in general; then he explains what God did for the Gentiles in particular. The sinner who trusts Christ has been raised and seated on the throne.
Later in this chapter Paul shows how believing Jews and Gentiles alike have been reconciled and set into the temple.
Ephesians 2:1–10 KJV 1900
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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 mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The easiest way for us to approach this text tonight is to see in it four specific works.

1. Sin’s Work Against us

Have you ever tired to take a full-length picture? I remember as a kid my family would go to the mall or sears to get family photo’s done. Some of those time you would be able see your whole body on the picture. Today we are used to the selfy where we just get our head and maybe our shoulders but with those full-length pictures you have to worry about your posture, your feet being in the right place, and even your arms and hands. You have to pay attend to the the details in the picture or risk taking a bad photo. In the first three verses , Paul gives us a full-length picture of the terrible spiritual condition of the unsaved person. Note some of the details Paul gives.

He is Dead

This is meaning spiritually dead;
The clause, "who were dead in trespasses and sins" (2:1), conveys a sense of the dreadful condition of the unsaved.
ASK: What are some effects of being dead in trespasses and sins? Unable to please God; can't understand spiritual things; following the world's pattern for living.
that is, he is unable to understand and appreciate spiritual things. He has no spiritual life, and can do nothing in himself to please God.
Just as dead people can't help themselves, so unsaved persons can't do anything to improve their spiritual condition. There is no self-help book for getting saved. Just as a physically dead person does not respond to touch, they can’t not hear the conversations about them during their funerals. They have no appetite for food or drink, they feel no pain. Why because they are dead! The same is true to the lost spiritually they are dead and feel nothing spiritually. The lost has no spirituality, they cannot function in that area until God gives them life.
Matthew 13:13 KJV 1900
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
In the Bible, death means “separation” not only physically, as the spirit is separated from the body, but also spiritually, as the spirit is separated from God.
Isaiah 59:2 KJV 1900
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
The unbeliever is not sick; he is dead! He does not need medicine he needs a resurrection. Everyone who has yet placed their complete faith in Christ are all dead spiritually and all equally dead.
As people we tend to place sinners and sins on different levels. But the only difference between on lost sinner and another is the state of decay. We may think that someone on death row is father decayed than maybe a unsaved society leader, who is “trying” to make a better world. But one dead person physically is not more dead than another.
This means that our world is one vast graveyard, filled with people who are dead while they live.
1 Timothy 5:6 KJV 1900
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

He is Disobedient

This was the beginning of man’s spiritual death - his disobedience to the will of God.
Genesis 2:17 KJV 1900
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Then Satan comes along and says:
Genesis 3:4 KJV 1900
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
And because they believed the lie, the first man and woman sinned and experience immediate spiritual death and ultimate physical death. Since that time, mankind has lived in disobedience to God. Our focuses that encourage us in our disobedience - the world, the devil, and the flesh.
The world and world-systems put pressures upon every person trying to get people to conform our it’s image instead of God’s image. They put pressure on young people to forget about God and the values of the Bible and just be like everyone else. But the unsaved person is controlled by the values and attitudes of this world.
Satan also, influences the lives of all unbelievers, and also seeks to influence believes, He wants to make people “children of disobedience.”
Ephesians 2:2 KJV 1900
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:
One of Satan’s chief tools for getting people to disobey God is lies. Just like in the garden. But He is a liar.
John 8:44 KJV 1900
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Then the flesh encourages unbelievers to disobey God. The flesh refers to that fallen nature that we were both with the body and mind make us disobey God.
Is is any wonder that the unsaved person is disobedient to God? Have you ever wondered why lost people act the way they do? Because they are dead in their sins. The lost needs help outside of himself, and that can only come from God.

God’s Work For Us

Man cannot save himself, but God is His grace stepped in to make salvation possible for all. verse 4 gives us two of the greatest words in all the Bible. “But God.”
We are reminded of some activities that God performed on behalf of sinners to same them from the consequences of their sins.

He Loved Us

Ephesians 2:4 KJV 1900
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
By nature God is love.
1 John 4:8 KJV 1900
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
But God would love even if there were not sinners, because love is a part of His very being. We call this one of God’s attributes. God has two kinds of attributes: Those that He possess of Himself. These are for God alone they are call intrinsic attributes. Then there are those that He relates to His creation, especially us. These are called relative attributes. For example, by nature God is truth; but when He relates that to us, God’s truth becomes Faithfulness. God is by nature Holy but when it is related to us it becomes justice.
Love is one that when God relates that to us is becomes grace and mercy.
Just as I could say that I love you. But you may never believe that I true do until I show that I love you through my actions. So, we are not saved today, because of God’s love alone but by his mercy and grace. In mercy, He does not give us what we deserve. And His grace gives us what we do not deserve. And all that is made possible by Jesus dying on the cross for us as God displayed his hatred for sin and His love for the world!

He Quickened Us

Ephesians 2:5 KJV 1900
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
This means he made us alive, even when we were dead in our sins. He accomplished this spiritual resurrection by the power of the Spirit at the very moment we place our complete faith in Christ. No longer are we the walking dead. No long do we walk around num to the spiritual things, no longer do we have no hope of life. Just as Jesus spoke the words to Lazarus saying, “come forth” or to Jairus’ daughter. Just as Jesus spoke the words of life into there physical body. But the Word of God we were saved.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV 1900
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
When you were saved chances are your thoughts of your salvation started because you heard someone preaching or teaching the Word of God, or you read the words for yourself. And By His Word you were made alive.
Ephesians 2:1 KJV 1900
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

He Exalted Us

Ephesians 2:6 KJV 1900
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
We were not raised from the dead and left in the graveyard. Because we are untied to Christ, we have been exalted with Him and we are sharing His throne in heavenly places. Our physical position may be on earth, but our spiritual position is in heavenly places in Christ. Like Lazarus, we have been called form the grave to sit with Christ and enjoy His fellowship.
John 12:1–2 KJV 1900
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

He Keeps Us

Verses 7-9 shows us that by God’s grace we are saved and by His grace we are kept. Meaning there is nothing we can do to work for our salvation and since we cannot work to be saved we cannot work ourselves out of salvation either. Salvation is a gift not a reward. Salvation cannot be of works because the work has already been completed on the cross.
John 19:30 KJV 1900
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

God’s Work in Us

Ephesians 2:10 KJV 1900
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The word workmanship in the Greek is pioema, it is where we get the English word “poem.” It means “that which is made, a manufactured product.” In other words, our conversion is not the end; it is the beginning. We are a part of God’s new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV 1900
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And because of that God continues to work in us to make us what He wants us to be. His purpose is to make us more like Christ.
But how does God work in us? Through His Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:13 KJV 1900
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Christ is then equipping us for our walk and our work here on earth. To do this, He uses three tools: The Word of God, Prayer, and suffering. As we read God’s Word, understand it, meditate on it, and feed on it, the Word goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release God’s power.
And as we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. Suffering drives us back to the Word and prayer, and cycle is repeated.
Too many Christians think that salvation is the end game, but its only the beginning of what God wants to do in us.
The same resurrection power that save you and took you from the graveyard of sin can daily help you live for Christ and glorify Him. Christ is working in us to conform us to be like Him, but only as we yield to Him and go to the tools He has left for us instead of trying to climb the fence to get back in the graveyard.
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