Ephesians 1-3 Saved by grace and created for good works

From Ephesians 1-3

Paul the apostleGod has saved us by grace and laid out in advance a great number of good works to do in our lives. Its no good resisting the works God has planned for us. We are assured that we will walk in them.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9 are very well known to Christians throughout the world. So I thought I would show off how my C1-C5 framework works with it.

Paul is writing to Saints (Eph 1.1), therefore the location he views different states and events from is C3.

[2:1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2.1-3)

C3 to C1

Paul is describing the C1 state the Ephesians once were in. So he is looking backward from the C3 viewpoint to C1.

[4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—[6] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2.4-6)

Eph 2 C3 to C2

Still looking backwards from C3. Paul reflects on the saving event which occurs at C2. They were made alive, they have been saved (past tense) by grace.

[7] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2.7)

C3 to C5

Now Paul quickly switches from looking backward to looking forward to C5. In the coming ages God will show them immeasurable riches of his grace.

[8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2.8-9)

Eph 2 C3 to C2

Paul comments again they have been saved (C1 to C3) by grace through faith (C2). They were not saved (C1 to C3) as a result of works (C2). Paul is contrasting the Christian (faith) with the Jewish means of initial salvation (works).

[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2.10)

C3 to C3

Paul’s statements now reflects his understanding of the C3 Ephesians identity in Christ. They are new creations, created for good works.

For Believers

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The final verse is interesting. God has laid out in advance all the good works believers will do in their lives. Its no good resisting the works God has planned for us. We are assured that we will walk in them. So considering God has changed us from being dead in our transgressions so that now we are alive in Christ, lets get busy with the works God has planned for us.

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