“Sola Gratia” (Ephesians 2:1-10)

“Sola Gratia” (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Sola Gratia (Eph. 2:1-10)

It’s a lot easier to state the truth of this doctrine than it is to feel the joy and freedom we have received because of it.

God gives life through his Son to display the riches of his grace.

Our silence is not only a missed opportunity for our neighbor to hear the gospel, but, a missed opportunity to display God’s grace.

I want to know fully and display often, the riches of God’s mercy.

Illus: Church cell tower > partnership with community. Some have donated and attended.

Paul wrote Ephesians from prison in Rome (A.D. 60) to several churches in the region of Ephesus (Acts 19). From prison, Paul was rejoicing in the riches of Christ’s grace that had been poured out upon them.

Paul never tired of declaring the glory of the gospel. We should never tire of hearing the gospel and allowing it to work deeper into our hearts.

Eph. 1-3 about who we are in Christ (indicative). Chapters 4-6 the implications of that truth (imperatives). Those implications include unity in church, new life of holiness, walking in love, and living as spouses, parents, children, masters and servants.

He has already reminded them of their spiritual blessings in Christ (1:3), the riches of his grace (1:8), their inheritance (1:11), and the sealing of the Holy Spirit when they believed in the gospel (1:13). He gave thanks for them and prayed for their wisdom and knowledge of God’s work in Christ (1:15-23).

Chapter two begins with one long sentence where the main verb in the Greek does not occur until v.5 (“made alive”).

Read Ephesians 2:1-10

I. You Were Dead In Sin (1-3)

What is our human condition from birth? How much moral ability does fallen man possess?

You were dead (1)

Pelagianism taught that man was born neutral and could choose to be righteous or wicked. Semi-pelagianism says man is broken and bent toward sin, but his will is free. He must cooperate with God in order to be saved.

Faulty Analogies of Semi-Pelagianism:

  1. A sick man who must take the healing medicine his doctor is offering.
  2. A drowning man is thrown a life preserver, but he must reach out and grab hold of it.

These analogies are inconsistent with what Paul says here.

Not only were you dead in sin, but…

You once walked in sin (2)

You were enslaved to your sin, following the course of this world and the devil.

We once lived among the sons of disobedience (3)

Col 1:21

Illustration: Judges closing refrain

We were by nature children of wrath. We were justly deserving of God’s wrath while unregenerate.

There was a time when all we knew was sin. Every thought, word, and action we took was an act of defiance against God. We were totally depraved. That doesn’t mean we were as bad as we could be, but that every part of us is infected by sin.

When you reflect upon your past, prior to acknowledging Christ as Lord, what fills your mind? Do you feel regret for so many years given to the course of this world?

Do you experience a proper and ever increasing grief and hatred of your sin? Do you see more areas of sin in your past? Are you dying more and more to that lifestyle that once controlled you?

II. But God Made Us Alive With Christ (4-6)

This is the central truth of reformed theology. We have salvation because of God’s grace.

Who did it? (4)

The only reason you were saved is because of God’s rich mercy and love towards you.

What did he do? (5-6)

Made us alive with Christ even when we were dead (Col. 3:1-4).

Raised us up and seated us with Christ in heaven. Although this is consummated in the future, it is so certain that Paul speaks of it as having been completed (Rom. 5:9-10).

The benefits Christ received in his resurrection and ascension have been granted to us because of our union with him.

III. For God to Show and Us to Do (7-10)

To show the immeasurable riches of his grace

Your life in Christ is meant to display the riches of God’s grace.

Is that evident to your family, co-workers, neighbors?

Saved by grace through the gift of faith, not works

As you think about the evidence of God’s grace, you must remember that works do not save you (cf. Rom. 3:27).

The Roman Catholic Church taught that baptism is the instrumental cause of our justification. The Reformers taught that faith is the instrumental cause, which is itself a gift from God.

Faith is the root and works are the fruit of our salvation.

Created for good works

Another important motto of the Reformation: Justification is by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.

God has prepared good works for us to do. Works are not the ground of our justification, but the consequence of it. Paul hints here at what he will elaborate in chapters 4-6.

As the workmanship of a merciful and loving God, he has promised to accomplish his will through us. We participate in his plan of redemption!

We can only carry out that work God has prepared for us to do, as we live by faith. We have been saved by faith, and we continue to walk by faith.


God gives life through his Son to display the riches of his grace.

Your testimony of being dead but made alive with Christ, should impact everyrelationship in your life! Single/Married. Home/Work. Church/Neighborhood.

Ed Hartman, “The deeper the gospel goes inward, the wider will be it’s reach outward.”

Goal: Reflect upon all God has done for us through Christ. Hear it with faith and allow it to impact your affections.

When that happens you won’t remain silent. It will fill your mind and conversations throughout the week. You will display the riches of God’s grace and do the good works God prepared for you.