Summary of passage: Paul in a letter to the Ephesians says you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ays of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of air (Satan) when you were disobedient to God. All of us at one time (before accepting Jesus) gratified our cravings and sinful nature and followed its desires and thoughts.
But now, God, because of His great love and mercy for us, made us alive with Christ and saved us through His grace. God will raise us up with Christ and seat us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, which shows his grace and kindness to us.
It is a gift from God you have been saved–by grace alone–and not by works so that no one can boast. We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
3a) Someone who follows the ways of the world and the ruler of the kingdom of air (Satan), disobeyed God’s word, following our sinful nature, its desire and thoughts.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Trust and believe that once you believe Christ went to the Cross for you and rose from the dead and you’ve received him as your personal savior that the Holy Spirit indwells in you and you have been stamped with God’s name as a guarantee. God’s word says it’s so and He promises it will be.
4) Made us alive with Christ (verse 4) and through grace been saved (verse 5 & 8). God will raise us up and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (verse 6). It is a gift from God not by works (verses 8-9).
5) From hearing the message (the word of Christ). Trust and believing in God and His word.
6a) Yes. Works that are done for the reason of boasting in them.
b) Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
c) Personal Question. My answer: my novel that is driving me. Being a role model for my kids. Finding a church to contribute to God’s work. Tell others the Good News. Live a Godly-life. Do what Jesus would do.
Conclusions: Reading Paul’s writings here, I am baffled how the Church misconstrued this and twisted it (besides out of pure greed) in the sale of indulgences in medieval times and the pronouncement of purgatory. We will be studying this next year in homeschool and I can hardly wait because I know very little on this phase in history (being we never studied this in school and churches today definitely don’t do much history teaching).
Even today there is much misunderstanding on good works and what is exactly required of us in terms of this. Here, Paul lays it all out: we are saved by God’s gift and grace nothing more. However, once saved, we are held to higher standards by God, meaning we are expected to live Christ-like, and not revert back to our old selves before being in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit. We are expected to do good in this world. Great lesson!