April 9, 2017 – Ephesians 2:4-10
Lesson Date: April 9, 2017
Focal Scripture Passage: Ephesians 2:4-10
AIM: To lead students to describe the reason God saves sinners as well as the purpose and result of salvation, and to examine their lives to see if their works give evidence of genuine salvation.
Before class: Read the notes on Ephesians 2:4-10 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the words “Cause” and “Effect” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the words “Cause” and “Effect” written on the board. Tell the students you are going to read them several pairs of words or phrases, and you want them to identify which word or phrase of each pair represents a cause and which represents an effect. Here are some words you may use (you may also use others that might be appropriate for your age group):
Death – Burial
Lamp turning on – Flipping light switch
Eating – Digestion
Punishment – Misbehavior
Falling – Gravity
Hair turning gray – Aging
Pressing the accelerator – Car speeding up
Tell the class we live in a world of cause and effect. We see that every day in the physical world, but there is also cause and effect in the spiritual world. Erase the board and write the words “Reason,” “Result,” “Purpose,” and “Evidence” side-by-side across the board. Tell the students in today’s lesson they are going to learn the reason God saves sinners, the purpose of salvation, the result of salvation, and an evidence of genuine salvation.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesian believers while he was a prisoner in Rome (locate Rome and Ephesus on the map).
- In chapter 1 we learned that if we are saved God the Father Planned our salvation, God the Son Purchased our salvation, and God the Holy Spirit Protects our salvation.
- Read Ephesians 2:1-3.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the spiritual condition of lost people).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Eph. 2:1).
- The Reason for Our Salvation.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 2:4.
- Stress the importance of the words “But God.”
- Those words tell us that God intervened on our behalf when we were dead in sins, just as Jesus Christ intervened on Lazarus’ behalf when he was physically dead.
- Ask: “What does this verse tell you about the Reason God saves sinners?” (He does it because of His rich mercy and great love).
- Write this under the word “Reason” on the board.
- Stress the fact that God could have easily left us all in our lost condition.
- He would have been perfectly justified to do so.
- His holiness and righteousness could not have been questioned if He had totally ignored man’s spiritual deadness.
- He had nothing to lose by overlooking our condition and He needed nothing from us.
- Because He is “rich in mercy” and because of “His great love wherewith He loved us” God graciously chose, however, to do something about our spiritually dead condition.
- Ask: “How does this wonderful truth make you feel?”
- The Result of Our Salvation.
- Ask the class to listen for some results of salvation, as you read Ephesians 2:5-6.
- Explain that the word quickened means to make alive.
- Ask them to name the results of salvation they heard in verses 5-6. They should name the following:
- He made us alive when we were dead in sins, just like He raised Jesus Christ from physical death (explain that the word grace refers to something God does for you that you don’t deserve and cannot earn for yourself).
- He raised us up to an entirely new plane of living, giving us spiritual life.
- He made us citizens of heaven who will share in the glory of the Lord Jesus.
- Write these things on the board under the word “Result.”
- Ask: “In what ways can you see these results in your own life?”
- The Purpose of Our Salvation.
- Tell the class that Ephesians 2:7 reveals the “Purpose” of our salvation.
- Ask a volunteer to read that verse.
- Explain that even though we usually think of the things God did for us when He saved us, He actually has a far greater purpose.
- It is true that by saving us, the Lord:
- Prevented us from going to hell,
- Brought us from spiritual deadness to spiritual life,
- Forgave our sins so we could be right with Him, and
- Guaranteed us an eternity in heaven.
- Tell the class these blessings are really only by-products of our salvation.
- Explain that God saved us so that sometime in eternity future He can display the greatness of His grace and kindness that He has lavished on us. God saves sinners to be trophies of His grace.
- Write this under the word “Purpose” on the board.
- Ask: “How does it make you feel to realize you are a trophy of God’s grace? Does your day-to-day behavior reflect positively on God’s grace?”
- Evidence of Genuine Salvation.
- Read Ephesians 2:8-10.
- Ask: “According to verse 8, what are we saved BY?” (grace).
- Remind the class that grace is something God does for us that we don’t deserve and cannot earn.
- Ask: “What does verse 8 say we are saved THROUGH?” (faith).
- The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
- Ask: “According to verse 8, where does our faith come from?” (it is a gift from God).
- Explain that if we provided the faith, then that would be our work or contribution to our salvation. If that were true, salvation would not be by grace.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, is salvation the result of our works?” (no).
- Tell the class this is what makes biblical Christianity different from all other religions – the Bible makes it clear that there is no good deed or human effort that can ever result in salvation. Salvation is entirely a gift of God’s grace.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, why didn’t God make salvation the result of works?” (so that saved people wouldn’t be able to boast of their accomplishments).
- Tell the class that verse 10 contains an evidence of genuine salvation. Ask them to name it (good works).
- Write this under the word “Evidence” on the board.
- Stress the fact that good works do not save us, but once a person is saved, he or she will do good works.
- Ask: “How does it make you feel to realize that your salvation – and even your faith – are gifts from God, not dependent upon your human effort?”
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class this lesson has shown us the Reason, Purpose, and Result of salvation, as well as the Evidence of genuine salvation.
Read Ephesians 2:4-10 to review the lesson. Read the things you have written on the board, personalizing each one (“The Reason God saved you is …; The Purpose of your salvation is …; The Result of your salvation is ….”). Especially stress the last point: “The Evidence of your salvation is good works.”
Ask: “Think about your daily lifestyle and behavior. Do your works give evidence that you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? If not, why not?”
Tell the students if they are saved and their works show it, they should thank the Lord. If they are not producing good works, however, they should examine themselves to see if they are truly saved. If they are not, they should admit their sins and ask the Lord Jesus to save them.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell the students if they realize they are lost and want to be saved, that very desire is evidence of God’s grace at work in their lives. Urge them to call out to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to save them. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Tell the students if any of them received Jesus this morning they should make that public as quickly as possible, such as at the close of this morning’s worship service. Ask everyone to memorize Ephesians 2:8-10. Urge them to do works this week that give evidence of their salvation.
Remind the students that next Sunday is Easter Sunday. We have only six days left in which to invite unsaved persons to come with us to Sunday School and/or Worship on Easter. Offer Invite Cards to any students who need them. Ask everyone to pray that God will send people here who need to know Jesus Christ.
A good quote:
“Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud. The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast. Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace. Look upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell thee that thou art unworthy to be called his son? And if he hath made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace which hath made thee to differ? Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee. Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate-a wide domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery.”
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