Hello everyone, it’s time to begin service this evening. I welcome everyone who is listening. I send my greetings to you all. I want to extend special greetings to the saints in Brazil. I know there is a lot going on there right now.
I would ask all our listeners to pray for the saints in Brazil who are trading in the message of William Branham for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There has been a great awakening happening there, and we want to pray for God to continue to bless the efforts of the different ones on the ground there.
And today, we are continuing our series of messages on the book of Ephesians. I invite you to turn with me to chapter 2.
As different ones here in the US reached out over the past week, I will tell you the same thing I have said to different ones privately. I am not the greatest teacher or preacher you will ever meet. I am far from it. There are great preachers and great teachers out there who are much better speakers than me. And I encourage you to not be afraid to listen to ministers outside of the circle we come from. Just listen carefully and use discernment. With where we have come from and what we have been through, caution is certainly in order for us all.
But I feel very confident in saying we are not the only people in the world who are true followers of Jesus Christ. And all the while that you and I were in a doomsday cult, there was a true church who was still faithfully following Jesus. They are out there, and I truly believe they can be found if you have a desire to look. And I hope, as we work our way through this book of Ephesians, just like we worked our way through the book of Romans, you can use what we read here to help you identify other true followers of Christ.
And at the end of the day, remember it’s not the mountain you worship on that saves you. It’s not the people around you who save you or damn you.
What saves people and makes them Christians is their saving faith in Jesus Christ. And that is all and nothing else. You are not saved by the life you live, by the knowledge or revelation you have, by the group you are part of, or by the mountain you worship on. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
And that is what these scriptures we are going to look at today will tell us.
Let me start at chapter 2, verse 4.
Ephesians 2 ESV
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, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Let us pray. Lord God, we worship you. From the depths of our inner being, we call out to you in praise. Oh great God, who has saved us from destruction. We are truly undeserving, and we can do nothing to merit your salvation. But you have saved us as an act of pure love and mercy. And for that, we worship you, great eternal God.
Lord, as we look at this passage today, perhaps the most important passage in this entire book of Ephesians, we pray that you bless our understanding. As we review these words written by the Apostle Paul, may the Holy Spirit make the truth alive and real in our hearts in that special way which only you can. Grant it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
These are such wonderful verses of scripture that we are looking at today. As I mentioned in the prayer, these are probably the most well-known and most important verses of the entire book of Ephesians.
In just a few words, Paul has laid out the entirety of the plan of salvation and God’s intention for our lives once we are saved.
Paul says here in just a few words what he spent six chapters explaining in the book of Romans. And as I say that, let me remind you that Ephesians, in many ways, is not a book that provides us a comprehensive explanation of everything the Apostle Paul mentions. But many passages, like this, are a concise summary of the main points which Paul explains in great depth in his other epistles.
Now we are going to take time to examine these verses in-depth. And that is something we are probably going to need about three or four lessons to do. And today we will just be getting started with these verses. But before we do that, let me again remind us of the overall context of this passage in the flow of the book.
We are still in the first half of the book of Ephesians. And in this first half, Paul is primarily sharing doctrines with his readers. That is a typical practice of Paul in the epistles that he sends to churches. The first half is doctrine, and the second half is practical application. The first half is how to think, and the second half is how to behave in light of that knowledge.
And so we are here in the portion of the book where Paul is helping his readers understand how to think about these topics. It is doctrine.
And in the first chapter, Paul has made a lot of big sweeping statements, designed to awe and amaze his readers about just how wonderful and amazing God is. And then he wraps up chapter 1 by driving home the point that the ultimate redemption of all the believers is a total and unstoppable certainty.
The redemption train cannot be derailed, the redemption train cannot be slowed down, the redemption train cannot be stopped. The redemption train is going to reach its destination, no matter what because God is the conductor of the train.
And the total certainty of redemption is how chapter 1 ended. And then chapter two started with the three verses we looked at in the last message.
After first telling his readers the certainty of redemption in chapter 1, Paul opened chapter 2 by telling his readers what they are being redeemed from.
And we are being redeemed from sin and from death, all of which stems from an unrestrained drive in wicked men and women to satisfy their own passions and desires, above all else.
And in those verses, Paul not only tells us what we are being redeemed from but he also conveys to us the very root causes of sin itself.
And the root cause of sin is when men and women put the pursuit of their own passions and desires above all else. It was what Satan did when he rebelled against God. It is what Adam and Eve did when they partook of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. And it is still what all wicked men and women do today when they sin.
It is when satisfying ourselves becomes a higher priority than love and respect for others. Sin enters the picture when our lives are not constrained and governed by love.
There is nothing wrong with dreams, desires, and passions. Those are all good things. But when our pursuit of our dreams and desires and our passions is not guided by love, then we will inevitably sin. If we are not guided by love, we will inevitably do harm and hurt to others and to ourselves, and to God himself in our pursuit of those things.
That is what Satan did. That is what Adam and Eve did. And that is what everyone does when they put themselves first.
And when men and women put themselves first, they are putting themselves into the seat of God. They are saying, “I know what is best.” They are saying, “My needs are the most important needs. I don’t care if someone else gets hurt. I want to satisfy my lust, my greed, my pride, my vanity, my jealousy. I want to satisfy me.”
That is what verse 3 is speaking about.
But God is redeeming us from that sort of life. And here is the thing, some people are very greedy, and very selfish, and very proud, and some people are only a little greedy, or a little selfish, or a little proud.
Some people cause a whole lot of hurt, and some people only cause a little.
But everyone has, at some level, engaged in that sort of wicked behavior. And everyone needs to be delivered and redeemed from those sorts of things because that is the root cause of everything that is wrong in the world.
And that is the thing God is going to redeem us all from. God is not redeeming us from the shallow, false legalistic version of sin, but he is going to deliver us from real sin. He is going to deliver us from the things that really defile us, from deep down within us.
So in the first three verses, Paul has told his readers the terrible condition from which we are being redeemed from, which is a world of death and suffering created by sin. Sin is driven by the pride and selfishness of wicked mankind. In verse 4, Paul begins to tell us just how we came by this wonderful redemption, explaining how we obtained this great blessing of salvation.
Let me start to read that again, verse 4:
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—Ephesians 2 ESV
Right there, Paul starts to let us know how we obtained salvation, and we see that it has absolutely nothing to do with us. It has to do with God and the work he did through the person of Jesus Christ. God did not save us because we deserved it, earned it, or possessed something intrinsic to ourselves. He saved us because, first of all, he is rich in mercy. He saved us because of himself; he is merciful.
God likes to show mercy. That is something he enjoys doing, and he has lots of mercy to give. God is so rich in mercy; he is overflowing with it. Some people are rich in money, but God is rich in mercy. He has oodles of mercy, and that is the first reason he saved us – because he is merciful.
Then the second part of verse 3 says, “Because of the great love with which he loved us.” This is the second reason God saved us, and again, it’s not because of something we did, earned, or studied. It’s not because of our efforts or the groups we joined or the mountains we worship on. It’s because he loved us. God didn’t love us with a little love; he loved us with a great love.
You and I are God’s creation. God made us; the Bible tells us that God forms us in the womb. God designed each of us as a unique individual, like a snowflake or a fingerprint. Every one of us is a unique creation of God, and the only reason you make something is that you want it. God made us because he wanted us. God wants us, and God loves us. That is why he made us, and that is also the second reason why he saved us.
First, because he is rich in mercy, and second because he loves us.
So, if I ask you the question, “Why did God save you?” The answer is because he is merciful and because he loves you. And that’s it.
God saved you because he is merciful and because he loves you. He wants you, and you could say he has an attachment or a desire to have you. That is why he saved you.
And that is kind of hard to understand, I think, perhaps because of my background. But it’s hard to understand how we could be sinful, unholy persons, yet a holy, perfect God still loves us. That is hard to understand, isn’t it?
It is very hard to wrap your mind around that when you have come from a performance-based religion. How can a holy and perfect God love something that is unholy and imperfect? That seems to be incompatible with the views of a legalistic system of religion that is performance-based.
But God’s love for us is not conditioned on our performance because, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins. While we were yet sinners, God loved us. And that is what Paul goes on to say here in verse 5.
5 Even when we were dead in our trespasses, [He] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—Ephesians 2 ESV
Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, that takes us back to verse 1. Even when we were living a wicked, sinful life, driven by the unrestrained pursuit of our passions and desires, sitting in God’s seat, acting like we were the god of our life – even then, God loved us.
Before we repented, before we saw our need for a savior, even when we were dead in our trespasses, he loved us, and he was working to save us.
Even when we were trespassing into places we did not belong, sitting in God’s seat where we did not belong, committing transgressions – even then, God loved us.
Verse 5 very clearly shows us that God’s love for us is not conditioned on anything within us, just like verse 3. God loves us not because of us but because of his mercy. God loves us, first and foremost, because of himself, not because of us, not because of our performance.
God’s love for me does not depend on what I do or do not do. God’s love for me depends on his mercy, and he is very, very rich in mercy. He has no shortage of mercy, and therefore, he has no shortage of love.
5 Even when we were dead in our trespasses, [He] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—Ephesians 2 ESV
Coming from a performance-based doomsday cult, it is very, very difficult, I will say, even for myself to comprehend these words. It takes an act of the Holy Spirit to reveal things like this to a person. Even now, as I read these words, I scarcely grasp them.
But as I read verse 5 here, I am forced to realize that God loves me not because of me and my performance, but he loves me because of himself.
It can be challenging for someone to believe that, and I have a feeling that if you have escaped from the same cult that I did, you will find it challenging to believe that too. But as challenging as it is to believe, it is true. Just like the children’s song goes, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It is a marvelous truth.
And I know some people find comfort in the thought that God loves them because there is something about them that God loves. But I find it far more comforting to know that God’s love for me is not based on anything to do with me at all but based on God’s goodness.
And that is not to say that God does not love things about us; I think that is true. There are things God loves about us as his children. But his love, the love which led him to save and redeem us, was not based on something about us. It was based on something about him.
And that is one of the chief points of verse 5.
5 Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—Ephesians 2 ESV
This thing is an act of grace, our salvation, and our redemption. The absolute certainty of its completion, the guarantee of our inheritance in heaven—all those wonderful things Paul spent the last chapter telling the Ephesians about—it is all by the grace of God. By grace alone, we are saved. It is purely an act of God’s love and mercy upon someone who did not deserve love or mercy.
It is God having mercy on the guilty; it is God loving the unlovable.
We are saved by grace.
And in that word “grace,” Paul really brings home the points he made in verse 4, that God is granting salvation entirely because of his grace and his love, and there are no other reasons. Those are the only reasons that God has chosen to save us—because he is merciful and gracious and because he loves us. That is it.
It is not because you lived a certain lifestyle; it is not because you performed certain good deeds; it is not because you learned certain knowledge; it is not because you were revealed certain mysteries; it is not because you joined a particular group, or found the right mountain to worship on. It is none of those things; it is just grace. It is grace alone by which we are saved.
That is what verse 5 tells us. But in verse 6, it gets better because verse 6 lets us know that God’s grace has given us more than just salvation. It’s not simply justification by the blood of Christ that he has given us by grace, but it is all of it. He has given us all of it by grace.
5 … 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.Ephesians 2 ESV
You see, he did not just save us by grace, but by grace, he also raises us up to sit with Christ. Your position in the heavenly places, your seat in Christ Jesus—that is also by grace. And that speaks in part of our present position, but it also speaks to reward in glory, to what we will obtain in the hereafter, in our inheritance. And verse 7 lets us know that our life today and our reward in the world to come are also products of God’s grace.
5… 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, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith.Ephesians 2 ESV
Brothers and sisters, Paul is telling us here that not just our salvation is given by grace, but our very inheritance in glory, our very position and glory in the coming ages, is also a product of the grace of God. It’s not because of works; it’s not because of knowledge; it’s not because of membership in a special group. It is because of the grace of God.
And as you read this, if you come from the background I do, there is a whole lot of stuff you have to shake out of your head here. When you read this, if you have the background I do, immediately your mind starts going to all kinds of places where you will try to say that your reward or position in heaven is indeed based on works or based on knowledge or based on such things as that because where we come from, they would agree there is a degree to which we are saved by grace. But they would never agree and never believe that your reward in heaven or position in the heavenly kingdom is a product of grace. They would never believe that. They would tell us our reward in the world to come is a combination of so-called holy living and understanding revealed mysteries of scripture, and they have a lot of scriptures they would use to make those points.
I know if you come from my background, that is exactly where your mind goes when I say these verses are telling us that our glory in the world to come is also a product of grace.
But here is the thing: The plain reading of the Bible says that the glory to come is also a product of God’s grace, and all the verses and passages we would use to say our reward is connected to so-called holy living and understanding so-called revelations—I know every single passage of scripture that would be used to say that, and every single passage we would use to say that our reward in heaven is based on knowledge, or revelations, or lifestyle, or things like that—every one of those things is not based on the plain reading of scripture. They are all based entirely on the interpretations of symbolism, or the interpretation of parables, or things of that nature. It’s not based on the plain reading of scripture.
Paul writes here very plainly: It is all based on grace. And there are scriptures we could go to that tell us that our reward is related to our works; that is true. But when Jesus was asked, “What must we do to do the work of God?” He said, “Believe on him who he sent.” In other words, believing in Jesus is doing the work of God. The work to be done, so to speak, is faith in Christ.
There are also scriptures we could look at that say our reward is connected to our stewardship, but Paul tells us very plainly in other epistles and especially in 1st Corinthians, or Peter in 2nd Peter, or John in 1st John—they all tell us that our capacity and performance as stewards are a product of grace.
In chapter 15, Paul talked about all the great works he did, and then he said, “Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” So in that respect, even our capacity and ability to perform the works are a product of grace. None of it is of our own inherent capacity.
Paul explained in Philippians that it is God who works in us, both to give us the will to do the work and the capacity to actually do it. And so, while it is true there are a few places we can see that works play into rewards, we realize the works themselves are also by grace. And we see Paul say the same thing here in verse 9 and 10.
I believe Paul understood the parables better than you and I do, and I believe Paul understood the symbolism of scripture better than you and I do. And Paul says we are raised up and seated in the heavenly places, even in the coming ages, because of grace.
And Paul was not mistaken. So what I have to conclude is that the religious cult system that we escaped from, they are mistaken. They have misinterpreted the symbolism; they have misinterpreted the parables because you cannot align their interpretation with the plain reading of scripture.
And when you interpret the parables and symbolism in a way that contradicts the plain reading of scripture, then you can be totally certain you have interpreted the symbols incorrectly.
We are saved by grace, period. And our reward and inheritance, in the heavenly places and in the coming ages, is equally a product of the grace of God, period.
Let me read that again, Verse 7.
7 So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.Ephesians 2 ESV
There is really no other way to read that passage. It is all a gift of God, beginning to end. And I want to zero in on verse 8 next. It says, “By grace you have been saved through faith.”
Paul here brings faith into the picture; he is telling us where faith enters in.
We are saved by grace. We are not saved by faith. We are saved by grace. The saving grace comes to us through faith.
A good analogy I have heard is like this: Faith is the pipe, and grace is the water.
It is the grace that saves you, and faith is the pipe it comes to you by.
And you can’t drink the pipe. The pipe is not worth anything unless something is flowing through it.
But the grace, flowing through the pipe of faith, is what saves you.
So, as we look at this, we can say we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone.
Grace is the only thing that saves us, and faith is the only pipe through which it flows.
Nothing else besides God’s grace can save you, and nothing besides faith can connect you with that grace.
Your works cannot connect you to the grace. Your knowledge or revelations cannot connect you to the grace. Membership in a special group cannot connect you to that grace.
The only thing that can connect you to the grace is faith, and that is personal. It is something inside of you that has faith in Christ as your savior, faith in Christ as the person who has saved you.
It is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
It’s all in Christ. And I want to point that out to you in case you haven’t noticed it yet.
If you recall, in the last chapter, Paul kept repeating the phrase, “in Christ,” repeatedly.
And here in chapter 2, Paul is still doing the same thing.
Let’s read back through these verses, and I want you to catch each spot Paul said that phrase, just in these five verses.
Start at verse 5.
“5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (that one time)—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him (that’s two times) and seated us with him (that is three times) in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (that is four times) 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (that is five times). 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. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (that is six times) for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2 ESV
So six times in five verses here, Paul is telling us this is all in Christ. And he has already said that exact same thing twelve more times back in chapter 1. So this is a total of eighteen times Paul has repeated himself so far since he started the book of Ephesians, telling us this is all in Christ.
Eighteen times so far, he has told us this is all in Christ.
And he is not done saying that yet. When we get to the second half of chapter 2, Paul is going to start explaining why he keeps repeating himself, and we will talk about that at length when we get there.
But at this point, I want you to just notice again, Paul keeps repeating himself, saying it’s all in Christ. And when I say we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, I want you to see that the “In Christ Alone” part is what Paul has been saying in almost every verse we have read so far since we started our study of Ephesians.
Paul has told us very clearly so far that we are saved by grace, through faith, in Christ. And in reading these scriptures, there is no way to fit something else into Paul’s formula for salvation here.
Let me read verse 8 again.
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
Our faith in Christ connects us with saving grace, and God offers us saving grace because he loves us.
And that is it.
And in the second half of verse 8, Paul drops in another fact for us to consider. Paul says our very ability to exercise this faith was itself a gift.
Our capacity to have faith to believe in Christ as a savior is a gift from God.
You and I have faith, with which we can use to believe in Christ, but our capacity to do that is an ability God gave us.
It’s not an ability we in any way developed on our own.
Our capacity for faith is a gift of God.
And, I believe God gives everyone a capacity for faith. God is not willing for any to perish.
And when we use that capacity God gives us to confess faith in Christ, that is an exercise of our free will. But the faith to do that, that faith itself was a gift from God.
You did not muster up your own faith and believe in Christ. No, God gave you a gift of faith, and you used the gift of faith he gave you to believe in Christ. The faith itself is given to you by God.
“What must we do to do the work of God? Believe on him who he sent.” That is the only work, so to speak, that we are called to do.
And I want to focus on this just a bit more.
I want to make sure I am clear on this point: Saving faith is not of yourself. All the energy and exertion and whatever else you want to call it can never produce saving faith.
Saving faith is something God gives you, and it is not something you can work up. It’s not something you can self-produce. It’s not something you can build.
It is something God gives you.
The idea that you can build your own faith, that is not a scriptural belief.
Faith is a gift of the spirit, and it is a fruit of the spirit.
And that is the only real faith there is, the kind that God gives. And you have certainly had faith from the moment God saved you because it took that gift of faith for you to even be saved.
And Jesus said if you have faith the size of the grain of a mustard seed, you have enough faith for the greatest of miracles. You don’t need a mountain of faith to move mountains. You just need a faith of the grain of a mustard seed to move the biggest mountains. And God gave you that much faith as a gift from the moment he saved you.
And if you have that much faith, you have all the faith you ever going to need. That doesn’t mean your faith won’t grow because your faith will certainly grow stronger as you walk with Christ. But you have all the faith you need to make it to the end, from the moment you start.
And any preacher who tells you otherwise is a deceiver. The only faith you need to make it to the other side is saving faith.
And I say that because some people talk about rapturing faith or they talk about extra special faith. And if you don’t have that extra special faith, you can’t make it.
And I am here to tell you, that is also not something that works here with Paul is talking about. Saving faith in Christ is the only kind of faith you need to make it.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
If God’s grace is not enough, then Paul is a deceiver. If faith alone is not enough to obtain it, Paul is a deceiver. And if Christ alone is insufficient as the both the author and finisher of that faith, then Paul was a deceiver.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
And if anyone who tries to monkey with the plan of salvation is someone you should run away from.
Created in Christ Jesus
Let me read these last three verses one more time, and I will point out a couple more things to you before we bring this lesson to an end for today.
“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. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2 ESV
In these three verses, Paul is really driving home the point that our salvation is something that has been fully accomplished outside of ourselves. My salvation did not occur within me; it occurred in Christ. My salvation was brought about by what Jesus did on the cross to save me. It was brought about not by my works but by his works. And on no level was it my own doing; it was entirely a gift from God.
And while I did exercise faith to believe in Christ, my capacity to do that was a gift from God.
God did this entire work, beginning to end, and he did it in Christ Jesus.
And by faith, I am in Christ. By faith, I am united to him—I in him, and him in me. And in him, I am a finished work; in him, I am resurrected; in him, I am saved; in him, I am perfect; in him, I am seated in heavenly places. And in him, the work of my salvation has been completed.
And my salvation, ultimately, is not a work that originated in me. My salvation is a work that originated in Jesus Christ, and I am saved in Him.
There are no redeeming qualities in myself, but there are redeeming qualities in Jesus Christ. And I need to be united with him to be redeemed—bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh—the bride of Christ.
Because outside of that, there is no salvation. Outside of that, there is no redemption.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
There is much more in these verses I want to share, but this will be where we stop off in this message.
If you come back next time, we are going to focus more on verses 6 and 7; we will talk about being seated in the heavenly places and the coming ages.
And as I bring this lesson to a close, if you are listening in today, maybe you are someone who always struggles in your walk with Christ. You struggle with feeling unworthy; you struggle with obstacles or difficulties you can’t seem to get past. And maybe you let those things get you down and make you think there is no hope for you. Maybe you constantly look down on yourself because you just can’t seem to perform right or understand right.
I want you to realize, it’s not your works that save you, but it is the work of God. You have to hold fast to the faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross. And even though today you may not be experiencing the fullness of God’s redemption, one day you will. And it’s good for you to long for the fullness of your redemption. It’s good for you to recognize your shortcomings and have a desire to do better. It’s good for you to long for the change to come; Paul longed for it. All creation groans for it—the redemption of our bodies.
Today we have just a taste; today we are redemption in progress. But be comforted; you are God’s workmanship. He is the one doing the work. I encourage you, press ahead with all that is in you. Don’t stop pressing, but never let your shortcomings stand between you and faith in the Savior. He will finish what he has started in you; his grace is sufficient for you, his grace is good enough to save you, and his grace is good enough to bring you a reward in the world to come. The blood of Jesus is all you need to escape all wrath, and when at last, you finally meet Jesus face to face, you will, on that day, at long last, be like him.
All things that trouble you now, on that day, they won’t trouble you anymore. And between here and there, just fasten your eyes on Jesus, open your eyes to the love of God, and let God work in your life.
Let me close in prayer.
Great eternal God, thank you for your love and your mercy and your grace. Lord God, you see that many of us who listened here, we escaped a cult where salvation from the wrath to come was not something we believed we could obtain by faith in Christ. It was not something we believed we could get by being justified by his blood. We were taught it was something we had to earn, something we had to merit, either through our works or through the accumulation of so-called revelations.
And Lord, you see how that has harmed the minds of many people; it has even pushed some people to suicide. God, I pray you ease the burdens in the minds of those wounded people. Let them know your love and let them know that, even at their worst, you still love them.
And God, let your love lift them out of despair, lift them up to a higher walk with you. Wash away all the false notions of symbolic holiness that they were indoctrinated with, and give them a revelation of true holiness, which flows through us as a product of your love guiding our lives. Let them be fruitful unto every good work, grant them love and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, grant them the self-control and patience and long-suffering they so badly desire of you, and heal the trauma in their hearts and minds.
Lord, we are asking for good things, and you promised us that when we ask for good things, you will give them to us. Grant our petition we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.