Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore Remember
In the movie Captain America, Steve Rogers asks Dr. Erskine, “Why me?” Steve wants to know why he has been chosen for the honor of going through the program that will turn him into ‘Captain America’. Steve knows that he is the least deserving of all the candidates.
Dr. Erskine says to him, “A strong man, who has known power all his life, may loose respect for that power; but a weak man knows the value of strength and knows compassion.”
After this Steve Rogers says, “Thanks, I think.”
Dr. Erskine says to Steve Rogers at the end of that scene, “You must promise me one thing, that you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier but a good man.”
The Ephesians have not been saved because they are good; they were dead in their trespasses and sins. Paul asks these Ephesians to remember their condition before coming to Christ; so that, they will be thankful, grateful, and humble before God and compassionate to the others.
Our text this morning is the first of the sermons taken from Ephesians 2:11-13. It says,
“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
In these verses Paul is asking these believers to remember that they were at one time...
separated from Christ,
alienated from the commonwealth of Israel,
strangers to the covenants of promise,
they had no hope
and were without God in the world.
They are to remember a time when they were helpless and hopeless. In doing so, they will make much of the privileges that they have been given to them by GRACE.
There was a time when Israel had neglected to remember the grace and mercy of God. Tragic consequences resulted from this.
We will find this story in Ezekiel 16. It is here that God reminds Jerusalem of the condition that they were in when He first found them: they too were helpless and hopeless.
We read in Ezekiel 16:4-5 these words, “And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.”
Yet, even while they were found in this helpless and hopeless condition God had pity and compassion upon them. In Ezekiel 16:6-14 we read these words,
And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.
Consider how gracious the LORD had been to Israel.
He gave them life and health,
He cleansed them,
He clothed them in fine things,
He fed and nourished them,
He established a covenant with them
He formed a special relationship to them.
Because of all of these graces that were given to them…
They grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.
Their renown and splendor went forth among the nations.
God’s grace and mercy had saved them and He continued to provide every good thing for them.