The Book of EPHESIANS
James J. Barker
AND YOU HATH HE QUICKENED
- The words “quicken” and
“quickened” occur 20 times in the Bible.
It means, “to make alive” (cf. Eph. 2:1,
- Psalm 119:50 says, “For thy
word hath quickened me.”
- Psalm 119:193 says, “I will
never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened
- In fact, out of the 20 times
the word “quicken” (or “quickened”) is found in the Bible, 12 are in Psalm
- As a pastor, it is evident
to me that the vast majority of people in this community are spiritually
- Therefore, my emphasis has
always been on getting people saved.
Dead sinners need to be quickened by the Spirit of God. I realize that there are other things to
preach about and I try to preach from all the books of the
- However, the most important
thing is getting people converted.
After they are converted, they should be baptized and they should be
- And then they should be
going out and getting other people saved.
I think our church has failed to a great extant in this regard.
- Our text tonight deals with
Bible conversion. I emphasize
Bible conversion, i.e. genuine conversion because a lot of what is going
on today is not real Bible salvation.
It is fake; it is a counterfeit.
DEAD SINNERS NEED TO BE QUICKENED (2:1,
- Paul starts off by saying
that before we were quickened we were “dead in trespasses and sins”
(2:1). According to the Bible all
unsaved people are “dead in trespasses and
- This means that:
A. They are separated from God
– death means separation.
B. They are unable to
understand or appreciate spiritual things.
They may not feel dead, but
according to the Bible they are spiritually
- A preacher once preached a
strong message on the heavy burden of sin and after the service a young man
started teasing him. The young man
said: “How heavy is sin? I don’t
feel it!” The preacher replied:
“The other day I preached a funeral.
If I were to walk over to the casket and place a heavy weight on the dead
man’s chest, do you think he would feel it?”
- Even our fundamental
churches are filled with dead people.
- Back in 1920, the head of
the JW cult, Judge Rutherford, traveled across the country giving a lecture
entitled, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” A fundamental evangelist responded to
his errors by preaching a message entitled, “Millions Now Living Are Already
- Being quickened (2:1, 5)
means being born again, being regenerated.
The unsaved man needs to be born again because he is walking “according
to the course of this world…” (2:2).
- “Children of disobedience”
(2:2) means people who just won’t do right. They refuse to obey God. They attend church whenever they feel
like it; they do not tithe; they do not read the Bible; they live only for
- To them, the Lord Jesus
Christ is not the Lord of lords and King of kings – they
- The great evangelist, George
Whitefield, caused a big stir in his day when he said that the unconverted man
is half-beast and half-devil. I
think he was being kind. The
unconverted man is about 90% devil!
- Notice in 2:3, Paul switches
from “ye” (meaning “ye Gentiles” – cf. 2:11-14) to “we,” meaning that “we
all had our conversation (lifestyle, behaviour) in times past in the
lusts of our flesh and of the mind…”
The great apostle Paul, who was a “Pharisee of the Pharisees” was a
wicked child of wrath just like these pagan
- He was “by nature” a child
of wrath, led astray by man’s three great enemies – the world (2:2), the flesh
(2:3), and the devil (2:2).
BEING QUICKENED MEANS BEING
SAVED BY GRACE (2:5, 8).
- In verses 4 and 5 we see
God’s mercy, love and grace. We are
not saved by our good works (2:8, 9).
Yet most people (even many who claim to be Christians) think they can get
to heaven by baptism, keeping the ten commandments, joining a church, or some
other good works.
- C.H. Spurgeon said, “It is
not thy joy in Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not thy hope in Christ that saves
thee; it is Christ. It is not even
thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ’s blood that
- God “is rich in mercy” (2:4)
and we are saved “according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5). “Not by works of righteousness which we
have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus
- God loved us enough to
enough to send Jesus to die for us (John 3:16).
- “But God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.
- “Hereby perceive we the love
of God, because he laid down his life for us” (I John
- “In this was manifested the
love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the
world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his
Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:9, 10).
- It is not God’s love that
saves us, but His grace (Eph. 2:8).
God’s “great love” (2:4) was demonstrated at
- A benevolent person gave
Rowland Hill, an English pastor, a hundred pounds to dispense to a poor preacher
a bit at a time, thinking it was too much to send all at once. Rowland Hill forwarded five pounds in an
envelope, with only these three words in the note, “More to follow.” In a few days, the man received another
letter with five pounds and the same message, “more to follow.” A day or two later came a third, then a
fourth, then the fifth – all with the same note: “more to follow.” Finally, the entire sum had been
received and the encouraged preacher was made familiar with these wonderful
words, “more to follow.”
- This is God’s grace – “the
exceeding riches of His grace” (Eph. 2:7).
- We “are saved” (2:5,
9), not “may be saved,” or “might be saved,” or “trying to
be saved,” or “hope to be saved.”
- Second Timothy 1:19 says God
“hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our
works, but according to his own purpose and
- We are saved by grace
“through faith” (2:8).
- The RCC teaches one is saved
by faith plus works. This is
a false teaching which has led countless millions of souls to
- “And if by grace, then is it
no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then
it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Rom.
- According to the Bible, if
it were possible to be saved by works, then Christ died in vain. “I do not frustrate the grace of God:
for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal.
WHEN SINNERS ARE QUICKENED
THERE WILL BE A CHANGED LIFE (2:10).
- Sometimes in our preaching
and teaching, we strongly emphasize salvation by grace, and some people
misinterpret this to mean that works are
- On the contrary, we should
be “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
- Good works are part of God’s
plan – they are not the root of
salvation, but the fruit of
salvation; not the price of
salvation, but the proof of
- Good works are evidence that
a person has been genuinely converted (cf. James 2:14-20,
- Peter said that our Lord
“went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
His followers ought to do the same.
- There are some churches
which actually teach you can live like a devil and still go to heaven! A deacon in a church in Pittsburgh, PA
recently said a deranged murderer, who went into a gym and killed three women,
and then turned the gun on himself, went to
DOES ETERNAL SECURITY MEAN “BELIEVING” MASS MURDERERS ARE
SAVED (David Cloud, Friday Church News Notes,
August 14, 2009, www.wayoflife.org). In his blogs, mass murderer George Sodini
claimed that he was taught in church that “you can commit mass murder then still
go to heaven” (“LA Fitness shooter once attended Plum’s Tetelestai church,”
Tarentum Valley News Dispatch, Pittsburgh, August 6, 2009). On August 4 Sodini
opened fire on women in a fitness center, killing three and wounding nine before
turning the gun on himself. He claimed to have attended Tetelestai Christian
Church in Pittsburgh for 13 years. The senior pastor of this church, Alan Rick
Knapp, was ordained by R.B. Thieme, Jr., retired pastor of Berachah Church of
Houston, Texas. Thieme taught many unique heretical doctrines, including that
believers cannot understand the Bible on their own and that it is a waste of
time to study the Bible without a teacher. Thieme does not emphasize properly
the fact that genuine salvation is a life-changing event and that those who do
not give biblical evidence thereof are not true believers. One of Thieme’s
doctrines is “Rebound.” A former member of his church observes, “Rebound, at its
core, is a completely false notion. ‘Rebound and keep moving’ gave thousands of
Berachans free reign to have affairs, take the Lord’s name in vain, and sin with
wild abandon. Confess it in the morning, get back in the club, and move on...”
(“Interesting Former Thiemite Testimony, July 23, 2008,
http://thiemite.blogspot.com)…Jack Rickard, a deacon at Tetelestai church, told
the press that Sodini is in heaven because “professing a faith in Jesus as
Saviour means you will have complete eternal salvation” (“Once Saved, Always
Saved,” Valley News Dispatch, Aug. 8, 2009). Rickard is wrong. While the Bible
does teach that the true believer in Christ has eternal life, it also warns
frequently that many who profess Christ are not genuinely saved. There is a
serious difference between profession and possession. “They profess that they
know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and
unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). That is a fitting epitaph for
George Sodini, whose blog was filled with cursing, moral filthiness, bitter
rage, and murderous hatred.
- We are not only saved from
the penalty of sin, but the power of sin.
- The book of Ephesians
teaches us that God has a plan for Christians, and this plan involves “good
- We need to get busy “walking in them.”