Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Dec. 2, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. For more outlines, including a zipped file of all of my 1999 and 2000 sermon outlines, click on the link at the bottom of this note, and go to our website:
WE ARE THE LORD’S WORKMANSHIP
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
Text: Ephesians 2:10
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Introduction: Salvation is of the Lord! We are HIS workmanship. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am NOT a Five-Point Calvinist, who believes that God choose certain people and gives only them the ability to receive Christ by first being born again and THEN believing.
I’m not even a Four-Point Calvinist. Let me go ahead and make it plain; I’m not even a ONE-Point Calvinist. You say, “Then you must be an ARMINIAN, Brother O’Neal.” No, I’m not an Arminian. What AM I? I’ll tell you. I’m a Bible-believing, fundamental, independent Baptist, who just happened to get saved and put into Christ’s body two weeks before I joined the Baptist church! Or, as Maze Jackson used to say, “I’m glad that JESUS got me before the BAPTISTS did!”
Still, SALVATION IS OF THE LORD. Now, let me clear up two common mistakes about this STATEMENT before I get into the message. After all, the Bible IS profitable for CORRECTION, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
1. In MOST of the places where the Bible uses the word “saved” or some form of it in the Old Testament, and many times in the New Testament, it is not referring to someone who has been saved by grace through faith in the gospel, but rather to someone who has been saved from his enemies or from physical danger.
When Jonah said, “Salvation is of the LORD,” in Jon. 2:9, he was referring to salvation from DEATH IN A WHALE’S BELLY.
When the Psalmist said that “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD,” in Ps. 3:8, he was referring to God protecting David from his ENEMIES.
When Peter said, “Lord, save me,” in Matthew 14:30, he was not an unbeliever asking to be made into a Christian; he was a disciple who wanted to be saved from DROWNING. Ditto for the disciples who asked the same thing in Matthew 8:25.
Paul was talking about salvation from HERESY when he told Timothy that he could save himself and his hearers in 1 Timothy 4:16.
2. Although it may confuse a lost person, but is more likely to just aggravate a saved person, it IS Biblically correct to say that a soul- winner “saves” a lost person. We normally talk about “winning people to Christ,” but WINNING people is an Old Testament term, not a New Testament one.
Paul said that he magnified his office, that he might SAVE some of them:
Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
In another place he said that he was made all things to all men so he could SAVE some of them:
1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Now that we have taken care of those two common misunderstandings about the Lord and salvation, let me say that the SUPERNATURAL work of salvation, which is absolutely indispensable, is that which GOD does. We are HIS workmanship. Consider with me the work of God in saving your poor, old, miserable, wretched soul.
I. THE LORD SAW YOUR NEED BEFORE YOU DID
Psalms 14:2-3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
A. You were too wicked to see your need
B. You were too wrong to understand your need
C. You were too weak to fix your problem!
- Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
The LORD saw your need before you did! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
II. THE LORD SENT HIS SON TO PROVIDE SALVATION
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
A. God loved His creation
B. God left heaven to come to save sinners
C. God lay aside the form of God and took upon Him the form of man
D. God lived as a man
- The virgin birth is one of the fundamental truths of the Bible and of the Christian faith!
The LORD sent His Son! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
III. THE LORD SUFFERED AND DIED
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
A. He bled and died
B. He was buried
C. He beat death, hell, and the grave by rising again from the dead!
The LORD suffered and died! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
IV. THE LORD SEEKS THE SINNER TODAY
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
A. Through the preaching of the scriptures
- 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
- In public – “publicly”
- In private – “house to house”
- To groups
B. Through the person of the Spirit of God
- Reproving the sinner
- Revealing the Savior
- Regenerating the spirit
The LORD seeks the sinner today! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
V. THE LORD SAVES THE SINNER
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
A. Salvation is by HIS grace
B. Salvation is by HIS gospel
C. Salvation is HIS gift
The LORD saves the sinner today! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
VI. THE LORD SECURES THE SINNER
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
A. By His power
- Look at the verses above: “they shall never perish”; “neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”; “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
- All of those words point to the POWER of the Lord in KEEPING God’s people secure!
- 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
B. By His promise
C. By His presence
The Lord SECURES the sinner! We are HIS workmanship! But that’s not all …
VII. THE LORD SANCTIFIES THE SINNER
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
To be “sanctified” is to be “set apart.” When we are saved, we are sanctified or set apart:
A. For holiness
B. For heaven
The LORD sanctifies the sinner! We are HIS workmanship!
Isn’t that wonderful?
The Lord saw your need before you did!
The Lord sent His Son to provide salvation!
The Lord suffered and died!
The Lord seeks the sinner today!
The Lord saves the sinner!
The Lord secures the sinner!
The Lord sanctifies the sinner!
We are HIS workmanship! Now, why did He work in us? Why did He make us? Our text says for the purpose of “good works.” If you will let Him, God will work IN you now to do good works! Are you allowing God to work ON you? Are you allowing Him to work through you?