30 June 2001, Saturday
EPHESIANS Chapter 2, Verses 4-7 KJV
By Dr. Ken Matto 
Okay, last week, as you remember, we began a study in Ephesians 2:2-3, and we just about remained there for the entire study. And we found out a lot of good things about the Apostle Paul and how God used the believer, and how the soul of the believer is pure before God and He sees us as sinless, because if we were not sinless, then unfortunately, we can never go into heaven, because not one sin will be allowed into heaven. Not even the thought of sin… not even any recollections of sin. This is why when God re-creates the new heavens and the new earth, He’s going to take away and remove all our memories of this world, because if we had a memory of an unbeliever that was a family or friend, then we would also remember their sin… and again, it would be a sin thought in a pure and holy environment. And that would not be acceptable unto the LORD. So we just thank the LORD that He’s completely wiped away our sins. He’s taken it ALL on Him. And we never have to worry about facing any type of judgment… and as Christ stood before the bema in our place, we never have to worry about giving an account of our life, and every sin we ever committed that we will commit in the future, has already been paid for. And that’s one of the marvelous things about this thing called Grace.
Alright, if you have your Bibles with you tonight, we’re going to start in Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 4. And what we’re going to look at today is what God has done for the believer. And it’s really amazing when we get into these verses, the difference God views between the believer and the unbeliever. And there are MASSIVE differences.
So turn with me to Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 4. And let’s take a look at another wonderful verse: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,"
Now, whenever you’re going through a rough time, or things happen in your life that you’re not sure why the Lord is allowing things to happen… [then] this verse is an excellent verse to look at. You notice the first two words: But God. In Chapter 2, [verses] 1 and 3, He talks about how we, even as believers before salvation, were very sin-filled, very sinful. Our whole lives revolved around sin. And unfortunately, as dead sinners, we could do nothing to redeem ourselves. And then we get to verse 4, "But God, who is rich in mercy..." You know, when we talk about the great parts of Scripture…. when we talk about when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, BUT GOD intervened and brought him a ram. And you see, that’s something that we look at. Whenever we feel that there’s something ending in our life, or there’s an end and we’re reaching some type of end, all you have to do is look at the great, "BUT God, who is rich in mercy…" And that’s one of the most beautiful things that God can ever teach us.
Now, the word ‘rich’ here obviously means, ‘wealthy’ –abundant wealth. And ‘mercy’ --of course, it means a ‘compassion’ or a ‘pity.’ And so we see that God is wealthy in compassion or pity. And His compassion is towards His children, for the Bible says in the next couple of words, "…for His great love wherewith He loved us." Now, the word ‘wherewith’ is an interesting word in the Greek. It means, ‘when.’ Okay, now that doesn’t sound so exciting. But that word, ‘when,’ carries with it a meaning, ‘at a time’ or ‘during some time.’ In other words, during our life. I was twenty-seven when the LORD saved me. Some people are saved when they’re children. Some people are saved when they’re older. As a matter of fact, up here in Edison, New Jersey, at an old cemetery at Stelton Baptist Church… there’s a man who received the Lord at the age of a hundred and thirteen. He died at the age of one hundred and sixteen. And on his tombstone, it even says, a hundred and thirteen years a rebel against God. So [in] God’s mercy… when we think that it’s over… that here’s a guy [who’s] one hundred thirteen years old. We figure, oh he’s already set in his ways. He’s already steeped in sin. His heart is hard… But you know what? That 113-year-old man lived a hundred thirteen years in sin, and now lives in eternity in bliss.
So at a certain time, God loved us, because He brings us into His Kingdom at some time, at some point in our life. Now, in the previous three verses, we saw the condition of unsaved people, and that also, how we were dead in our sins. You know, we didn’t really care –honestly-- about God, when you get down to it. I know I was having a good time drinkin’ and partying, and going to the gin mills constantly. I didn’t want [anything] to do with God. This idea that God is a gentleman, and He won’t go where He’s not wanted… well, that’s nonsense. That’s erroneous theology, because God said that He’s going to be sought by people that don’t want Him. And the only reason that’s going to happen is because He’s going to put His Spirit within us, so that we WILL desire Him. We WILL seek Him.
You see now, we look at this verse… It’s very important that we always read the Scriptures very, very closely... When we read: "{4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved… " …everybody in the world. --Is that what it’s saying? No. He’s saying, "He loved us." This is important when you look at these types of words to realize that God’s love is absolutely qualified. Always look for the qualifiers in Scripture and you won’t have a problem in theology, in interpreting the Bible. Unfortunately, I have heard many preachers take verses like this where it says, "wherewith he loved us," or "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," and they turn that word "us" into "everybody." And the answer, of course, is no. God NEVER died for the whole world, because if He did, then the ENTIRE world would be saved. And we would be in a new heaven and new earth already, because ALL sin would have been expunged from this entire world. Because the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ was complete for His children, and if He died for the entire world, then it would have been complete for the entire world.
Now, always keep in mind that the term, "he loved us," or "he died for us"… the term, "for us" is a phrase of qualification in that God loves only His Elect. Now, you try to tell somebody out in the world that God doesn’t love everybody… and see, this is what they’re counting on… they’re counting on that God loves everybody, so I can do my thing, and I’ll get into heaven by the love of God. But you see, you can’t get into heaven by the love of God, because you have to get into heaven through the Cross of Christ. And the Cross of Christ has within IT, the love of God. So, let’s look at two verses that kind of show exactly how God looks at the wicked. And this is very important. Very, very good verses.
Turn with me to Psalm Chapter 5, verse 5. And when we look at these verses, we don’t have to take them out of context. We could look at them IN context… because one of the big problems is pulling a verse out of context and building everything on it.
Alright, let’s take a look at verse 4:
"For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness:…" --{God doesn’t revel in wickedness. He’s not happy with evil and wickedness}-- "…neither shall evil dwell with thee." In other words, eventually, there’s going to come a time [of] a great separation. As a matter of fact the old time Camp Meeting preachers used to call it that "Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’!" –when there’s going to be a separation of the sheep and the goats. And then He says in verse 5, He says:
"The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."
If you recall, where it says… and I cannot remember the Scripture off-hand, I don’t have this one written down… but it’s just coming to me now… that it says and the Queen of the South shall rise in Judgment… Well, in the old days, they would have some type of situation set up where a person would stand, and that person would stand, okay, if they were not guilty. So it says she shall rise up in the Judgment. Now, in Psalm 5:5, it says, "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:" Because? "…thou hatest all workers of iniquity." Now, who are the workers of iniquity? -- Somebody that robs a bank, somebody that shoots somebody, somebody that kills or commits adultery? --No. The workers of iniquity are every single unbeliever in this world. Every single unbeliever in this world is a worker of iniquity…
That’s the one, Matthew 12:42:
"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:…" --{And you see the difference? The queen of the south? This was queen of Sheba. Alright, now it says that:}-- "…for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
She looked for God’s wisdom. She was seeking Solomon, but God was drawing her to seek Him. It’s interesting, I met this Ethiopian priest --his name is Gebri-- at the Family Radio Conference last year, and I had asked him…just out of curiosity, I had asked him, "Is the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia?" And he told me, he says, "yes’…and that’s history," he says. The Ark of the Covenant, they believe, is there. Of course, no one has ever seen it, so I really don’t know if it is or not. They did a Special on it… one of the stations did…but they did not show the ark, they just showed a building where people came out and said, "Yes, the ark is inside." So, I don’t know… but "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment…" But you see, in Psalm 5:5, it says, "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:" But those who are His children can stand in His sight, because He hates all workers of iniquity.
Now, what does it say in verse 6? Let’s go on just to verse 6:
"Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:…" --{okay, and that world ‘leasing’ is an old English word, which means ‘lies’ or ‘deceit’}—"…the LORD will abhor the bloody…" –{and that means ‘murderous’}— "…and deceitful man."
Now, when people say God loves everybody, here are two verses. The LORD says He hatest all workers of iniquity and He abhors the bloody or the murdering man, and deceitful man. And let me tell you that there’s a lot of murdering going on, not only with guns, but [also] with the mouth. We kill each other… we assassinate each other with our tongues. And this happens in this world. Now, and God will destroy them that speak lying. In other words, on the Last Day, they will give an account for their life, and they shall be cast into eternity, into eternal hell.
Now, let’s take a look at Psalm 101, verse 3. It’s a second verse, which gives us a little insight into how God views these wicked things. In Psalm 101, verse 3: "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." And of course, this is a Psalm of David. Now, God is saying the same thing. He will set no wicked thing before His eyes. He’s a holy God. And He HATES the work of them that turn aside. In other words, He HATES the work of them that are unbelievers. And that work will not cleave to Him. It shall not be joined to Him. It shall be separated from Him forever. And ALL the evil deeds, and all the sin, shall be cast into hell. Actually, when we talk about… in Psalm 101, verse 3, the word ‘wicked thing is specifically talking… it means about a work or a thing of Belial. And of course, Belial was an Old Testament term of Satan himself. So, ‘I will set no work of Belial before mine eyes.’
Now, you see Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 4, when it says: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us," -- it shows a contrast of hope the believer possesses, versus the no hope of the unbeliever. Turn with me to Proverbs Chapter 10, verse 7. We’ll take a look at that verse.
In Proverbs 10:7, it says this: "The memory of the just is blessed:…" --{You see, when a godly person goes to be with the Lord, that person is actually missed}— "… but the name of the wicked shall rot." There’s no hope for the unbeliever. Even their name shall rot. How many people look today and say, ‘Oh, Stalin was a wonderful man.’ All they know is he killed twenty million people, in his purges of the 1930’s. The name of the wicked shall rot. So we see the great contrast of hope that the believer has, versus the no hope of the unbeliever. And that’s a horrible, horrible thing to have NO hope.
Now, let’s go back to Ephesians Chapter 2 and let’s go to verse 5. "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
Now, here again, God is emphasizing the fact, ‘Even when we were dead in sins.’ Notice the word he [Paul] uses again: ‘We’…’were dead in sins’ And he talked about when WE WERE dead in sins. Okay, now, he was talking about the believer before that time of salvation wherewith God loved us. And when we talk about God’s love, we talk about salvation, because His love is really a synonym for salvation, because we see God HATES the unbeliever, but He loves the believer. So when we read about the love of God, the love of Christ, then we can be sure that we are on safe ground when we say He’s talking about a saved person. Now he says 'were dead in sins'…that word ‘dead’ there, again, is the word ‘nekros’ –and of course, that word ‘nekros’ means ‘lifeless’ or ‘useless’ or ‘totally dead.’ I mean, the only thing that a corpse is good for is to be buried. That is IT, because after a while, a corpse stinks. And you know the Bible says that the believer is an aroma. We’re an odor. But we’re a stench to the unbelievers, because the unbelievers are ROTTING. He "…hath quickened us together with Christ." That word, ‘quickened us together’ means we are alive. You see, here’s the contrast. First, we were DEAD in sins, and now, He has made us one hundred percent alive together with Christ. And "…by grace ye are saved." You see, I don’t know how many of those who might believe in free-will… they say, ‘Well, there by the Grace of God, go I’ when they see a drunk on the street, or a homeless man, or something like that…and they say, ‘There by the Grace of…’ Well, if you believe in free will, ‘There by my own free-will, go I.’ --NOT by the Grace. You see, God loved us when we were DEAD in sins, because we were PREDESTINED to be saved from eternity past. The DIFFERENCE between the life of the unbeliever and the believer is literally life and death.
And we see this in Romans Chapter 6, verse 13. Being made alive, God gives us a great admonition in Romans Chapter 6, verse 13, where He says:
"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,…" –{and that’s us…we’re alive from the dead.}-- "…and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Do you remember the passage where the Lord Jesus said to the rich man, ‘sell everything you have and give to the poor’? [Matthew 19:21a – "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor..."]. Well, He didn’t mean that now that you’re a Christian, go out and sell your house and all your material goods and everything… and you know, and go give it to the Salvation Army. What He means by something like that is that [as] you used your car to go drinking, NOW use your car in the service of the Lord. You used your stereo to play rock and roll. NOW use your stereo to listen to godly Christian music, or Christian radio. Or as you used your television to watch pornography, NOW you use it to watch ministries. You see what He’s saying? In other words, He’s talking about an Exchange Principle, in that He is speaking of ALL the material goods that I have. Now that I have become saved, I have now become steward of ALL those material goods that God has given me. Even though I owned them before, but NOW as a Christian, I realize they are just loaned to me. You see, sometimes, as unbelievers, we think that, ‘Wait, this is all mine.’ No it isn’t. It could be taken away in a heartbeat. But [what] the Lord Jesus is saying [that] if you have material goods, use it for the Kingdom of God. And He’s not saying to neglect your family, neglect the chores around the house. He’s saying, in the ferocity you used it in the world, use it for the glory of God, in the Kingdom of God. And that’s basically what He says when He says sell everything and give to the poor. And who are the poor? Well, there [are] two types of poor. There’s the unsaved who do not know Christ, and then there’s the poor in spirit who are the believers. So we give the Gospel to the unbelievers, and we’re supposed to help the believers…especially the household of faith, as the book of Galatians teaches us. [Galatians 6:10 - "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."]
So Romans 6:13 tells us that now you are saved, you are alive from the dead. NOW, you need to have a Christian Walk that is akin to the transformation that took place inside of you. In other words, receiving our resurrected souls, we became alive unto God, and we are to walk in newness of life, as Romans 6:4 speaks of ["Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."]. That newness of life, of course, is our Christian Walk.
Okay, back to Ephesians 2:5 ["Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"]. And again, always keep in mind the pronouns. ‘Even when WE were dead in sins.’ And always look at that word ‘WERE’ --past. It was a past tense. ‘Hath quickened US.’ It didn’t say He ‘quickened the world.’ It says He ‘quickened us.’ Alright, now let’s go on to Ephesians 2, Chapter 6, as we continue on in our study on this Saturday. It was 100 degrees here today heat index. It was 97 on the thermometer. LORD bless the memory of the person who invented air conditioning. I’m in New Jersey for those of you who don’t know, so we really [had] a hot one today.
Okay, in Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 6. Continuing on with the glorious, glorious teachings that God has given us here. And you know, this is focused towards the believer. This is focused to you and [me]. The unbeliever has NOTHING to do with this. This is God speaking personally to you and me through His Word. You know, when you view God’s Word as a book just to study, rip apart, and look for doctrine…you know something? You’ll find an emptiness in Scripture. But if you look at that Bible as a personal word from the God of this Universe, you’re gonna find something fulfilling -- something that’s gonna fill the void in your life. And you’re going to see the Scriptures, and you’re gonna see God in a new way in the Scriptures. So always look at it as a personal letter from the LORD. Of course, it is a book of doctrine. It is a manual for spiritual instruction. But when we personalize it, it means something more. Okay, let’s take a look at this verse. This is one of my favorite verses in ALL Scripture :
"{6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
Now, what are two important words in here we looked at before? Us and us. He raised us up together, and we became partakers of that resurrection. Now, let’s take a look at Revelation 20, verses 5 and 6. Actually, the last phrase in verse 5 should really be part of verse 6, okay…
"{5} But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished…" --{and of course, that’s the 1,000 reign here, [it’s] a synonym for the entire New Testament period. Okay, then it says…}-- "…This is the first resurrection. {6} Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death…" –{now you know what the second death is…that’s hell, that’s hell}-- "… hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Now, when we talk about the first resurrection on such the second death hath no power, that’s when a person becomes saved. When they come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, the second death has absolutely no effect on them. I can’t be sure about this, but it’s only a personal belief on my part. And I’m not saying it’s written on stone, but when we, as believers, die… okay, our physical body ceases…I personally believe that we are ushered into the presence of the Lord. And as the Bible says, to be absent with the body, [to] be present with the Lord. [2 Corinthians 5:8 – "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."]. And I believe at [that] moment --we don’t even see a speck of darkness-- I believe that He just takes us right from our body, and our body just goes into the ground. And I believe that because we have life eternal through the Lord Jesus Christ, we’ll never see death. So death deals with darkness. So if a believer dies, I don’t believe he sees one second of darkness… not one.
Okay, back to Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 6… as we see the second death has no effect over those who have become saved, because He’s raised us up together. Now here’s an interesting part of this verse, where he says: "…and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Now, let’s look at "made us sit together." Okay, this is an interesting part of the verse. When Christ ascended to heaven, now, we partook of that ascension, okay, in that even though we are still on earth for a while, God sees us as seated and reigning with Christ already. You see, God has seen this whole thing wind up already. In His mind, God knows the beginning from the end. And He sees us as already seated and reigning with Christ already. Now, what we’re going to reign over? I haven’t the slightest idea. Okay, I haven’t the slightest idea what we’re going to reign over. But the Bible says He’s made us kings, and He’s made us priests. I don’t believe we’ll need the priest office in heaven, because there’ll be no sin, there’ll be nothing to be atoned for. God will be sight, He won’t be faith anymore. We’ll walk with the Lord Jesus, He’ll be with us… so [that’s] the office of priest… but as far as king, I have no idea what we’re going to be reigning over.
Now, let’s take a look at a couple of verses which talk about a reigning. In 2 Timothy Chapter 2, verse 12. He says:
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
Now, if a person denies the Lord Jesus Christ, that person is unsaved, because they don’t have the testimony or the witness. They’re probably religious… that’s what they probably [are]. But he says, "if we suffer, we shall also reign with him…" And you know, the believer does suffer in this world, because in the office that I’m in, I hear swear words from the moment I walk in, to the moment I leave. I must hear --and I’m not exaggerating-- one to two thousand swear words every single day. And it’s horrible! And we suffer in our spirit. And [when] we see these things, we want to stop them and say, ‘Don’t you know what you’re doing? You’re gathering up judgment!’ But you know, I can’t stop them, because you know, I had a foul mouth too, but God saved me, and He cleaned my mouth up. And I hear all these things, and I just thank God that in the midst of all this, and in the midst of sometimes the job getting hectic, I haven’t sworn. And I thank the LORD for the restraint that He gives us. You see, that’s part of our salvation heritage, too, where God restrains sin –even in the believer’s life—so that his testimony stays firm. And I think our testimony in a situation like that is not to try to stop them from swearing, but to keep ourselves from doing it, from joining in, and I think they see a difference in speech. And we’re supposed to have seasoned speech.
Now, let’s look at Revelation Chapter 5, verse 10. We read this:
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
Now, we as believers are actually reigning on the earth, because we are a prince of God. But we have not received our glorified, spiritual bodies yet. And if we haven’t received our glorified, spiritual bodies, then we look like everybody else. Believe me, on the streets of Perth Amboy where I grew up, I don’t look like a king! But He says He’s made us kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. I don’t know, again, what we’re gonna reign over. I don’t know if it’s going to be worlds, or something like that. He’s going to create new heavens and a new earth and when He does that, I don’t know what the effect is going to be for you and [me] as believers.
Okay, turn with me to Revelation Chapter 22, verse 5. He says this:
" And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."
Again, He says we’re going to reign, but I don’t know over what, over who, over where. To me, it’s a great mystery. And you know something? I don’t mind, because Deuteronomy 29:29 basically says it’s none of my business. [Deuteronomy 29:29 – "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."] . The secret things belong unto the LORD, the things revealed belong unto us. You know something? It’s nice that the LORD is keeping some of these things from us. Because He is going to surprise us with GLORY beyond imagination in this world when we get up to heaven. And you know, quite frankly, I think we’re very, very close to the end. I just see that through the Scriptures and through the things going on in the world, and the way the Holy Spirit is taking His restraining Hand off of the world, so to speak. And sin is now multiplying. There’s an exponential growth in sin. There’s an ‘I don’t care’ attitude about it. Somebody going to McDonald’s [to] shoot somebody and they don’t personally care that they’ve done this: ‘So what?’ ‘Who cares?’ ‘That’s all we are, are nothing more than evolved apes.’ ‘That’s all we are, we’re a lower life form that can talk.’ And this is the part of what the school systems have taught. And now we’re seeing the culmination of their teachings.
Now, in Ephesians Chapter 2, verse 7, we read this:
"That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Now, I’m gonna look at that word ‘ages’ in a minute. But I just want to look at two other words in here. The term here is ‘exceeding riches,’ and that word ‘exceeding riches’ means the surpassing wealth, basically, of God’s Grace. It’s amazing! Surpassing wealth. Anything I could think of. Anything I could imagine! You know, I could only imagine so much, and that would be the lowest level. But He’s going to show the EXCEEDING riches, the surpassing of His Grace. Then he goes on to say, ‘of his kindness.’ And that word can also be translated… [it] carries with it the meaning of ‘generosity’ [or] ‘goodness.’ Now, verse 7 is basically the culmination of verses 4 to 6. You see, the believers, again, are the object of the mercy and goodness of God. Goodness of God.
Now, let me look at that word ‘ages’ for a moment. This word, ‘ages’ had me a little stumped. And I’ll be honest with you, because the word ‘ages’ here, it is a plural word, okay. Now, when we talk about ages in heaven, how could you have any more than one age, because eternity will be a continuum. If you’re not sure, the only inkling of eternity that we have on this earth is very simple. When you go to sleep tonight, the next thing you might know is your alarm clock is going off in the morning. How could eight hours go by like fifteen minutes? Maybe sleep is a little bit of what eternity is going to be like. I don’t mean that we’re going to be sleeping. I mean, just the way that time has no effect, because time has no effect on sleep. You’re not aware of it, because it’s not a concern to sleep. It’s a concern to you, but not to the principle of sleep itself.
Now, the word ‘ages’ is a plural word. It could mean the end of this age and the next age to come, which is eternity. So in the ages to come, alright. The ages. Now let’s take a look at this age… He will show the exceeding riches of His Grace. He can show us the exceeding riches of His Grace through the Scriptures and through our own salvation that He’s given us. And we see the riches of His Grace when I am comparing my Christian life with the walk I had BEFORE I became a believer. I mean, this is definitely an age. Now, the word ‘ages’ is the word, ‘aion,’ and it can be translated in two ways, both as eternity and a period or era of time. Now, let me offer one other possible explanation of this verse being offered. In the future, maybe looking from a pre-foundation view, because besides from this present world, there will be no more multiple ages in heaven, as I had said before, because we saw the age of Law, the age of Grace…
But you know, the age of Grace was not from the Cross –on. There’s a teaching out there called ‘New Covenant Theology.’ And New Covenant Theology is teaching that Grace and Law in the Old Testament did not exist side by side. Now, God only has one way of saving people, and the only way we can explain the Old Testament saints getting saved [is] because they were predestined to be saved. And God put His salvation in them, the same way in us. Even though there seems to have been less who were saved back then. But then again, we really don’t know that there was such a tiny amount being saved. There could have been somebody like Naaman who was healed. He might’ve went back to his… Syria, I believe he was from. And he could’ve showed everybody, ‘Look what the God of Israel did for me.’ We don’t know that there was only a tiny amount of people saved. We have no knowledge of that. When we focus on salvation, we look at Solomon, we look at David, we look at some of the high priests, like Aaron. We look at somebody godly, like Naboth. And we look at these godly men, but we don’t really know the effect they had on the people that worked for them. Abraham, I’m sure, might’ve had a lot of believers in his 318 men, because Abraham walked with God. So did David. And I’m sure David spoke to his troops and everything about the faithfulness of God. And we don’t know whether there was a tiny contingency [or] large… we don’t know how much was saved or wasn’t. But they were saved. So they became saved through Grace, not through Law. And this belief that Grace came into existence at the Cross, or at the time of Pentecost is a boldface lie, because how do you think Abel became saved? Abel became saved through Grace. Noah found Grace in the sight of the LORD. And that word ‘grace’ in that particular context means ‘favor.’ Now, how do you get the favor of the LORD? You get the favor of the LORD only one way, and that’s to become saved. And once the LORD saves you, you have His favor.
We just saw some beautiful verses… that the second death will not affect us, that God is rich in mercy, that in the ages to come, He’s going to show the exceeding riches of His Grace… surpassing wealth of His Grace, His kindness and generosity all aimed towards the believer. You know, when I meet Christians that walk around with their head down and their long face, I do not understand what God they’re serving. I don’t know why there’s no joy. There needs to be joy in our Christian walk. And that joy can shine through, especially when times get tough. And there’s nothing wrong with laughing. There’s nothing wrong with being joyful. The joy of the LORD is our strength. –NOT long faces just to impress a Bible teacher, or somebody else. No way! No way. Those that know ME, I’m the first one to crack a joke. And I love to enjoy. And I love to kid around. And I tell you something, as long as we’re not doing it in BAD taste, I think we’re doing it to the Glory of God. People around us say, ‘How come he’s so religious, yet he’s so happy? And my priest or my minister has a long face. There must be a difference. There MUST be.’ I tell ‘ya, there is. There’s a TREMENDOUS difference.
The second death and the fear of the second death [have] been removed from our lives. And unsaved man has a fear of death. They can have all the philosophies they want about nothing on the other side, annihilation, think that there’s no existence… but I tell ‘ya, they know there’s a judgment coming, because God wrote it in our hearts. But as Christians, He’s REMOVED that judgment. He’s taken our sins away… one hundred percent! And that’s why we call it FREE Grace --for US. But it wasn’t free for the LORD Jesus Christ, because He suffered literally in equivalent of eternity in Hell for us. It was the first time He was ever separated from His Father throughout eternity. And that’s why He felt forsaken. We don’t know the INTENSITY that Jesus suffered on that Cross, because here was God Himself forsaking God. That’s a MIGHTY mystery. And God, the Son --Who was used to purity, Who was used to reigning in Heaven-- took upon Himself our sins, and He became sin. Eternal God Himself taking on our sins… becoming FILTHY, POLLUTED, with our sins… to EXPUNGE them, to TAKE them from all His Elect. Now, when somebody says, ‘Jesus was a wimp,’ I’d like to see some of these people [and] who they follow. That don’t sound wimp to me...that sounds like God. And that’s Who we follow…God!
Alright, I’m going to end it up now, because we got a thunderstorm coming over us. I don’t see any lightning yet. But before it happens, I’m just gonna end it up right here. And next week, Lord willing, we will begin in Ephesians, Chapter 2, verse 8 and 9. And of course, those particular verses are really important, because it underlies our Grace.