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Oct 30, 2022

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Do is to Love and Be Loved in Return

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Do is to Love and Be Loved in Return

Passage: Ephesians 2:1-10

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Song & Dance - The Gospel Melody that Moves in Ephesians

Keywords: love, faith, mercy, dead, alive, grace, sins, kindness, wrath

There’s an old song, written by an orphan, popularized by a crooner, and sung as a bookend to a major film that makes a bold claim: the greatest thing you’ll ever do is to love and be loved in return. What if that might just be true? We who love so erratically, or who come to mistrust love (and often for good reasons)--is that greatest thing just a line in a song? Or is there a song of a different character and quality that might cultivate the love we may long for but fear doesn’t exist?

Readings & Scripture

PREPARATION: Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11
LEADER: God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

PEOPLE: Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

LEADER: Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” 

ALL: The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

LEADER: At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The Word of the Lord

ALL: Thanks be to God.

LEADER: “Because of the gospel and as an act of worship, may the peace of Christ be with you all.

ALL: “And also with you.”

LEADER: “Let’s greet one another with the peace of Christ.”

CENTRAL TEXT: Ephesians 2:1-10
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But[b] 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 towards 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.

BENEDICTION: 2 Corinthians 13:14
LEADER: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

ALL: Amen!


Genesis 22:2
Exodus 20:5-6; 34:6-7
Joshua 23:11
Nehemiah 1:5
Psalm 5:7-11
Psalm 18:1
Habakkuk 3:1-2
Romans 5:1-11
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
1 John 4:7-18


  1. Trivia church-history question (Make it a group effort to collect responses.): why do they call it the Reformation? What errors had taken hold in the doctrine and practice of the church then? What reforms did those behind it mean to see? 
  2. Are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we’re sinners? Explain your answer. What might be Paul’s answer to that question on the basis of what we hear from him early in the passage?
  3. In simplest terms, understandable to anyone, what is the gospel according to this passage?
  4. Unpack this ancient summary of the last two verses of the passage: “We are saved by faith alone, but saving faith is never alone.”




  • “The law is divine and holy. Let the law have his glory, but yet no law, be it never so divine and holy, ought to teach me that I am justified, and shall live through it. I grant it may teach me that I ought to love God and my neighbor; also to live in chastity, soberness, patience, etc., but it ought not to show me how I should be delivered from sin, the devil, death, and hell. Here I must take counsel of the gospel. I must hearken to the gospel, which teaches me, not what I ought to do, (for that is the proper office of the law,) but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me : namely, that He suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death. The gospel wills me to receive this, and to believe it. And this is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consists. Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually. Martin Luther
  • The essence of sin is disordered love. Augustine
  • This doctrine teaches us to think no worse of others than of ourselves; it teaches us that we are by nature, companions in a miserable, helpless condition, which under a revelation of divine mercy, tends to promote mutual compassion. Jonathan Edwards