Ephesians: The eulogia (1:3), part 3.

Class Outline:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Title: Ephesians: The eulogia (1:3), part 3.


Now, since the mystery is revealed to the believer and not the world that will not believe in Christ, it is imperative that the believer listen. If he listens, more listening ability will be given to him.


MAR 4:24 And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides.


MAR 4:25 "For whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."


The unbeliever does not have any understanding of the mystery. We may also conclude that the believer who rejects the word of God will eventually, God is so very patient and gracious, lose his ability to hear. But if any man is alive, he always has hope to become one who knows and listens, and if he does listen, more will be given to him.


To the degree a person pays attention to what Jesus says, to that degree God blesses such hearing and graciously gives disproportionately more.


Obedience to God’s revealed truth results in more truth and insight being given, including a better understanding of the kingdom of God.


For followers of Christ, this may explain the varying levels of fruitfulness that the parable of the sower mentions in MAR 4:8, 20. Likewise, the inverse of the same maxim is true: Lack of effective hearing and response to God’s revelation will eventually result in the ability to respond being lost altogether. Not the person being lost but the ability to respond to truth being lost. 4:25b says that what he has will be taken away from him, not salvation, but the ability to listen. In the parable of the sower, Satan takes away the word, affliction and persecution causes them to fall away, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.


We know that affliction, persecution, worry, and temptation can increase a believer’s listening ability, but we also know that they can stop listening because of the same things. Things doing well in a believer’s life can cause them to stop listening, which is the “desire for other things.”


MAT 13:13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.


MAT 13:14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,


'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;

And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;


MAT 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull,

And with their ears they scarcely hear,

And they have closed their eyes

Lest they should see with their eyes,

And hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart and return,

And I should heal them.'


MAT 13:16 "But blessed [Makarios: happy from being blessed] are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.


MAT 13:17 "For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.


All who understood the revelation of God’s means of redemption longed to see it come to fruition. 


We must be careful in listening to the doctrines in the Book of Ephesians. Many prophets longed to learn what we are about to learn.


The mystery that the parable of the measure (MAR 4:24-25) may reveal is that receiving rewards of authority in the kingdom, when it is eventually established, depends on effective and continued hearing now.


I am always careful to emphasize that we do not serve God with the purpose of reward, meaning getting things for ourselves as payment for work. The reward is definitely for us and of great benefit to us, but it is not the kind of reward that can be spent to get something else.


In the world, we do work and get paid for it. That pay is used to buy goods and services. We may accomplish things and get rewards in the form of medals, trophies, and accolades. We spend these things on our egos and we congratulate ourselves. It is rare that a person does something and seeks no reward for it, and yet loves and lives to do that thing. For such a person, the work itself is the reward. This is the way that God’s rewards work.


If I seek authority for the purpose of bossing people around, feeling important, enjoying the look of servitude on the face of another, then I seek authority so that I can spend it on something else.


But in God’s kingdom, authority is not like that. Authority in the kingdom of God is the ultimate servitude and sacrifice. In this kingdom, those who lead do so only for the sake of those led. He is seeking to bring them to a better place, and this demands his sacrifice. He does not receive his authority to spend it on something else. His authority, the ability to lead others to a greater experience, is the reward.


Learning now means reward of authority in heaven, which, unlike human authority, is not filled with power and riches, but humility and service.


LUK 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" 


LUK 22:23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.


LUK 22:24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.


LUK 22:25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'


LUK 22:26 "But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.


LUK 22:27 "For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.