Ephesians; 1:3 – every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 6.

Class Outline:

Friday October 12, 2018


Our current point:


Spiritual over material: faith is the function of the worthless and bankrupt toward the One who is all in all.


This had led us to explore the substance of faith. What is faith?


Faith is the art of the worthless.

Faith is not reason.


Faith based on human reason will always die. Human reason, meaning the determination of a hypothesis without basis is divine revelation, is always flawed in some way. Some human hypotheses are better than others, some far better, but without the truth from God, they eventually fail.


Faith based on divine revelation will withstand the gates of hell.


Life is far too short to wait on striving to live by faith in the spiritual blessings from the Father.


Waiting can become a habit - before you know it, decades have gone by.


Psa 90 was written by Moses after leading the rebellious nation of God through the wilderness for 40 years. Imagine how those years had honed Moses’ poetic mind in the ways of sorrow and also in drawing him into a deeper understanding of the human condition.


PSA 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God.


Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.


PSA 90:2 Before the mountains were born, Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.


PSA 90:3 Thou dost turn man back into dust, And dost say, "Return, O children of men."


PSA 90:4 For a thousand years in Thy sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.


Our flesh has desires and passions that are destroyed by the life of faith and spirituality. So, the flesh would like us to wait. Everyone who is afraid to do a thing would rather put it off.


If we lived each day as if it were our last, we would not wait. We would not put off the spiritual life until tomorrow or until we think we’re more ready.


Our seventy or eighty years is nothing but a blink to God, and it does become a blink to us when we near the end. The night watch to the ones who are asleep is but a moment.


If God sees our entire life as just a few hours, then shouldn’t we live as each day is our last? And, being so mortal and weak, this day or the next might just be our very last day. Plus, Christ may return at any time.


We live every day as if it is our last, while taking care of the responsibilities demanded by there being a tomorrow.


PSA 90:5 Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.


One generation moves onto the next.


PSA 90:6 In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades, and withers away.


PSA 90:7 For we have been consumed by Thine anger, And by Thy wrath we have been dismayed.


PSA 90:8 Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, Our secret sins in the light of Thy presence.


PSA 90:9 For all our days have declined in Thy fury; We have finished our years like a sigh.


PSA 90:10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow [Hebrew: aven - vanity or sin]; For soon it is gone and we fly away.


The sad fact of man's speedy mortality is traced up to its still sadder cause, man's own sin, bringing upon him necessarily God's wrath. “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?”


Man’s weakness due to his mortality is enlarged further by his sin. Moses is definitely referencing the Exodus generation who all died in the wilderness, but being the wise man that he is, he includes himself and all of us by using “our secret sins, our days, our years.” All of us have fallen short, all of us have gone astray, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him.


Now, Moses changes the flow.


How can wisdom and life and happiness come to such a life that is ruled by mortality and sin, or death and sin as Paul puts it?


ROM 5:20-21

And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


PSA 90:11 Who understands the power of Thine anger, And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?


Who knows that they are bankrupt before God and that fear is due Him rather than our value or merit?


PSA 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.


This is not a way of saying “live a day at a time,” as it is often used. It must be seen in the context of the Psalm, which is why we have done it.


“So” - the importance of “teach us” in light of everything before.

“teach us to number our days” - make us know our short lives of mortality and sin.


If we know how short our lives are, how sinful we are towards God, and that our lives will be only labor and vanity without God, and yet God has offered in grace to teach us the way of salvation and deliverance and wisdom and light, then we will ask Him, “Show me the way of wisdom!” In fact, we will beg Him to show us.


This is another instalment in our understanding of the legitimate fear of the Lord.


JOB 28:28

"And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;

And to depart from evil is understanding.'"


PSA 19:9

The fear of the Lord is clean (pure), enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.


PRO 8:13

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

Pride and arrogance and the evil way,


PRO 10:27

The fear of the Lord prolongs life,

But the years of the wicked will be shortened.


PRO 14:26

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,

And his children will have refuge.


PRO 23:17

Do not let your heart envy sinners,

But live in the fear of the Lord always.


The fear of the Lord is not being afraid of Him. It is a fear akin to respect, like standing at the edge of a thousand foot cliff - it makes you obey.


And with that in mind, we marvel at the fact that the incarnate Son of God had fear of the Lord, in fact, He delighted in it.


ISA 11:3

And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,

And He will not judge by what His eyes see,

Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;


Delighting in fear is not being afraid. This fear means obedience and knowing the consequences of disobedience, i.e. tangling with God who is a consuming fire.


PSA 90:11 Who understands the power of Thine anger, And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?


PSA 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.


PSA 90:13 Do return, O Lord; how long will it be? And be sorry for Thy servants.


“Do return” - return to favor. “be sorry” - repent.


Return does not mean a Second Coming. He hadn’t yet come the first time. It is not prophetic. Moses prays for the return of God’s favor and from His wrath.


This is amazing language concerning the One who cannot change. “Do return” is a call for grace - God’s favor. Repent or “be sorry” is God coming down to our level, for He doesn’t change, yet for us He will do something that appears in all ways to us a change.


Now think about it believer. If return is grace and repent is change for us or for our level, when if ever could God do such a thing? Grace and change…


Return to favor (grace) and repent (change) =


HEB 2:9

But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.


He who was rich became poor. That sounds like a change to me. There was nothing compelling Him to do it. He did it out of love and compassion. That sounds like grace to me.


God became a man. That’s a change, or at least it seems like it to us, and that is all we can know. God the Son was the Son from all of eternity. Only begotten Son is an eternal title.


So, we have before us an unchanging God who became for a little while lower than the angels. We see an immutable God become a man. Revealed to us is a Trinity who are each fully God and together one God, and yet one of Them is different that the other two in that He took humanity upon Himself. God shows us grace (return) and salvation (His own repentance), and for those who love Him and so love His word, they know that there is much more to these things than we could know this side of heaven, for in some ways they make no sense and in other ways they have to make sense, for without them, we are doomed. 


We cannot understand all the mysteries of the Trinity or the duel nature of Christ, and yet God, in this passage written by the great man of God Moses, who spent the last forty years in the wilderness learning of God and man, describes it with the common Hebrew word nacham, repentance. It is a phenomenal use of the word.


It is somewhat like the time that God told Moses that He was going to destroy the people of Israel and Moses prayed that He would not and gave Him an excellent reason for not doing so, and God said, “Okay, I won’t do it.” God looks sort of human in this encounter.


God is so much higher than us that He speaks and acts in human ways (anthropopathisms) in order to breach the chasm. He’s not pretending. He actually does it this way.


The ultimate anthropopathism is the incarnation. God bows to our level in order to reveal Himself to us and save us. He bows, yet without sin.


Verse 13 is really the incarnation and the cross. And with that accomplished by God, that which Moses could only look forward to and long to see, he completes his poem.


PSA 90:13 Do return, O Lord; how long will it be? And be sorry for Thy servants.