Ephesians– overview of 3:2-13; The Mystery revealed and the purpose of God accomplished, part 4.
length: 60:26 - taught on Dec, 5 2019
Thursday December 5, 2019
In the history of Christianity, many have attempted to alter the new type of man, this new man, in order to fit our own desires for the old man. Consider the Corinthians, who held strong to some of the aspects of this man and ignored the others. They embraced the new man’s eternal and his forgiveness, and they rejected all the things that made up his holiness. They rejoiced in their eternal life and their forgiveness, while they participated in strife, jealousy, division, selfishness, greed, judgment, vengeance, disorder, fear, drunkenness, and fornication.
As I read other literature than our main topic, and come across something insightful and helpful to us, I find that I’d rather share it now than wait and chance forgetting it. As it turns out, this passage is associated with out topic. Joe Aldrich writes of the leaven of legalism, which I will quote for you. What strikes me is that we would think normally that the Corinthian was not legalistic but licentious while the Galatian was legalistic. While it is true of the Galatian, it is also true of the Corinthian, though it manifests itself differently. We must all be aware of it and beware it.
While the Corinthian was immoral, he was also a separatist. They separated from their world because they did not bring the gospel to their world. They had factions within their church; the Paulites not fellowshipping with the Peter-ites, such walls and barriers are a function of legalism. They looked down at those who were weaker spiritually, not actually knowing how weak they really were. This self-righteousness is legalism.
If we, our own church, find that we will not associate with our neighbors, co-workers, associates in the manner that will reveal the light of Christ within us to them, we are legalists. If we find that we will not associate in fellowship with some members of the church, by such creating faction, even if the faction is in our own mind, then we are legalists.
Notice what Pastor Joe Aldrich writes: “Legalism is perhaps the greatest enemy of beauty and grace; and our churches are full of it. Legalism, like a frontal lobotomy, cuts the nerve of creativity, vitality and beauty and leaves its victims alive but not living, breathing but not beautiful. We are all legalists by nature. It seems so much easier to draw up lists and bury ourselves behind self-imposed limits than to understand our freedom in Christ. The legalist is a prisoner of other people’s expectations. He usually has little impact upon the non-Christian world because he creates many artificial and unbiblical “barriers.” He excuses his lack of effectiveness by blaming it on the “apostasy” or the “last days.”
The purpose of God in mankind cannot be partially accepted. It must be fully accepted.
DEU 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
DEU 6:5 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
DEU 6:6 And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
DEU 6:7 and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
DEU 6:8 And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
DEU 6:9 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
1TI 1:18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight,
1TI 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
Paul tells Timothy that his commission and the love of Christ (vs. 5) will flow from a good or clear conscience. A clear conscience is an inner freedom of spirit which comes from knowing that no one is able to point a finger at me and accuse me of wrongs I have not made right. A clear conscience is absolutely necessary if I am to be a bearer of the beauty of Christ in my respective ministry.
Here, Paul tells Timothy that a clean conscience (all sin has been made right) is his second most important weapon.
Wrongs are made right by confession before God, meaning that you agree with God about the identity of sin and the rejection of it. What it is not is confessing sin while secretly cherishing it. And if I do that, I need more truth from the word of God.
PRO 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
PRO 3:2 For length of days and years of life,
And peace they will add to you.
PRO 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
“kindness” - chesed = loving-kindness; steadfast love; grace; mercy; faithfulness; goodness; devotion. This is the main word of the Book of Ruth.
Truth and love must be bound around your neck and written upon your heart, and you will have a clean conscience.
PRO 3:4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
PRO 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
PRO 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
If I acknowledge God in all my ways then sin will be easily identified and acknowledged and rejected.
PRO 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
PRO 3:8 It will be healing to your body,
And refreshment to your bones.
The result of a clean conscience, and you cannot fulfill your ministry without it.
PRO 3:9 Honor the Lord from your wealth,
And from the first of all your produce;
PRO 3:10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
PRO 3:11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord,
Or loathe His reproof,
PRO 3:12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father, the son in whom he delights.
The purpose of God is to make men of the type of the God/Man/King, and that God would do so in the age of the church was a mystery.