Ephesians 4:4-6,One Spirit who helps us in prayer when we are humble, part 4.

Class Outline:

Sunday November 15th

If we have to keep looking every day and notice the seeds that God is sending our way, designed to plant spiritual vitality and further understanding in us, then we have to be sober and alert every day.


The seed in the parable of the sower is the word of God, LUK 8:11.


LUK 8:11-15

“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”


Our learning doesn’t stop when we leave Bible class. It has only just begun. The advanced classroom is life.


The word we learn in Bible class is projected to us by our Father every day of our lives through events, people, circumstances. We can only imagine that He does this deliberately in order to help us see. We must not miss these winged seeds on the wind dropping into our lives every day. For whatever demands truth, justice, mercy, grace, love, and more dynamics of God, are situations and circumstances of our lives where God’s will is written, and therefore, His word is necessary. How many of these moments do I miss? I have to be a certain type of person to see them, and praying every day to be alert to them.


The mind that is the prisoner of conventional ideas, and the will that is the captive of its own desire cannot accept the seeds of an unfamiliar truth and a supernatural desire.


So, I think we can see why we need to be continually praying. Another reason for continual prayer, besides making us daily aware that God is working in us, is that we need to maintain hope every day.


Christian hope looks to the future with faith and joyous expectation.


HEB 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


2CO 4:7-10

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.


2CO 4:16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


This is faith and hope that look to the eternal things and not the temporal things.


After describing the type of people we have been made in Christ in ROM 8:1-17, Paul turns our attention to hope.


ROM 8:18-25

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.


The creation that Paul refers to is not the saints, for it longs for their revealing; not angels, for they are not subject to futility; not the unregenerate men of the world, for they do not long for the revealing of the saints: and so it has to be the material creation (flora and fauna) of the earth that Paul refers to. The creation groans and suffers, but not only them, but we ourselves suffer in this fallen and cursed world. The creation has hope and we have a greater hope that the creation longs for.


Only in Christianity is the material creation, even the human body, given the proper beauty that it possesses. The body, like the earth, is cursed, but God doesn’t call them evil like all other religions do, from which comes salvation by works. In Christianity, the body can and is to be used in righteousness. Also, the material creation, even the body, is to be enjoyed and employed in a righteous manner.


The body is to be enjoyed in God’s way. Think of how Satan’s world has deemed God’s way for bodily enjoyment to be old-fashioned and, and as they say, repressive.


Earthly pleasure arises in man the longing for true and eternal pleasures, e.g. falling in love leads to longing for true, eternal love.


Earthly pleasure is a hint of the divine way. Our first fits of laughter, our first noticed and comprehended joys, and even our first disappointments lead us to desire eternal, unchanging joy. Hence, people chase the end of the rainbow.


Earthly pleasures arise in every one of us: love, happiness, knowledge, power, success. These arouse longings for the perfect and lasting - longing for true love, pure joy, perfect insight - but we all find that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy these longings for perfect and lasting fulfillment. Falling in love opens our minds to the possibility of true love, but we find that that relationship cannot satisfy the desire.


Commonly there are three responses to the discovery that earthly pleasures do not fully satisfy:


1)The fool. The fool blames the things themselves. If he had only married a different woman or chose another profession then he would have really caught that mysterious something. Most of the bored, discontented, rich people in the world are of this type.


2) The disillusioned sensible man. The disillusioned sensible man soon decides that the whole thing was moonshine. He comes to understand that one feels like that when they’re young, but by the time you get to his age you’ve given up chasing the rainbow’s end. He settles down and learns not to expect too much and represses the part of himself who used to cry for the moon. This man is more contented than the fool and he is less of a nuisance to the rest of us. It also tends to make him a prig. This would be the best way to be if man didn’t live forever. And, if infinite happiness and love and power are really there waiting for us, this man gave up looking.


3) The Christian: Then there is the Christian way. The Christian says (and I quote Lewis) “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Man feels sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experienced in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.”


Everything we think and do and say are transforming us into a certain character.