Ephesians 4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Our calling points to heaven.
length: 65:26 - taught on Dec, 9 2020
Wednesday December 9,2020
Realization is seeing your calling coming into focus. Its reality is beginning to be experienced.
To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy [count worthy = axioo] of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; 12 in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The hope of our calling points to heaven where our Lord sits and awaits us.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward [ano - in a higher place] call of God in Christ Jesus.
It is a call from heaven to heaven. Yet, before we can actually go to heaven, it is a call to holiness, the way of heaven, within us now.
It would have been terrible for the resurrected Christ to have only evaporated or disappeared after His forty days on earth. A mystery would forever hang over us of His ultimate destiny. Equally terrible would it have been for Him to be coronated on earth, which would have confined our thoughts of Him to the earth. His upward movement from earth to heaven in the sight of His disciples showed where the real sphere of His existence was henceforth to be.
And, we should remember that the One who ascended into glory was not only the Son of God but the Man Christ Jesus. If then at the right hand of God there is now enthroned the Man born of Mary as well as the only begotten Son of God, then believers in the Lord recognize in the ascension the ultimate glorious goal of humanity.
Our calling has a desire for goodness and work of faith with power that will be fulfilled. There is work, and then there is the work of faith with power. The elect do not perform any old work for the sake of working, but the works foreordained for us by God, with faith and with divine power which comes graciously from the Holy Spirit within.
We will see it being fulfilled when we put our lives in God’s hands. It is God’s desire for goodness and work that is in view, and so He deems whether we walk worthy of not. We can only discover if our life is conducted worthy of our calling by measuring it against the standard in the word of God - Christ.
The Thessalonians were being heavily persecuted.
One of Satan’s devices to defeat Christians from their victorious life is suffering, which can remove gratitude and weaken faith.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
Suffering can have the opposite effect that Satan desires, as it did with the community in Thessalonica.
The man who does not permit his spirit to be beaten down and upset by dryness and helplessness, but who lets God lead him peacefully through the wilderness, and desires no other support or guidance than that of pure faith and trust in God alone, will be brought to the promised land of maturity. It is faith in God all the way. He will taste the peace and joy of union with God. He will, without “seeing,” have a habitual comforting, obscure and mysterious awareness of God being always present and acting in all the events in life.
An easy life can lead to a shallow faith. Faith in every aspect must be tested.
If we allow suffering to weaken us and remove our gratitude for life, then we become selfish. Suffering met with faith increases love - “the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.” Even in the midst of suffering we still think of others.
Peace is abandoning all things to God’s hands, all gifts to His keeping from whom they come, and being free from all care.
Look at selfish societies, mostly in cities, where, as Thoreau described a city where many people are “lonely together.”
The Thessalonians maintained their strong faith and love in the midst of great suffering. They did not give up the hope of their calling.
God never wastes suffering. He uses them to teach us endurance.
God tells us that justice is not asleep, but watching and waiting to execute both for the righteous and those who persecute. This helps our hope. God one day is going to turn the tables on the general way of the world as it has been.
The way of the persecuted Christian compared with the way of his persecutor is a clear indication of the way of the kingdom of God. The way of God’s kingdom is the way every believer has been called to.
This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.
To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; 12 in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some argue that it’s not worth it to live godly and yet still suffer. Perhaps they don’t realize that the suffering of those who live ungodly is far worse and much more prolonged.
The suffering of the ungodly burrows deep into themselves and will fester there and thicken, while the suffering of the godly is only on the surface.
Imagine the world to come in which Christ will remove all oppression, opposition, all pettiness, all hate, all pride, all greed, all lust, all ignorance.
Our eternal destiny is heaven, God’s habitation, house, temple, sanctuary. The church is called God’s spiritual house. It is to be like heaven.
Resurrected humanity of the Son of God entered heaven, promoted to the Father’s right hand. The kingdom of God would now be composed of men who would be in union with the promoted King. And before we get there, our King intercedes for us.
These astounding truths concerning our regeneration through faith in Him and our blessings from Him contribute greatly to our hope. The one hope of our calling is the promises of God and the truths of what He has done for us. Hope in such a calling, a calling as high as the heavens themselves, breeds confidence and courage in us, and that, in the face of anything. It needs to be forefront on our minds, so ingrained, that we see ourselves as God’s inheritance and possession practically unconsciously.