Ephesians 4:7-16; Wisdom requires fear of the Lord, part 2.
length: 87:29 - taught on Jul, 18 2021
Sunday July 18,2021
All have gone astray, but the Lord Jesus Christ was the only Man to ever fully obey God.
Who say to a tree, 'You are my father,'
And to a stone, 'You gave me birth.'
For they have turned their back to Me,
And not their face;
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient,
Nor did I turn back.
6 I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
We have life and worth and value only by Christ’s suffering and sacrifice for us. His very Person, who He is, caused the world to hate Him, yet He gave His life to save that same world. He is the reason we are here. He is the reason we gather to hear and sing and worship God in reverence.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
If a way is moral, it has been given by God. The unbeliever can only know a small portion of the moral law, which we can term natural law. Plus the unbeliever doesn’t know the source of the moral law he knows, and so cannot perform the way of it spiritually, meaning in communion with the Lawgiver and worship of Him for His righteous law. The believer can follow all the way of God, the “law of Christ” or “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The believer, knowing the source, he can follow the law of Christ in honor of the Lawgiver while worshipping Him for His great wisdom and grace, and he must do so. He is accountable to it, being a son or daughter of God’s house.
Only those who know that God is alone the Author of the moral law and that He is exacting in judgment upon those who reject it, will actually give their lives to it, and not purely for the benefit of self, but because of the authority of the One who gave it. That is a good start in knowing the fear of the Lord.
We noted that Gentile kingdoms possessed some laws that were very similar to laws in the Mosaic Law, but the kingdoms never attributed their laws to God. The Mosaic Law is abundantly clear that it came directly from God and God demanded that Israel follow it, and if they didn’t, judgment would be harsh.
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 "Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord,
"I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
Your following after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.
3 "Israel was holy to the Lord,
The first of His harvest;
All who ate of it became guilty;
Evil came upon them," declares the Lord.'"
4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord,
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty?”
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.”
“Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you," declares the Lord God of hosts.”
Wisdom is not impersonal. It is an attribute of God that can only be found through the fear of the Lord which will push a person to live by it and so discover it.
The fear of the Lord is a healthy respect for God’s definition of good and evil, knowing that the law comes from Him alone, and a healthy respect for the consequences of neglecting it. Fear of the Lord is not being afraid of Him but being fearful of not pleasing Him out of love for Him. It is fear of not putting Him in the proper place in your heart, the throne of all authority that only He sits upon. Fear of the Lord also has its grounding in forgiveness, knowing that we are forgiven means that we don’t live afraid of God, and knowing also that forgiveness means that we can really pursue pleasing Him as we should without being terrified by failure, though hating failure. We fear not pleasing Him out of love for Him.
Fear of the Lord is not an OT entreaty only.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight — 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore also we have as our ambition [literally to love honor -philtimeomai = to strive to bring something to pass], whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
“ambition” - philtimeomai = (lit. to love honor) to strive to bring something to pass.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11 Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.