Ephesians 4:7-16; Spiritual gifts – gifts always return to God.
length: 66:03 - taught on Oct, 6 2021
Spiritual gifts are for edifying the church; promoting the spiritual growth of the individual and the church.
From the beginning when Adam needed a helpmate and throughout the Bible, no one could go it alone. Loving God and loving your neighbor has always been the hard and fast rule to success in the life of humanity.
We must serve one another throughout the church and that means getting our own souls in the proper order - obedient and subservient to God with faith in His power in us.
God demands a unified, powerful, and functioning church: unified in purpose, powerful in truth, and functioning in good deeds. The deeper purpose of these actions from us all that promote edification of the saints is our unity, our strength, and our impact on the world around us.
God cannot relinquish anything. He gives power and wisdom and gifts to His people, but He does not surrender anything from Himself. In other words, God does not have less power than He had before He created the universe. He gives but He does not give away.
All that God gives remains His own and returns to Him again. Our life, our gifts, remain God’s and they can only be properly used in His service.
Abraham offers his son, as does Hannah, to the Lord. When the ark of the covenant single handedly defeats the Philistines, they offer it back to God. The feast of first fruits is even fulfilled when Christ is offered for us and then goes back to the Father in heaven, paving the way for all believers to return to their Creator with no barriers whatsoever.
Everything that we would call a gift, is His and if we see it properly, in justice and righteousness, we must offer it to the path of His will.
This means that our life is not our own, but we are to use it in the service of the One it belongs to.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 And convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (JOH 3:3). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (JOH 3:6). Some months later, Jesus said to the crowd who followed Him because He gave them bread, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (JOH 6:63).
The flesh profits nothing (opheleo), means that fallen humanity is of no use or advantage. We might take the English phrasing of this and consider that the flesh breaks even at least. The Greek word means to profit, but also to be useful or to do good. We can confidently say that Jesus would not have considered anything good about the flesh of fallen man. It can do no good. Without the flood, we would have destroyed ourselves. Without God, Israel would have destroyed herself, and even showing that when God lifted His protective hand just a little, the nation was destroyed and taken into captivity, and only by God’s intervention with Cyrus the Great, did Judah return to the land and rebuild. We currently see many of our fallen humanity trying to do profitable things, but we see that they are only trying to profit themselves. Don’t be shocked by the uselessness of humanity.
It is only the Spirit who gives life, and so we have been crucified with Christ, and we no longer live but Christ lives in us.
The victory that we have over the flesh, sin, and death is total and eternal. But until we are rid of this body and this world we will continue to be under assault and we will find ourselves failing and sinning. We must never condone sin. We must never tolerate it, not meaning judging and vilifying others, but in ourselves it must never be celebrated or befriended once. I don’t know how many Christian lives have been failures because of the mindset of tolerating sin as a banner of grace, but I’m sure there have been many.
God has given us surpassing power through the Holy Spirit to control our flesh/bodies and use it as an instrument of righteousness in serving Him.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.