Ephesians 4:7-16: Spiritual gifts – God provides for a healthy soul.
length: 85:59 - taught on Nov, 14 2021
Sunday November 14, 2021
What keeps a man healthy? Your circumstances in the world do not matter a lick here. It brings the soul great joy to know that joy is always low hanging fruit, ready to grasp.
“The world is a jungle of tyranny.”
God gives every believer true freedom, community (body of Christ), and hardship (value).
The world is a jungle of tyranny. The democracy of Athens and the republic of Rome each eventually fell under the tyranny of the few. The republics of the West have undertaken a similar route. The explanation is simple. Though there are many factors that contribute to the loss of freedom and the loss of the middle class, at its basis is the brokenness of fallen man. Man is lustful, lazy, and self-centered because he is born in sin, and for the most part, he doesn’t choose the provisions that God has given to set him free. Eventually the strong rule and destroy the weak in order to feed themselves riches and more power, which inevitably destroys many men. How can man find peace and maintain a healthy soul in this world?
Men have to be free to determine their own way on a day to day basis. When man loses his ability to choose his own way in life and business and marriage, etc., he suffers badly within. His soul becomes stifled and weak. This is what Satan wants. He promotes tyranny. However, in the Christian life there is a new way opened to man, and the believer can freely choose the things in that way, and he can do so always, for God protects that way. The spiritual life is filled with many choices, and we are always free to make them, no matter what our world or our circumstances look like.
Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean [perfect passive participle] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed [perfect passive] with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
“sprinkled clean” and “bodies washed” are perfect passives = completed action with eternal results. Passive - it was done to us.
In society, the freedom to choose our way is not enough for the health of the community. Men need others, so a society has to be made, and for that to work, certain so-called “freedoms” have to be given up for the good of the society. This becomes an issue when not everyone in the society agrees with the rules what individuals can and cannot do. Our founders agreed that the rules needed to center upon the inalienable rights of man given to him by his Creator (“Nature’s God”). Currently, this struggle is tearing the West apart, and as the Lord told us would happen, it has come to fruition that: “And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold (MAT 24:12).”
The first aspect of human health is freedom. The second is the fellowship of community.
However, in the Christian life, this community is supernaturally knit together, is eternal, and has straight forward rules laid down by the Creator of our society, who is the Head of the body. As we enjoy the freedom to choose along the new and living way, we are to serve one another, and over time, as the day draws near, we are to increase our efforts to give to one another. (Vv. 24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
The third aspect is understanding the precious value of the first two. The only path to value (in time) is difficulty.
In society, there is one more aspect to its health, and that is that men must know how precious freedom and social compacts are. They are precious because they are good, but also because they are frail. Because of the first part, fallen and weak mankind giving into tyranny, men have always had to fight for their freedom, and it turns out that if they do not that they will not know how important it is. This happens when a generation is born into prosperity and freedom.
And all that generation [Joshua’s] also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
JUD 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25
“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
This is one of the major problems in our own society. Great prosperity can make the human soul sleepy, forgetting the ultimate reason why freedom exists, and then playing, so to speak, with the things that could eventually destroy it, imagining that the conditions of freedom and abundance will always continue.
In the Christian life this is never a problem. Every believer suffers without exception. We all carry the flesh around and we can never escape its temptations. The devil prowls around looking to hurt us, and he has a large, well organized army. It’s not that we should be looking around every corner for a demon, but it is a fact that Satan is the god of this world and in many ways his forces tempt us to sin and become occupied with ourselves and his world.
We will always face consistent opposition in the spiritual life, and it turns out that that is a good thing - we will value eternal life.
So, the believer is equipped with all the things that make him and his society healthy and joyous. Notice that none of it has to do with wealth, power, influence, or any materialism or worldly promotion. His freedom to choose the truth in the new and living way is always protected. His society is made up of those who are of the same body, all believer priests, and all under the rule of the one Head, the Lord of glory. He will always have opposition so that he will never take his freedom for granted.
Neither the world, the devil, nor the flesh can impede the believer’s way of life, unless he allows them to.
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.
“with him” - para auto (dative) = beside him or in the presence of him. Not available to the world but to the believer who loves Him and keeps His word.