Ephesians 4:7-16: Spiritual gifts –summary of permanent gifts (giving God your best), Part 2.
length: 62:23 - taught on Dec, 14 2021
Tuesday December 14,2021
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Thy name?'”
Notice how these priests were doing this.
"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled Thee?' In that you say, 'The table of the Lord is to be despised.' 8 "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the Lord of hosts. 9 "But now will you not entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?" says the Lord of hosts.
What could offer no other service was deemed fit for God.
Any old, decrepit beast was passed as good enough for sacrifice, and which were lame and blind and therefore unfit for work, nor even for meat in some cases.
The question this gets to is why we should give God our best. It can’t be that God needs it. He certainly doesn’t.
If each of us finds out why we should give God our best, we will do it with joy.
It seems to me that these are the quests that every Christian should be on - the clear understanding of God’s way and life and truth in the midst of a sick world and a corrupt flesh.
In vs. 8, God asks them to imagine someone trying to impress and ingratiate their governor with a gift, say a horse, and the governor watches you lead out an old diseased horse limping along towards him. And then in vs. 9, God ironically asks them how pleased He, their Creator and Savior, would be.
The phrase “entreat God’s favor,” is a picture of the priest coming before God, as usual, to pray for the people, and with him he brings a half dead, blind animal as a sacrifice.
We don’t worship God by offering animals, but in a sense, neither did they.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
"Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired,
But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;
6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure.
7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come
(In the roll of the book it is written of Me)
To do Thy will, O God.'"
8 After saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast not desired, nor hast Thou taken pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Thy will." He takes away the first in order to establish the second.
Animals, incense, and grain; (or the sacrifices of the NT priest) money, time, gratitude, and gifted service, if they are actions alone, rather than works that flow from a heart that has been changed into the fabric of divine good, beholding God’s essence and not anything baser, then they are nothing.
This passage in Hebrews reminds us of another reason that we serve God. Every believer is a royal priest. Jesus made us priests and also made each of us the temple of God in which Jesus Christ dwells. At Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, the Spirit appeared as flaming tongues. We have an imagery of the gift of tongues, but also an image of the Shekinah Glory appearing upon each one, made then temples in which God indwelt.
The royal priest serves God with all his heart, mind, and body. The temple of God exists for the service of God.
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
These spiritual sacrifices are our lives before God in gratitude, obedience, service, and proclaiming Him to the world.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Being God’s people by receiving His mercy (He called us out of darkness into His marvelous light) provides us with the opportunity of proclaiming God’s excellent qualities.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17 Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.