Angelic Conflict part 301: Reigning in life – Rom 5:12-21; Eph 1:18-23; 3:1-11; 14-19; 4:11-13; Isa 6:1-8.
length: 59:09 - taught on Apr, 23 2014
ROM 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
God saved us and designed us for fruit production.
He has at salvation delivered us from perishing and given us eternal life and He desires to see these things produce fruit by means of grace.
So we have seen two motives for superabounding grace: blessings for us and good works in us. A third motivation is the revealing of the wisdom of God to the principalities and powers.
EPH 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
EPH 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
EPH 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
EPH 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
EPH 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
EPH 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs [reigning in life] and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
"fellow heirs" - not a split inheritance but receiving an equal portion, therefore, only by grace will believers reign in life.
A fellow heir doesn't split up the inheritance but receives an equal amount of inheritance. Grace is a term for receiving that equal inheritance with Christ. Faith in its reality and practice in its use will make for reigning in life.
EPH 3:7 of which [mystery] I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
EPH 3:10 in order that [purpose] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
The terms rulers and authorities are used in several ways, but here they are together as in EPH 6:12, which refers to satan and the KOD and it is likely that this is what is emphasized here, yet our witness is seen by all angels.
As we have studied, when Lucifer and the angels were created, power was given to them on various levels. Lucifer became Satan, and many of the angelic beings — the principalities and powers — followed him in his rebellion.
Fallen angels thought they had sufficient wisdom to govern, and to carry on the administration of creation without recourse to the authority and wisdom of God.
The universe was engulfed in chaos, and with the fall of man, sin began to erode the ability of man to exercise any control over sin and evil and attain peace without God.
In the fullness of time, God revealed His plan of salvation. Christ would humble Himself in the form of a slave and be obedient to the Father right up to and including His death on the cross.
Because of His death and resurrection God would call out a great many of mankind into the organism, not the organization, of the Church with Christ as its head.
God demonstrates the true method of government and administration of a life in total reliance on the wisdom and power of God, i.e. grace.
Instead of seeking exaltation within themselves, all who have been redeemed recognize that there is no power within themselves [some in time, all in eternity]. All that they accomplish is through total reliance upon the wisdom and power of God.
Thus, in the very place where powerful and wise beings rebelled in their imagined self-sufficiency, God took from men, greatly inferior to angels, a company which, by grace, accomplishes what the latter never could accomplish.
The fallen angels sought to accomplish all by independence; we accomplish by total dependence.
They followed Lucifer who said;
'I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.'
We follow Christ:
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
EPH 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Our witness of grace as the only means to govern one's life and one's church to the rulers and authorities was God's eternal purpose.
EPH 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [the very things satan coveted in Isa 14].
Satan coveted what we are in grace.
Ascend to heaven, EPH 2:6 - seated with Christ.
Above the stars (angels), HEB 2:14 - they serve us.
Sit in the assembly, REV 4:4 - sit with Christ.
Above the clouds (glory), ROM 8:18 - share Christ's glory.
Like the Most High, ROM 8:29 - conformed to Christ's image.
One might say that satan wanted to be God and we are not given that so how can we say that God have us what satan coveted? Actually we could say that God gave us more than satan coveted and better. As great a creature as lucifer was he never had the smallest fraction of capacity to be God or even like God. Would you rather God promote you to deity [impossible] and watch yourself fail ridiculously, or would you rather have God share His essence with you to the fullest of your capacity while allowing Him to maintain the functions of deity that you wholly submit to? God found a way, in Christ, and in grace, to do just that.
Certainly satan wanted to be above God or at least co-equal with God and hence the desire is a coveting of something way beyond his reach and capacity. No one who submits to another usurps that one. God has gladly shared these things with us while fully under His authority. We do not become gods in regeneration, but we do become sharers in things pertaining to God through the God/Man. But as creatures this can only be done one way, with a mediator who is equal to both parties, God and man. As fallen creatures the mediator must do all the work since we are under the penalty of death and sin. Christ became a man and then God through Him made all believers co-heirs with Him. So in essence we are children of God but not gods. We are seated with Christ and brothers with Christ, but we do not become Christ's. We are forever in full submission to Him who is our King and we are forever His slaves. Yet our Lord has shared all of His house with us, not splitting it, but sharing all of it and without so much as an ounce of work or effort on our part. This is grace!
satan wanted it on his own, independent of God. God offers it free through dependence on Him in everything.
EPH 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory [writing epistles in prison].
Then, in Ephesians, is stated the value of love, the life beyond dreams and then the long list of commands that, obeyed by means of the grace of God, enable us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling.
A fourth motive for superabounding grace is that the Church completes or is the fullness of Christ.