Wednesday October 24, 2018
Ephesians; 1:3 - every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 13.
When you can combine passion with theological integrity, you have found the bridge from the mind to the heart.
We must have both. One without the other will lead to warped Christian lives. We have been given the life of Christ and He had both.
Spiritual over material: faith is the function of the worthless and bankrupt toward the One who is all in all.
We are actually still on this point in our study of the spiritual over the material, which we conclude tonight. Faith is the function of all things in the spiritual life. Life is too short to wait to develop mature faith, which comes from hearing and from obedience to God’s revealed truth.
In almost everything we come across in Ephesians contains mountains of doctrines. With this book as our guide we will cover so much of the Bible and all of it requires faith.
God desires His children to be of a certain type - divine character. It’s a transformation rather than doing things for the sake of doing.
God didn’t necessarily make us new creatures so that He could get a lot of work done. He didn’t make worker bees. He made people that He could share His life with, and of course, people with that life do a lot of good work.
Jesus rose from the dead and that life, a life of resurrection and heaven, is the life we have.
That we are raised with Christ is the reason Paul gives for not continuing in sin though we are under grace. Godly decisions build godly character.
ROM 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
ROM 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
ROM 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
ROM 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
ROM 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
ROM 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
ROM 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
ROM 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
ROM 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
ROM 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
ROM 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Bad decisions or sin do not produce divine character.
The type of believer God desires is a mature one. A mature one understands that he is forever worthless and bankrupt before God, that God works through Him invisibly, that the spiritual blessings are the center of his life, that he is to use the material and worldly things in his life in the proper way, that he is to be filled with the Spirit and thus produce the Spirit’s fruit, that God the Father is his Father, and that God the Son is his Brother, and … many more things than these.
When a man has made these discoveries, God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins.
And don’t worry about how old you are. It would be really silly to realize that you have wasted decades of your life, and for that reason, not to start really living now that you know and understand. Remember, it is a person of a certain type that is important and not how much he has done.
This is the admonition of Paul in Ephesians, “Awake sleeper.”
EPH 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
EPH 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
EPH 5:9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
EPH 5:10 trying to learn [proving] what is pleasing to the Lord.
EPH 5:11 And do not participate [have fellowship with] in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
EPH 5:12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
EPH 5:13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
EPH 5:14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you."
EPH 5:15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
EPH 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
“days are evil” - every day contains active opposition to good. “make the most of your time” - teach us to number our days.
From: The Ancient Sage [by Alfred Tennyson]
Thou canst not prove the Nameless, O my son,
Nor canst thou prove the world thou movest in,
Thou canst not prove that thou art body alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art spirit alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art both in one,
Thou canst not prove thou art immortal, no,
Nor yet that thou art mortal - nay, my son,
Thou canst not prove that I, who speak with thee,
Am not thyself in converse with thyself,
For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
Nor yet disproven. Wherefore thou be wise,
Leave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith!
She reels not in the storm of warring words,
She brightens at the clash of “Yes” and “No,”
She sees the best that glimmers thro’ the worst
She feels the sun is hid but for a night,
She spies the summer thro’ the winter bud,
She tastes the fruit before the blossom falls,
She hears the lark within the songless egg,
She finds the fountain where they wail’d “Mirage!”
God’s pleasure concerning His children is that they walk in the life that is the light of the world, which they are. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Faith grabs hold of the spiritual blessings from the Father when doubt begs us to join it on the darker side of life.
Spiritual over material: The tenets of the Bible apply perfectly to all peoples in all times no matter what society they are in.
The left says that the Bible was for a much older time and doesn’t apply in our age. They are so wrong. Its tenets are timeless and they transcend every culture, nation, and people.
The word of God is alive and powerful and it is profitable for instruction, correction, and reproof; not just in one or some generations, but in all.
And yet, if we were to actually produce a society that looked very Christian in morality and virtue, there would be a growing segment of the population, who just like an older segment that we somehow rooted out, who would hate it, and they would eventually tear it down. This is why the virtue and sacrifice and goodness of so many in the great generation from the depression and WWII didn’t bleed over into the next generation. The good and simple times never last because of what is in the heart of so many - independence from the Father and hatred of good. They hate good because it is a hindrance of their own pursuit of selfishness and evil. All we need to look at is the rebellion against Christ at the end of His perfect and wonderful Millennial Reign.
Many people actually don’t want heaven at all. They want the parts of heaven that leave them to their own way and not the parts that demand total obedience to God’s way.
This is an eye-opening statement. People want physical blessings, they want things to be easy, they want entertainment, and things that dazzle the eye. I think we could say conclusively that heaven has all of these things. We don’t know a lot about what life in heaven will be like. Actually, we only know one thing.