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Ephesians; 1:3 – every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 16.

EPHESIANS-1-181028
length: 76:16 - taught on Oct, 28 2018
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Sunday October 28, 2018

 

Title: Ephesians; 1:3 - every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 16.

 

Spiritual over material: Obedience to God in all things is non-negotiable.

 

Material blessings without these spiritual blessings are not blessings at all.

 

God is Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and in truth. Spiritual blessings are the only source of happiness, love, and peace. They are the only source of unity, graciousness, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, kindness, and goodness, without which, no two people can coexist in love and peace and happiness.

 

Man must pursue nothing else. Seek first His kingdom. All the other stuff will be added to you.

 

The believer who seeks first the understanding and use of these spiritual blessings will fully submit to the will of God for his life.

 

This doesn’t mean that he does nothing else but study the word of God, but that the word of God, meaning his relationship with God, is first and foremost in his life. All believers are new creatures in Christ and we are no longer to live for ourselves, but for our Lord who died and rose again to make us who we are.

 

2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

 

2CO 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

 

“they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him.”

 

Let that statement sink in. It is the Christ-life. It is election. And, it is a great challenge to every believer in the struggle of the desires for self that conflict with the Christ-life. No one bypasses this struggle. Everyone comes to an understanding that giving in to the desires for self is easier than standing firm against them. And, without a consistent learning schedule in the word of God, a believer will not be reminded enough and challenged enough to keep up the good fight of faith.

 

1TI 6:11-12

But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 

The good confession was the beginning. That was the easy part. At that time, at Timothy’s ordination, there were probably many congratulations, handshakes, pats on the back, and festivity. That part is easy. Any runner will tell you that the most exciting times of any long race is the start and the finish. It’s the middle that is grueling. In the Christian life we must pursue (Greek: dioko = to persecute) righteousness, godliness, faith, love perseverance, and gentleness, and there will be no festivities or pats on the back.

 

2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

 

2CO 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

 

2CO 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

 

Recognizing no man according to the flesh means that we do not judge others on outward appearance.

 

The context:

2CO 5:12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, that you may have an answer for those who take pride in appearance, and not in heart.

 

We have the visible appearance vs. the invisible heart, which is the true substance of a man.

 

There was nothing in Christ’s appearance that would reveal Him as the Son of God, the Messiah. It was through what He said and what He did that revealed Him as the Messiah.

 

ISA 53:1 Who has believed our message?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

 

ISA 53:2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,

And like a root out of parched ground;

He has no stately form or majesty

That we should look upon Him,

Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

 

ISA 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men,

A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

And like one from whom men hide their face,

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 

We don’t have wonder for too long as to why He did not come among us with an appearance that would dazzle us. What was important for us to see was His love, His truth, His position as the Messiah. We would have been even more distracted than we already are if He had an astonishing appearance.

 

God looks upon the heart and so must we. Christ said that we will know the false prophets by their fruit.

 

Outward appearance is a material possession. The proper application is not in looking terrible but in not being proud because of our appearance. 

 

James faced this same issue concerning pride of appearance [material blessings] in Jerusalem.

 

JAM 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

 

JAM 2:2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,

 

JAM 2:3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by [hupo plus the accusative = under] my footstool,"

 

“under my footstool” is the Greek:hupo to hupopodion mou. “Under under my feet.” Not even on the footstool, but under it, meaning to take the lowest place.

 

JAM 2:4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

 

JAM 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

 

That is a perfect statement of the spiritual blessings over the material blessings.

 

MAT 5:3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

All are poor. No matter how many possessions one has, without Christ they are meaningless. Blessed are they that know this. “Riches on earth” is a relative concept. In the kingdom of God, the only eternal kingdom, riches are all spiritual and obtained by faith.

 

JAM 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

 

JAM 2:7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

 

JAM 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.

 

JAM 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

 

JAM 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

 

JAM 2:11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

 

By not loving their neighbor, they have violated the law of God. One might say that we are no longer under the Mosaic Law, and that is true, but what law are we under? The law of Christ, in which we are commanded to love just as Christ loved.

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