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Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 11. Paul's three metaphors of endurance: soldier, athlete, farmer

length: 79:25 - taught on Nov, 25 2018
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Class Outline:


Sunday November 25, 2018


3) Passages where election is applied to believers in this age:


3e. The elect endure all things for the sake of one another, which pleases God.


We have just a bit more to do on this passage.


2TI 2:1 You therefore [referring to Paul’s call to faithfulness in chapter 1], my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


2TI 2:2 And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.


2TI 2:3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.


2TI 2:4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life [bios], so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.


2TI 2:5 And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize [is not crowned] unless he competes according to the rules.


1CO 9:26-27

Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.


Disqualified [adokimazo] is the same as “is not crowned.” To follow the rules, the commands, we will often have to buffet our bodies, meaning punch our bodies, which is a metaphor for self-control.


2TI 2:6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.


The elect (soldier, athlete, farmer) doesn’t entangle himself in details of life, lives by the commands (rules), works hard - so that - please God, be crowned, receive fruit.


2TI 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.


Timothy, and each of us, should pause and consider the above. We must understand what the metaphors mean. They are the life of the elect. It is vital that we understand them, so much so, that we need to ask God in prayer for understanding.


Pray for understanding concerning specific passages of scripture.


Do we find life, the spiritual life, serious and important enough to consistently seek understanding in prayer to God? Take each one and go to God in private, alone, having time to think and receive, and ask about the soldier, what it is to avoid being entangled in the affairs of everyday life, what are those particular affairs for you. Ask Him about pleasing Him. Ask Him about following the rules or the commands and what it means to be crowned spiritually. Ask Him if you labor enough, and what does the labor look like. Ask Him if your labor is properly motivated and what the fruit of the labor would actually be. And with this, as the next verse reveals, remember Jesus as the perfect example.


I am becoming more and more convinced that Christians are not using prayer for this purpose near enough, when it is one of prayer’s key functions. We may run through our prayer list and say “done.” Do we spend time with our Father in private, thanking Him morning and night, and entreating His ministry in giving us understanding in everything?


In the end, each of us must come to our own convictions. I have admitted to you all, several times, that I don’t know everything. I can only communicate what I see in the scripture, and my knowledge will increase. However, I refuse to use conjecture or human reasoning to fill in gaps or to connect lines between sound doctrines. I will only use the revelation of the scripture.


2TI 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.


We look to the life of Jesus Christ for the example, leading to more understanding.


2TI 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,


Raised from the dead, in the context, is more than the fact of it, that He was resurrected, but more so the implication of it.


Jesus came to life. The first time from the virgin birth but the second time from resurrection. Who could hurt Him, bruise Him, mock Him, etc.? We each, as believers, possess His resurrection life. Though other will try to hurt us, bruise us, or mock us, our lives are fully secure in Christ’s life. What is there to fear? This is why Paul says this to Timothy. He, like all believers, has no choice but to live the life that Paul summarized in this letter so far. It is a complete giving over of our lives to Christ in which we leave to Him all of our desires and dreams. This takes more courage than anything else ever faced by anyone. When we get scared, feel like we can’t do it, feel alone, despairing, weak, and sorrowful, remember Jesus walking out of that tomb in the very body they crucified.


This is another great prayer. Ask the Father what are all the implications of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.


The humanity of Christ possessed resurrection life and He appeared to believers, the ones who would be elect in Him. The first thing He said to them when He appeared eirene humin - peace be with you.


His resurrection life is given to us, each one of us. We live like Him.


Jesus is elect. He is the ideal soldier, athlete, farmer. He has given us His resurrection life. We live like Him.


2TI 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,


2TI 2:9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.


2TI 2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen [eklektos], that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.


In view of the soldier, athlete, farmer, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the ideal one of each, and Him resurrected, all things must be endured for the sake of the elect.


Paul says, “the elect are out there, I must get to them and I endure all things to get to them.” Why not just say, “They are elect from before the world was, if I don’t get to them, someone will. Why kill myself spreading the gospel all over the world?”


The strict Calvinist says that he offers the gospel of faith in Christ only because he is commanded to. He has no other motivation. Paul’s vigor for the gospel does not solve the questions lingering between the sovereign will of God and the free-will of man. But it makes us see that on this side of heaven, our lives lighting up the world for Christ is extremely important for each of us, not just the apostle, pastor, evangelist, or missionary.


Paul repeats this sentiment in the prescript of Titus


TIT 1:1

Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,


If we chose, we can water down the plan of God by neglecting some aspects of it and including some aspects of our own plans that accommodate the flesh and the world. If we do this, the world will not persecute us, we will not suffer undeservedly as much, we will not have to exercise as much control over ourselves, and the spiritual work will be easier because there will be far less of it. But the cost of these allowances is too high. The cost is the realization of the fulfillment of the life of Christ in our lives as well as its impact upon others around us. That price is too dear for some hope of comfort, which actually only calls for the discipline of your Father. 


And with this election to a heavenly life, I want to spend a few moments speaking on thankfulness in the spirit of the holiday.


COL 3:12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God [the elect], holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;


Wrap yourself (put on) in a “heart of compassion” - bowels of compassion = a feeling of distress for the ills of others (Vine’s).


Kindness, humility (lowliness of mind), gentleness (meekness, often paired with humility), patience (as applies to people).


COL 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.


COL 3:14 And beyond (epi = upon) all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.


“And upon all these things put on love” which holds all the others together perfectly.


Love is the seamless outer garment that holds all the others together in perfect fashion.


Actually, the word “unity” is not in the original. The Greek reads, “And upon all these, put on divine love which is a binding factor of perfection or completeness.”


COL 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

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