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Ephesians; 1:4 – The calling of the elect, part 7: Does your sin diminish the hope of your calling?

EPHESIANS-1-190208
length: 66:44 - taught on Feb, 8 2019
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Class Outline:

Friday February 8, 2019

 

EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

 

EPH 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

 

Our sins and failures often diminish our hope in our calling. “Since I sin too much, I probably will not experience its fulness.”

 

The thing that so often attacks and diminishes our hope in realizing the fulfillment of God’s election, and thus walking in a manner worthy of it with awe and delight and joy, is our failures.

 

Some Christians take sin too heavily and burden themselves with self-effort improvement, thinking themselves unworthy of God. These are very often self-condemned.

 

Some Christians take sin too lightly and seldom put up any resistance to it. These are the licentious, and without adjustment, will never mature and never have the impact in life that God desires. These imagine that their lack of sorrow over their own sins is a sign of grace. God does not tell us to feel sorry for our sins, but He does tell us that there is a sorrow that leads to repentance. Repentance means to turn around or to change you thinking. Is there one Christian who ever lived who didn’t need a great deal of that throughout his Christian life?

Heb12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,    

 

Heb12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.    

 

Heb12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.    

 

Heb12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

2CO 7:8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it —  for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while — 

 

Heb12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;    

 

Heb12:6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives."    

 

Heb12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?    

 

Heb12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.    

 

Heb12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?    

 

Heb12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

 

HEB 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  

 

2CO 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

 

2CO 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

 

2CO 7:11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

2CO 7:8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it —  for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while — 

 

2CO 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

 

2CO 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

 

2CO 7:11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

 

Both the licentious and the ascetic fail to understand the grace of God. Grace is the power to grieve our sin and overcome as well as the power to do that which is extraordinary.

 

Christ is the center and the life we live is the circumference. You cannot have a circumference without a center. We do what we do unto Christ, because of Him, and for Him. What we do is both positive and negative, meaning, thou shall and thou shall not.

 

You cannot fulfill a soul by subtraction. In other words, if I was able to fulfill all the “thou shall nots” but had none of the “thou shalls” my soul would not flourish. In fact, the “thou shalls” should come first. We should be about doing what we are commanded to do and then, while doing, avoid what we are not to do.

 

What is the preface to the Ten Commandments? God the Redeemer is the center and then the commandments are the circumference.

 

EXO 20:1 Then God spoke all these words, saying,

 

EXO 20:2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

 

EXO 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me.

 

There is a middle ground that each believer has to find with their relationship with God, in which they are not overcome by self-condemnation and at the same time are diligent to resist sin. I would confidently say that there is much struggle and heartache in finding that middle ground, but while this is true, if you seek it, the promise is that you will certainly find it.

 

There is also much suffering from self-induced misery through guilt as well as through reaping the corruption of sinful pursuits. No Christian can become sinless, but all can overcome the rulership of sin in their lives.

 

Since that godly power over sin doesn’t happen in a week or a year, many Christians quit on the pursuit and hit the bench, content with a superficial understanding of the scripture that does neither compel them to the high ground of maturity nor challenge their lack of vigor in its pursuit.

 

Those who are unprepared, unwilling, and unmotivated to fight this good fight that reaches ahead to the upward call will never see it. The cost of a comfort veiled, weak Christian life is too great.

 

Buying the lie that comfort and prosperity is the real Christian life is a veil that lies over the Scripture, in which is revealed the actual and only Christian life.

 

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 the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

 

Pastors become inept and weak when they teach the veiled life, when they stray from sound biblical exposition and wander into human reason, emotion, and experience.

 

Pastors become false shepherds when they stray away from the text of God’s inspired word to emotion, experience, current social trends, and all around disgusting man-made ideas of what God’s life is.

 

This seems to be becoming more frequent in pulpits and, as I have read about from multiple sources, it is becoming quite frequent in seminaries who are supposedly training men for the pulpit. Seminaries, even ones who were once staunchly pretribulational, premillennial, dispensational, and believed and taught the plenary divine inspiration of Scripture, have become liberal, based on human reason, denying that all Scripture is inspired by God, and as well as amillennial and replacement theology based, which in essence is spiritual antisemitism.

 

This is why we spend so much time in the Scriptures. This is why a study on the election of the church age believer takes us five months. This is why I review the work we have done.

 

You will get frustrated at times due to your lack of understanding. You will get frustrated at times due to your failures and sins; failing to do what you should have done, which I believe are the higher commands, and doing what you shouldn’t have done.

 

Despite being sinners, we are saved and at peace with God and this should cause us to rejoice, again I say rejoice. Israel would at times dance and sing before God because of His redemption of them.

 

Grace means that we should always rejoice, dance, and sing in our hearts to the One who saved us and made us whole through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

PHI 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

 

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