Title: Ephesians; 1:4 - The calling of the elect, part 11: The called call upon a holy God.
The called also call upon the name of the Lord, ROM 10:12-14; 1CO 1:2. They call upon the Father, 1PE 1:17.
1PE 1:13 Therefore, gird your minds for action [be ready at all times for action], keep sober in spirit [calm, collected, self-controlled, and careful], fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ [justification and sanctification now and glorification in eternity].
1PE 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1PE 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1PE 1:16 because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
1PE 1:17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth;
“address” - epikaleomai = to call upon. We call upon the Holy One as those elected to His holiness, therefore, conduct yourselves in fear (fear not being holy).
EPH 2:18 for through Him we both [Jew and Gentile] have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
This is the ultimate backstage pass. By means of the death and resurrection of Christ, all believers have access to the Father.
“Access” (prosagoge) is a technical word of presentation to a royal presence. It is also used in 1PE 3:18.
When Christ died the veil to the holy of holies was torn from top to bottom. Through His flesh we enter into the holy of holies, but not the earthly one - the one in the heavens.
1PE 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us [prosagoge] to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
Jesus Christ has torn that veil and revealed the face of God. All of us, through the one Holy Spirit, have full access to the Father.
God could not come to man when the sin question was not settled, and man could not go to God for their was no way for sin to be cleansed, but when Christ spoke those precious words, “It is finished,” the dividing wall was torn down, the veil was torn, and man redeemed, man and God reconciled, and God propitiated.
JOH 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.”
He will give you what you ask. If I ask for something selfishly, meaning that I want personal happiness, He will give the means of it, though if we remain selfish, that gift will go right by us and we will remain unhappy.
We should settle the question of whether God is working for the carnal believer or is ignoring him. Paul sent a letter to Corinth, to whom he flat out said, “are you not carnal, are you not walking like mere men?”
for you are still fleshly [sarkikos = a nature of flesh]. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
The letter was a warning and a rebuke. Our Father disciplines us for our good and all of us need it.
However, if a believer remains carnal in his thinking and conduct, he will reap corruption in life.
GAL 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
GAL 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Does God do nothing for him? Does God ignore him? Does God not love him and see him as his child? Are his sins and iniquities counted and remembered? May it never be. The Corinthians received a letter and so did the Galatians. While we do not get a letter from an apostle if we backslide, we do get a stern message from God. I’ve gotten hundreds of them and so have you.
GAL 6:1 Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
So, we find the Christian who is a carnal man asking God for things that he thinks will make him happy, and he even asks in Jesus’ name, will his Father give him what will make him happy? God is always for His children and not opposed to them, but He stands opposed to the carnal or fleshly way.
Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
The Christian who doesn’t heed God’s discipline and warnings and remains carnal will miss the means that God sends him.
PSA 50:14 "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High;
PSA 50:15 And call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."
PSA 50:16 But to the wicked God says,
"What right have you to tell of My statutes,
And to take My covenant in your mouth?
PSA 50:17 "For you hate discipline,
And you cast My words behind you.
The psalm is written against the people who will not be holy unto God. God tells them to bring their offering. To them, under the Law, this is their acknowledgment of their sin against Him. The carnal must confess his wrongdoing, not for forgiveness, but to turn around. Why would anyone change who thought they were doing right?
However, God says, you hate My discipline, and My words, My warnings, you cast behind you and disregard them.
And it wasn’t as if these carnal people were not bring the required sacrifices:
PSA 50:7 "Hear, O My people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you;
I am God, your God.
PSA 50:8 "I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,
And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
I reprove you because you hate My discipline instead of appreciating and loving it. I reprove you because you cast My words behind you and ignore them.
PSA 50:22 "Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
PSA 50:23 "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
There were unbelievers in Israel and two generations of them would literally be torn to pieces. If we look at the warning of divine discipline, though the believer is forever God’s child, his life will feel like it is being torn to pieces. Here is his ultimate question, will he become thankful for it, or will he spurn it?
If he spurns it, he’ll miss the message, the meaning of the pain, the clear call of repentance in the heartache. Heartache is designed to reveal to the carnal believer that he must confess his error, not to be forgiven, he should know that he was forgiven the moment he believed in Christ as his Savior. He must confess in order to change his way from sowing unto the flesh to sowing unto the Spirit. If he will stubbornly not do so, God will turn up the heat. He’ll do what is necessary, but it is up to the believer who has fallen from grace to realize his error and turn around and fight the good fight.
What if he asks for God to take away the pain of his life, which has been caused by his abundant sin? Will God not hear this?
Psa 50 rolls right into Psa 51 in which David repents of his errors.
God’s displeasure with the sacrifice of Psa 50 finds its correction in Psa 51.
David’s life had become a disaster due to his own forgetting God and becoming absorbed with being king and fighting enemies. Being king and fighting Philistines are good things, but to neglect the best things in favor of the good things is to always invite the disaster that comes when we do not honor our Lord in all we do.
PSA 51:1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.
PSA 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
We would say a bit differently as we are beneficiaries of the finished work of Christ.
Church age: “I know You have blotted out my transgressions, and I know You have thoroughly cleansed me.”
PSA 51:3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.
PSA 51:4 Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, And done what is evil in Thy sight, So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, And blameless when Thou dost judge.
Vv. 3-4 remain the same for us. Because I am justified and sanctified, shall I continue in sin in the age of grace so that grace may increase? May it never be.
PSA 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. [we are all born in sin, in Adam, ROM 5:12]
PSA 51:6 Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.
PSA 51:7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.