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Ephesians– overview of 2:19-22; God’s Temple in Humanity, part 4 (saving the captives).

EPHESIANS-1-190717
length: 68:11 - taught on Jul, 17 2019
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Class Outline:

Wednesday July 17, 2019
 

EPH 2:19-22 God’s Temple in Humanity.

 

Jesus descended so that He could ascend with His captives, His brothers and sisters whom He would redeem. He refused to stand on high alone in the defeat God’s enemies. He would only ascend on high with a multitude, bringing many sons to glory, and out them, building the house of God with Himself as the cornerstone.

 

We are that house and we are to have His very mind and desire. We too must descend in service of God, and subsequently others, knowing that we have ascended with Him and will do so physically on that wonderful day.

 

Psa 24 is a prophecy of our Lord’s glory, but He is not alone.

 

PSA 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains,

The world, and those who dwell in it.

 

PSA 24:2 For He has founded it upon the seas,

And established it upon the rivers.

 

PSA 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?

And who may stand in His holy place?

 

PSA 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood,

And has not sworn deceitfully.

 

PSA 24:5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord

And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

 

PSA 24:6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek Thy face —  even Jacob.

Selah.

 

Jesus alone had clean hands and a pure heart, so only He can ascend, but by His death He gave them to us, for by His blood we are clean.

 

PSA 24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates,

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

 

PSA 24:8 Who is the King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

 

PSA 24:9 Lift up your heads, O gates,

And lift them up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

 

PSA 24:10 Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

He is the King of glory.

 

The members of the house must have the same mind as the foundation of the house.

 

PSA 24:6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek Thy face —  even Jacob.

 

PHI 2:1 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

 

PHI 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

 

PHI 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;

 

PHI 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

PHI 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

 

PHI 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

PHI 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 

PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

Now for the ascent.

 

PHI 2:9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

 

PHI 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,

 

PHI 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

It is in the knowing of the details, of how God built His house that will cause those who make up that divine house on earth to serve and love in the way that Christ did.

 

What good is having a church if we do not have unbreakable unity and unquenchable strength and untarnished love within it? What good is the church, or the Bible for that matter, if they are not making us all to be Christ-like?

 

So, we return to Jeremiah, to the weeping Rachel who witnesses from the grave her sons and daughters being taken into captivity.

 

The Lord will put an end to this wailing.

 

JER 31:15 Thus says the Lord,

“A voice is heard in Ramah,

Lamentation and bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping for her children;

She refuses to be comforted for her children,

Because they are no more.”

 

JER 31:16 Thus says the Lord,

“Restrain your voice from weeping,

And your eyes from tears;

For your work shall be rewarded,” declares the Lord,

“And they shall return from the land of the enemy.”

 

“Your work shall be rewarded” refers to the maternal labor of birth and rearing of children. The reward consists in this, that the children shall return out of the land of the enemy into their own land.

 

It is really God who has labored over all of these children, the entire nation of Israel. Imagine if they were all lost. Sadly, that is what covenant theology teaches. Its absurd. “Rachel, your work shall be rewarded.”

 

It is God’s own reward to have them free, under His roof, in His kingdom, and under His loving care.

 

HEB 2:10-11

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren

 

And remember, who among us deserve to be rescued from captivity because we have been faithful sons to God? It is God’s unchanging love that causes Him to rescue us, all of us. Yet some still say no to His offer of redemption. All of us are undeserving. All of us have gone astray. There is none good, not even one.

 

JER 31:20 "Is Ephraim My dear son?

Is he a delightful child?

Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him [none of us are good],

I certainly still remember him;

Therefore My heart [inward parts - expression of intense emotion] yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," declares the Lord.

 

Then, as God calls for Israel to return, He creates a new thing.

 

JER 31:22 "How long will you go here and there,

O faithless daughter?

For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth-

A woman will encompass a man."

 

A woman (Israel) will embrace a man (God). The new thing is that the children will embrace in love their Redeemer.

 

This is fulfilled in this age, and will be fulfilled in the nation of Israel in the future Millennium. Because we can see God through Jesus Christ, because the mystery of Him is revealed to us, because we can know Him, love like Him, walk like Him, we can embrace Him with sincere affection.

 

Between Israel and God in the OT was a Law, and because they were lawbreakers there was an outer curtain to the holy place and an inner curtain to the holy of holies. Between man and God there were insurmountable barriers. How could any of them, then, really embrace God? They could love Him from the other side of a wall, which was good and rewarding and comforting, but it was not this.

 

The Lord has created a new thing in the earth - He has enabled us to embrace Him.

 

I pray we realize how special, precious, and beautiful this is. We must also understand, that to properly embrace Him, continually and consistently, there are things that have to change about us.

 

This is like several things that are true about our position in Him but might not be a part of our experience. We are sanctified, but we might not experience the joy of walking in a sanctified life. We are clothed with Christ, but we might not experience the power and security that comes from seeing ourselves clothed by Him. We have embraced our Lord at salvation, but we might not experience what it is to go through life enraptured in His presence.

 

From the moment of salvation, many things in our heart must change. First and foremost is our ignorance of the revealed scripture, and with that, our priorities, our loves, what we honor, what we perceive, what we desire, what our will is energetic towards, must all change.

 

When we pray for things to be right between us and God that we know are currently wrong in some way, we cannot expect God to wave His magic wand and change us that very instant. He will work towards that goal, and the fact that you prayed for it is an indication that you are ready for it, for if our will does not desire good things like truth, love, power, integrity, self-control, fruit, etc. then we will not have it in our lives. We must change.

 

People have asked for a long time if a person can change. Many have said no. They conclude that your personality is finished and set after 6 years old or so. Some cults have made a fortune promising that they can go back to these formed patterns in your brain, in essence mining in your brain to the time when you were young and changing these patterns through various techniques.

 

All of these are partial truths. It is true that much of what you are is set after childhood, but that is not the whole truth. Life is never, ever that simple. It is also true that those patterns can be changed by an outward force, but certainly not in the methods promised by Scientology or other groups.

 

First and foremost, all believers are born of the Spirit at the moment of salvation. Jesus said just this to Nicodemus in Joh 3. We are born again. We are the new humanity, the only new humanity who are now in possession of Christ and His New Covenant. Then, the truth and the Spirit of God within us can and will change our selves, meaning our personalities. Personality is made up of intellect, will, and conscience. All of these will change, but not overnight.

 

When we pray for certain things to change, God will do it. And we have to understand that change is not outside of our will. If it were, it would not be us who changed, meaning that we would not be the same persons. If I asked God to change some bad habit or vice in me, and for all the right reasons, in that it was hindering me from experiencing sanctification, being clothed with Christ, embracing Him, and in the morning I woke up and the vice was gone, essentially I would no longer be me but another version of me. When I agree to the change, willingly do, and at times fight to do, the aspects of God’s will that will enact the change, and for no other reason than my personal desire to be Christ-like, then as I change, I am still the same person, yet changed.

 

Absolutely, change is possible. It is often denied because of how rare it is, and it is rare because most people will not do what change asks of them - to fight, to be uncomfortable, to struggle, to go without, to endure and all the while relying on God the Holy Spirit to pull you through.

 

1JO 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life — 

 

1JO 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 

 

1JO 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

 

1JO 1:4 And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

 

1JO 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

 

1JO 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

 

The “we” in this conditional clause refers to the false teachers. They say that they fellowship with God but walk in darkness.

 

1JO 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

This “we” is John and his other leaders, and subsequently, all believers. John walks in the light and he is entreating his readers, us included, to fellowship as he does with the risen Lord. This is the only life for the child of light, and it is a matter of being convinced of that.

 

Also, this is not a cause and effect conditional clause - if you walk in the light then the blood of Christ cleanses you. It is in fact the other way around. So, this is an evidence - inference example of a conditional clause. You walk in the light because you are cleansed.

 


 

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