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Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; The Secret of the Ages, part 15 (Overcoming sin and suffering).

EPHESIANS-1-190821
length: 66:51 - taught on Aug, 21 2019
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Class Outline:

Wednesday August 21, 2019
 
 

Youthful folly abounds in all generations; the thought that unless we sin, we do not have freedom, and the sense that God would be more to us if He were less like Himself.

 

To repent, one has to surrender, submit, suffer, and die.

 

The Son of God became a Man who could then surrender, submit, suffer, and die in our place. His finished work enables every one of us to repent from sin and evil and to take hold of and pursue eternal life.

 

To be seen and understood, the spiritual life must be lived. 

 

God tells us to go ‘there’ but leaves off the detailed explanation of what ‘there’ will be like. He wants you to see it for yourself.

 

1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

 

1CO 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

 

1CO 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

 

1CO 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

1CO 13:8 Love never fails;

 

The description is not enough to understand and experience God’s love. The description is a map that sends me to the place of love, the sphere of love. I study the map and I follow the path it gives me and thus I experience the journey.

 

All of these attributes are divine. Hence, as a man I often find that I don’t want to be patient, kind, bear all things, endure all things. I often find that I am strongly tempted to be jealous, brag, be prideful, act badly, and seek for myself. Yet, if I am not these things, I will not really know God’s love.

 

God’s word tells me that there is no other life for me anymore. So, I repent or turn from the old life where impatience, animosity, selfishness, quitting, jealousy, arrogance, inappropriate behavior, and only seeking myself was permissible at times. Now, they are never permissible. Knowing that, being convinced of that is the death that I went through when I believed in Christ as my Savior.

 

Christians are created as a new humanity to walk according to the Spirit who indwells them. When we set our minds on perfect patience, kindness, selflessness, etc., the Spirit within fills us to make it happen.

 

ROM 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

ROM 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

ROM 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

 

ROM 8:4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

The Law could judge sin and pronounce death, but it could not dethrone sin and its penalty. Christ’s perfect life was the ultimate condemnation of sin; His death paid its penalty and dethroned it.

 

The Law could not condemn sin in the way that Christ did. We could say that the Law could condemn the sinner since it judged sin and then pronounce death as the penalty. But the Law could not condemn sin to its own death and thus dethrone it as man’s master. Jesus was able to condemn sin, and now we serve a new Master.

 

The Law could not change man. It could not justify him or make him righteous. It could only judge him, reveal his sin and his unholiness, and then pronounce the sentence set in it by God.

 

Jesus had life, the life, and being fully human, He was “the” human life that God designed and desired. The fact that He didn’t once sin means that sin has no place in the proper and right human life. That fact is the ultimate condemnation of sin. And then, that perfect Man, set Himself up to be judged by the Father for every sin of man, thus paying the penalty and removing our debt. He was able to condemn sin to death, removing it from its mastery of us and setting Himself up as our eternal Master.

 

This was all done for you, and made your eternal reality the moment you believed in Him as your Savior.

 

ROM 8:4 in order that the requirement (dikaioma: that which is deemed right, righteous requirement, or ordinance) of the Law

 

ROM 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

 

ROM 8:4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

The words "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit" are descriptive of the Christian, an identifying characteristic. That is true of every child of God. [Wuest]

 

I use Wuest just so you know that this isn’t only from me. I agree with this interpretation. Paul is not addressing the fact that we don’t always walk according to the Spirit, but that as those who are “in the Spirit,” it is a characteristic of us. It’s sort of like saying humans possess intelligence.

 

"Walk" is peripateo, "to order one's behavior or conduct." "Flesh" is the indwelling evil nature. "Spirit" is the Holy Spirit. "After" is

kata, whose root meaning is "down," which suggests domination.

 

A Christian is one who orders his behavior in such a way that it is not dominated by the evil nature, but by the Holy Spirit. This is what we were made and designed for. Silly or ignorant Christians aside, educated Christians know and understand that this is their life now and there are no other alternatives.

 

In Galatians, we see the application of this characteristic in us - “walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

 

GAL 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

 

GAL 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

 

GAL 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

 

GAL 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

 

GAL 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

 

GAL 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

The unbeliever is mastered by these and other things like them - they are not for the believer.

 

ROM 8:5

For those who are according (habitually) to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according (habitually) to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

 

GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

 

GAL 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

GAL 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

This is also in Rom 8, as we have just seen. Christ crucified sin, condemning it in the flesh.

 

GAL 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

 

GAL 5:26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

 

We live according to the Spirit. That is our characteristic. So then, let us also walk, order our behavior and conduct, by the Spirit as well.

 

Together with Rom 8 and several other passages in the NT, we see that God tells us what He has done for us, presents the case, and then commands and entreats us to decide to live in the reality of the new creation within His kingdom.

 

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