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Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; The Secret of the Ages, part 20 (Overcoming sin and suffering).

length: 62:20 - taught on Sep, 6 2019
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September 6, 2019

In writing about the ideologies of Marxism, National Socialism (Nazi Germany), and Communism (Soviet Union), F.A. Voigt in Unto Caesar states: “The belief in the possibility of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is akin to the passion for “planning,” and, like most other plans - only more so - the Kingdom will not “work.” It cannot work because the Kingdom of Heaven and this world are in irreconcilable contradiction. The barrier between them is Death. That barrier cannot be passed by any man, not even by a Lenin or a Hitler. Secular religion does not, because it cannot, see its own essential contradiction, for if it did it would destroy itself.”


We see in ROM 8:1-3 that Christ died in a manner that condemned in death our sin. Voigt, a Christian who understands this, says rightly that no man can pass the barrier of death. Christ did it for us, so that we can confidently say that we are in Him and in His kingdom. How wonderfully ironic and mad that men have put fierce effort into attempting to create Heaven’s kingdom on earth without admitting God.


The reasons that Rom 8 is our home port:


1) We find ourselves in the hands of a blessed Comforter, the indwelling Spirit, in whose almighty and loving ministry we find “life and peace.”


ROM 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,


ROM 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;


ROM 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


2) We know ourselves to be sons of God in the possession of an inheritance from God - we cry out Abba Father.


ROM 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.


ROM 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"


ROM 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,


ROM 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.


3) We find ourselves, without merit from ourselves, called “God’s elect” - involved in a great Divine purpose, that will end in our being conformed to Christ’s image, Christ being “the first-born among many brethren.”


ROM 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.


ROM 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;


ROM 8:30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


4) We find ourselves loved in Christ; and therefore, never to be separated from that love.


ROM 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?


ROM 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?


ROM 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;


ROM 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.


ROM 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?


ROM 8:36 Just as it is written,


"For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long;

We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."


ROM 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.


ROM 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,


ROM 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


These things are yours, gifted to you by God’s grace, so that you may live an abundant life of holiness and blamelessness. Sin and the nature of sin have been condemned and we must separate from them and walk in the light.


Know these truths well and never compromise them. They are right here written, unchanged for thousands of years. The greatest danger to them is not their rejection but their corruption, as the greatest danger to Christianity is not those who wish to destroy it, but those who want to keep it but corrupt it. It has been shown historically that in nations where the government attempts to destroy Christianity, it actually tends to flourish, but in nations where the government wishes to corrupt Christianity in order to use for its own ends, the church buildings remain but the truth disappears.


Rom 8 comes after the work of Christ - after His atoning blood has put the believer’s sins away.


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.


The ‘therefore’ looks back to the struggle of chapter 7 and the thankful shout of vs. 25; and not the expiatory work of Christ in ROM 3:21-5:11.


It is on account of the Spirit’s acting as a law of life, delivering the believer from the contrary law of sin and death, that there is no condemnation.


The subject here is no longer Christ’s work for us, but the Spirit’s work within us.


As a side note, there are 17 instances of “for” in this chapter. That means it is closely knit and must be patiently followed. This demands patient study, “for” those who are too lazy or occupied with other things to study it, will not open its deepest treasures.


Now then, we have been delivered from the body of death through Jesus Christ our Lord.


It is Christ’s own risen life that the believer now shares, but it is the blessed Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” who makes the deliverance an experience.


It is vital that we experience the life of Christ and not just know of it. We must know it and experience it. The Spirit is within us to accomplish both things. The blessedness of the fruit you will produce will astound you. The fact that you produce the fruit of the Spirit as one who was once a son of disobedience and an enemy of God minded only to the flesh is more astounding, and might I add, sweeter. The fact that you produce the fruit of the Spirit in a world filled with darkness, hate, and selfishness; a world bound only for judgment that will be so harsh that it caused Isaiah to recoil in horror, is the more astounding.


ISA 21:4

My mind reels, horror overwhelms me;


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,


The flesh is only irritated by the Law, and we were bound to the Law, but when Christ killed our nature of sin, we were released from the Law.


When a moral was given by God there were four responses: 1) those who hated it, 2) those who accommodated it, 3) those who hypocritically lived under it, and 4) those who loved it.


Yet, even to those who loved the Law, certainly because they loved God, they were shut up under sin. Man is universally sinful. It is amazing to thing that Marx and Lenin viewed the proletariat as sinless and embodying virtue as did Hitler of the Aryan. Their worldviews included the sinlessness of certain people.


GAL 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.


ROM 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?


ROM 7:2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.


ROM 7:3 So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.


ROM 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.


ROM 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.


ROM 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.


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,


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