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Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; The Secret of the Ages, part 32 (Overcoming sin and suffering).

length: 63:53 - taught on Oct, 2 2019
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Class Outline:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

God says to go ‘there’ and promises that in seeking I will find.


Paul wrote that Christ was exalted in Paul’s body, whether by life or by death. To him, life was Christ and dying was gain.


Paul knew real weakness and real deliverance. The Christian life for him was not in word only. And that has been true for all prophets of the OT and apostles, and any mature believer.


MAR 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.


MAR 8:32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.


MAR 8:33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and  said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." 


MAR 8:34 And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.


“deny” and “take up” are aorist imperatives = viewed as events without aspect to the process.


“follow Me” = present imperative - commitment to continual action.


We must at some point deny ourselves and take up our cross, and then we will be able to follow Him.


This is akin to laying aside the old man and putting on the new man. This has been done for us through the death and resurrection of Christ, and now it has to be our chosen reality. We cannot bear our cross while also trying to bear our own desires. We have desires, but we cannot bear them. We trust God for those desires; however, He may wish to fulfill them or not, but while also knowing that what God is going to do in our life is greater than our desires.


MAR 8:35 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it.


God tells us to go for it and we will see. “Go for it” is another catch phrase that is so often just words, but with God this means to throw our entire lives into the way of Christ and rejecting all sin. We fear walking away from our sin nature’s grave for good, but it is this exactly that we must do.


ROM 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.


ROM 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.


He died, once and for all. It is over and finished. But that is not the end. Only for Him did life come after death; life free and unencumbered by sin and slavery. He never committed a sin in His life, but He was encumbered by it from others. That ended when He walked out of the grave. What could mere flesh do to Him now?


God relates everything in Christ’s life to us, his born-again children. He died, we died. He lives, we live. He was obedient, we are obedient. He was righteous and pure, we are righteous and pure. He is eternal, we are eternal. He was always the key, the only catalyst, the one foundation.


Since all that needed to be done in Him was done, it is up to us now to understand and trust God that this has all been done, and when I say trust, I mean more than the fact of assenting that it is true. I mean living it in every area of our lives, as if we were already in heaven.


This demands trust. To go ‘there’ to run the race to the end, to finish the course, to live is Christ; demands trust in the One who promised it.


Each of us must be able to say at the end of our lives, on our death beds so to speak, “I went ‘there’ and I saw and I believed.”


Why will I find it, see it, and therefore rejoice in it? He has made me new. He has indwelt me. The Holy Spirit is in me for the very purpose of opening my eyes to see what is ‘there’ when I pursue it. I must pursue it, and that means saying no to my flesh, considering it dead, which is another way of saying that I must repent of the self-life, the sin-nature, the world, and sin - through Christ, I’m dead to it all, ROM 8:3.


Considering yourself dead to sin (ROM 6:11) is more than a mental exercise. Being dead to sin and alive to God, I become a servant to God’s will, whatever it may be, whenever, and wherever.


It is important to look for the opportunities in our lives where we can trust the Lord explicitly while rejecting all human endeavors.


PSA 37:1 Do not fret [incensed] because of evildoers,

Be not envious toward wrongdoers.


PSA 37:2 For they will wither quickly like the grass,

And fade like the green herb.


PSA 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.


PSA 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;

And He will give you the desires of your heart.


MAR 8:34

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.


We cannot bear our cross while also trying to bear our own desires. We have desires, but we cannot bear them. We trust God for those desires; however, He may wish to fulfill them or not, but while also knowing that what God is going to do in our life is greater than our desires.


PSA 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it [He will act].


PSA 37:6 And He will bring forth your righteousness [your cause] as the light,

And your judgment as the noonday.


PSA 37:7 Rest [be still] in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.


PSA 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing [do not be incensed to do evil].


PSA 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off,

But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.


God says to go ‘there’ and promises that in seeking I will find.


PSA 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.


PSA 40:2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction [literally, the pit of noise = the rushing sound of the confluent waters of the abyss], out of the miry clay [thickest mire];

And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.


PSA 40:3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;

Many will see and fear,

And will trust in the Lord.


PSA 40:4 How blessed [happy] is the man who has made the Lord his trust,

And has not turned to the proud [literally, the sea monster gods of the Canaanites], nor to those who lapse into falsehood [idol worship].


PSA 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done,

And Thy thoughts toward us;

There is none to compare with Thee;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They would be too numerous to count.


God says to go ‘there’ and promises that in seeking I will find.


PSA 56:3When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee.


PSA 56:4 In God, whose word I praise,

In God I have put my trust;

I shall not be afraid.

What can mere man do to me?


PSA 56:5 All day long they distort my words;

All their thoughts are against me for evil.


PSA 56:6 They attack, they lurk,

They watch my steps,

As they have waited to take my life.


PSA 56:7 Because of wickedness, cast them forth,

In anger put down the peoples, O God!


PSA 56:8 Thou hast taken account of my wanderings;

Put my tears in Thy bottle [implied is that they are counted];

Are they not in Thy book [register, counting]?


PSA 56:9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;

This I know, that God is for me.


PSA 56:10 In God, whose word I praise,

In the Lord, whose word I praise,


PSA 56:11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.

What can man do to me?


God says to go ‘there’ and promises that in seeking I will find.


PSA 91:1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty [Shaddai].


PSA 91:2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!"


PSA 91:3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper,

And from the deadly pestilence.


PSA 91:4 He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.


PSA 91:5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,

Or of the arrow that flies by day;


PSA 91:6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.


Our trust, that which overcomes the life of sin and evil, is our faith in who God has made us to be in Christ.


ROM 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,


ROM 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.


ROM 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.


The mystery is that in this age we are fellow heirs, fellow members of Christ’s body, and fellow partners in Christ’s life. We are subjects of the King and His kingdom and no other life is available to us.


Being who we are in Christ, having what we have in Him, it might seem that it should be smooth sailing in a heavenly life that is easy. Even though knowing all this to be true, Christians still struggle. They have to fight the good fight, take hold of the eternal life in them, buffet their bodies and make their slave, study to show themselves approved, confess, repent, etc.


We now turn to the means of overcoming the suffering in the body and mind that arises when we sin, and further, when we reject the flesh and our sin.

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