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Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 19

length: 65:40 - taught on Nov, 20 2019
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Wednesday November 20, 2019

Some have concluded that it was easy for Christ and therefore unfair. He was God, without sin, in the know, a spiritual and moral genius; so then, they conclude, we cannot identify with Him, neither worship Him. But they miss something when they say that. The Son of God as the Man Jesus Christ has shown us how life works in a man. If He did not find some things easier (not all things) and therefore do them perfectly, how could he show us? The parent holds the child’s hand as he shows the child how to form letters and numbers. It would be silly for the child to complain that it was unfair, that the parent knew how to do it.


ROM 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.


ROM 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


There is much in the hypostatic union, the union of God and Man in one person, that we cannot understand. What we can understand on some level is that God exposed Himself to temptation, change, and even death so that we could have His life. There is no point waiting to learn and live that life until everything makes sense and every question is answered. Let Christ take your hand and form the letters. Let Him save you from corruption and lies by following Him exclusively.


The fact that we belong to God, that we men are His creatures and subjects, has never been perfectly acknowledged save by Christ. No individual or society of people has ever lived entirely for God. No man has ever entirely recognized this apparently simple truth, that we are not our own, but God’s. The Israelites made the acknowledgment in form, by sacrifice, but Christ alone made it in deed by giving Himself up wholly to do God’s will. Christ’s whole spirit and habitual temper of mind was that of perfect obedience and dedication.


Are we to say that Christ did this so we don’t have to? Are we to regard such obedience lightly because we can’t do it constantly? If we do, then Christ’s dedication to God will be meaningless to us. That cost, the cost of disobedience and infidelity to God, is too high.


When the Israelite who loved the Lord his God came with his lamb, feeling the attractiveness and majesty of God, and desiring to pour his whole life out in fellowship with God and service of Him, saw in the animal a yielding of its whole life, which was the very utterance of his own desire, but which he could not do perfectly, hence the sacrificial lamb.


Now we approach God through the blood of Christ, the perfect sacrifice, we can now devote ourselves to God as those cleansed. This open door, which is the person of Christ, has set us on a new and living way, no longer in need of sacrifice, but of confident and bold fellowship with God.


Is there any bounty, hopefulness, goodness, and real wealth to human life? When man’s eyes are opened to the things freely given him by God.


1CO 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God,


1CO 2:13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words].


Also, such a life could not be ours unless we choose it - unless we chose to repent from the corrupted life. He couldn’t force us. And so, we can see why God would become a man, save us, show us life and then entreat us to choose it.


Plus, we cannot understand the life of God unless we enter into it in our experience.


Truth carries with it always a self-evidencing power. The possessor of truth always knows he has it because truth bears witness of itself and produces its unique fruit.


1CO 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.


1CO 2:15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man.


We see over and over in the NT that things of God cannot be known or done without the Holy Spirit.


The truths we see most clearly and have deepest assurance of are those which our own experience has taught us. We must really, and not only in word, pass from dependence on this present world to dependence on God, and that is not always easy to do. Spiritual truth is of a kind that only spiritual men can understand.


How God exists, what He thinks and does is what life is.


What happened to the world is that life got corrupted and in arrogance and fear we called the corrupt life the right life, and we rejected God’s message to us that the corrupted life must die and God’s life given again by grace. What some Christians have done is try to mix the corrupt life with the real, a solution that the sin-nature begs for, and this is something we must not do. We cannot serve two masters. Hence, the prosperity gospel is a lie if the guaranteed so-called prosperity is material. From what I hear, the cross is not mentioned very much in the prosperity gospel, and I’m sure that neither is 1Co 4 - living in sacrificial love.


1CO 4:10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.


1CO 4:11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;


1CO 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;


1CO 4:13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.


1CO 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.


1CO 4:15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.


1CO 4:16 I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.


Certainly, we must grab hold of the word of God knowing that we need to grow to spiritual manhood. The path of these eternal, all-satisfying joys may be hard; Christ’s path was not easy, and they who follow Him must in one form or other have their faith in the unseen tested. We have but touched the hem of His garment; what must it be to be clasped to His heart? There is only one way to know that, and that is losing your life and going for it.


The gospel doesn’t appeal to human wisdom.


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