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Ephesians overview – God’s Eternal Purpose, Drawing Near, Joy in Suffering (3:11-13)

EPHESIANS-1-200212
length: 64:58 - taught on Feb, 12 2020
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Class Outline:

Wednesday February 12, 2020

 

Yesterday’s reading included Psa 36. I marveled at the words of this stanza written by David.

 

PSA 36:5-9

Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,

Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies.

6 Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God;

Thy judgments are like a great deep.

O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast.

7 How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God!

And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.

8 They drink their fill of the abundance of Thy house;

And Thou dost give them to drink of the river of Thy delights.

9 For with Thee is the fountain of life;

In Thy light we see light.

 

It was humanity and his life that was the entire purpose of God.

 

God’s purpose was to make man of a certain type - the image of God in the image of the person of Christ.

 

What is the type of man that God has purposed? He is eternal, righteous, holy, blameless, just, wise, understanding, insanely rich spiritually, powerful, disciplined, filled with hope, confident, forgiven, filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control; who doesn’t judge others, forgives, is exceedingly gracious, virtuous, always growing, akin to God in everything, obedient to God in anything, in love with God forever, walking by the Holy Spirit.

 

I’m sure I could add more, but in a fast description, that is the purpose of God for all history - to make such men, and it is no coincidence that Jesus was just that type of man. He gave us His life.

 

If you are a Christian and you are not this type of man or woman then pursue it by the truth of the word of God and the Holy Spirit within you. It is the entire reason that God made you and the universe and the heavens and the earth.

 

2TI 2:19-22

"The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness." 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

 

Not being this type of person is not our biggest obstacle, rather, our biggest obstacle is discovering that we are not this type of person (which every Christian does when he discovers the type of person he is to be) and doing nothing about it, not pursuing it, while making excuses, blaming others and circumstances, and deceiving ourselves. God can transform the humble, but the proud can only be hurt.

 

2TI 1:7-14

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

 

Now think of how we have altered this type of man, this new man, in order to fit our own desires for the old man. Consider the Corinthians, who held strong to some of the aspects of this man and ignored the others. They embraced the new man’s eternal and his forgiveness, and they rejected all the things that made up his holiness. They rejoiced in their eternal life and their forgiveness, while they participated in strife, jealousy, division, selfishness, greed, judgment, vengeance, disorder, fear, and fornication.

 

The purpose of God in mankind cannot be partially accepted. It must be fully accepted.

 

David’s imagery:

PSA 35:10

All my bones will say, "Lord, who is like Thee,

 

This is also clearly revealed in king Saul when he spared the best portions of the wealth of the Amalekites as well as their king when he was commanded by God to put them under the ban, and also by the tribes of Israel when they were told to remove all the Canaanites from their allotted territories. A lack of commitment to the life of Christ will get you not very far from nowhere.

 

1CO 9:24

Run in such a way that you may win.

 

HEB 12:1

let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

 

In vs. 12, Paul drops down from heaven back to earth and to the struggles of the church. The watching angels and the Jesus the Lord sitting in victory having fulfilled the purpose of God to the body of Christ on earth in travail and conflict.

 

EPH 3:8-12

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

 

Bold and confident access to the Father through faith in Christ is our active and effective prayer life.

 

This is a repetition of:

EPH 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

 

If the Lord is not ashamed of us, and He is clear to say that He isn’t in HEB 2:11, then we may well draw near to the Father with complete confidence.

 

HEB 2:11-12

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, 12 saying,

 

"I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren,

In the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise."

 

If the Father was ashamed of us then He would have to be ashamed of Christ who identifies completely with us. Christ’s name gives the sinner access to the holiest place. The cherubim sheathe their swords of flame. The heavenly gate keepers open the gates. We approach the throne of God with complete boldness because of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Access (prosagoge) is a blessing of reconciliation. It is active communion with God, especially in prayer. Twice Paul brackets “access to God” with “peace with God.” (ROM 5:1-2; EPH 2:17-18).

 

Peter uses the verb to announce that Christ died, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to “bring us to God” or grant us access to God. The writer of Hebrews borrows from the Day of Atonement ritual in order to convey the nearness to God which Christ by His sacrifice and priesthood has made possible, saying that we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus and so concludes, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (HEB 10:19-22)

 

Thus, reconciliation, peace with God, adoption into His family and access into His presence all bear witness to the same new relationship into which God has brought us.

 

It is imperative that we take advantage of our bold access to the Father and seek His counsel and guidance in overcoming the things that hinder us.

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