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Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, part 53: Inner man; the good heart developed by commitment to the Lord in all circumstances.

EPHESIANS-1-200617
length: 65:41 - taught on Jun, 17 2020
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Class Outline:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

 

PRO 4:20-27
My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their whole body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put devious lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead,
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 Watch the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.

 

Paul quotes PSA 116:10 in 2CO 4:13, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” which in context was in the face of great opposition.

 

PSA 116:1-15

I love the Lord, because He hears

My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,

Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death encompassed me,

And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;

I found distress and sorrow.

4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:

"O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!"

5Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

Yes, our God is compassionate.

6 The Lord preserves the simple [pethiy = young and naïve];

I was brought low, and He saved me.

7 Return to your rest, O my soul,

For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For Thou hast rescued my soul from death,

My eyes from tears,

My feet from stumbling.

9 I shall walk before the Lord

In the land of the living.

10 I believed when I said, ["I believed, therefore I spoke,"]

"I am greatly afflicted."

11 I said in my alarm,

"All men are liars."

12 What shall I render to the Lord

For all His benefits toward me?

13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation,

And call upon the name of the Lord.

14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people [may I serve others with this revelation! (as Paul states in 2Co 4)].

15Precious in the sight of the Lord

Is the death of His godly ones [the end of their striving on the earth].

 

In vs. 3 the chords of death encompassed him, and here he shares with us that God is not indifferent or hands off when it comes to the death of His saints. He prayed, “Save my life,” (vs. 4) and he was “brought low and He saved me.” (vs. 6)

 

2CO 4:13-14

I believed, therefore I spoke, "we also believe, therefore also we speak; 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

 

God does not treat the death of His saints with indifference - they are highly valued by Him. Therefore, He is indifferent about nothing concerning us. 

 

MAT 10:28-31

"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 "Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.

 

PSA 116:16

O Lord, surely I am Thy servant,

I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid,

Thou hast loosed my bonds.

17 To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

And call upon the name of the Lord.

18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

19 In the courts of the Lord's house,

In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

 

In the final section, the writer offers praise to God. He confirms himself as a vassal of God, “Thy servant.”

 

“The son of Your handmaid” is interpreted in light of the laws of slavery under the Mosaic Law. If a slave was given a wife by his master and he had children, when that slave was set free at the end of six years, his wife and children remained with the master, EXO 21:4. The slave could choose to remain in the service of the master, EXO 21:5. By using the phrase, “the son of Your handmaid,” he is doubling down on his profession of loyalty and service to the Lord, i.e. “I am all yours. I have to stay with you.”

 

The psalmist acknowledges that the Lord has set him free from the tensions and anxieties of the world by delivering him from death, and now he belongs to the Lord as His servant. This is true for all of us, for we have been delivered from sin and death through the blood of Christ.

 

ROM 5:21

as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The redeemed all belong to the Lord completely. As a result of this, the psalmist praises the Lord and hopes that that praise will be seen and heard by as many as possible. Does our redemption and our understanding that we are the property of the Lord give us great joy and thanksgiving?

 

“All my heart” is used of both God and man = no lingering doubt about the purpose, plan, and power of God.

 

“All my heart” is an interesting phrase. We’ve heard it thrown around so much that we hardly give it a second thought. Yet it is used in the scripture of both man and God.

 

We saw God using the phrase when promising the return of Israel to the Promised Land and the fulfillment of His covenant to her. Even though Jerusalem was destroyed due to their many years of gross idolatry, God promised that He would “faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.” (Jer 32: 41)

 

The heart is to be complete in being convinced of God’s goodness and righteousness.

 

When the people followed David and generously contributed to the materials needed for constructing the Temple:

 

1CH 29:9-14

Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.

 

10 So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. 14 But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee.

 

The phrase you see, “whole heart” is not a reference to quantity, as in your entire heart. It is rather a reference to quality.

 

“whole heart” - shalemleb = a perfect heart; complete or mature. A heart convinced of God’s goodness and righteousness.

 

It would be David’s son Solomon who would be commissioned by God to build the Temple. And upon its completion when Solomon as king dedicated it to the Lord, he used the same phrase, shalemblev.

 

1KI 8:61

“Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.”

 

Yet Solomon did not follow his own advice.

 

1KI 11:4

For it came about when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

 

There is a good lesson here. The heart can be turned away from God, but it is always pursuing something. Devotion is a good word to describe it.

 

The heart is always pursuing something. We must be careful that it pursues God alone.

 

For instance, when we learn of divine love it is accepted to a certain degree, but where it challenges us to truly sacrifice for another, for an enemy even, and that sacrifice is painful (as all true sacrifice is) we often doubt that such devotion to love is necessary.

 

In that case we would have the fact of God’s love rooted and grounded (we would never agree that love isn’t sacrificial), as well as the aspects of it that we find more amenable (we’ll sacrifice for those we love, say), but the rejected aspects would be absent from our hearts. We probably assent to them being true, but when push comes to shove, we are not going to do them.

 

Look how David puts it in Psa 11

 

PSA 11:1For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

 

In the Lord I take refuge;

How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain;

2 For, behold, the wicked bend the bow,

They make ready their arrow upon the string,

To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations are destroyed,

What can the righteous do?"

 

4 The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven;

His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.

5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,

And the one who loves violence His soul hates.

6 Upon the wicked He will rain snares;

Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.

7 For the Lord is righteous;

He loves righteousness;

The upright will behold His face.

 

David asks those who suggest that he flee from danger, “How can you say flee as a bird to your mountain?” Whatever the situation was, the foundations of society were being uprooted, and the question is asked, “What can the righteous do?”

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