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Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, The glorious wealth of God in the believer, part 5.

EPHESIANS-1-200702
length: 69:25 - taught on Jul, 2 2020
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Class Outline:

Thursday July 2, 2020

 

EPH 1:18 - we are to know it.

EPH 3:16 - it is to give strength to our inner man.

ROM 9:26 - we were prepared beforehand by God to know it.

PHI 4:19 - we are to give of it to others.

COL 1:27 - it is Christ who is in you.

 

In Phi 4 we find that Paul learned the secret of contentment.

 

PHI 4:10-13

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Paul had thoroughly investigated the life of Christ given to us by the glorious riches of God to the point that he was led into the deepest secrets of God’s mystery from which he derived power and contentment.

 

We can confidently conclude that the thorn in his flesh, which he describes in 2Co 12, contributed to his revelation of the strength that comes from knowing the riches of God’s glory.

 

Although Paul’s thorn in the flesh was administered by a messenger from Satan sent to buffet him, we might conclude that anything in a believer’s life, that is not of sin, but not under their control, and makes their lives more difficult, will cause them to rely upon God in ways they would not have without that difficulty. Paul said that he came to glory in his weakness and that he was:

 

2CO 12:7-10

And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself [he would come to find this out later], there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me —  to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me [“may spread like a tent upon me]. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

It would seem improbable that all of these: insults, distresses, persecutions, and difficulties were from the messenger from Satan, perhaps the thorn caused them, but the point is that he was content with them. As he said in PHI 4:12-13 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

One of David’s greatest difficulties, if not the greatest, was king Saul. Psa 13 could be about any enemy, which makes it more appropriate for any Christian who finds that God seems to be silent toward our dilemmas. David’s song sounds a lot like Paul’s prayer.

 

Psa 13 For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

 

1 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever?

How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?

2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,

Having sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

 

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord, my God;

Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

4 Lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him,"

Lest my adversaries rejoice when I am shaken.

 

5 But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;

My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,

Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

 

How long? is used four times and emphasizes the lament that God had not delivered him from whatever it was.

 

“Will You forget me forever?” (vs. 1) indicates that there has been no answer to his prayer.

 

Paul received no answer, but rather a remembrance of something he had come to know, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is matured in weakness.”

 

“How long shall I take counsel in my soul?” (vs. 2) expresses his frustration.

 

It refers to his numerous but futile attempts to resolve the situation. He has tried a number of things, but the enemy remains exalted over him. This results in the next line, “Having sorrow in my heart all the day.” Daily means that there was no letup.

 

The petition then turns from deliverance to asking God to look intently at the matter.

 

“Consider” in Hebrew means to gaze or look intently, calling for God to look closely at his dilemma, and then followed by “answer me”.

 

Both of these are imperatives. He is commanding God, from the source of his misery, to look and answer. The imperatives show David’s need of urgency.

 

The petition continues “Enlighten my eyes” but this is not a reference to beholding. It is a reference to revive physical strength, hence it is followed by “lest I sleep the sleep of death.” It is, “Revive my strength lest I die.”

 

He then tries to motivate God with reasons: 4 Lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him, Lest my adversaries rejoice when I am shaken.

 

And then David switches the tone, but without having received an answer from the Lord, nor deliverance.

 

PSA 13:5-6

But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness [chesed - loyal love];

My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,

Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

 

God’s lack of an answer or deliverance caused David to pursue the only recourse open to him - trusting in God’s loyal love. [chesed]

 

We noted the contrast with life “under the sun” as described in the wisdom book Ecclesiastes. Notice in Jeremiah’s warning message to Judah how the result of the people living under the sun caused them to lose capacity for life.

 

People who live “under the sun” have no capacity for life.

 

JER 2:13

“For My people have committed two evils:

They have forsaken Me,

The fountain of living waters,

To hew for themselves cisterns,

Broken cisterns,

That can hold no water.”  

 

ISA 55:1-2

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;

And you who have no money come, buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without cost.

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

And delight yourself in abundance.”

 

ISA 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.    

 

ISA 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

HAG 1:5-6

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, "Consider your ways! 6 "You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes."

 

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