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Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, Putting the entire prayer together, part 3.

EPHESIANS-1-200802
length: 90:52 - taught on Aug, 2 2020
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Class Outline:

Sunday August 2,2020

 

Last time we finished with Psa 8.

 

PSA 8:3-6

When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,

The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;

4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?

And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?

5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God,

And dost crown him with glory and majesty!

6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;

Thou hast put all things under his feet,

 

David wonders, “Who am I that I should be anointed king by the God who created the heavens?” We will wonder, “Who am I that I should walk as Christ walked?”

 

It takes divine strength to do so, and so it takes divine strength to apprehend or comprehend the love of God for you.

 

And after you may have ignored that life, though you possessed it as a believer, though you have many times knowingly tossed it aside in the pursuit of something selfish and lustful, though you have at times treated it with contempt, taken advantage of it for personal reasons, and sometimes held it in low esteem, that life remains right on the table for you to grasp; the door to it was never closed, not even part-way shut, but remained wide open. And if even after years of neglect you committedly walked through it, the life receives you with open arms and no condemnation. You are apprehending the limitless love of God for you.

 

That is not to say that we need to ignore it for a while in order to comprehend God’s love, it is simply knowing the reality that it is always there for me. And if I had not ever ignored it, I would know that just as deeply as if I had, but the reality is that for every believer, he has to some extent, small or great, treated it with contempt. We have a limited time here on earth. Death is certain for all. We must not waste any time in anything else than the life of Christ.

 

I want to repeat something about the calling upon us all to complete obedience to the Father in all things; to be Christlike. A commitment to it, which every believer is called to have, i.e. it should be the normal Christian life, not some exceptional thing, will reveal to each of us just how far we are away from being like the Son of Man. Those without a commitment to complete fidelity can afford to kid themselves, but the committed cannot. It is right before them.

 

How can we have joy when we are more inclined to be discouraged and disappointed by ourselves in light of our calling?

 

God comforts us and gives us His joy even when we realize we are far from the standard of the stature of the fullness of Christ. His promises, and His question: “Do you seek Me?”

 

The answer to that question cannot be deceivably given to God who knows all. We can fool others, and even ourselves, but never Him. He has some wonderful ways of relating that in His word.

 

PSA 94:8-11

Pay heed, you senseless among the people;

And when will you understand, stupid ones?

9 He who planted the ear, does He not hear?

He who formed the eye, does He not see?

10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,

Even He who teaches man knowledge?

11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man,

That they are a mere breath.

 

If we are honest and humble, we will know the answer to “Do you seek Me?” and also, we will know if it is some partial seeking: “If I happen to run into You,” kind of thing.

 

I decided to quote many of these for the purpose of giving us a feel for how adamant God is about it.

 

DEU 4:29

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

 

DEU 6:4-6

"Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;

 

DEU 10:12-13

"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord's commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

 

DEU 26:16

"This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

DEU 30:9-10

Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

 

JOS 22:5

Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

 

1SA 7:3

Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines."

 

1SA 12:20

And Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil [asking for a king], yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

 

1SA 12:24

Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

 

PRO 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

 

ECC 2:10-11

And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

 

As Solomon shows us here, of which we are grateful, we can give our whole hearts to the impulse of pleasure, and that in any type of pleasure, and that is only vapor or smoke; i.e. something that looks like it might have substance, but it doesn’t. That life is like walking down an empty road through an abandoned town.

 

There is a ton of opposition in this world and in our own flesh against committing our way to the Lord. No matter how hard it may look or how different it is or how uncomfortable it is, we must “seek” it with all we have. God promises that eventually we will see.

 

Eventually points to another promise that is repeated and repeated all throughout God’s revelation, “Wait upon the Lord” and He will deliver you in His perfect time.

 

JER 29:13

'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

 

Are we to think that because we are in the age of the church, the age of grace, that the attitude of giving all of our heart to God was only a way of the past? I would say that now that we are actually married to Christ it has done nothing but intensify. And in this I will comfort you. When our eyes are finally open to the truth, the way of complete devotion to God in everything is the only place of comfort.

 

ACT 13:22

'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.'

 

David was far from perfect, but he was far different than Saul. David was “after” God’s heart. He loved God and who God was and what God could do. He loved the goodness and faithfulness of God.

 

 

Communion:

 

The false joy of the Corinthian:

1CO 11:17-22

But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

 

Such false joy is short-lived:

1CO 11:27-34

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you may not come together for judgment.

 

Our coming together, all of us different and at different distances from the perfect conduct of Christ, though all of us so far that the differences fade into a statistical margin of error, of the many truths we hold dear and unifies us in love and gives us the courage and joy to sit at table with our Lord in happy confidence - we are forgiven.

 

MAT 26:26-28

And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;  28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

 

Forgiveness of sins. Without it we cannot come anywhere near God. Those who are with God must be like Him.

 

COL 2:13-14

And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 

EPH 1:7-8

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He lavished upon us.

 

The forgiveness of sins does not leave us a non-entity, or non-persons. There has to be something to our nature, and if it is not a sinner than something else. God made us righteous through the blood of Christ.

 

ROM 5:19

For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

 

Made righteous but still committing some sin - we are forgiven. Pursuing Christ and falling along the way - we are forgiven. Neglecting the way in favor of self - we are forgiven. The door of seeking God is always open. We cannot live this Christian life without complete and total forgiveness, and we have it through the blood of the new covenant.

 

EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

 

EPH 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 

1CO 11:23-25

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

 

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