Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be blameless. The church presented blameless – Col 1:22.
Sunday March 10, 2019
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge [epignosis = full knowledge] of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:10 so that [because you are filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding] you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [better: “the might of His glory”], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously [giving thanks to the Father]
“steadfastness” – hupomone = (lit. “remaining under”) perseverance or patient enduring in all things.
“patience” – makrothumia = (lit. “long temper”) = longsuffering, forbearance.
Joyously somewhat hangs between two verses or two phrases. The NAS attaches it to “giving thanks,” but it is equally permissible for joyously to be attached to the preceding two words, steadfast and patient. Yet, since all go together in the life of the believer, meaning that we persevere and forbear with joy, and we persevere and forbear while joyously giving thanks.
Both humpomone and makrothumia were qualities esteemed by the Stoics, but in the NT it is associated with another quality not so characteristic of Stoicism – joyfulness.
That, and other ideologies and religions in the world, show us that counterfeit systems always take parts of God’s life, but never the entire life. It is imperative that actual Christians do not do the same.
When we are content with parts of the Christian life and not the whole of it, then we tend to look like many of the counterfeits. Every believer has an easier time with parts of Christianity and a much tougher and challenging time with others. It is imperative that we don’t ignore the virtues that challenge us, but that we ask, seek, and knock continually in our pursuit of victory. Study, prayer, and diligence in effective practice while maintaining faith in the Holy Spirit within will win the day.
Walking in the manner of election becomes wearisome as we fight the constant temptation of the flesh to selfishness.
6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 6:7 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 6:8 "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 6:9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 6:10 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Gal 6:9 tells us not to lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
Phi 2:13 tells that God is always at work in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
This is why perseverance and forbearance are so important. But remember, they must also be accomplished with joy and not grudgingly. Beside the Christian who usually lives the parts of the Christian life he likes or finds easiest, there is also the Christian who is part-time no matter how easy or hard it is. Both types are part-timers but in different ways. One is always working part-time and the other shows up for full-time work part of the time.
And to be clear, this has nothing to do with how often you show up to a particular church. Though we are entreated not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, there is no command in the Bible about how often you need to go to church. The commands of God center on your true knowledge of His word, your continual increase in that true knowledge, and your walking in a manner worthy of the Lord (worthy of your calling) by means of the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e. being Christlike in character. God is not impartial. You and I are never fooling Him if these are not true. And, the best way that I have ever seen to continually increase in true knowledge of the word of God is to be an active part in a church where that knowledge is taught.
If we develop the habit of being Christians who do God’s work some of the time; when we find it easier, when we get really, really motivated for a time, when we’re in incredible pain from our sinful lives, when temptation to do otherwise isn’t too strong, then we will never know what is was like to be Christlike in this life.
Some denominations and various pulpits like to hang your salvation in the balance, or at least, all of your rewards in heaven that will fall away from you if you don’t get with it.
The motivation given to the believer in the NT is his salvation and his Savior, Father, and Helper (God the Holy Spirit).
You were saved when you believed in Christ. You cannot lose your salvation. If you still don’t love Christ more than anything, you should ask yourself and God some serious questions in prayer. 1Co 3 speaks of loss of rewards, but nothing is said in that passage about losing eternal rewards. That conclusion might be Paul’s reference, but it is conjectured. There are passages which imply a loss of some portion of your inheritance, but what is lost and when (time or eternity, for the inheritance exists in both) is not revealed. So, I can’t hang your inheritance over the cliff and say, “Come on little lamb, get with the Shepherd or I’m dropping this to the depths forever.” Plus, this motivation from fear is never given in the NT. The motivation given to the believer in the NT is his salvation, his Savior, his Father, and his Mentor.
We must combine perseverance and forbearance with joy constantly through truth, knowledge, and the power and might of God’s glory.
Though we are sinners who will fail, we must maintain this attitude of consistency because of what we have been delivered from, what we have been delivered to and because of who our Lord and Savior is.
A Christian, when he learns of his calling, of his election so that he should be holy and blameless, will set his mind to it. He will normally be excited to be understanding and setting off on this journey of divine virtue and may even imagine the person he is going to become down the road. But then, after a few months or weeks, and I would actually tend more to believe, after a few days, he becomes weary with the work. Why does he become weary? He has to constantly fight off the flesh’s tendency to selfishness. He also comes to see that nobody recognizes his work. He also comes to see that maturity does not come very rapidly. He recognizes that completing the journey for which he was saved is going to take a long time indeed. He imagines that in a short time his life is going to turn into awesomeness, but what he finds instead is the same problems and an added awareness of even more problems. The more often you live spiritually, the more opposition you face from within and without, and the more problems you face. Life doesn’t turn into a rose garden rapidly, in fact, it will start to look worse in some ways, however, if you persevere, that won’t last.
The faithful believer will find within himself more struggle before he finds pure joy.
Israel had to fight to take hold of the Promised Land and it took them seven years to complete it, and still, not all the enemy was beaten. 40 years prior, their parents heard from a minority (17%) that they should go for it and the same guaranteed victory. But, they also heard from an overwhelming majority that they shouldn’t go in for it would only mean certain death.
If you are a believer, both of these voices are within you.
Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.