Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 5.

Sunday October 27, 2019

Eph 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,


Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;


Eph 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,


Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.


Set apart from the womb, called to be the apostle to the Gentiles, and subsequently and specifically called by God to go to various areas of the Roman Empire to preach the gospel, Paul chose the path that God foreordained.


Why did Paul lay aside everything that was once valuable in his life and put on the path that the Lord Jesus gave to him?


Your life completely changed when you believed in Christ as your Savior, and this decision is the natural following to that change, no matter how much you may fight it, it must follow. Everything has to go that isn’t from Him.


Eph 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,


Eph 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,


Eph 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


Once the decision is made to follow the path that God determined for you, there is only one path to which you are obligated, and on this one path you will be empowered by God.


Paul states in 1Co 9 that he had no choice and that he was under compulsion. His personal choice was to either accept the stewardship that God selected for him or not. There were no other options in the plan of God other than that one stewardship.


Since it is under compulsion it is not applied for, as one would a job in our culture, and so it is not rewarded with compensation, but that is not to say that there is no reward.


The reward for taking the path that God has chosen for you is that you will complete it and that God will empower you to do so.


Mat 13:44"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.


Mat 13:45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,


Mat 13:46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.


Those who find the treasure/pearl, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, will eventually determine that all other things have lost their value by comparison.


The men sell all that they have, which does not mean that we have to buy the kingdom of God, but that we must eventually find that compared to it, to Christ, nothing else is of any value, and if something is getting in the way of life in that kingdom, the Christlike life, it has to go.


Paul shows us the application of the parables of the treasure and the pearl in his letter to the Philippians.


Phi 3:1Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.


Phi 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;


Phi 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,


Phi 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:


Phi 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;


Phi 3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.


Phi 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.


Phi 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,


Phi 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,


Phi 3:10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;


Phi 3:11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.


God’s power is a gift to be used, and so it is grace. It is not forced into operation, which is bondage.


We must be wise from the word of God and understand what we’ve been called to do in the service of God. Despite the crookedness within us that tempts us, our nature of sin, and despite the perverse world that only seeks for self and knows nothing of love, despite all of that, we are made new men and lights to the world and we must hold fast the word of God, saying no to sin and yes to our duty as God’s obedient children. And yet, with God, obedience is not the dry and emotionless word that it often is in life, because with God obedience is mixed with love. We love Him and so love His way and we long to be obedient to Him and rejoice in it.


The obedience to do God’s will is always accompanied by God’s work within you.


Phi 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;


“work out” – katergazomai (compound of kata and ergazomai) = to work out, achieve, effect by toil. Intensive form of ergazomai (to work). “bring your salvation to its designed completion.”


Wuest says that the idea of this word is like working out a problem in mathematics, i.e. bringing your work to completion.


The working out of the Philippians' salvation was affected in some way by the presence of Paul with them. When Paul was with them, his teaching instructed them, his example inspired them, his encouragement urged them on in their growth in grace. Now in his absence they were thrown upon their own initiative. They must learn to paddle their own canoe. Thus Paul sets before them their human responsibility in their growth in grace, for sanctification of life is in the apostle's mind. They have their justification. Their glorification will be theirs in eternity. Their growth in Christ-likeness is the salvation concerning which Paul is speaking. Thus, the saints are exhorted to carry their growth in grace to its ultimate goal, Christ-likeness.


1Jo 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.


1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.


1Jo 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.


Phi 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;


“work out” – present (continually) middle (yourself) imperative (command) = consistently move yourself towards Christlikeness.


Then in verse 13 we find the divine enablement.


Phi 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.


Phi 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;

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